If a stream-winner...

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

If a stream-winner...

Postby Reductor » Fri Apr 30, 2010 2:29 am

If a person were to claim on this board that they are a stream-winner, what would your thought be on that? And how would you respond on the forum itself?

It seems that people don't want to be mistaken as a stream-winner (or higher), or that those phrases that might be associated with entering the path are responded to with some venom.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

User avatar
Reductor
 
Posts: 1272
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 6:52 am
Location: Alberta, Canada

Re: If a stream-winner...

Postby Ben » Fri Apr 30, 2010 2:49 am

Hi thereductor,

thereductor wrote:If a person were to claim on this board that they are a stream-winner, what would your thought be on that? And how would you respond on the forum itself?.


It depends. One has to make an assessment as to whether the person is:
1. Sincere in their belief but deluded,
2. Mentally unwell
3. Charletain, or
4. The real deal

I am inclined to believe that a real ariyan would not announce their status. Its a breach of the Vinaya for a monk to disclose his attainment to a layperson and I seriously doubt whether an ariyan lay-person would do so either. Humility being a co-arising quality that accompanies real spiritual progress. Having said that, I am willing to acknowledge that I might be wrong on the exception. I don't think there is anything wrong with vigorously testing someone's claim as an ariya, especially if it appears that the person is attempting to gain something from that claim - whether it be credibility, a following or some form of material gain. Remember that this is a Theravadin Buddhist discussion forum and many people revere the Sangha. We have a responsibility to our membership to protect them from some unscrupulous individuals. Likewise, if the claimant is either mentally unwell or just deluded, our collective duty of care is to them and to help them to come out of their delusion, or at least protect them from the sort of attention that such a claim is likely to generate.


thereductor wrote:It seems that people don't want to be mistaken as a stream-winner (or higher), or that those phrases that might be associated with entering the path are responded to with some venom.


I'm wondering whether this is in response to something I wrote on the "sabbe sankhara dukkha" thread when I qualified my statement that I am not claiming ariya status. If so, that's fine. For the sake of our members and guests, I do not want to give the impression of having an attainment I do not have. I felt it necessary given I was responding from the context of personal meditative experience and I am aware that some of the meditative experience could give someone the impression that I am an ariya - and I am not.
kind regards

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 15972
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: If a stream-winner...

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Apr 30, 2010 3:15 am

I agree with Ben that a monk and most likely a lay person as well, would probably have no interest in proclaiming Noble status. However, having said that it should be noted that conceit and even some ignorance is not eradicated until one is an Arahant. Even anagamis have some conceit, some sense desires, and some ignorance remaining.

I have met a few people who appeared to be highly realized, but never made any claim or even hint to it.

A Noble One obviously is strong in virtue and wholesome conduct and does not intentionally break any of the five precepts. And also they will no longer have any atta or self-view.
User avatar
David N. Snyder
Site Admin
 
Posts: 7967
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Re: If a stream-winner...

Postby Kokoro » Fri Apr 30, 2010 3:23 am

Personally I don't think it would be to the benefit of anyone for one to claim stream-entry on a forum or to anyone for that matter other than to an ordained member of the Sangha for the purpose of seeking further instruction or advice. Such a claim, in my humble opinion, is likely to invoke jealousy, envy or disbelief from others and challenges to bring forth evidence.
I do think though when one attains stream-entry, it may become apparent in their person, their presence alone would prove stream-entry, and so at that point announcing one's attainment would prove redundant and unnecessary.

May such attainment become apparent in all beings.

:anjali:
User avatar
Kokoro
 
Posts: 43
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2009 9:36 pm
Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: If a stream-winner...

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Apr 30, 2010 3:40 am

Greetings,

I have mixed feeling about this.

If somewhere did make such a proclamation, either directly or by hint, I would probably go through a similar review process such as that mentioned by Ben. I would certainly consider what I've seen in their postings to date, with a particular eye for a stable and consistent temperament. Does their speech and behaviour accord with someone who realises the noble truths? Or do they crack it, get grumpy, get angry and lose the plot on a regular basis? Sure, nobody is pure until they attain arahantship, but most people I've seen give such a hint (or come straight out and say it) tend to be amongst the most easily irritable and pompous posters I've seen online. I will say most, because it's certainly not all.

This approach is modelled on this sutta...

AN 4.192: Thana Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

I don't discount the possibility of stream-entry, so in some ways I would greet such an announcement with sympathetic joy, if I believed it, and I would take a keen interest in what that person posted to see whether it accorded with the suttas and with my personal experience.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14626
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: If a stream-winner...

Postby Goofaholix » Fri Apr 30, 2010 4:13 am

I'm not convinced someone on the path necessarily knows how far they have come nor what status they might be able to lay claim to.

If we were to assume however that someone did know, then what would be the purpose of proclaiming it in cyberspace? I can think of no reason with a good motivation.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
User avatar
Goofaholix
 
Posts: 1874
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 3:49 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: If a stream-winner...

Postby Ben » Fri Apr 30, 2010 4:31 am

Hi Goof,
Goofaholix wrote:I'm not convinced someone on the path necessarily knows how far they have come nor what status they might be able to lay claim to.


That's interesting observation.
From the Nava Sutta (SN 22.101)
"Just as when a carpenter or carpenter's apprentice sees the marks of his fingers or thumb on the handle of his adze but does not know, 'Today my adze handle wore down this much, or yesterday it wore down that much, or the day before yesterday it wore down this much,' still he knows it is worn through when it is worn through. In the same way, when a monk dwells devoting himself to development, he does not know, 'Today my effluents wore down this much, or yesterday they wore down that much, or the day before yesterday they wore down this much,' still he knows they are worn through when they are worn through."
-- http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


Yet, the compilers of the Abhidhamma say that one becomes an Ariya, one becomes instantly aware of the change as a result of the arising of the magga and phala cittas.
kind regards

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 15972
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: If a stream-winner...

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Apr 30, 2010 4:37 am

Greetings,

Speaking of suttas for the wise, here's a good collection of extracts relating to Stream Entry for your perusal...

Stream Entry: Part 1: The Way to Stream-entry
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/study/stream.html

Stream Entry: Part 2: Stream-entry and After
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/study/stream2.html

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14626
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: If a stream-winner...

Postby Reductor » Fri Apr 30, 2010 6:11 am

Ben wrote:I'm wondering whether this is in response to something I wrote on the "sabbe sankhara dukkha" thread when I qualified my statement that I am not claiming ariya status. If so, that's fine. For the sake of our members and guests, I do not want to give the impression of having an attainment I do not have. I felt it necessary given I was responding from the context of personal meditative experience and I am aware that some of the meditative experience could give someone the impression that I am an ariya - and I am not.


It is partly in response to what you wrote, but also the exchange before that between Tilt and Virgo. Since I am not really following the thread that closely (it got to heady for me, man!) I am not sure just what preceded this exchange. At any rate, I recalled a general remark made by Tilt some weeks ago about not being reborn in a low realm, to which a question was posed (in good humor, I suspect) about Tilts attainment level. This recollection plus the seemingly slight phrase of Virgo's, Tilts response to that, and your own response afterward, got me to thinking.

Just why does it seem that attainment is a touchy topic?

Of course, I have not been around the forums that long so I don't know what kind of shenanigans people have pulled in the past, so forgive my curiosity.

But of course I too am interested in the topic of attainments. First, it would be nice for everyone to know whether the path as it is practiced today is efficacious in attaining the goal. Second, what the rate of success is, and third, what trends exist in the life of a stream winner just prior to their entrance of the stream. The answer to the last one would be very helpful.

Unfortunately I can see a huge draw back for a genuine stream winner stating such on a web forum. In effect they would paint a bulls-eye on all their posts. Nothing they write would escape without being scrutinized, and often, I suspect, the scrutiny would not be out of love for the Dhamma. And since it is not agreed upon just how much stream entry reveals to the winner, in terms of dhamma, the possibility is definitely there that they would be found wanting in some way for only a very slight error. I mean, consider the size of the canon and the detail there: would a stream winner have all his t's crossed and i's dotted in terms of the minutest detail? Complete knowledge is, after all, the domain of a Buddha and not a mere sotapanna.

Anyway, I'm rambling here.

But anyone that thinks they're a stream winner, just email me. It'll stay hush hush.
TRpublicface@yahoo.ca
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

User avatar
Reductor
 
Posts: 1272
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 6:52 am
Location: Alberta, Canada

Re: If a stream-winner...

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Apr 30, 2010 6:28 am

Greetings thereductor,

One element you may not have considered in the above is that such questioning is also for the benefit of the potential stream-entrant in the sense that they might be deluded about their attainment, and may falsely believe themselves to be a stream-entrant when in fact they're not. Indeed, looking at some of the aspects of what constitutes stream-entry, such as that in those compendiums I provided links to, it would be quite easy to interpret these in such a way that one believed they indeed were a stream-entrant. Again, differences in the Sutta, Abhidhamma and Commentarial perspectives only go to confuse things further...

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14626
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: If a stream-winner...

Postby Reductor » Fri Apr 30, 2010 7:18 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings thereductor,

One element you may not have considered in the above is that such questioning is also for the benefit of the potential stream-entrant in the sense that they might be deluded about their attainment, and may falsely believe themselves to be a stream-entrant when in fact they're not....


Certainly, questioning is a good thing, flushing out obvious delusion.

There are, though, people out in the world that view attainments as so rare, if not impossible, that they would feel duty bound to dismantle a claimant, using whatever leverage necessary. Ego manics and crazy persons are not likely to be deterred from claiming this and that attainment, but a humble person of sound mind may be.

But sadly, there is no sure way of assessing that an internet person is truly of sound mind, and genuinely attained.

For my part, I'm pretty certain that entrance into the stream is a noticeable event, even if the entrant doesn't immediately label it as 'stream entry'.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

User avatar
Reductor
 
Posts: 1272
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 6:52 am
Location: Alberta, Canada

Re: If a stream-winner...

Postby PeterB » Fri Apr 30, 2010 7:33 am

There is absolutely no way that we can ascertain even someones mundane consciousness from a cyber-personality , that in many cases tends to take on a life of its own.
Its a matter of easy observation for example that those posters who most regularly espouse peace and love on Buddhist websites are the quickest to take offense on their own or someone elses behalf.. and the ones most likely to remember grudges.. :smile:
T'was ever thus.
For a number of reasons I tend assume without proof to the contrary that any claim to attainment is the result of delusion.
Not to even speak of Stream Winning...I am highly suspicious even of hints or claims to knowledge of the Jhanas.
Having seen the defensiveness of those who make such claims.
After a number of decades practising Dhamma I am just getting a clear view of the heights of the mountains we are attempting to climb.
They soar beyond our mundane view.
Am I downhearted ?
No. Its one step at a time.
PeterB
 
Posts: 3904
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm

Re: If a stream-winner...

Postby Annapurna » Fri Apr 30, 2010 7:46 am

thereductor wrote:If a person were to claim on this board that they are a stream-winner, what would your thought be on that? And how would you respond on the forum itself?

It seems that people don't want to be mistaken as a stream-winner (or higher), or that those phrases that might be associated with entering the path are responded to with some venom.


thereductor, you got excellent replies so far.

Let's imagine somebody here truly is a stream-winner.

Why tell anybody? Action speaks louder than words.

He'd either be teaching by example, ( embody virtue and pass on the Dhamma), or it would go by unnoticed, sometimes even challenged.

Would he feel a need to reinforce his posts by a call to his authority?

:anjali:

With metta,

Annapurna
Last edited by Annapurna on Fri Apr 30, 2010 10:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/
User avatar
Annapurna
 
Posts: 2639
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 8:04 pm
Location: Germany

Re: If a stream-winner...

Postby Reductor » Fri Apr 30, 2010 7:48 am

PeterB wrote:....I am highly suspicious even of hints or claims to knowledge of the Jhanas.


Then my posts must set your alarm bells a clatter. :hello:
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

User avatar
Reductor
 
Posts: 1272
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 6:52 am
Location: Alberta, Canada

Re: If a stream-winner...

Postby PeterB » Fri Apr 30, 2010 8:08 am

I wasnt making a personalised statement thereductor. I am just saying that it can be observed on any Buddhist website any month that those who claim supramundane states are frequently the ones who two days later are having a hissy fit about something.. :smile:
Just as those who identify Buddhadhamma with one particular emotional asana i.e. being "nice". ( to borrow a term, asana, from yoga ) are the ones who frequently carry grudge matches from one thread or even one WEBSITE to another :D

I am not making these observations from a position of superiority. When i say that I have no attainments it is not false modesty.. I have hissy fits and get annoyed.
But i am not claiming knowledge of supramundane states... :smile:
Last edited by PeterB on Fri Apr 30, 2010 8:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
PeterB
 
Posts: 3904
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm

Re: If a stream-winner...

Postby acinteyyo » Fri Apr 30, 2010 8:27 am

It wouldn't make any sense to proclaim that, would it?
Because as soon as one wrote or said it (or using any other form of communication), it would mean nothing. Somebody may receive it but then has to interpret it. But one can only interpret something correctly when oneself has experienced it and even then most of the time it's still difficult to interpret our ways of communication correctly, because our means for communication are simply inappropriate and often misleading, because of its cabability of transmitting only very few content of experienced phenomena.
Suppose I would proclaim being a sotapanna. And now? Whose turn is it now to believe or not believe it? Yours and in the end it keeps on being "not for sure", whatever you'll believe. Suppose I proclaim not being a sotapanna. And now? Same thing.... just a waste of time.
I think one shouldn't give much attention to anyones supposed attainments. One would be better to recollect the Dhamma in ones own mind and keep on practicing.
Just a few thoughts... don't mind me ;)

best wishes, acinteyyo

edit:
a quote from the book "Gifts he left behind - The Dhamma legacy of Ajahn Dun Atulo"
Above & beyond words
A well-read layman was conversing with Luang Pu, saying, "I firmly believe that in our present day and age there are not just a few monks who have practiced to the point of reaching the paths, fruitions, and nibbana. So why don't they make their knowledge public, so that those who are interested in the practice will know of the levels of Dhamma they have attained, as a way of giving them encouragement and hope so that they'll accelerate their efforts to the utmost of their ability?"
Luang Pu answered,
"Those who have awakened don't talk of what they've awakened to, because it lies above and beyond all words."
Last edited by acinteyyo on Fri Apr 30, 2010 8:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Both formerly, monks, and now, it is just suffering that I make known and the ending of suffering.
Pathabyā ekarajjena, saggassa gamanena vā sabbalokādhipaccena, sotāpattiphalaṃ varaṃ. (Dhp 178)
Sole dominion over the earth, going to heaven or lordship over all worlds: the fruit of stream-entry excels them.

:anjali:
User avatar
acinteyyo
 
Posts: 994
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 9:48 am
Location: Neuburg/Donau, Germany

Re: If a stream-winner...

Postby PeterB » Fri Apr 30, 2010 8:29 am

I think you are right Acintteyyo.
PeterB
 
Posts: 3904
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm

Re: If a stream-winner...

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:00 am

Greetings acinteyyo,

Nice quote... and what could they say anyway that the Buddha hasn't said already? Explaining or depicting that which is inherently negative (in that it constitutes the absence of conditioned things) could not be done any better than with terms like unbinding, the deathless, the unconditioned, and so on. People are so used to thinking in terms of positives, and therefore often can't understand why nibbana isn't depicted accordingly.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14626
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: If a stream-winner...

Postby Sylvester » Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:19 am

Hmm, the layman Citta did not shy away from telling Acelakassapa that the Buddha would confirm his Anagamin status. I think this is in the Citta Samyutta of the SN.
Sylvester
 
Posts: 1501
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:57 am

Re: If a stream-winner...

Postby Annapurna » Fri Apr 30, 2010 10:08 am

PeterB wrote:I think you are right Acintteyyo.


Me too.
http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/
User avatar
Annapurna
 
Posts: 2639
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 8:04 pm
Location: Germany

Next

Return to General Theravāda discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 14 guests