chownah wrote:I think that the idea of "slacking off" would not even cross a sotapanna's mind....except perhaps as a joke!!!!! I think the concept of "sotapanna" is based on a person reaching a point where it is "damn the iceburgs....full speed ahead!!!!!.....that's what conquering doubt about the dhamma does for you.....I guess....
Chownah, don't say "I guess." It sounds so non-committal. Speak with more authority. You've earned it.
BTW, I can relate to your description above. Despite all the varieties of definitions of sotapanna floating around in this and other threads, it seems possible that the Buddha (as opposed to the institutions that grew up around his teachings after
and which began to categorize and doctrine-ize them) may have had a more simplified view of what reaching stream entry was about. I don't have any particular sutta passages in mind, just an overall abiding impression from the discourses that he wasn't as much of a stickler about this as some in the present day would have it.
Yes, I think doubt is definitely one of the factors a sotapanna has to overcome along with the acknowledgment about the delusion of selfhood. Having these two in place helps to bring about a rational ending to clinging to rituals (the adherence to rules and observances) as this was, after all, Gotama's response to the emptiness of Brahminism's ritualistic practice of his day as it would have, in his opinion, little effect on the empirical practice that he was endeavoring to teach and make known. When a person understands all these factors and has made a personal inner commitment to the practice, not just because it "sounds nice," but because it makes sense and has made an indelible impression on his mind, then I think we give him (or her) a break and let him acknowledge to himself, at least, this achievement. No need to make a big deal about this by announcing it all over the place. The people who know this person will see it reflected in the way he lives his life.
It also occurs to me that these "labels" of the various levels of the ariya came about not so much as a way to differentiate one follower from another in some kind of social oneupsmanship manner, but rather as a way that, privately and between friends, individual's might be able to track their own progress along the path. This obsession with making claims is just another empty practice to be dropped from one's baggage of misbegotten habits.
"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV