Sotapanna

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steve19800
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Sotapanna

Post by steve19800 »

Hello all,

There were thread about sotapanna before but I would like to ask the question specifically probably the combination of previous questions.

Firstly, does someone know if s/he is a sotapanna?

Does a sotapanna have to have all of these qualities:
Pure in five precepts
Unshakable faith in Triple Gem
Has a glimpse of nibbana

The question is is a sotapanna has the capacity to break one of the five precepts whether with or without intention? Do they have to have all the qualities above?

Second question is not about sotapanna but general Buddhism question but a short one, the goal of practice is to see things as they are so repression of sense desires are not the way, it is said that even if one secluded himself in the mountain free from distraction of everyday life meditating in the cave, etc. but if the desires are repressed it will come back at any time, possibly stronger than before.

If we take a look at the five precepts for example it teaches us to 'refrain' or 'abstain', is this the same as repression until someone attain considerably some level of wisdom or enlightenment? How can we see things as they are if we are not enlightened yet? At the same time how can we attain the goal if we are not 'abstaining'? Thanks guys.
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dhammacoustic
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Re: Sotapanna

Post by dhammacoustic »

steve19800 wrote:Hello all,

There were thread about sotapanna before but I would like to ask the question specifically probably the combination of previous questions.

Firstly, does someone know if s/he is a sotapanna?

Does a sotapanna have to have all of these qualities:
Pure in five precepts
Unshakable faith in Triple Gem
Has a glimpse of nibbana

The question is is a sotapanna has the capacity to break one of the five precepts whether with or without intention? Do they have to have all the qualities above?

Second question is not about sotapanna but general Buddhism question but a short one, the goal of practice is to see things as they are so repression of sense desires are not the way, it is said that even if one secluded himself in the mountain free from distraction of everyday life meditating in the cave, etc. but if the desires are repressed it will come back at any time, possibly stronger than before.

If we take a look at the five precepts for example it teaches us to 'refrain' or 'abstain', is this the same as repression until someone attain considerably some level of wisdom or enlightenment? How can we see things as they are if we are not enlightened yet? At the same time how can we attain the goal if we are not 'abstaining'? Thanks guys.
Hello.

Sota-panna is just a name. It means nothing when you take it as a mental object, or a goal. As a name/adjective/title, it represents a finer mental state.

- Being free of ego-belief
- Being free of doubt
- Being free of rites/rituals

Does one know whether they are Sotapanna or not? My answer would be - there is nothing more clear, when you have actual clarity in the mind. It's not like you go and say "Yee haw! I'm a sotapanna baby". It's nothing like that.

I'll try to explain it in simple;

When you truly understand the conditionality, the rising and falling of all phenomena, you quit identifying yourself with any external or internal notions/concepts/forms. With this kind of realization, all evil goes away. Because you are not stuck in the ego any more. You are a man of conduct, and you live accordingly. This is the absence of ego delusion.

When you're mentally free of ego-belief, you are free of doubt. How? Because doubt in moral values, doubt in goodness, doubt in the origination of suffering etc, all originate out of ego belief. Now you know how evil arises. When you know it for sure, it means you are seeing reality - as it is. So there's no room for doubt. Because you know for sure how doubt depends on ignorance. You see it.

When you know how things work, rites and rituals will have nothing to do with you. Because you're living the Dhamma - as the Buddha put it. There's no room for fear, nor hatred, nor delusion. Once you know how things arise, you know what you should do both mentally and bodily. This means, your goodness doesn't depend on fear, or rules, or any other conditionally arisen notion. Your mind is not shakable in that regard. You are good, from within, and unconditional.

This is being a Sotapanna. And the kammic effect of this kind of an on-going virtuous existence, is the stream-enterance. Once you are a Sotapanna, it means you are destined for the full realization of reality. This is it.

And the second question;

How can we see things as they are, if we are not yet enlightened?

Enlightenment - as it is, is a result of a certain psychological process. Enlightenment means seeing the mind as it is and when this happens, it is the ultimate reality. Because you are now, above-intellect. Forms, sounds, tastes, odeurs etc - are no more able to shake the mind, which is delivered to the "unconditioned".

Seeing things as they really are, is not itself enlightenment. I'd say, enlightenment - is seeing "the mind" which sees things as they really are.

Desires/cravings etc, are all products of conditioning. All are our mental formations, which are also "dependent originations". So as long as we crave, we'll be trapped inside the mind. When you're within the system, there's no way you can control it. It will control you.

So a desire arises, because a conditioned mind interpretes a phenomena in a certain way. This is impression. If you choose to give in to it, you are a slave to it. However, if you just observe the desire, and go deep, it's possible to see the "point" where it began to arise. With training, it's possible to cut its root. Meditation - is simply this. Once the root is gone, the desire cannot arise any more. Your body responds to it. This is how wisdom works.

Not sure if i remember correctly but the Buddha had a simile, something about children playing with sand, making castles etc. Having undeveloped minds, the children are ignorant and unaware of the desire and stupidity which makes them play with the sand. Once they grow up, it is rather pointless and stupid to them, so they don't do it any more. Cravings are like this as well. In order to get wisdom, one needs to consciously choose the path to it. And it is simply, mental training.

Hope it helped. ;)
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Mkoll
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Re: Sotapanna

Post by Mkoll »

silver surfer wrote:Not sure if i remember correctly but the Buddha had a simile, something about children playing with sand, making castles etc.
SN 23.2 wrote:I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi at Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. Then Ven. Radha went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One: "'A being,' lord. 'A being,' it's said. To what extent is one said to be 'a being'?"

"Any desire, passion, delight, or craving for form, Radha: when one is caught up[1] there, tied up[2] there, one is said to be 'a being.'[3]

"Any desire, passion, delight, or craving for feeling... perception... fabrications...

"Any desire, passion, delight, or craving for consciousness, Radha: when one is caught up there, tied up there, one is said to be 'a being.'

"Just as when boys or girls are playing with little sand castles:[4] as long as they are not free from passion, desire, love, thirst, fever, & craving for those little sand castles, that's how long they have fun with those sand castles, enjoy them, treasure them, feel possessive of them. But when they become free from passion, desire, love, thirst, fever, & craving for those little sand castles, then they smash them, scatter them, demolish them with their hands or feet and make them unfit for play.

"In the same way, Radha, you too should smash, scatter, & demolish form, and make it unfit for play. Practice for the ending of craving for form.

"You should smash, scatter, & demolish feeling, and make it unfit for play. Practice for the ending of craving for feeling.

"You should smash, scatter, & demolish perception, and make it unfit for play. Practice for the ending of craving for perception.

"You should smash, scatter, & demolish fabrications, and make them unfit for play. Practice for the ending of craving for fabrications.

"You should smash, scatter, & demolish consciousness and make it unfit for play. Practice for the ending of craving for consciousness — for the ending of craving, Radha, is Unbinding."
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
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mikenz66
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Re: Sotapanna

Post by mikenz66 »

steve19800
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Re: Sotapanna

Post by steve19800 »

Thanks all for your prompt reply.

I'm thinking if abstaining is the same as repressing?

There is a story where a meditator goes to a secluded area, practising there for years, pretty much gives up his life as lay people. Until one day he comes back to his daily life, all his defilements come back too. It is said because he was repressing his sense desires, therefore they are temporary inactive so to speak.

So if refraining is not the same as suppressing, I'm wondering what is the difference then? Are we supposed to 'repress' as mentioned on Buddhist precepts i.e. I abstain from ... until we cut out all of the defilements? If this is so then why suppressing is not recommended in general Buddhist practice? Thanks again.
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Mkoll
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Re: Sotapanna

Post by Mkoll »

What do those terms (abstain, repress, suppress) mean to you? Can you define them here?
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
barcsimalsi
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Re: Sotapanna

Post by barcsimalsi »

steve19800 wrote:Thanks all for your prompt reply.

I'm thinking if abstaining is the same as repressing?

There is a story where a meditator goes to a secluded area, practising there for years, pretty much gives up his life as lay people. Until one day he comes back to his daily life, all his defilements come back too. It is said because he was repressing his sense desires, therefore they are temporary inactive so to speak.

So if refraining is not the same as suppressing, I'm wondering what is the difference then? Are we supposed to 'repress' as mentioned on Buddhist precepts i.e. I abstain from ... until we cut out all of the defilements? If this is so then why suppressing is not recommended in general Buddhist practice? Thanks again.
I think refrain is the practice, suppress is the result. Defilements have the tendency to re-manifest if there is still wrong view. By refraining from unskillful mental activities, the mental fabrications are calmed which allows the mind to see things more clearly and gain insight given that one must also make an effort to investigate.
daverupa
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Re: Sotapanna

Post by daverupa »

steve19800 wrote:If this is so then why suppressing is not recommended in general Buddhist practice?
Because what is recommended is calmly seeing with wisdom, which leads to disenchantment. 'Repression', 'suppression' tend to have negative psychological connotations, and this can foster an inappropriate attitude towards the efforts being made.
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
dhamman
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Re: Sotapanna

Post by dhamman »

daverupa wrote: Because what is recommended is calmly seeing with wisdom, which leads to disenchantment.
What is taught is to use wisdom for calming, which leads to disenchantment.
daverupa
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Re: Sotapanna

Post by daverupa »

dhamman wrote:
daverupa wrote: Because what is recommended is calmly seeing with wisdom, which leads to disenchantment.
What is taught is to use wisdom for calming, which leads to disenchantment.
Well, calm and insight have a share in clear knowing.
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Mkoll
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Re: Sotapanna

Post by Mkoll »

daverupa wrote:
dhamman wrote:
daverupa wrote: Because what is recommended is calmly seeing with wisdom, which leads to disenchantment.
What is taught is to use wisdom for calming, which leads to disenchantment.
Well, calm and insight have a share in clear knowing.
Yes. See also:
AN 4.170 wrote:On one occasion Ven. Ananda was staying in Kosambi, at Ghosita's monastery. There he addressed the monks, "Friends!"

"Yes, friend," the monks responded.

Ven. Ananda said: "Friends, whoever — monk or nun — declares the attainment of arahantship in my presence, they all do it by means of one or another of four paths. Which four?

"There is the case where a monk has developed insight preceded by tranquillity. As he develops insight preceded by tranquillity, the path is born. He follows that path, develops it, pursues it. As he follows the path, developing it & pursuing it — his fetters are abandoned, his obsessions destroyed.

"Then there is the case where a monk has developed tranquillity preceded by insight. As he develops tranquillity preceded by insight, the path is born. He follows that path, develops it, pursues it. As he follows the path, developing it & pursuing it — his fetters are abandoned, his obsessions destroyed.

"Then there is the case where a monk has developed tranquillity in tandem with insight. As he develops tranquillity in tandem with insight, the path is born. He follows that path, develops it, pursues it. As he follows the path, developing it & pursuing it — his fetters are abandoned, his obsessions destroyed.

"Then there is the case where a monk's mind has its restlessness concerning the Dhamma [Comm: the corruptions of insight] well under control. There comes a time when his mind grows steady inwardly, settles down, and becomes unified & concentrated. In him the path is born. He follows that path, develops it, pursues it. As he follows the path, developing it & pursuing it — his fetters are abandoned, his obsessions destroyed.

"Whoever — monk or nun — declares the attainment of arahantship in my presence, they all do it by means of one or another of these four paths."
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
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acinteyyo
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Re: Sotapanna

Post by acinteyyo »

steve19800 wrote:Firstly, does someone know if s/he is a sotapanna?
Yes, he/she knows it. (Arising of the Dhamma-Eye)
steve19800 wrote:Does a sotapanna have to have all of these qualities:
Pure in five precepts
Unshakable faith in Triple Gem
Has a glimpse of nibbana
A sotapanna is not necessarily "pure" in five precepts. A sotapanna is free from the first three fetters, but for example is not yet free from sensedesire.
A sotapanna has unshakable faith in the Triple Gem.
AN10.92 wrote:"There is the case where the disciple of the noble ones is endowed with unwavering confidence in the Awakened One... unwavering confidence in the Dhamma... unwavering confidence in the Sangha... He/she is endowed with virtues that are appealing to the noble ones: untorn, unbroken, unspotted, unsplattered, liberating, praised by the wise, untarnished, leading to concentration."
steve19800 wrote:The question is is a sotapanna has the capacity to break one of the five precepts whether with or without intention? Do they have to have all the qualities above?
A sotapanna does not necessarily have to have all the qualities you mentioned above. The Sarakani Sutta states that there was a sotapanna named Sarakani who took a drink.
steve19800 wrote:Second question is not about sotapanna but general Buddhism question but a short one, the goal of practice is to see things as they are so repression of sense desires are not the way, it is said that even if one secluded himself in the mountain free from distraction of everyday life meditating in the cave, etc. but if the desires are repressed it will come back at any time, possibly stronger than before.
If we take a look at the five precepts for example it teaches us to 'refrain' or 'abstain', is this the same as repression until someone attain considerably some level of wisdom or enlightenment?
Refraining/abstaining from something is not the same as to repress it. When refraining/abstaining from something (with respect to the precepts) one willingly renounces from something.
steve19800 wrote:How can we see things as they are if we are not enlightened yet? At the same time how can we attain the goal if we are not 'abstaining'? Thanks guys.
The Buddha taught, that the path to enlightenment is a gradual path. One will gain wisdom gradually by practicing according to the Dhamma. Sometimes the noble eight-fold path is described as virtue, concentration, wisdom. These three parts of the path support each other. One who lacks basic wisdom and virtue will not be able to gain considerable concentration. By abstaining from basic unwholesome acts one prepares the requirements for basic concentration which in turn will lead to basic insights. These insights support virtue, which supports concentration and so on.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.
SarathW
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Re: Sotapanna

Post by SarathW »

Simple reply:

Does a sotapanna have to have all of these qualities:

Pure in five precepts - Yes
Unshakable faith in Triple Gem - Yes
Has a glimpse of nibbana - Yes

The question is is a sotapanna has the capacity to break one of the five precepts whether with or without intention? Do they have to have all the qualities above? See attahced

Second question is not about sotapanna but general Buddhism question but a short one, the goal of practice is to see things as they are so repression of sense desires are not the way, it is said that even if one secluded himself in the mountain free from distraction of everyday life meditating in the cave, etc. but if the desires are repressed it will come back at any time, possibly stronger than before. - See attached

Sotapanna and five precepts:
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=14256

Why Sotapana can't be degenerate to a Puthujana?

http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=21286
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
dhamman
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Re: Sotapanna

Post by dhamman »

SarathW wrote:the goal of practice is to see things as they are so repression of sense desires are not the way,
1) not the way to "what"?
2) once you have managed to see things as they are, then what is that "to see things as they are" to do with that "what"?
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Mkoll
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Re: Sotapanna

Post by Mkoll »

dhamman wrote:
SarathW wrote:the goal of practice is to see things as they are so repression of sense desires are not the way,
1) not the way to "what"?
2) once you have managed to see things as they are, then what is that "to see things as they are" to do with that "what"?
Just FYI, SarathW was quoting the OP there. Those aren't his words.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
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