SarathW wrote: ↑Tue Jun 15, 2021 3:51 am
It is worrying if that Bhante G is not even Sotapanna, what hopes we have?
In the Suttas there were 7 year old arahants... since you are older and not an arahant yet, should you despair? Each person is on their own path with their own level of practice in past lives, it does no good comparing yourself to others.
Who said anything about what attainment Bhante G has? I simply said he has said no when asked if he was awakened, you are construing two separate things again. In Bhante G's case it doesn't really matter what attainments he has or does not ,it does not have an affect on his teaching, because he has always been careful to bring forth what the Buddha teaches, not what he thinks. Any one teacher can be failable, but the Buddha's teachings in the EBTs are unassailable.
Bhante G has pointed to the Buddha statue behind him and said " Buddha is the teacher, I'm just a Kalyana mitta" , and frankly I think that is the best way for things to be, this is why when Im invited to go to a place I say I'm going to share Dhamma, not teach it, the Buddha is the only teacher, and getting wrapped up and invested too much in any one individual living who is currently sharing Dhamma can be an unskillful activity. My rock, my foundation is the Buddha and the teachings found in the suttas, living monastics will come and go, but those teachings remain.
I find it incredulous the number of teachers people credit some level of awakening to, Of all the monastic teachers I've seen I don't think but a small percentage may be sotapanna, let alone awakend. I could be wrong, because I haven't entered the stream yet myself, but I think its a natural desire of laity to want their teacher to have some kind of attainment, I just don't think it's as common as people think.
good oratory skills, number of years in robes, popularity of books and teachings, how dignified they may act and look, all these external factors does not necessarily = some kind of attainment, it CAN, but people mistake the trees for the forest as it were. As Buddha said, you cannot know the attainment of someone unless you are also attained, and you cannot know the quality and character of a person unless you have lived with them for a long time and seen how they act and react to life situations.
I have learned from many different monastics who have had important contributions to my path at various times, some I still listen to, some I've out grown, but their attainments have never mattered. What matters is putting the teachings into practice, and you keep what works and what is good, and abandon what doesn't work and is not good. I also joke that the only monastics I really try to model and look up to have left their last Bodies 2600 years ago, the arahants of old have finished their path and are no longer with us, so they cannot disappoint your expectations