PorkChop wrote:Yes, that's exactly what I posted. What I commented on was the interpretation. In the context of the rest of the sutra, it could be read that householders are just s.o.l. in terms of the whole path and monks are solely privy to the fruits of attainment. I guess severing sensuality is not a requirement for attainment of Sotapanna, so they can still progress; but it's interesting that the Buddha did not give this as an option.
Perhaps the background story would put things in context. From Ven. Bodhi's "Middle Length Discourses":
According to MA, Mahānāma had long ago attained the fruit of the once-returner, which only weakens greed, hate, and delusion but does not eradicate them. MA says that he had the mistaken notion that greed, hate, and delusion are eradicated by the path of the once-returner. Thus, when he saw that they still arose in his mind, he realised that they were not abandoned and inquired from the Buddha the cause for their arising. Noble disciples can be mistaken about which defilements are abandoned by which path.
So from the story, Mahanama already attained Once-Return while still living the householder life [a vivid proof that householder can get very far along the path if they train hard]. Only because he inquired about why he's still not free from states of greed, hate, and delusion did the Buddha pointed out the root cause. It's common sense after all, that one can't have it all: living a householder life with sensual pleasures AND expect to be completely free from states of defilements. Matter of fact, to get from Once-Return to Non-Return, one has to eliminate 2 more lower fetters of sensual lust and ill will. While this can still be possible for householder, the job is obviously more difficult compared to those who have gone forth.