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Sotāpanna: the path and fruit taught by the Buddha - Dhamma Wheel

Sotāpanna: the path and fruit taught by the Buddha

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
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Sotāpanna: the path and fruit taught by the Buddha

Postby starter » Sun Apr 17, 2011 7:16 pm

As I understand from MN 48 Kosambiya Sutta, the Buddha actually taught us the footprints of a Sotāpanna, and how to examine if we have indeed obtained that noble right view (of 4NT):

1) "Bhikkhus, what is that noble view that leads to the beyond and rightfully shows the destruction of unpleasantness to one who thinks logically. Here. Bhikkhus, the bhikkhu gone to a forest or to the root of a tree, or to an empty house reflects. Are there undispelled hindrances in me? Do they obstruct my mind, from knowing and seeing as it really is? Am I overcome by sensual lust, or is my mind hindered by them? Am I overcome by anger, or is my mind hindered by it? Am I overcome by sloth and torpor, or is my mind hindered by sloth and torpor? Am I overcome by restlessness and worry, or is my mind hindered by restlessness and worry? Is my mind overcome with doubts, about this world and the other world? Or am I with a dispute quarrelling, throwing rough words at others, is my mind hindered in this manner?"

The bhikkhu knows, I haven’t undispelled hindrances on account of which my mind would not see it, as it really is.These things are thoroughly dispelled from my mind and it is ready for realising the truth. This is the first noble knowledge attained, not of the world and not shared by the ordinary".

-- The first footprint of the fruit (the five hindrances are completely suppressed when realizing that view -- only a hindrance free mind can realize the truth).


2) "Again, the noble disciple reflects When I practise and develop this view much I experience internal appeasement [calming down], and internal extinction. This is the second noble knowledge attained, not of the world and not shared by the ordinary."

-- The second footprint of the fruit [the practice of that view leads to peace]

3)"Again the noble disciple reflects. This view I have gained is it also the view of the recluses and brahmins of other sects.

Then he knows, this view with which I am endowed, is not shared by recluses and brahmins of other sects. This is the third noble knowledge attained, not of the world and not shared by the ordinary."

-- The third footprint of the fruit

4) "Again, bhikkhus, the noble disciple reflects. I share this view with those come to righteousness of view. I’m also endowed with that unique characteristic. Bhikkhus, what is that unique characteristic of one come to righteousness or view? When he does any wrong, it becomes manifest to him, and he instantly goes to the Teacher or a wise co-associate in the holy life and declares and makes it manifest and makes amends for future restrain ...

This is a unique character of one come to righteousness of view. This is the fourth noble knowledge attained, not of the world and not shared by the ordinary."

-- The fourth footprint of the fruit

5) Again, bhikkhus, the noble disciple reflects. I share this view, with those come to righteousness of view. I’m also endowed with that unique characteristic. Bhikkhus, what is that unique characteristic of one come to righteousness of view? It is the unique characteristic of one come to righteousness view, to be greatly intent in completing any work high or low that has to be done for the co-associates in the holy life while remaining mindful in one’s high virtues, training, and high wisdom.

... Then he knows, I share this view, with those come to righteousness of view. I’m endowed with that unigue characteristic. This is the fifth noble knowledge attained, not of the world and not shared by the ordinary.

-- The fifth footprint of the fruit (never become negligent of one's own training

6) "Again, the noble disciple reflects I share this power, with those come to righteousness of view. I’m endowed with that power.What is that power with which the one come to righteousness of view is endowed? One come to righteousness of view listens to the Teaching attending carefully to take the essential with the mind well concentrated.

Then he knows, I’m endowed with the power of one come to righteousness of view. This is the sixth noble knowledge attained, not of the world and not shared by the ordinary."

-- The sixth footprint of the fruit

7) "Again, the noble disciple reflects.I share this power, with those come to righteousness of view. I’m endowed, with that power What is that power with which the one come to righteousness of view is endowed? It is the power of one come to righteousness of view to listen to the Teaching taught by the Blessed One and gain the meanings, experience the Teaching and experience the joy.

Then he knows, with whatever power the one, come to righteousness of view is endowed, I too share that power. This is the seventh noble knowledge attained, not of the world and not shared by the ordinary."

-- The seventh footprint of the fruit

"When the noble disciple is endowed with these seven characteristics, he is ready to realize the fruits of the entry into the stream of the Teaching."

Metta to all,

Starter
Last edited by starter on Mon Jul 01, 2013 1:03 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Sotappana: the path and fruit taught by the Buddha

Postby rowyourboat » Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:22 pm

Hi starter,

Note that 1) is about having abandoned the hindrances to a degree which allows her to see things as they really are (yatabhutha nana). In this one sentence the Buddha summarises all the visuddhi/nanas. Also in other suttas like the anatta lakkhana sutta, and the whole of the okkanta samyutta plus other suttas talking about paticcasamuppada and paticcanirodha discuss their insight knowledge. Channa sutta talks how they experience nibbana.

2) is about how they are able to access 'internal extinction' a type of samadhi only acsessible to stream entrants and those who have come to the higher paths and fruits. This is called 'phala (samawatha)-'fruition samadhi' in the traditions which follow the visuddhimagga.

The rest is about the general (special) conduct of the sotapatti phala person.

There is nothing in this that contradicts the visuddhimagga- unless you want to see it that way (anyone is welcome to). Remember that each sutta expands or contracts certain aspects of the dhamma to emphasise what each one is trying to communicate. The final visuddhis are the most complete description of the insight process that I have come across. There maybe those who are arrogant enough to dismiss thousands of years of practice by learned monks, based on a single lifetimes worth of exploring sutta - all I can say is 'Good luck'.

With metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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Re: Sotappana: the path and fruit taught by the Buddha

Postby starter » Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:02 am

Dear Matheesha,

Your very helpful comment is most appreciated. I was pondering about the 2nd noble knowledge and thought it could also mean "body witness", which doesn't have to be the extinction of awareness, but I might be wrong.

"The final visuddhis are the most complete description of the insight process that I have come across. "
-- What are they?

Would it be handy for you to add some English translations for some Pali words since some beginners like me don't know Pali.

Thanks and metta,

Starter

"As long as you have defilements, don't trust your thoughts" -- The Buddha

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Re: Sotappana: the path and fruit taught by the Buddha

Postby rowyourboat » Tue Apr 19, 2011 6:28 pm

The visuddhi or purifications:
Contents

Translator's Foreword
Introduction
I. Purification of Conduct (sila-visuddhi)
The Method of Insight in Brief
II. Purification of Mind (citta-visuddhi)
III. Purification of View (ditthi-visuddhi)
1. Analytical Knowledge of Body and Mind (nama-rupa-pariccheda-ñana)
IV. Purification by Overcoming Doubt (kankha-vitarana-visuddhi)
2. Knowledge by Discerning Conditionality (paccaya-pariggaha-ñana)
3. Knowledge by Comprehension (sammasana-ñana)
4. Knowledge of Arising and Passing Away (udayabbaya-ñana) in its weak stage, involving the Ten Corruptions of Insight
V. Purification by Knowledge and Vision of What Is Path and Not Path (maggamagga-ñanadassana-visuddhi)
VI. Purification by Knowledge and Vision of the Course of Practice (patipada-ñanadassana-visuddhi) (including mature Knowledge of Arising and Passing Away)
5. Knowledge of Dissolution (bhanga-ñana)
6. Awareness of Fearfulness (bhayatupatthana-ñana)
7. Knowledge of Misery (adinava-ñana)
8. Knowledge of Disgust (nibbida-ñana)
9. Knowledge of Desire for Deliverance (muncitu-kamyata-ñana)
10. Knowledge of Re-observation (patisankhanupassana-ñana)
11. Knowledge of Equanimity about Formations (sankhar'upekkha-ñana)
12. Insight Leading to emergence (vutthanagamini-vipassana-ñana)
13. Knowledge of Adaptation (anuloma-ñana)
14. Maturity Knowledge (gotrabhu-ñana)
VII. Purification by Knowledge and Vision (ñanadassana-visuddhi)
15. Path Knowledge (magga-ñana)
16. Fruition Knowledge (phala-ñana)
17. Knowledge of Reviewing (paccavekkhana-ñana)
18. Attainment of Fruition (phalasamapatti)
19. The Higher Paths and Fruitions
Conclusion
Notes
The Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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Re: Sotappana: the path and fruit taught by the Buddha

Postby rowyourboat » Tue Apr 19, 2011 7:33 pm

As for the second noble truth, from the Ratana sutta:

Those who, devoted, firm-minded
apply themselves to Gotama's message 
on attaining their goal, plunge into the Deathless freely enjoying the Liberation they've gained. 
This, too, is an exquisite treasure in the Sangha. By this truth may there be well-being.

This phalasamapatti is a state of extinction (nibbuti) enjoyed by those who have attained. It can be conscious ('where Nama rupa have no footing') or consciousness can cease as well. There was another sutta where Ven Ananda asked about a samadhi state where nothing is felt- this again seemed to fit the bill. Note that this has to be a special 'noble' state that others don't have access to, so it is not some non-percepient state attainable by anyone with samadhi skills. It is worthwhile noting that this is a Noble truth and a Noble experience- and people will try to utmost to try and reject it based on little conceptual frameworks that they have about the dhamma - but that is all anariya dhamma. That is exactly why it won't be accepted by any logically thinking putajjana.

I think in the kaaya sakki the practitioner is able to attain
to the jhanas and nirodha samapatti (cessation of perception and feeling) suggesting that it is an non-returner with the ability to get into the 8th jhana.

With metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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Re: Sotappana: the path and fruit taught by the Buddha

Postby starter » Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:37 pm

Hello Matheesha,

Many thanks for the helpful info. I wonder if nirodha samapatti (cessation of perception and feeling) is the cessation of awareness as well? As you cited above, only once-returners and above can attain cessation of perception and feeling, not someone who hasn't broken his 3rd fetter yet and need to use this cessation experience to establish his faith/break his 3rd fetter. This is actually a question I asked you before (about the only question of mine you didn't answer):

Re: The deathless -- "our" most original " state/home"?

Postby starter » Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:13 pm

Hello Matheesha,

I usually don't join such debates, but because of the importance of the topic and my desire to reward your help and help others, I'd like to ask a couple of questions about your following comments:

"...Knowledge of reviewing (of what just happened, breaking of fetters) happens after the moments cessation- non-arising of formations. This is a highly significant moment, because nirodha sacca (the truth of cessation-non-arising, is realised here. The practitioner realises that the culmination of all the vipassana nanas, the suppression of avijja) leads to breakdown of the process of re-becoming, it is the end of unsatisfactory fabrications arising. The 'escape' (nissaranaya) from the suffering of fabrications (one of the three types of dukkha) is experienced, directly, for him/herself. The practitioner did this by following the Noble Eightfold Path- hence now there is confirmation that there can be-it is possible- to escape ALL suffering/dukkha. If this were not the case the Buddha-dhamma would be another religion which promises escape after death. But it is not like that. You will know, in this lifetime, that following the noble eightfold path leads to the complete cessation of suffering. It is now known beyond doubt, beyond dogmatic promises of salvation. This leads to the breaking of the fetter of Doubt. It leads to the understanding that Samatha vipassana is not mere ritual, said to lead to emancipation, unverifiable for oneself. But rather that it is the path to the deathless state, beyond doubt, beyond conjecture, beyond debate."

As I understand, in this system of training the breaking of the 3rd fetter appears to be based upon the experience of "Pitch-black emptiness" , or more precisely, is based upon the faith that such an experience is nibbana. If this faith is shaken, then the doubt about the path will arise for sure, right? But is such an experience really a taste of the deathless? Can someone whose third fetter is not yet broken enter the sphere of "cessation of perception and feeling"? I thought only arahants and nonreturners can do so.

Furthermore, to my knowledge non-buddhists can experience such "Pitch-black emptiness" as well; the practitioners who has gained the faith as you described above could easily lose the faith, once they learn such an experience is not really unique to the Buddhists. Then how can the 3rd fetter (the doubt about the Buddha's enlightenment) be truly broken for ever like this?

Would it be a better way to break the 3rd fetter by penetrating the Buddha's unique Not-self/No-selfhood approach to liberation and by really understanding/seeing the Buddha's path to the deathless?

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Take care,

Starter

PS: what's the qualitative difference between the cessation experience of "Pitch-black emptiness" and the cessation experience of our falling asleep or dozing off (without dreams) or the cessation experience induced by anesthesia? Could these kinds of cessation be interpreted as nibbana?
Last edited by starter on Tue Apr 19, 2011 10:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Sotappana: the path and fruit taught by the Buddha

Postby Kenshou » Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:51 pm


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Re: Sotappana: the path and fruit taught by the Buddha

Postby Theravadidiliana » Tue Apr 19, 2011 10:31 pm


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Re: Sotappana: the path and fruit taught by the Buddha

Postby Nyana » Wed Apr 20, 2011 5:57 am


rowyourboat
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Re: Sotappana: the path and fruit taught by the Buddha

Postby rowyourboat » Wed Apr 20, 2011 12:10 pm

With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

Nyana
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Re: Sotappana: the path and fruit taught by the Buddha

Postby Nyana » Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:03 pm

[quote="rowyourboat"]It could be -but there is a fatal flaw in that definition of nibbana: it does not account for the cessation of arising and passing away, which is the definition of the unfabricated.
[quote]
Actually, the flaw is in your analysis of what "not-fabricated" means in the context of the noble paths and fruitions. But this has already been pointed out to you numerous times, to no avail.

All the best,

Geoff

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Re: Sotappana: the path and fruit taught by the Buddha

Postby beeblebrox » Wed Apr 20, 2011 3:41 pm


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Re: Sotappana: the path and fruit taught by the Buddha

Postby starter » Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:54 pm

Realized recently that the ones who have gained the right view (the arising of the Dhamma eye) are those who have found and started the path to stream entry, but not yet stream winners. That's why their sila aggregate is not yet perfect while developing the 4th character mentioned in MN 48:
"When he does any wrong, it becomes manifest to him, and he instantly goes to the Teacher or a wise co-associate in the holy life and declares and makes it manifest and makes amends for future restrain ..."

He must develop the seven characters described in MN48 in order to enter the stream:
1) Suppression of hindrances
2) Samadhi (experiencing internal appeasement and internal extinction)
3) Confirmed and unwavering confidence on the path
4) Being able to realize, confess and correct his wrong doings.
5) Being able to remain mindful in his own training for high virtues, samadhi, and high wisdom in no matter what situation, without neglecting his own training.
6) Being able to take the essential of the Buddha's teachings with a well-composed mind.
7) Being able to gain the meanings, inspirations and joy from the Teaching.

It's strange that there's no Chinese equivalent to MN48.

Metta to all,

Starter

PS: "This noble eightfold path — right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration — is the stream." — SN 55.5
Last edited by starter on Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Sotappana: the path and fruit taught by the Buddha

Postby Zom » Fri Mar 16, 2012 8:45 pm

Sotapanna is actually a pair of disciples, not one type of individual.
Both can be called stream-enterers since they will reach nibbana in 7 lives for sure.

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Re: Sotappana: the path and fruit taught by the Buddha

Postby Zom » Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:21 pm

By the way, sutta translation you quoted (MN 48) is not complete. It has one more sentence.
Here, from Bodhi's translation, this last phrase:

"When a noble disciple is thus possessed of seven factors, he possesses the fruit of stream-entry"

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Re: Sotappana: the path and fruit taught by the Buddha

Postby starter » Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:43 pm

Hello Zom,

Thanks for your comments.

The following sutta is helpful for this topic:

"There is a manner of reckoning whereby a monk who is a learner, standing at the level of a learner, can discern that 'I am a learner,' ...

"And what is the manner of reckoning whereby a monk who is a learner, standing at the level of a learner, can discern that 'I am a learner'? There is the case where a monk is a learner. He discerns, as it actually is, that 'This is suffering... This is the origination of suffering... This is the cessation of suffering... This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of suffering.' This is a manner of reckoning whereby a monk who is a learner, standing at the level of a learner, can discern that 'I am a learner.'

"Furthermore, the monk who is a learner reflects, 'Is there outside of this [Dhamma & Vinaya] any contemplative or brahman who teaches the true, genuine, & accurate Dhamma like the Blessed One?' And he discerns, 'No, there is no contemplative or brahman outside of this Dhamma & Vinaya who teaches the true, genuine, & accurate Dhamma like the Blessed One.' This too is a manner of reckoning whereby a monk who is a learner, standing at the level of a learner, can discern that 'I am a learner.'

"Furthermore, the monk who is a learner discerns the five faculties: the faculty of conviction... persistence... mindfulness... concentration... wisdom. He sees clear through with wisdom their destiny, excellence, rewards, & consummation, but he does not touch them with his body [he does not yet possess the five faculties; these faculties are yet to be developed and culminated in him]. This too is a manner of reckoning whereby a monk who is a learner, standing at the level of a learner, can discern that 'I am a learner.'

— SN 48.53

By the way, to my understanding the right view mentioned in MN 48 is not only the breaking of self-identity view and the understanding of dependent origination/cessation, but the right understanding/knowledge of the entire four noble truths including the "stream" -- the noble 8-fold path.

Metta to all,

Starter
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Re: Sotappana: the path and fruit taught by the Buddha

Postby Zom » Tue Mar 20, 2012 7:45 am


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Re: Sotappana: the path and fruit taught by the Buddha

Postby Parth » Sun May 13, 2012 8:16 pm

For a sotapanna to Arhat the fruit immediately succeeds the path. One in realistic sense of the term cannot find a sotapanna (and so on) maggatha person. Since a maggatha person exists only for few split seconds or so on.

Regards

Parth

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Re: Sotappana: the path and fruit taught by the Buddha

Postby starter » Sun Jul 01, 2012 5:09 pm

Hi Zom, parth and other friends,

Thanks for the input. I'd like to share a description of Sotāpanna:

Ud 5.3
PTS: Ud 48
Kutthi Sutta: The Leper
translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

"Having seen the Dhamma, reached the Dhamma, known the Dhamma, gained a footing in the Dhamma, having crossed over & beyond doubt, having had no more perplexity, having gained fearlessness & independence from others with regard to the Teacher's message, ..."

For how is one who has gained fearlessness, see http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

To my understanding, one who has "gained independence from others with regard to the Teacher's message" is the one who has found the noble 8-fold path and located himself on the "map to liberation" (the Dhamma), and has figured out how to walk the path from his location and is destined for nibbana. Those "others" probable don't include the Buddha, since he still needs the guidance of the Buddha-Dhamma to walk the path.

Metta to all,

Starter

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Re: Sotāpanna: the path and fruit taught by the Buddha

Postby starter » Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:52 pm

Hi, thanks for Mike's thread http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... &start=100" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;, which discussed ‘yaṃ kiñci samudayadhammaṃ sabbaṃ taṃ nirodhadhamman’ti ["Anything whatsoever that is of the nature to arise, all of that is of the nature to cease"]. It made me think why this "Dhamma Eye" is one of the "stock descriptions" of a stream enterer, and what exactly the Buddha's first Sotāpanna disciple Venerable Kondañña understood during the Buddha's teaching of his first discourse about the four Noble Truths. My feeling is that Venerable Kondañña might have gained the following insight:

All conditioned dhamma are anicca, and hence are dukkha (and anatta)-- he thus understood the Buddha's first Noble Truth of Dukkha, and then the second Noble Truth -- the origination of suffering: "the craving that makes for further becoming (further "arisingdhamma" that are destined to cease). Next the Third Noble Truth of the cessation of suffering: "the remainderless fading & cessation, renunciation, relinquishment, release, & letting go of that very craving". Finally the fourth Noble Truth of the way of practice leading to the cessation of suffering: "precisely this Noble Eightfold Path — right view, right resolve/thinking, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration."

I'm pretty sure that during his first discourse the Buddha must have taught his first five disciples much more details about his middle way N8P instead of only the names of "right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration" that we inherited now in SN 56.11 [http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn56/sn56.011.than.html]. And Venerable Kondañña might have also understood then that right view of the 4NT leads to right resolve/thinking, which leads to right speech, right action, and right livelihood, which leads to right effort of renunciation from sensual desires, culmination of sense restraint, wakefulness (of five hindrances), and full awareness and right/clear comprehension, which leads to right mindfulness of body/feeling/mind/Dhamma, which leads to right Samadhi, which leads to right knowledge and right liberation. Probably with such understandings Venerable Kondañña entered the path to the stream (N8P).

I don't think that the understanding "things arise and pass away" or "things come and go" alone is enough to enter the path to the stream, without the true understanding of the 4NT. Only the insight into the anicca/dukkha( & anatta) nature of all conditioned dhammas would lead to such true understanding of the 4NT (not only conceptually) and hence the first (out of the eight) stage of enlightenment Sotāpanna.

Metta to all!


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