The 9th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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- See also :
- See also :
Sotapanna literally means "one who entered (āpanna) the stream (sota)", after a metaphor which calls the Noble Eightfold Path, 'a stream' (SN 55.5). Sotapannaship (Sotaapatti) is the first of the four stages of Enlightenment.
Their conviction in the true Dhamma would be unshakable.
Whereas the stream entrant has seen Nirvana though, and thus has verified confidence in it, the Arahant (who is at the fourth and final stage of Spiritual Nobility / sainthood) can drink of its waters, so-to-speak, to use a simile from the Kosambi Sutta (SN 12.68) - of a 'well' encountered along a desert road.
- …those monks who have abandoned the three Fetters, are all stream-winners, steadfast, never again destined for states of woe, headed for self-awakening.
This is how the Dhamma well-proclaimed by me is clear, open, evident, stripped of rags.
- Identity view - The speculative view that a so-called self exists in the five aggregates (physical forms, feelings/sensations, perception, mental formations and consciousness) is eradicated because the Sotāpanna gains insight into the selfless nature of the aggregates.
- Skeptical Doubt - Doubt about The Buddha and his teaching is eradicated because the Sotāpanna personally experiences the true nature of reality through insight, and this insight confirms the accuracy of The Buddha’s teaching.
- Clinging to rites and rituals - Clinging to the view that one becomes pure simply through performing ritual or rigid moralism, such as relying in a god for non-causal deliverance, slaughtering animals for sacrifice, ablutions, etc. is eradicated because the Sotāpanna realizes that the excessive rites and ritual are nothing more than an obstructive tradition; Deliverance can be won only through the practice of the Noble Eightfold Path.
At least there will be no major transgressions.
It is not necessary for a Sotāpanna to be reborn seven more times before attaining Nibbana, as an ardent practitioner may progress to the higher stages in the same life in which he/she reaches the Sotāpanna level by making an aspiration and persistent effort to reach the final goal of Nibbāna.
- Murdering one's own mother.
- Murdering one's own father.
- Murdering an Arahant.
- Maliciously injuring The Buddha to the point of drawing blood.
- Deliberately creating a schism in the monastic community.
- Choosing anyone other than a Buddha as one's foremost Teacher.
The Buddha spoke favorably about the Sotapanna on many occasions, and even though it is the first of Ariya Sangha members, he or she is welcomed by all other Sangha-members for he or she practices for the benefit and welfare of many.
- 'The Sangha of the Blessed One's disciples who have practiced well... who have practiced straight-forwardly... who have practiced methodically...
who have practiced masterfully — in other words, the four types [of noble disciples) when taken as pairs, the eight when taken as individual types — they are The Sangha of the Blessed One's disciples:
- Anguttara Nikaya, 11.12
In Sutta-numbers of chapter 1-4, 6-9, 11-14, 16-20, 22-36, 39-49, 51, 53, 54, Sotapannas are praised as Sangha members by and to the sick, lay followers, people on their deathbed, bhikkhunis, Bhikkhus, and devas, and end up for the well being and benefit of many.
- Dhammapada 178:
- Sole dominion over the earth,
- going to heaven,
- lordship over all worlds:
- the fruit of stream-entry
- excels them.
- See also Sudden Enlightenment
Three kinds are to be distinguished:
- the one 'with 7 rebirths at the utmost' (sattakkhattu-parama),
- the one 'passing from one noble family to another' (kolankola),
- the one 'germinating only once more' (eka-bījī).
As it is said (e.g. Pug.37-39; A.III.87):
After having passed amongst the heavenly and human beings only seven times more through the round of rebirths, he puts an end to suffering. Such a man is called 'one with 7 births at the utmost' (sattakkhattu-parama).
(2) "If a man, after the disappearance of the 3 fetters.... is destined to full enlightenment, he, after having passed among noble families two or three times through the round of rebirths, puts an end to suffering.
See; Sotāpatti-Samyutta (S.55).