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Qualifications for Stream-Entry

The Great Beings
AKA
The Saŋgha

One practicing for Stream-Entry
The Stream-Enterer
One practicing for Once-Returning
The Once-Returner
One practicing for Non-Returning
The Non-Returner
One practicing for Arahantship
The Arahant

AN 8.19

 


 

In this Dhamma and Discipline
penetration to final knowledge
occurs by gradual training,
gradual activity,
and gradual practice,
not abruptly.

AN 8.19 — Bhk. Bodhi, trans.

 


 

The Buddha teaches that when a layman is able to identify in himself that he is free from the five sources of guilty dread in poor ethical behavior, when he has solid faith in the Buddha, Dhamma and Saŋgha, and when he has wised up to the aristocratic method, he may call himself a Streamwinner and assure himself that rebirth below human states is finished.

Qualifications for Stream-Entry[*]

With these things solidly established one is able to see and know for himself that he is a Streamwinner, incapable of falling back, destined for Awakening within seven lifetimes at the most, free hence-forth from rebirth in any state of misery lower than that of human beings.

Ethics of the Aristocrats:

He abstains from taking life.

He abstains from taking what is not given.

He does not abandon his ethical standards in the pursuit of sense-pleasures.

He abstains from saying that which he knows is not true.

He abstains from indulgence in substances that result in careless behavior or sloth.

With Penetrating Wisdom, He knows and sees:

All that which has come to be, must, of necessity, come to an end."

All own-made things are impermanent.

All own-made things are essentially painful.

All things are not-self.

This being, that comes to be;
this not being, that does not come to be;
from the arising of this, that arises;
from the ceasing of this, that ceases.
Namely:
Tied down to blindness, ownmaking comes to be;
tied down to own-making, consciousness comes to be;
tied down to consciousness, name-and-shape come to be;
tied down to name-and-shape, the six sense realms come to be;
tied down to the six sense-realms, contact comes to be;
tied down to contact, sense experience comes to be;
tied down to sense-experience, hunger/thirst comes to be;
tied down to hunger/thirst, supporting fuel for existence comes to be;
tied down to supporting fuel for existence, existence comes to be;
tied down to existence, birth comes to be;
tied down to birth, Old Age, Sickness, and Death,
Grief and Lamentation,
Pain and Misery,
and Despair all come to be.

But:

From the complete disapearance of blindness, own-making ceases;
from the disappearance of own-making, consciousness ceases;
from the disappearance of consciousness, name-and-shape cease;
from the disappearance of name-and-shape, the six sense realms cease;
from the disappearance of the six sense realms, contact ceases;
from the disappearance of contact, sense experience ceases;
from the disappearance of sense-experience, hunger/thirst ceases;
from the disappearance of hunger/thirst, supporting fuel for existence ceases;
from the disappearance of supporting fuel for existence, existence ceases;
from the disappearance of existence, birth ceases;
from the disappearance of birth, Old Age, Sickness, and Death,
Grief and Lamentation,
Pain and Misery,
and Despair all cease to be.

He knows for a certainty:

This Buddha was supremely awakened, an arahant, possessed wisdom and consummate behavior
Walked the walk well,
Knew this world and the next,
and taught this Dhamma the way it should be taught.

This Dhamma is a saving Dhamma,
capable of being seen and understood in this visible world,
with immediate results, not a matter of awaiting some future destiny,
inviting examination,
comprehensible for himself by an intelligent person.

The Order of Disciples, that is to say: The Streamwinner, the Once Returner, the Non-Returner and the Arahant, and those that are striving after becoming such, are on the right track, walking the straight path, following proper form within the Dhamma.

 


[*] These qualifications are for what I call 'Stream-entry Proper'; there are several different types of Stream-entry. See here and here. The common ground between them is the conviction that the Buddha has found a way to end pain.

 


 

Of Related Interest:

A Course on Stream Entry
Discussion: The Ethical Standards Much Praised by the Aristocrats, or The Fourth Dimension of Streamwinning.
SN 2.12.41-42.
MN 70
AN 3.21
SN 3.25.1
SN 3.25.2
Migasālā, and AN 10 75
See the whole of SN 5.55 the Sotāpatti Saɱyutta
SN 5.55.22
SN 5.55.23:
SN 5.55.50:
SN 5.55.28 - Olds.


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