Nature of Stream Enterer

revised on 2024-07-10

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 1st July 1962

[This is the last talk of Sayadaw in Mogok. He knew that within four months he would lay down his burdened khandha forever and have no chance to come back again. So he delivered this last talk for his lay disciples to check their practices.]

I’ll talk about the nature of someone with the cessation of dukkha (i.e., the cessation of apāya khandhas). You have to practise for its cessation. (told the story of the Kosambī Sutta, Majjhima Nikāya) In dukkha sacca one of them is vipariṇāmatha – changing with perishing and nothing left behind. (the other three meanings of dukkha sacca are – pīḷanaṭṭha, saṅkhatatha and santāpatha). As an example – a feeling arises and then perishes and you can’t find it anymore. If a human dies, the corpse still exists. First, you must know them in this nature. After that, ñāṇa develops into disgust and disenchantment for it. And then it develops to having no desire and not wanting it.

After that, the preceding dukkha ceases (i.e., the khandha). With the cessation, no change occurs and santi-sukha arises (peaceful happiness).

At the time of seeing the nature of change is kicca-ñāṇa – functional knowledge. The cessation of the changes is kata-ñāṇa – the knowledge of the ending of the truth. Then, one enters the stream and becomes a stream enterer. They have seven types of mind not the same as a worldling. The way of the practice is – sacca-ñāṇa, kicca-ñāṇa and kata-ñāṇa respectively.

One: In sotāpanna, the four hindrances still can arise, not including doubt. If lobha or dosa arise in a worldling, it could happen the whole day, and it becomes displeasure. The one who ends dukkha does not happen in this way. If happening to him, he follows behind instantly with knowing (ñāṇa). It arises because he has still not abandoned it yet. Even though it arises for him, he instantly knows it from behind. The differences are in happening longer and shorter.

Two: Some worldlings, due to old age or encountering a lot of dukkha, find that their lobha and dosa are becoming fewer than before. This is the cause of saṁvega. The power of ñāṇa is another kind. Every time something arises, they can follow behind with knowledge. Not only knowing the arising dhamma but also the mind wants to make it peaceful or calm down. With meditation, the mind arrives at the extinction of dukkha (i.e., fruition state, because path knowledge has already appeared before). At this point, for the worldling, the mind doesn’t calm down and even becomes worse than before.

Three: He has no doubt about the existence of noble beings in this Buddha Sāsana. But worldlings believe that in other faiths there also can be noble beings (ariyas).

[Note: Some Chinese Buddhists believe that the saints in other faiths (i.e., God-centered) are equal to the Buddha. Therefore, sekha and asekha noble beings are lower than the Prophets who lived with wives and children.]

For a sotāpanna, he has no doubt that in other faiths there are no ariyas and no way to transcend Dukkha. His saddhā is unshakable and cannot be destroyed. (For example, see the story of the leper upāsaka Suppabuddha, Dhammapada stories, Bālavagga, Dhp. 066.)

Four: If the sotāpanna is a monk and breaks a minor rule, he’ll instantly make a confession for it. If he is a layman, he’ll instantly ask for forgiveness or use meditation to overcome it.

Five: He is secure in sīla. He has the desire to help people but without breaking the sīla. The Buddha gives the example of a mother cow eating grass while constantly watching her calf.

Six: He is able to concentrate and listen to sacca dhamma without letting his mind flicker outward. The Buddha gives the example of a small child who, if he handles hot charcoal unknowingly, will instantly let it go. In the same way, not letting the mind go out and instantly able to concentrate on the Dhamma.

Seven: After listening to sacca dhamma, his joy and gladness last longer, and he has a strong appreciation.

revised on 2024-07-10

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