About Sotapanna - Please correct me if I'm wrong

Um…who’s Gary Johnson?

Please remember to abstain from personal attacks and keep within the scope of the community guidelines. :pray:


An American politician - Former governor of New Mexico. He ran for president on the libertarian ticket this last election.

I did not intend to attack anyone, but I apologize nonetheless.


I’m just saying that in the suttas, it generally seems as though entering the stream is not some kind of advanced “attainment”. It’s just what happens when someone becomes persuaded of the truth of the Buddha’s message and decides to follow the path wholeheartedly and without doubt.

If you are already a dedicated follower of the Buddha and practitioner of the path, then I don’t know what else is supposed to happen for you to achieve this vaunted stream entry.

The idea that all of the followers in the discourses who are said to have become stream-enterers have really dropped self-view seems most implausible, since in other cases it seems clear that the conceit of self is present all the way up until the ultimate attainment.

So I think what is going on is that the Buddha used “stream-enterer” to refer to all of his dedicated and committed followers, the ones who were earnest and who were practicing well, and that the later commentarialal tradition, as usual, turned the term into a referent for something complicated, mysterious and remote.


Interestingly, or not, as the case may be, in Vajrayana the first bhumi of the 10 bodhisattva levels is said to correspond to the level of the stream enterer in Theravada.


Interesting. It makes me wonder, was the Buddha (accd. to the suttas) a stream enterer+ when he was born?

Not all like that… For example the story of Sarakani the drunkard. :slight_smile: https://suttacentral.net/id/sn55.24

“You know Stream Winning when you’ve seen how stupid you were for […] taking something to be a ‘self’, usually the ‘doer’ or the ‘knower’. You’ve seen that, you’ve uncovered it; you know the stupidity of it.” - Ajahn Brahm

"The ‘Doer’ is Not Self

If one thinks “I am in charge”, if that delusion is still there, that will be a major hindrance to one’s meditation. This will create restlessness, and there will be craving for this, that and the other. One will never be able to get into jhanas. However, one must understand that the ‘doer’ cannot let go of doing. This is like trying to eat your own head. That’s what people often try and do. They try to do the non-doing. That’s just more doing! It has to be like a change, a flip in the mind. It takes some wisdom to see that this ‘doing’ is just a conditioned process. Then one can let go. When one lets go, then this whole process just goes so beautifully, so smoothly, so effortlessly. With luck one might get into a jhana. In the jhana states the ‘doing’ has gone and it has stopped for a long time. Coming out again afterwards one will naturally think, “This is good, this is beautiful, this is wonderful”. Then one will start to see this illusion of the ‘doer’.

To do is to suffer. Doing is dukkha, dukkha is doing. When there is doing, it’s like a wave on the lake. The stillness is lost. When the stillness is lost, like the rippled surface of a lake it distorts the image of the moon high in the sky. When the lake is perfectly still and nothing is happening, when no one is doing anything to disturb the moment, then the reflection is pure, truthful, real, and it’s also very beautiful. The jhanas should give one enough data to see once and for all that this thing, that which we call ‘the doer’, is just a completely conditioned phenomenon. That insight has profound effects afterwards. Sometimes people ask the question, “If the will is not yourself, if it’s nothing to do with you, why bother? Why even bother to get up at four o’clock in the morning and meditate?” The answer is, “Because you’ve got no choice”.

‘The Knower’ is Not Self

Even deeper than ‘the doer’ is ‘the knower’. The two actually go together. One can stop ‘the doer’ for a little while in the jhanas, but later it comes back again […] Once there is a ‘knower’ it will react to what it knows, and it will create ‘doing’.

‘The knower’ is usually called consciousness or citta (mind), which is what knows. That knowing is often seen to be the ultimate ‘self’. Very often people can get the perception, or the paradigm, in their minds of perceiving something in here, which can just know and not be touched by what it knows. It just knows heat and cold, pleasure and pain. It just knows beauty and ugliness. However, at the same time (somehow or other), it can just stand back and not be known, and not be touched by what’s actually happening. It is important to understand that the nature of consciousness is so fast, so quick, that it gives the illusion of continuity. Owing to this illusion, one misses the point that whatever one sees with your eyes, or feels with the body, the mind then takes that up as it’s own object, and it knows that it saw. It knows that it felt. It’s that knowing that it saw, knowing that it felt, that gives the illusion of objectivity. It can even know that it knew." - Ajahn Brahm

“You knock out the five hindrances through meditation practice in order to provide an opportunity for wisdom. Wisdom will then see through these weakened hindrances and destroy them. When the hindrances have been completely abandoned, you’re enlightened. And if you are enlightened, there is no difficulty in getting into jhanas because the obstacles are gone. What was between you and jhanas has been completely eradicated.” - Ajahn Bram

A leader may give a resounding speech - a call to action! We all have our roles to play. We can play with words and be amused by them - we may feel empowered by words. We may identify with a body of teachings because they give us a sense of being a ‘somebody’ in an indifferent, hostile and dangerous world. Liberating insight makes it possible to see the difference between language - what can be said - and truth (to be known by the wise, each for themselves).

Let the children play!

The description is not the described - there would have been many who heard the Buddha’s teachings (including most of us) and, felt/feel ‘moved’ in different ways. At some point, merely being moved or inspired to practice turns into direct knowledge and vision of the Dhamma. It is clear that what the Buddha is referring to when it comes to the ‘Aryan attainments’ is a ‘phase shift’. It is a shift from being one of the admiring ‘rabble’ - and there would have been plenty of those at his discourses - to one who knows and sees the Dhamma directly.

When people listen to Dhamma teachings they understand them to different degrees - just like any other form of deep inquiry. Some may gain a vague grasp of the words and their meanings and, others may be a little brighter and sensitive - they have awakened intelligence. This is not of the same order as ordinary ‘run of the mill’ cleverness that can be used for good or for ill! Aryan attainments are forms of awakened intelligence - you cannot get that as a consequence of reading books on philosophy - or Suttas - it is not that level of understanding and engagement with the Buddha Dhamma. This is Buddhism 101! It is not a terribly difficult thing to understand - is it?

Watch your step - thinking ‘outside the box’ occurring!
The term ‘phase shift’ made me think about brain-waves - how they shift from one kind to another as we go from an active state to a calmer, clearer and, more relaxed state of being. I then saw on the internet the following page on brain-waves (see below). Its a bit new-age but there may be some truth in it - make up your own mind! The last one looks curious and may correlate in some way with the experience of liberating insight (awakened intelligence).


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You say that a lot.

Anyway, I would say an important step in thinking outside the box is not to fetishize the sutta’s myriad and sometimes inconsistent collections of lists and classifications, including the four attainments, the ten fetters and whatnot. They were probably only intended as useful ways of organizing some teaching to be delivered.


The Buddha’s teachings on these themes are perspicuous - clearly expressed and easily understood; lucid! That is why I say they are ‘Buddhism 101’ (see below).


Puthujjana, (*prthag-jana, thus puthu 1+jana, but from the point of Pali identical in form and meaning with puthu 2, as shown by use of puthu in similar cpds. and by C. explns. One may even say that puthu 1=pṛthak is not felt at all in the P. word. Trenckner (Notes 76) already hinted at this by saying “puthujjana, partly confounded with puthu”; a connection which also underlies its expln as “one-of-the-many-folk” at Kvu trsln 807 & 2913. It is felt to belong to puthu 2 in the same sense as Ger. “die breite Masse, ” or Gr. oi( polloi/. The expln at Nd1 308=328 is puthu-nānā-janā. A long and detailed etym. -speculation expln of the term is found at DA. I, 59, trsld at Dhs. trsln 258. The BSk. form is pṛthagjana Divy 133 etc.) an ordinary, average person (4 classes of ordinary people are discussed at Cpd. 49, 50), a common worldling, a man of the people, an ordinary man M. I, 1, 7, 135, 239, 323; III, 64, 227; S. I, 148; II, 94 sq. (assutạvā), 151 (id.); III, 46, 108, 162; IV, 157, 196, 201 (assutavā), 206 sq.; V, 362 (opp. to sotāpanna); A. I, 27, 147 (maraṇa-dhammin), 178, 267; II, 129, 163; III, 54; IV, 68, 97, 157, 372; Sn. 351, 455, 706, 816, 859; Dh. 59, 272; Vv 826 (=anariya VvA. 321, +anavabodha); Nd1 146, 248; Ps. I, 61 sq. , 143, 156; II, 27; Dhs. 1003 (cp. DhsA. 248 sq.); Vism. 311 (=anariya); VbhA. 133 (avijj’âbhikhūta, bhava-taṇh’âbhibhūta), 186 (ummat‹-› taka, opposed to upabrūhita-ñāṇa-purisa, exemplifying upādāna and kamma); DhA. I, 5 (opp. ariyasāvaka), 445; Sdhp. 363.—kalyāṇaka (cp. BSk. pṛthagjana-kalyāṇaka Divy 419, 429) an ordinary man striving after his spiritual good Nd1 477; Ps. I, 176; II, 190, 193.—bhikkhu a bh. of the common sort DA. I, 269; VbhA. 383.—sukha ordinary happiness M. I, 454. (Page 466)
Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society’s Pali-English Dictionary

puthujjana : (m.) a common world-ling; uneducated person.
Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary


Ariya, (adj. -n.) (Vedic ārya, of uncertain etym. The other Pāli forms are ayira & ayya) 1. (racial) Aryan D. II, 87. ‹-› 2. (social) noble, distinguished, of high birth.—3. (ethical) in accord with the customs and ideals of the Aryan clans, held in esteem by Aryans, generally approved. Hence: right, good, ideal. (The early Buddhists had no such ideas as we cover with the words Buddhist and Indian. Ariya does not exactly mean either. But it often comes very near to what they would have considered the best in each).—(adj.): D. I, 70 = (°ena sīlakkhan&dcb;hena samannāgata fitted out with our standard morality); III, 64 (cakkavatti-vatta), 246 (diṭṭhi); M. I, 139 (pannaddhaja); II, 103 (ariyāya jātiyā jāto, become of the Aryan lineage); S. II, 273 (tuṇhībhāva); IV, 250 (vaddhi), 287 (dhamma); V, 82 (bojjhaṅgā), 166 (satipaṭṭhānā), 222 (vimutti), 228 (ñāṇa), 255 (iddhipādā), 421 (maggo), 435 (saccāni), 467 (paññā-cakkhu); A. I, 71 (parisā); II, 36 (ñāya); III, 451 (ñāṇa); IV, 153 (tuṇhībhāva); V, 206 (sīlakkhandha); It. 35 (paññā), 47 (bhikkhu sammaddaso); Sn. 177 (patha = aṭṭhaṅgiko maggo SnA 216); Dh. 236 (bhūmi), 270; Ps. II, 212 (iddhi). —alamariya fully or thoroughly good D. I, 163 = III, 82 = A. IV, 363; nâlamariya not at all good, object, ignoble ibid.—(m.) Vin. I, 197 (na ramati pāpe); D. I, 37 = (yaṃ taṃ ariyā ācikkhanti upekkhako satimā etc. : see 3rd. jhāna), 245; III, 111 (°ānaṃ anupavādaka one who defames the noble); M. I, 17, 280 (sottiyo ariyo arahaṃ); S. I, 225 (°ānaṃ upavādaka); II, 123 (id.); IV, 53 (°assa vinayo), 95 (id.); A. I, 256 (°ānaṃ upavādaka); III, 19, 252 (id.); IV, 145 (dele! see arīhatatta); V, 68, 145 sq. , 200, 317; It. 21, 108; Dh. 22, 164, 207; J. III, 354 = Miln. 230; M. I, 7, 135 (ariyānaṃ adassāvin: “not recognising the Noble Ones") PvA. 26, 146; DhA. II, 99; Sdhp. 444 (°ānaṃ vaṃsa). ‹-› anariya (adj. & n.) not Ariyan, ignoble, undignified, low, common, uncultured A. I, 81; Sn. 664 (= asappurisa SnA 479; DhsA. 353); J. II, 281 (= dussīla pāpadhamma C.); V, 48 (°rūpa shameless), 87; DhA. IV, 3.—See also ñāṇa, magga, sacca, sāvaka.

—âvakāsa appearing noble J. V, 87.—uposatha the ideal feast day (as one of 3) A. I, 205 sq. , 212.—kanta loved by the Best D. III, 227.—gaṇā (pl.) troops of worthies J. VI, 50 (= brāhmaṇa-gaṇā, te kira tāda ariyâcārā ahesuṃ, tena te evam āha C.).—garahin casting blame on the righteous Sn. 660.—citta a noble heart.—traja a true descendant of the Noble ones Dpvs. V, 92.—dasa having the ideal (or best) belief It. 93 = 94.—dhana sublime treasure; always as sattavidha° sevenfold, viz. saddhā°, sīla°, hiri°, ottappa°, suta°, cāga°, paññā° “faith, a moral life, modesty, fear of evil, learning, self-denial, wisdom" ThA. 240; VvA. 113; DA. II, 34.—dhamma the national customs of the Aryans (= ariyānaṃ eso dhammo Nd1 71, 72) M. I, 1, 7, 135; A. II, 69; V, 145 sq. , 241, 274; Sn. 783; Dhs. 1003.—puggala an (ethically) model person, Ps. I, 167; Vin. V, 117; ThA. 206.—magga the Aryan Path.—vaṃsa the (fourfold) noble family, i.e. of recluses content with the 4 requisites D. III, 224 = A. II, 27 = Ps. I, 84 = Nd2 141; cp. A. III, 146.—vattin leading a noble life, of good conduct J. III, 443.—vatā at Th. 1, 334 should be read °vattā (Nom. sg. of vattar, vac) “speaking noble words": — vāsa the most excellent state of mind, habitual disposition, constant practice. Ten such at D. III, 269, 291 = A. V, 29 (Passage recommended to all Buddhists by Asoka in the Bhabra Edict).—vihāra the best practice S. V, 326.—vohāra noble or honorable practice. There are four, abstinence from lying, from slander, from harsh language, from frivolous talk. They are otherwise known as the 4 vacī-kammantā & represent sīla nos. 4—7. See D. III, 232; A. II, 246; Vin. V, 125.—saṅgha the communion of the Nobles ones PvA. 1.—sacca, a standard truth, an established fact, D. I, 189, II. 90, 304 sq. ; III 277; M. I, 62, 184; III, 248; S. V, 415 sq. = Vin. I, 10, 230. It. 17; Sn. 229, 230, 267; Dh. 190; DhA. III, 246; KhA 81, 151, 185, 187; ThA. 178, 282, 291; VvA. 73.—sāvaka a disciple of the noble ones (= ariyānaṃ santike sutattā a. SnA 166). M. I, 8, 46, 91, 181, 323; II, 262; III, 134, 228, 272; It. 75; Sn. 90; Miln. 339; DhA. I, 5, (opp. putthujjana).—sīlin of unblemished conduct, practising virtue D. I, 115 (= sīlaṃ ariyaṃ uttamaṃ parisuddhaṃ DA. I, 286); M. II, 167.

When the commentators, many centuries afterwards, began to write Pali in S. India & Ceylon, far from the ancient seat of the Aryan clans, the racial sense of the word ariya was scarcely, if at all, present to their minds. Dhammapāla especially was probably a non-Aryan, and certainly lived in a Dravidian environment. The then current similar popular etmologies of ariya and arahant (cp. next article) also assisted the confusion in their minds. They sometimes therefore erroneously identify the two words and explain Aryans as meaning Arahants (DhA. I, 230; SnA 537; PvA. 60). In other ways also they misrepresented the old texts by ignoring the racial force of the word. Thus at J. V, 48 the text, speaking of a hunter belonging to one of the aboriginal tribes, calls him anariya-rūpa. The C. explains this as “shameless", but what the text has, is simply that he looked like a non-Aryan. (cp “frank" in English). (Page 77)

— or —

Āriya, in anāriya at Sn. 815 is metric for anariya (q. v.). (Page 108)
Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society’s Pali-English Dictionary

ariya : (adj.) noble; distinguished. (m.), a noble man; one who has attained higher knowledge.
Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary


I tend to agree with that , practice should be relaxed and spontaneous rather than speculating about one’s place on lists.

I also don’t think it’s helpful to think of non-Buddhists as “common, uneducated, worldly or ordinary beings” because that can develop into feelings of superiority and self- importance which certainly aren’t of any benefit to oneself or to others .

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A common ordinary worldly being is not a reference by Buddhists to non-Buddhists. It has to do with a distinction between awakened beings and ‘everybody else’ (Buddhist and non-Buddhist). Its does not have anything to do with looking down on people or, anything of the sort! Of course we focus on our practice and have no concern for attainments in our ‘day to day’ engagement with the teachings. It just so happens that there are ‘breakthroughs’ - transformative leaps in understanding - new and revolutionary insights into the Dhamma! Where is the difficulty in understanding this?

People may hear the dhamma but keep constantly rebelling against it, with a closed mind and habitually block themselves from stream entry or even a lesser development - there’s a raft of steps to take before stream entry.

Stream entry isn’t a consciousness decision - it is something that happens beyond the control of the student, or the teacher. Notability it is the time when a glimpse of Nibbana is experienced, which is the third Noble Truth. They break through to the Four Noble Truths and are known to have Right view (samma ditti). The ‘gradual talk’ (anupubbiya kata) is a typical situation where stream entry takes place:

“This person here is capable of understanding the Dhamma.” So, aiming at Suppabuddha the leper, he gave a step-by-step talk, i.e., he proclaimed a talk on generosity, on virtue, on heaven; he declared the drawbacks, degradation, & corruption of sensuality, and the rewards of renunciation. Then when the Blessed One knew that Suppabuddha the leper’s mind was ready, malleable, free from hindrances, elevated, & clear, he then gave the Dhamma-talk peculiar to Awakened Ones, i.e., stress, origination, cessation, & path. And just as a clean cloth, free of stains, would properly absorb a dye, in the same way, as Suppabuddha the leper was sitting in that very seat, the dustless, stainless Dhamma eye arose within him, “Whatever is subject to origination is all subject to cessation [nibbana].” Ud5.3

I think ‘dustless’ and stainless are descriptions of Nibbana, as well. ‘Whatever is subject to origination…’ is possibly a ‘reflective knowledge’ (paccavekkhana nana) after the occurrence. So yes there is a path the mind has to take (generosity, morality, renunciation- reduces hindrances and then the mind is lead through to the Four Noble Truths, by the Buddha). It is said the path of practice is such that there is a gradual path with a sudden deepening. I can’t find the sutta right now but the similies to getting a glimpse of Nibbana are a thunder strike, and an archer shooting four arrows (4NTs) in quick succession -AN4.181

The Four Noble Truths here includes tilakkhana aggregates sense bases etc. in Dukkha sacca.

’"Monks, the eye is inconstant, changeable, alterable. The ear… The nose… The tongue… The body… The mind is inconstant, changeable, alterable.

Forms… Sounds … Aromas… Flavors… Tactile sensations… Ideas are inconstant, changeable, alterable.

"Eye-consciousness… Ear-consciousness… Nose-consciousness… Tongue-consciousness… Body-consciousness… Intellect-consciousness is inconstant, changeable, alterable.

"Eye-contact…Ear-contact…Nose-contact…Tongue-contact…Body-contact… Intellect-contact is inconstant, changeable, alterable.

"Feeling born of eye-contact… Feeling born of ear-contact… Feeling born of nose-contact… Feeling born of tongue-contact… Feeling born of body-contact… Feeling born of intellect-contact is inconstant, changeable, alterable.

"Perception of forms… Perception of sounds… Perception of smells… Perception of tastes… Perception of tactile sensations…Perception of ideas is inconstant, changeable, alterable.

"Intention for forms… Intention for sounds… Intention for smells… Intention for tastes… Intention for tactile sensations… Intention for ideas is inconstant, changeable, alterable.

"Craving for forms… Craving for sounds… Craving for smells… Craving for tastes… Craving for tactile sensations… Craving for ideas is inconstant, changeable, alterable.

"The earth property… The liquid property… The fire property… The wind property… The space property… The consciousness property is inconstant, changeable, alterable.

"Form… Feeling… Perception… Fabrications… Consciousness is inconstant, changeable, alterable.

"One who has conviction & belief that these phenomena are this way is called a faith-follower: one who has entered the orderliness of rightness, entered the plane of people of integrity, transcended the plane of the run-of-the-mill. He is incapable of doing any deed by which he might be reborn in hell, in the animal womb, or in the realm of hungry ghosts. He is incapable of passing away until he has realized the fruit of stream entry.

"One who, after pondering with a modicum of discernment, has accepted that these phenomena are this way is called a Dhamma-follower: one who has entered the orderliness of rightness, entered the plane of people of integrity, transcended the plane of the run-of-the-mill. He is incapable of doing any deed by which he might be reborn in hell, in the animal womb, or in the realm of hungry ghosts. He is incapable of passing away until he has realized the fruit of stream entry.

"One who knows and sees that these phenomena are this way is called a stream-enterer, steadfast, never again destined for states of woe, headed for self-awakening. ‘SN 25.1-10

Arahanthship may be a gradual process comparatively, but the arising of the dhamma eye (also later known more extensively as sotapatti-Magga), is a sudden event.

With metta


You have made it clear - sadhu! The notion that someone ‘makes a decision’ - is persuaded by a stirring speech - agrees with an argument or some kind of explanation that they find edifying, does not make any sense. This level of understanding is superficial - we can get things wrong - we can be wrongly persuaded by a gifted communicator (manipulated). Our understanding - in this form - is always limited, partial, subject to change when new information arrives on the scene. It has its important place - we have to ask questions and find out about the Dhamma. Part of the ‘finding out’ process involves all of the above! Seeing the Dhamma makes it impossible to be taken in by confidence-tricks. By any kind of discursive activity - the teachings merely point to the truth that liberates. Seeing the Dhamma makes the distinction between concepts, abstractions and, immediate and direct seeing/being clear and undisguised.


I have heard it being used as a reference to non-Buddhists because I’m familiar with non- internet conversations between “Buddhists”.

Sure, many of us have some progress with our practice if its sincere - but I suspect the one’s who’ve had the most progess aren’t trumpeting about it on the internet, or telling others they’re enlightened, once returners, stream enterers etc. as I’ve seen being declared in some internet groups.


Thats fair enough - I see what you’re getting at! I have heard a bit of this kind of trumpeting or P.R. going on. It sounds interesting but its probably based on a misunderstanding. There seems to be quite a bit of watering-down of the Buddha-Dhamma. There are systematic-methods that have developed in lineages. I have a little experience with a few of these and they often have a lot of benefits. However, not everybody seems to benefit from systematic practices - like a fixed routine or army-drill. Some people get stuck in group-ideologies or, are harmed in some other way. The insights that have made a difference in my inquiry have not been the result of any technique - not the result of ‘doing’ anything.

The best opportunity we have is to remain wakeful and gentle - non-reactive. The mind gets quieter and stillness pervades - a palpable silence. It happens by itself - our tensions and stress, our cravings are no longer entertained - they lose momentum. Its mostly just getting out of the way! Its very beautiful to see the simplicity of waking up - joyful - the beautiful Dhamma, putting down the burden.

“If one thinks “I am in charge”, if that delusion is still there, that will be a major hindrance to one’s meditation. This will create restlessness, and there will be craving for this, that and the other. One will never be able to [get into] jhanas.” - Ajahn Brahm

There is no ‘getting into’ there is only letting-go - being lost in beautiful freedom with a warm heart - where everything finds its place.


OK, but it doesn’t sound all that fancy in this passage. The difference between a faith follower, dhamma-follower and stream entererer is just the difference between one who accepts impermanence on the basis of faith, one who accepts impermanence with a bit of discernment after pondering things a bit, and one who really knows and sees that phenomena are impermanent. Doesn’t the latter apply to almost anyone who has been practicing well and meditating for some amount of time?

Yes, I tend to think it can only obstruct your practice if you spend a lot of time worrying about whether you have achieved the mark of bona fide, grade A, awesome Buddhist on some rating system.

Also, I suspect that it’s impossible for who is not fully awakened to reliably judge their own level of spiritual perfection. For example, some of the accounts stress the idea of having received a “taste of the unconditioned”. Well how much of a spiritual inkling of the unconditioned amounts to a “taste”? And can those who are unenlightened know for sure whether they have tasted the unconditioned, or only think they were tasting the unconditioned but are actually deluded?

Of course you can try get a teacher to validate your level of attainment, but that is an external classification. One teacher might tell you, “You are a super-great stream-enterer”, but then the next teacher might say “That other teacher was a fraud and a fool: you haven’t entered the stream yet.” :confused:

The only thing one can know for sure from the point of view of practice is whether there is suffering present. If one is still suffering, then one has to keep going working. It doesn’t matter whether the path from where you to full awakening are leads through 3 definable stages, 19 definable stages or 152 definable stages. And you will only obstruct yourself if you stop to label everything, or go around seeking external validation or rankings.


Everyone can overestimate any Noble attainment (AN 10.86), such thoughts can lead to laziness (AN 9.12), and whether Noble or not, they all practice the same (SN 22.122).


  1. No one can be certain of their attainments, as they could be overestimating themselves.
  2. No one benefits from talk of attainments because it can lead to laziness & it’s never certain.
  3. No one needs to know if they have any attainments, because that won’t change how they practice.

I know stream-entry et al is all over the Nikayas… but, it’s useless… The Buddha didn’t even want to teach it…