The four characteristics of a Stream-Winner (sotāpannassa angāni) are the following (SN 55.1):
- Unshakable faith in the Enlightened One
- Unshakable faith in the Doctrine
- Unshakable faith in the Order
- Perfect morality
The first and second are self-explanatory, however, I want to confirm the third and clarify the fourth.
For the third characteristic, I want to make sure that the unshakeable faith is based on the ariya-sangha, rather than the wordly sangha—therefore meaning that the faith is based on Noble Ones, rather than being dependent on the state of the general sangha.
He possesses confirmed confidence in the Saṅgha thus: ‘The Saṅgha of the Blessed One’s disciples is practising the good way, practising the straight way, practising the true way, practising the proper way; that is, the four pairs of persons, the eight types of individuals—this Saṅgha of the Blessed One’s disciples is worthy of gifts, worthy of hospitality, worthy of offerings, worthy of reverential salutation, the unsurpassed field of merit for the world.
He possesses the virtues dear to the noble ones—unbroken, untorn, unblemished, unmottled, freeing, praised by the wise, ungrasped, leading to concentration.
— SN 55.1, Cakkavattirāja Sutta – Wheel-Turning Monarch (transl. Bhikkhu Bodhi)
Saṅghe aveccappasādena samannāgato hoti: ‘suppaṭipanno bhagavato sāvakasaṅgho, ujuppaṭipanno bhagavato sāvakasaṅgho, ñāyappaṭipanno bhagavato sāvakasaṅgho, sāmīcippaṭipanno bhagavato sāvakasaṅgho, yadidaṃ—cattāri purisayugāni aṭṭha purisapuggalā, esa bhagavato sāvakasaṅgho āhuneyyo pāhuneyyo dakkhiṇeyyo añjalikaraṇīyo anuttaraṃ puññakkhettaṃ lokassā’ti.
Ariyakantehi sīlehi samannāgato hoti akhaṇḍehi acchiddehi asabalehi akammāsehi bhujissehi viññuppasatthehi aparāmaṭṭhehi samādhisaṃvattanikehi.
So, from this passage, the third characteristic of a Stream-Winner (sotāpannassa angāni) is without a doubt solely based on the ariya-sangha? Would anyone have another passage about the characteristics of a Stream-Winner (sotāpannassa angāni) to cross-reference?
For the fourth characteristic, it’s more ambiguous and the Pāli a lot more complex. The passage “ariyakantehi sīlehi samannāgato hoti akhaṇḍehi acchiddehi asabalehi akammāsehi bhujissehi viññuppasatthehi aparāmaṭṭhehi samādhisaṃvattanikehi” is described in Vissudhimagga XII 101-106, but I can’t find a more thorough description based on the Suttas? Is the translation ‘perfect morality’ correct? Would anyone have another Sutta passage describing the fourth sotāpannassa angāni in more detail?
Basically, what I’m trying to confirm/clarify is: Is a Stream-Winner absolutely incapable of breaking the precepts? And if so, is it all the precepts (and if not, which ones)? Is the ‘perfect morality’ only based on the precepts, or other aspects of sīla as well?
Note: The purpose of the discussion it to confirm points based on the Suttas, rather than being an opinion-based discussion—therefore, please base your responses on the Suttas. Thank you.