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Can someone know they are on the path to stream-winning?

If I remember correctly, Ajahn Brahm’s talk How To Become A Stream Winner distinguishes the path to stream winning, from stream winning itself, so I think this question is distinct from How can someone be sure they are a stream entrant?!

Can someone know they are on the path to stream-winning, or does someone with this attainment or higher have to tell them? If they can know for themselves, how?

SN12.41
“Householder, when a noble disciple has quelled five dangers and threats, has the four factors of stream-entry, and has clearly seen and comprehended the noble cycle with wisdom, they may, if they wish, declare of themselves: ‘I’ve finished with rebirth in hell, the animal realm, and the ghost realm. I’ve finished with all places of loss, bad places, the underworld. I am a stream-enterer! I’m not liable to be reborn in the underworld, and am bound for awakening.’

When you’ve arrived… you know! If you’re unsure… you haven’t arrived… but as long as you are keeping precepts, following the 8 fold path and making the effort to investigate your experience, you’re on the path! :wink: :smile:

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Highly recommend this lecture:
https://www.amaravati.org/audio/chapter-16-i-entering-stream-part-1/

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Much appreciated. That book has been waiting, patiently for me.

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In SN 48.53 the Buddha answers the question (learner = stream-enterer). There he indicates that the task accomplished at stream-entry is direct knowledge of the four noble truths. This is the element that removes the fetter of doubt.

"And what is the manner of reckoning whereby a monk who is a learner, standing at the level of a learner, can discern that ‘I am a learner’? There is the case where a monk is a learner. He discerns, as it actually is, that ‘This is stress… This is the origination of stress… This is the cessation of stress… This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress.’ This is a manner of reckoning whereby a monk who is a learner, standing at the level of a learner, can discern that ‘I am a learner.’

This reiterates the direct experience the bodhisatta described in MN 19:

"And as I remained thus heedful, ardent, & resolute, thinking imbued with sensuality arose in me. I discerned that ‘Thinking imbued with sensuality has arisen in me; and that leads to my own affliction or to the affliction of others or to the affliction of both. It obstructs discernment, promotes vexation, & does not lead to Unbinding.’ (Second noble truth)
[…]
“And as I remained thus heedful, ardent, & resolute, thinking imbued with renunciation arose in me. I discerned that 'Thinking imbued with renunciation has arisen in me; and that leads neither to my own affliction, nor to the affliction of others, nor to the affliction of both. It fosters discernment, promotes lack of vexation, & leads to Unbinding.” (Third noble truth)

"Therefore, monks, your duty is the contemplation, ‘This is stress… This is the origination of stress… This is the cessation of stress.’ Your duty is the contemplation, ‘This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress.’’—SN 56.44

The texts outline the conditions that need to be present for stream entry to occur. So it’s possible to go through each of the 7 factors of awakening systematically and consider whether those are established.
Both hindrances and the 7 factors of awakening are listed in SN46.37: SuttaCentral
Here’s a more detailed analysis of the path factors with references to suttas:
The Seven Factors of Enlightenment
The recipe is quite clear and actionable. So it’s up to reach of us to make sure we follow it.

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