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Craving for spiritual attainments


#21

Arahatship is a spiritual attainment, perhaps the “biggest” and best that there is.
This attainment is the end of dukkha.
It seems to be the attainment of an unconditional state of happiness beyond dukkha.
Compassion is the wish or desire for the decrease of dukkha for oneself, others, or both oneself and others.

Thus, the desire for spiritual attainments that the Buddha himself taught were worth attaining, might be chanda or piha as mentioned by Venerable Brahmali:

or even some form of compassion: looking for way out of dukkha through spiritual attainments up to and including Arahantship.

The idea of “craving for spiritual attainments” being a “fetter” seems to be a relatively misguided one that does not have a firm and solid basis in the EBT’s.

These three kinds of people are found in the world.
What three?
The hopeless, the hopeful, and the one who has done away with hope.

And what, mendicants, is a hopeless person?
It never occurs to them: ‘Oh, when will the aristocrats anoint me too as king?’ This is called a hopeless person.

And what, mendicants, is a hopeful person?
It occurs to him: ‘Oh, when will the aristocrats anoint me too as king?’ This is called a hopeful person.

And what, mendicants, is a person who has done away with hope?
It never occurs to him: ‘Oh, when will the aristocrats anoint me too as king?’ Why is that? Because the former hope he had to be anointed has now died down. This is called a person who has done away with hope.

…And what, mendicants, is a person who has done away with hope? It’s when a mendicant is a perfected one, who has ended all defilements. They hear this: ‘They say that the mendicant named so-and-so has realized the undefiled freedom of heart and freedom by wisdom in this very life. And they live having realized it with their own insight due to the ending of defilements.’ It never occurs to them: ‘Oh, when will I too realize the undefiled freedom of heart and freedom by wisdom in this very life, and live having realized it with my own insight due to the ending of defilements.’ Why is that? Because the former hope they had to be freed has now died down. This is called a person who has done away with hope.
-AN 3.13
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#22

Care needs to be taken to identify the difference between aversion (a form of desire) for the unpleasant/suffering as opposed to feeling compassion for those experiencing suffering.

Remembering also, that conditioning leads to both happiness and suffering - and that the unravelling or dissolution of conditioning leads to equanimity and transcendence of both happiness and suffering.


#23

Yes, the mistake has been fixed, we are implementing it with our new awesome lookup tool.


#24

What do you mean by “conditioning”?


#25

When does this happen? What criteria? How does one know???


#26

Greetings Anun, and welcome to the forum :slight_smile:

Your questions have been discussed a lot on the forum and there are several dedicated threads to them. To check if questions have been asked and answered, you can use the search function - the large Q on the top right menu bar.

By putting in the search terms, ‘stream entry’, the following list is generated. Have a look through and if you still have any unanswered questions, feel free to ask away :slight_smile:

Metta

https://discourse.suttacentral.net/search?q=stream%20entry%20


#27

Hello Anun! Here’s a short introduction as well…

SN55.39:3.7: “You’re fortunate, Godhā, so very fortunate, You have declared the fruit of stream-entry.”


#28

Ajahn Brahm gives a nice answer to this question, and he stays on topic for the discussion here too about how one deals with spiritual attainments! The link starts at 48:03 with the question, and the answer ends at 51:38.


#29

It happens when you reach a certain level of faith (saddhānusārī) or insight (dhammānusārī). At this point you are guaranteed to become a streamenterer at the latest on your deathbed.

You don’t see any specific aspect of experience as nicca, sukha, or attā. On the other hand, you have not yet achieved the insight of the streamenterer that all experience is anicca, dukkha, and anattā. In other words, if anyone were to ask you about a specific aspect of experience you would know its true nature. But you wouldn’t yet have made the leap to universalise this as applying to everything.

No-one knows! :upside_down_face: At least I don’t.

Here are a few suttas that touch on this topic: SN 25.1-10, AN 5.151-153, AN 6.98-101.