Do the EBTs say meditation is necessary for stream entry?

Ok. I see your point about the sutta. Nice one. That’s why the suttas is difficult to understand for our generation. More easy to browse but we lack understanding. Maybe opening the Dharma Eye is also used when faith came to be in that moment of listening to Dhamma talks.

Is there a Elder in sutta that was described to have opened the Dharma Eye? And still another sutta describe the Elder as attaining stream-entry?

That’s what we need

I forgot to say what you said is what it is probably. The talk deep from Buddha triggers a samadhi state. @suaimhneas

That’s probably not possible so much nowadays. That’s a skill of a Buddha.

So in conclusion, some people think it’s needed and others don’t.

What I’m taking away from this discussion is that meditation will almost certainly help more than hinder. So while it may be possible to attain stream entry without meditation, that doesn’t seem to be a good reason to abstain from meditation. It can’t hurt unless you’re engaged in wrong mindfulness. It seems to me that abstaining from meditation is an unnecessary self-imposed limitation on one’s potential.

The people I had the discussion with brought up the good old argument that us westerns are too goal-oriented to understand buddhism. That westerners see meditation as the sole point of practice. While it’s true that some westerners undermine sila, dana and spiritual friends; I don’t think meditation should be underestimated either. We only get this particular life once, why not use all the tools in the shed!?


I have just noticed also the Path also in the suttas of abandoning the lower fetter is Meditation.

I did find this

“There is the case where a monk is wholly accomplished in virtue, moderately accomplished in concentration, and moderately accomplished in discernment. With reference to the lesser and minor training rules, he falls into offenses and rehabilitates himself. Why is that? Because I have not declared that to be a disqualification in these circumstances. But as for the training rules that are basic to the holy life and proper to the holy life, he is one of permanent virtue, one of steadfast virtue. Having undertaken them, he trains in reference to the training rules.
“With the wasting away of [the first] three fetters, he is one who has seven more times at most. Having transmigrated and wandered on among devas and human beings, he will put an end to stress.


moderately accomplished in concentration, and moderately accomplished in discernment.

Wow you gave me goosebumps. Thanks. Your right. Very important. Since we never know of tomorrow

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The suttas are not really clear even in attainments

We know the famous conversion of Sāriputta. Believed to be his attainment of Sotapanna. He was a co-leader already at that time. So meditator

Then Ven. Assaji gave this Dhamma exposition to Sariputta the wanderer:"Whatever phenomena arise from a cause: Their cause & their cessation. Such is the teaching of the Tathagata, the Great Contemplative."Then to Sariputta the wanderer, as he heard this exposition of Dhamma, there arose the dustless, stainless Dhamma eye: Whatever is subject to origination is all subject to cessation.


Once Sāriputta was fanning Buddha

Now at that time Venerable Sāriputta was standing behind the Buddha fanning him. Then he thought, “It seems the Buddha speaks of giving up and letting go all these things through direct knowledge.” Reflecting like this, Venerable Sāriputta’s mind was freed from the defilements by not grasping.

Many suttas explains mind freed as reaching the end goal

But another sutta explain his meditation experience. As taints destroyed

“Sāriputta entered upon and abided in the cessation of perception and feeling. And his taints were destroyed by his seeing with wisdom”

Excerpt From
The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha
Nanamoli & Bodhi

This material may be protected by copyright.

There seems to be a reason.

I think there is entering the Path and attainments of the fruit Path is always in meditation

I tried finding instance like this for Sotapanna I can’t. The progression

But I think the experience in meditation brings the full Path no matter which of the 4 Paths

“meditation” is the contemporary word applied for the image of a buddhist.

However, the Buddha used the word “bhavana” which means “training, cultivating the mind”.
You can investigate “bhavana” word.

Bhavana include the cultivation using seated meditation, without it, or both.

Bhavana is required for stream entry. With seated meditation or without it. It doesn’t depend of body position but of what happens in the mind. Seated meditation can help to that or perhaps no. It can depend of kamma, I suppose


Fyi, in this article Bhikkhu Bodhi says jhanas (therefore meditattive consentration) is unnecessary for attaining stream-entry according to Pali suttas:


Actually Bhikkhu Bodhi I think explain it different. The problem is we nowadays call all states Jhana. That doesn’t mean like was formerly said probably what we think.

Bhikkhu Bodhi has in his notes that the one that attain for Arahant itself with wisdom was done without the deeper formless states.

Like was said before you. About Bhavana. That is true. And actually. A simple Mindfulness Meditation cultivates alot of one pointness of mind.

My dear friends

I hope someone didn’t mention this sutta already. Not that I remember. This sutta explain exactly that Samadhi is achieved at the moment of hearing.

So actually we should correctly say Samadhi is necessary for Sotapanna.

But I don’t know your opinion about the sutta because

here the first part says

Why is that? Because after hearing the teaching of such mendicants, a mendicant will live withdrawn in both body and mind, as they recollect and think about that teaching.

What does mean will live withdrawn?
It can mean after. It’s a difficult sutta

After Buddha said

At such a time, a mendicant has activated the awakening factor of tranquility; they develop it and perfect it. When the body is tranquil and one feels bliss, the mind becomes immersed in samādhi.

When he says At such a time

It seems to me he means at the moment of listening Samadhi is activated

I think is the best sutta that gives answer to your question.

It’s important that the sutta says Feels bliss. Because that indicates already what should be happening mentally. That means the listener goes in Samadhi

@thomaslaw is it more clear now?

@paul1 I would like to read you explanation of this sutta?

If “meditation” is defined as the “4 jhanas” and as the eighth of the noble eightfold path factors, then I think EBTs not only claim that it is required, but this eightfold path stock formula is repeated throughout the texts…hidden in plain sight apparently.

Without developing all eight factors to a sufficient degree, it seems impossible to reach any stage of Nibbana.


I suppose the question is whether samma samadhi is always identical to jhana for early path stages. Analayo makes a parallel-based argument here that perhaps it is not (and that this stock definition is more a feature of the Pali canon rather than its parallels).

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maybe it can be a confusion between the 8 Path for the eradication of defilements, and the stream entry. Also, the cultivation of jhanas is one approach. The Buddha also taught in other ways.

Suttas like the already popular AN 6.46 (SuttaCentral) shows the existence of different groups of monks who still are under training using different approaches. As they still had ignorance to be eradicated (they were under training), they were disparaging each group according their own path of cultivation. They could not understand how the other path could be valid. Mahacunda, a senior Buddha disciple, taught all them to avoid this confrontation because they still don’t understand how a different approach could eradicate ignorance.

There is people who were ordained in Asia who after some years they disrobed and return to the West to teach people. I have heard some of these teachers to say things like the nibbana is not possible with open eyes. Many of these teachers are not ariya. Some have a good intelligence and knowledge because meditation, studying and purification in their training, although they return without ariya fruits. Although their intention can be the good at the end this can be the case of a blind person driving other blind people as we read in MN 95:

“Suppose there were a row of blind men, each holding on to the one in front of him: the first one doesn’t see, the middle one doesn’t see, the last one doesn’t see. In the same way, the statement of the brahmans turns out to be a row of blind men, as it were: the first one doesn’t see, the middle one doesn’t see, the last one doesn’t see. So what do you think, Bharadvaja: this being the case, doesn’t the conviction of the brahmans turn out to be groundless?”

“It’s not only out of conviction, Master Gotama, that the brahmans honor this. They also honor it as unbroken tradition.”

adding one over another one, at the end there is an spreading of wrong views

Anyone can check inside the Suttas how stream entry can happens at any time or situation. Cultivating jhanas or not. For this reason the Buddha taught to keep Dhamma all time available as the Suttas shows. To contemplate the Reality thinking “This is not me, this is not my self”. Or keeping a contemplation on Reality according equanimity on dhammas or other factors which are suitable for the arising of insight and panna. And keeping precepts to avoid obstacles without the obsession to be pure. When there is a proper method and enough faith and compromise, stream entry can happens in just one week. These are the Buddha words and they are the truth.

There are 9 types of disciples according training as showed inside A 9.12. About the stream entry case, there a 3 types of stream enterers without cultivation of jhanas. There is a useful paper from Piya Tran about Suttas and also Abhidhamma, with cases of lay people attaining Stream Entry without dhyana:

I believe good to know all the human structures, ancient or modern, they should build a frame to be preserved themselves. It ends in the Procustes Syndrome with their own people, which only can be conciliated with the Buddha advice “be your own lamp”. Because historical and structural reason the jhana cultivation has been prevalent.

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Do you think that it is possible to achieve stream-entry without developing the entire noble eightfold path to the sufficient degree?

My friend I assume your just following what you read. I was like that also. But see my last post. And see the deep meaning.

What you said has some truth. But you forget one thing. The stream-enter enters the path because he learns the Dhamma. Contemplating correctly. Understanding correctly. When he is doing that it happen that he will get into samadhi. That’s when there is the possibility of the person achieving Sotapanna.

Although I do understand your point. But for stream-entry to happen obviously there needs to be a basic learning in mindfulness. That can be as simple as mindfulness walking. That trains a person in bliss and in turn when they master it after samadhi is achievable.

You pointed out a later text. But there is the sutta who talks about Sāriputta group, Moggallāna, Upali and Ananda and Devadatta.

They where all doing walking meditation.

So see my last posted sutta again because that explains it good. The process like you believe

of course. Angulimala was a serial killer, although there is no need of that very extreme case. Suttas are replete of episodes with people who become stream enterers in their first approach to the Buddha teaching.
What do you think about those cases?.

That’s the problem. Your right . Of course it’s not Jhana. Jhana is those one pointness of mind. But I think at least going the 1 Jhana will probably help the person have a clear mind and he can understand the Dhamma talk for example. And get sotapanna?

Because it can happen naturally if you understand profound Dhamma.

How long time is needed “to understand correctly”? 1 year? 1 month? 1 hour? 1 second?
“Understand correctly” happens at that same instant of right understanding

We shouldn’t confuse stream entry or nibbana with the complete eradication of defilements. Eradication of defilements with the definitive end of dukkha and arhanthood it can last many lives.

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cultivation of jhanas can build a clean basis for the arising of discernment. If there is no this arising the person can become and addict to jhanas as happen with any delusory state using drugs etc. Obviously the great difference with meditation it is not a distorting state and it can drive to rebirth in some heaven. However, the purpose of Dhamma is nibbana.

There are different cases inside the Suttas with different people. In some cases we see stream enterers who later they need jhana cultivation to surpass attachment to lust and similar things. There is no one magic recipe and the foundamentalisms in this matter only shows ignorance about the Buddha teaching. This ignorance can be harmful because no everybody can be suitable for a cultivation of jhanas or a more direct approach regarding stream entry. Every person should have the freedom to discover and the variety of the Buddha teaching should be guaranteed. This is acting "for the welfare and happiness of the people, for the benefit, welfare, and happiness of gods and humans " as the AN 6.46 explain

please read the attached pdf in my first message. There you will find quite cases.
This is not my personal view.

Also be aware when we read many Suttas we believe the teachings are for seated meditation when there is no any indication about that. Your Sutta can be an example.
Or specially the many Suttas in where we read to reflect “This is not me, this is not mine, this is not my self” this is an instruction for 24/h any time available.

My friend let’s think reality

I will tell the shift that happened in Sangha.

And why you get sudden Enlightenment suttas.

When there was the schism Theravāda accepted that there was sudden enlightenment

Some other sects didn’t accept that.
They believed it happened gradually.
It would be interesting to compare if in Agamas there is a lot sudden enlightenments

What happened is. Theravāda shifted to a focus on Abhidharma. It’s the Abhidharma movement believed in sudden enlightenment.

We see the influence in Agama already

See in this Agama is talks only about what Abhidharma focuses on.

. “At that point, they’ll cultivate the awakening factor of mindfulness. After cultivating the awakening factor of mindfulness, they’ll fulfill the awakening factor of mindfulness. After fulfilling the awakening factor of mindfulness, they’ll discriminate qualities, discern qualities, and deliberate on qualities. At that point, they’ll skillfully cultivate the awakening factor of discriminating qualities … they’ll cultivate the fulfillment of the awakening factor of equanimity.”

But if you see the Pali version it’s longer. The northern Buddhism by time this Agama was written down already focused a lot on Abhidharma. It was believed to be a straight path to enlightenment .

If you see the Pali you will understand the Agama is not complete. It’s corrupted because they was preaching Discrimination Path.

It’s a valid path but the suttas tried to promote it.

But for example. Buddhaghosa explains the Elder monk of Sri Lanka that got sudden enlightenment because he saw non-delight in the teeth of a girl. Do you think he could have seen that, without previous training in mindfulness of body. A death corpse etc?? I don’t think so.

Apples don’t grow in 1 second

Learn from Nature

Patience is the highest austerity

I find Analayo’s arguments fairly strong, but they are not bulletproof. Even if it is the case that jhana is not absolutely necessary, it doesn’t mean it isn’t very helpful in most cases. I linked to an interview here recently that where someone described a stream entry experience. What’s interesting is that it sounds like that person started to get into jhana states for the first time only in the previous retreat or two just before that experience (he said they would be “light” jhana states in comparison to some descriptions but with nonetheless characteristics very recognisable according to descriptions in the suttas). Perhaps the power of such meditation greatly increases the likelihood of stream entry?