In AN 3.70 and elsewhere, the Buddha teaches to recollect the Sangha including to specifically recollect that It consists of the four pairs, the eight individuals. My understanding is the 8 individuals are ones who are either practicing for stream entry or who have attained stream entry; ones who are practicing to be a once returner or who have attained once returnership, ones who are practicing to be a non-returner/and ones who have attained that fruit; and ones practicing for arahantship and arahants.
However, if it’s true that monastics can’t disclose where they are on the path, how do we know there are indeed such 8 individuals in the world today? Or, is it understood, that there probably aren’t all such 8 individuals at this time, but perhaps a portion of these individuals?
It seems like it would be helpful to know there are eight such individuals in the Sangha today or even a portion of them. That said, many in the Sangha, especially those here and affiliated with BSWA are very inspiring, and seem to be clearly either practicing for a specific stage of enlightenment or have attained one stage or another. It just seems like it would be helpful to have more specifics about whether there are members of the Sangha who make up all or part of those eight individuals, but perhaps this isn’t possible?
In other words, are there 8 such individuals in the Sangha today, especially those in later stages of enlightenment, and, if so, how can one gain confirmed confidence in that fact in light of the Vinaya? Confirmed confidence would make it easier to follow the Buddha’s teaching to recollect the Sangha and specifically this quality of the Sangha. Thank you.