Sotapanna State from EBT perspective?

Hello dear friends I’ve recently become more interested in the stream entry path and the information about sotipana onwards.

I’m having a little bit of difficulty finding specific information about the Sotapanna state, I’m aware of the not being attached to rights and rituals and the not believing in self… But I’m finding that information is a little bit vague for me to understand it more clearly.

And from my understanding of the vinaya and also the Ariya Sangha it’s a very important part of the monastic tradition and so I’m trying to kind of find suttas or even commentaries from the Buddhist side about this.

I’m aware there’s many like secular Western maps of these states and developing into that but I’m really looking towards the Buddhist early Buddhist text side and possibly commentaries to try and understand this more clearly.

If anyone can offer support or guidance or point me in the right direction I would very much appreciate it.

Sincerely in the Dhamma

-Bhante Varrapanyo :pray:t3:

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There is very much to be said about Stream Entry. Here is some basic information, however, that you are probably already familiar with. This is a basic model, but there is an ideal there that should not be abandoned. Blessings. :pray:

Levels of Attainment

A Buddha is someone who is fully enlightened. A person who is fully enlightened, but not the Buddha of our time, is called an Arahant in Pali. Such a person has eradicated all ten hindrances to enlightenment:

  1. The belief in a permanent personality, ego
  2. Doubt, extreme skepticism
  3. Attachment to rites, rituals, and ceremonies
  4. Attachment to sense desires
  5. Ill-will, anger
  6. Craving for existence in the Form world (heavenly realms)
  7. Craving for existence in the Formless world (heavenly realms)
  8. Conceit
  9. Restlessness
  10. Ignorance

An Anagami (non-returner) has completely eradicated the first five hindrances and never returns to earth or any other world system (planet, solar system). Such a person is re-born to a heavenly realm and attains enlightenment from there.

A Sakadagami (once returner) has eradicated the first three hindrances and greatly weakened the fourth and fifth; attachment to sense desires and ill-will. Such a person will be re-born to either the human or heavenly realm and will attain enlightenment there.

A Sotapanna (stream entrant) has eradicated the first three hindrances and will be re-born no more than seven more times and re-birth will either be as a human or a deva in a heavenly realm.

-10 Hindrances, DhammaWiki.

Stream entry is a very interesting topic indeed. To get you moving in the right direction is the goal of all of the Buddhist path. Stream entry is that place where the Stream of thought and the Stream of consciousness intersect. Because most people studying meditation have no experience with consciousness they believe they are the same thing.
They are two totally separate modes of experience.
Stream entry actually occurs when you willfully move away from your thinking mind (actually the thing behind your thinking mind) and into the realm of consciousness. The effort required to do that is not trivial.
Because your thinking mind has been your best friend for innumerable lifetimes , I’m sure you get the point.
Stream entry is confirmed by a source outside the human realm. That is where the confidence comes from. No one on planet earth is qualified to confirm it.
There are two main things you will experience.
The first one is your orientation with time. Your mind will no longer keep track of time the way you were accustomed too. That is where the lack of stress comes from.
The second thing is the amount of time you have to figure out problems becomes compressed. The consequences of doing things you know are wrong becomes much more dramatic.
And I would add your orientation with this world
becomes more interesting when viewed from the different perspective

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This is partly what I was looking for, can you say quite a bit more as well?

Thank you :pray:t3:

The Stream of Nibbana has to do with Cessation. Cessation of the constant burning of the Skandhas, which are constantly alight, looking for more fuel.

The crux of the matter is whether you are going to become Enlightened or not by the workings of the Aggregates (Skandhas). In answer, that is not the Path.

The Path is Cessation. Enlightenment and Stream Entry comes from drawing from the Well of Nibbana. Those waters have to cool and put out the fires of the Skandhas in order for one to enter the Stream, or to even fully achieve Nibbana. This is the Purpose of the Emptiness and Not-Self/No-Self Teachings. Higher than consciousness sits Enlightenment, without there being a perceptual individual or “person” as it is. Enlightenment is fully living in the Void, fully being Awakened to the Truth. But ultimately, there is no “Void” or “Nibbana” to be found. Once you enter these stages of Awakening, in fact, you may Realize that Nibbana and Void mean an absence of the fire of the Skandhas, and the “pointing to Cessation” is what we are experiencing now. Once you get there, you will Realize there is no “you” and never was. Identity is an illusion. It’s quite the Path.

Here is a reintegration of understanding what the Five Skandhas or Aggregates are, for those who need a refresher, from the DhammaWiki:

5 aggregates

In Buddhism the concept is anatta (no-self), but there are the five aggregates:

Matter (rupa)
Consciousness (vinnana)
Feeling (vedana)
Perception and memory (sanna)
Mental formations (sankhara)

(from Samyutta Nikaya 22.48)

There is no permanent entity in any of the five aggregates. The five aggregates exist in the body and mind. They do not exist without the body and the body does not exist without the aggregates.

All of our thoughts are impermanent, our personalities are transitory, feelings, perceptions, and life itself is impermanent. Kamma is the process which conditions our existence. The only way out of the karmic cycle is through the experience of enlightenment.

When we have a body and mind we have the five aggregates and with the five aggregates we have buddha-nature. We have kammic energies, kammic consequences, and a capacity for insight and enlightenment. All animal species and perhaps other living things have this buddha-nature. It is not a thing, it is not a soul, and it is not something that can be grasped.

The age-old, common question to Buddhas and Buddhists is, if there is no soul, who or what is re-born? The karmic energies are said to be a progression or transmission from one being to the next. It is a series that continues, but with no permanent personality. One analogy is that of a candle flame. The fire burns from one candle to the next if you use the flame on one to light another. The fire appears to be the same, but is it? The flame from the one candle, let’s say that it is burning out, lights the new candle just as the flame from the first candle dies out. The flame appears to be continuing its existence, but it is just an appearance. The flame has a new body (the wax of the new candle) and new properties of existence. It appears to be the same flame, but it is not, it is a continuation of the series.

The Ven. Madawela Punnaji has put it in another analogy: that of a television remote control. The remote control unit sends a signal to the television and the channel changes. The signal is like our karmic energies. One thing causes the other. It is cause and effect. The remote control unit or its signal does not “become” the television or the channel.

An excellent explanation the Buddhist arahant Nagasena gave for no-self is the analogy of self to chariot. Nagasena asks if the pole of the chariot is the chariot. Answer, no. Nagasena asks if the axel is the chariot or if the wheels are the chariot. Answer, no. Nagasena asks if the reins are the chariot. To this and further questions about the parts, the answer is no. Nagasena explains that the chariot is not something other than these parts. Yet the parts are not the chariot. Nagasena states that chariot is just a word, it exists, but only in relation to the parts. The concept “chariot” does not have an intrinsic, inherent value or place as something permanent. It is the same with the self. We certainly exist, just as a chariot exists, but it is more in terms of conventional language as opposed to absolute language. (Milindapanha, Khuddaka Nikaya)

-5 aggregates, DhammaWiki.

Please be very careful about discussing this topic. We have a strict policy of not allowing posts claiming attainments, directly or veiled.

Q10 Why can’t I tell others about my attainments?
A : Whether you are a monastic or layperson, please do not make personal claims of path attainments, meditative attainments or supernatural powers on this forum. This could appear to be boasting. Those who are faithful have no need for proof, those who have no faith will not believe you.

trusolo (on behalf of the moderators)

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Wonderful :blush::pray:t3:🪭:skull:

Meaning, happiness and impermanence or recollection of death.

Could I ask what is meant by the term “consciousness” in the context you use it? Does it represent sati or vinnana or mana or something else? Recently I’d read that the following people translated vinnana as:

Venerable Ajahn Sucitto: “discriminative mode”
I.B. Horner: “discriminative consciousness”
Venerable Bhikkhu Kaṭukurunde: “discrimination”

I would be glad to hear your opinion on these two points.

One quick review is to get B. Bodhi’s index, search stream enterer or similar things, then read all the suttas listed. It’s there in the 4 nikayas which B. Bodhi helped.

Also this index:

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My first posts were flagged and I understand why.
To explain in a different way, is actually what I am trying to figure out.
I read many forums and many explanations on various Buddhist topics and I honestly do find many excellent examples and explanations for things I am interested in. My command of the language used in forums is almost zero.
Your not allowed to talk about personal experience and I’m trying to figure out how to get around that issue.
Lets try again. The word consciousness is used alot in the meditation arena. As far as I have been able to surmise most of the people on earth believe in some type of afterlife and most of them get that information from parents, priests, religion etc.
Buddhism talks about 31 planes of existence.
If there are other planes of existence and some type of afterlife, where are they? You can’t see them, you can’t travel to some distant land and find them.
If these realms exist and Buddhism says they do, they must be somewhere like another dimension.
Consciousness as I understand the concept is the ability to experience these other realms.
It is a way of seeing that is not common or really talked about much. Most of the info on forums is intellectually based.
Because it so easy for people to fake understanding when it comes to meditation it is almost impossible for someone looking around to figure out who has the story straight. The benchmark for me is a person’s ability to show me what they are talking about.
Meditation is a subtle affair

It’s not something that we should try to get around. The OP asked for EBT perspective. On this forum that means that you share sources from the texts. If the OP wanted (and you want to give) personal opinions and experiences, there are other forums more suitable for that.

It’s not complicated.


According to the Sotapatti Samyutta of SN/SA, the stream-entry path is mainly with a set of four qualities, called limbs of stream-entry (sotapattiyangani). For example, at SN 55.16-17 and their Chinese counterpart SA 836, the four are given as:

Definite faith (aveccappasada) in the Buddha, the Dhamma, the Sangha, and noble morality (ariyakanta-sila ‘morality loved by the noble ones’).

For a comparison of the Sotapatti Samyutta of SN and SA versions, see pp. 228-235 in The Fundamental Teachings of Early Buddhism by Choong Mun-keat.

Pages 228-235 from The Fundamental Teachings of Early Buddhism Choong Mun-keat 2000.pdf (554.3 KB)

Some info:

The Stream is literally described as the noble Path…right view…etc. (SN55.5)

(I personally believe that this does not refer to the mundane noble path. Right view here has a specific meaning, i believe, and does not refer to, i believe, to the list of right views…there is rebirth, father and mother etc. I believe here is meant supramundane right view. And i believe this is connected to seeing stilling, dispassion. This is topic of MN117, but this is controversial here)

I consider stream entree to be a breaktrough in vision. The following breaktroughs are described in EBT:

  1. the arising of the taintless dhamma-eye MN56, SN35.74, DN2, DN3, DN5, DN14, DN21).
    It is described as: whatever is subject to arising is also subject to ceasing

  2. breaktrough to the Dhamma (SN22.90 , SN46.56, SN46.30, SN13.1)
    It is described as knowledge of the four Noble Truths, this person aquires noble right view

  3. breakthrough to the Four Noble Truths (SN56.3 +4, SN56.26 /32/34/35/37,44/51/60)

My impression is that this all relates

What is called a stream-enterer? If you look at this from the perspective of what he/she knows:

  1. someone who posseses the noble Path (SN55.5)
  2. someone with confirmed faith in the Three Jewels and taintless moral (SN55.1 -4; SN55.7 +8 + 11+ 30, DN33). Or, someone who has abandoned distrust in the Three Jewels (SN55.13)
  3. someone with 7 qualities (SN55.7)
  4. someone who knows the arising, ceasing, danger, gratification and the escape of the 5 knandha’s subject to clinging (SN22.109). The same is said of the 6 sense domains in SN48.26 SN48.32. See also
    SN24.1 about the knowledge of a sotapanna.
  5. knowing PS and of all individual nidana the arising, ceasing, and the Path to that cessation of the Nidana (SN12.27 +28, SN12.41)
  6. knowing the arising of the world and its cessation (SN12.49)

If you look at this from the perspective of what he/she has realised, a Sotapanna is portrayed as:

  1. Having no sakkaya ditthi anymore, no doubt in Three Jewels, no attachment to rules and rituals (MN2 DN6, DN19, MN22. MN68, MN118)
  2. a morel person
  3. possessing the noble path (SN55.5)

There are different kinds of sotapanna. (AN3.87)

Factors leading to stream-entree are described as:

  • relating or having contact with superior persons (ariya)

  • yoniso manasikara (there are debates about what this means)

  • practicing according Dhamma

  • hearing true Dhamma ((SN55.50, DN33)
    (Those four are mentioned together)

  • mindfulness directed to the body (AN1.596 -599)

  • applying vipassana (SN22.122)

Obstacles for all fruits are described in AN5.257


VP. I read about the sotapanna state in the first sermon SN 56.11. I read the same stream-entry happened to a layperson in the same way in MN 56. In SN 56.11, the Buddha taught the craving is to be abandoned and a monk Kondanna abandoned the (arisen) craving and experienced peace and experienced all the things in the 2nd truth (craving, delight, liking this & that, becoming) that are subject to arising are/were subject to cessation. If there is intent for stream-entry craving must be given up; including any craving for stream-entry. Let go and maintain mental stillness with mindfulness.

I read it also about morality (sila); having wrong views about the role of morality. Sīlabbataparāmāso is translated as misapprehension of precepts and observances AN 10.13.

In correct order, the fetters are personal-existence view, doubt, wrong grasp of behavior and observances AN 10.13. The mind drops the personal-existence view created by craving by dropping craving and experiences peace of having no craving & clinging; which causes doubt about the path to end; which also causes attachment towards morality & rules to drop because mind experiences anger & moral outrage is suffering.