The Alcohol Drinking Stream Enterer - Sarakani the Sakyan SN 55.24

Continuing the discussion from Is it ok to take some alcohol occasionally?:

There isn’t an English link on Sutta Central, so here’s the link from Access to Insight.

What do you think was going on with Sarakani? And what is the Buddha saying here?

Just wanted to get some discussion going :slight_smile:

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I’m not sure if you saw this thread a few days ago?

This sutta gets a mention

Oh rats! I’ve gone and doubled up!

Thanks @Pasanna, I didn’t see the other thread!

Funny thing though…I just went and quoted you and @SarathW1 here and replied using the 8 Fold Path as a sort of framework! Lol…


We’ve entered a collaborative mind loop!


He wasn’t a stream enterer when he was drinking. The point of the sutta is not that a stream enterer can drink, but that even someone with a history of misconduct can find redemption, even at the time of death.

Saraṇāni, mahānāma, sakko maraṇakāle sikkhaṃ samādiyī”ti.
Mahānāma, Sarakāni the Sakyan undertook the training at the time of his death.”


Oh, Bhante you started this again!:grinning:

Sotapanna and five precepts.

I agree.
The way I understood Sarakani was a Faith-follower before his death (while he was drinking).
He is in the Sotapati path (magga) but not the fruition. (Phala)
He must have attained Phala at the time of his death.

Here’s some speculation on the matter- I recall Ven Dhammajiva saying the dhamma eye (sotapatti Magga) arose in someone who was fishing, that the Buddha admonished against. That is, while he was holding the fishing rod (i.e. minutes after breaking the first precept) he became sotapatti magga. Maybe there is a possibility that it takes only a little while of keeping the precepts for it to adequate, considering there is no one including the Buddha who hasn’t broken the precepts in some previous life. However sotapatti phala, Ven Amathagavisi told me requires jhanic ability- at least well purified samadhi. The dhamma follower is said to have the faculties of faith, determination, mindfulness, unification of mind and insight. Insight (panna) here is defined as the knowledge of arising and cessation i.e. the second Noble Truth and third Noble Truth (Nibbana or Eye of the Dhamma). The stream entrant is said to penetrate into the Four Noble Truths.

So this is my theory on all this.

With metta

This is an important point. However he wasn’t sinning in the ‘biblical’ sense. It was ultimately adverse causes leading to adverse outcomes. While there’s no need to take it ‘personally’ it shouldn’t mean not taking responsibility either, as much as one can, under the circumstances. I have never been addicted to alcohol so I can’t say how difficult it is, but I suspect my current addictions to sense pleasures are comparable. Often I find myself looking for reasons, excuses and justifications for indulging in them.

With metta

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