The Forum Guidelines and Discussion of Attainments

Dear Sir

As you would know, having translated the relevant suttas yourself, the Buddha allowed such claims when certain conditions are met, e.g.

Please do not impose a rule on the community of practitioners that contradicts an allowance by the Buddha. The elders in an early Council, agreed that this should not be done.

best wishes

addition: and it is in one of the guidelines for choosing what is acceptable and what is not, I believe in the Vinaya. This seems not to have been followed at sometime in the past, as the Pacittiya rule of not saying it even if it is true (against the Buddha’s allowance) was laid down.

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I can see excellent reasons for imposing this rule on an internet forum. The scope of the rule appears to be this forum, which is not the community of practitioners… either entirely, or solely.


Of course there are good reasons for many things. That doesn’t always make them Dhammic, imo.

We probably have a different definition of the Community of Practitioners = sangha. My full analysis of this is here:ṅgha_in_the_early_texts-_excerpt_from_thesis, but briefly, I see sangha originally referred to the Noble Ones, as in the reflection of the qualities of Sangha: the four types of (noble) people, the eight individual (noble) persons and as such, there may be sangha in this company/community and the rule is applied to them.

I agree neither entirely, or solely, but rather partly.

The rule applies to participants in this internet forum. Any who might be members of the Sangha, however defined, would be accustomed to specific rules applying in a variety of situations, in mixed company. At most if not all Department of Motor Vehicles office, for example, lines would not be ordered by Rains, not even if the office manager was Buddhist. In most if not all such offices, it would breach local custom, and possibly even do harm to those who might otherwise take this Path, to suggest it.

edit: Similarly, to rescind the rule prohibiting claims of attainments on this forum (which is only a small fraction of possible forums in which Sangha members, however defined, might participate), might do harm to those who might be walking, or eventually walking, this Path.

Such claims cannot be validated within the forum, nor could those who believe incorrectly in their own attainments not have cravings and ignorance fed… to their great harm, and possibly to the harm of others.

Thus, the rule seems a very good one, to me.


of course

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Please note, and as already mentioned above, that this is not a community of practitioners.

This site is not part of a monastery or Buddhist Order, and the Vinaya rules are irrelevent in this context. … it is a public forum. One doesn’t even have to be a buddhist, just interested in EBT’s, buddhism or a scholar, linguist or researcher.

The guidelines have been specifically tailored to meet the goals of SC, and ensure a respectful and supportive environment for a community of very diverse members.



Ok, thanks.

I guess I need to take this up within the community of monks and nuns.

It was a request to Bh. Sujato, as a monk.

best wishes


I thought the vinaya was clear about when a monk could talk about attainments and the vinaya pitaka is now closed especially on a topic which has consensus.


One teacher (monastic) notes that the sutta-s refer to “sangha” as community of monks, and “noble sangha” as those with path attainments.


As I understand it, it is clear and closed. In Vinaya it is a serious fault to misclaim and a minor fault to rightly claim. In Dhamma the Buddha allowed rightly claiming. I place Dhamma above Vinaya, in this case, especially when there are principles for deciding what is Vinaya and one is, ‘not disallowing things that have been allowed by the Buddha’.

It doesn’t seem as simple as that to me. I have investigated the use of sangha in the first four nikayas in this article:ṅgha_in_the_early_texts-_excerpt_from_thesis

My summary is: The term Ariya-saṅgha appears in the First Four Nikāyas only once and is probably a later confusion of the terms Sāvaka-saṅgha and Ariya-sāvaka.

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Question. I have noticed that in the Sarvastivada agama Buddha tend to be open about if someone attained Arhatship and even convinced them to show a miracle. Is that a early phase of Buddhism where it was done by Buddha to grow faith in others?