The householder's four pleasant dwellings (AN 5.179)

I’d be curious to know how folk understand the following sutta:

Two details I find particularly peculiar are:

1) It’s description of when a person might describe themselves as a stream-enterer – it’s a bit different from anything else I’ve yet come across.

2) The four dwellings it outlines. Both Thanissaro Bhikkhu’s (with “four pleasant mental abidings in the here & now does he obtain at will, without difficulty, without hardship”) and Bhikkhu Bodhi’s (with “four pleasant visible dwellings that pertain to the higher mind, which he gains at will, without trouble or difficulty”) translations seem to put it as though confidence in the Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha and virtuous behaviour are technical attainments / supernormal states.

Is this just a weird, anomalous sutta (perhaps composed with the intention to boost the moral of laypeople) or does it contain some practical significance I’ve missed?

Thanks :anjal:


It appears AN5.179 has some similarity with A3.57.
I provided this just to stimulate the discussion.

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It is not just confidence, it is confirmed confidence - the stream-enterer’s faith is supernormal because they “broke through to the Dhamma”, have “seen the Deathless”, are “endowed with uncommon knowledge”, they “rightly see cause”

It’s also not an anomaly, this formula is used in several suttas