Why did the Buddha need to teach not self to stream enterers, such as the group of 5?

The Vinaya section of the Khandhaka # 1. Going forth (Pabbajjā) reproduces the early suttas, with extra commentary filling in the gaps. During the first Sutta (also here: SN56.11 SuttaCentral)

Moreover, while this discourse was being uttered, dhamma -vision, dustless, stainless, arose to the venerable Koṇḍañña that “whatever is of the nature to uprise, all that is of the nature to stop.”

Over the next few days, with more instruction, the other four of the group of five achieve the same attainment, which is elsewhere described as stream entry.

Now, at stream entry three fetters are said to be abandoned: Identity view, doubt, misapprehension of precepts and observances, AN3.87 SuttaCentral, AN10.13 https://suttacentral.net/an10.13/en/sujato, etc.

I have two questions:

  1. Is there a sutta (or suttas) that clearly spells out the connection between the arising of the dhamma eye, stream entry, and the first three fetters?

  2. If the group of 5 were stream enterers, with identity view destroyed, why did the Buddha teach them the Discourse on Not Self, which comes next in the Vinaya, or could be found here: SN22 .59: SuttaCentral. At that point all became arahants.

I do note that the conceit “I am” is not removed until arahantship: SN22.89 SuttaCentral. Perhaps this is relevant.


Imo, the end of the paragraph of SN 22.59 gives some idea :

“Seeing thus, the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones grows disenchanted with form, disenchanted with feeling, disenchanted with perception, disenchanted with fabrications, disenchanted with consciousness. Disenchanted, he becomes dispassionate. Through dispassion, he is fully released. With full release, there is the knowledge, ‘Fully released.’ He discerns that ‘Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.’”

This is from SN 12.23 :

“Disenchantment has knowledge & vision of things as they actually are present as its prerequisite, dispassion has disenchantment as its prerequisite, release has dispassion as its prerequisite, knowledge of ending has release as its prerequisite.”

It seems to me that to invoke disenchantment in regard to the five aggregates, the Buddha taught this to them.


I doubt it. It takes a bit of a=b, b=c therefore a=c type of detective work to join the suttas into a coherant whole, unfortunately (unless someone can prove me wrong!).

I agree with @arkaprava above in that the Buddha teaches everything from the begining, step by step, following his own rules about teaching the dhamma.

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Maybe the Discourse on Anatta was given as an explanation of their stream-entry experience.

Like when one reads old stories of Mahasi Sayadaw where advanced students are invited to listen to a dhamma talk on the insight knowledges. (This was sometimes misconstrued as an approval of the listeners attainment of stream-entry - something Mahasi Sayadaw did not do.) But it was meant to be a further reflection on the meditative experiences one had and given the knowledge on how to interpret their meditative experiences correctly.