Would Stream winners who got reborn as human again need to practice again to attain the same thing?

If stream winners who attained in a past life need to reattain, then it seems like we dunno who might be secretly a stream-winner before and just need reintroduction to Buddhism to get it.

The question is: how much do they need to get to know that they are stream winners again?

  1. From birth?
    Reason: Fetters once cleared, there’s no possible way to regain the view of self, so from baby and child phase onwards it seems that they would relate to the world in a different manner compared to unenlightened people.

  2. Need to practise (maybe faster) again, meditate, then reattain, wherein before reattainment, they could be deluded into believing in other religions. AN 1.268–277: Paṭhamavagga—Bhikkhu Sujato (suttacentral.net)

“It is impossible, mendicants, it cannot happen for a person accomplished in view to acknowledge another teacher. But it is possible for an ordinary person to acknowledge another teacher.”

So this impossibility (of believing another religion to be ultimately true) only applies after they reattain their status, not before.

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As far as I know, there is no such thing as “re-attaining status” in the suttas. When a fetter is gone it is gone.

But we have almost no examples of people being reborn as humans as stream enterers. I can’t think of one. All the examples I can think of they are reborn in the heavenly realms.

Absent definitive statements in the suttas, I think there will just be lots of speculation. Perhaps commentaries have examples?


Isn’t Lord Buddha pointing to the attainment of timeless wisdom, so it’s not a matter of right or wrong religion, it’s more about the right view of the nature of reality?

How do you see the difference between religion and right view?

I see it as religions which contains the right view as spoken by the Buddha is Buddhism, regardless of their label, but basically only Buddhism has this right view, there’s plenty of others which has maybe small variation, they get labelled as cult eg. secular Buddhism. There’s also other similar ones like Hinduism which fails on core doctrine on no self.

Of course, the reborn stream winner can have ignorance of which religion teaches what, and thus not yet known that one is a Buddhist, until they learnt about Buddhism. The question then becomes, having eradicated doubt, does the reborn stream winner immediately recognize the right view in Buddhism as true, or do they need to meditate/ practise the noble 8fold path again to personally verify it?

Then there is no such thing as stream winner.

Either you have a guarantee that at most seven more lifetimes will occur or you don’t.

It’s not “your guaranteed to make an end to suffering in at most seven lifetimes, provided your lucky enough to hear about Buddhism in each of those lifetimes and learn it again”

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The guarenteed to attain is not in doubt, but more of do people who were stream winners in the past knows about it?

Could there be the case that they do not know about it, but the subconscious motion towards practise would anyway bring them to nibbana, even if they never encounter Buddhism, like private Buddha sort of figure?

In what sense does this not knowing about it last? As soon as they are born they know, or as soon as they know that others have self view and they don’t, or that as soon as they learnt about stream winners via the Dhamma, or that they need to practise more?

I think it could be like this, a person has broken through a to a certain understanding, then thier vinnana has a kind of “momentum” that is bound to take them to nibanna even if they never hear of buddhism again.

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You’ll have to define this term.

If you mean “return to the (monastic) Sangha” obviously that takes time. Nobody is born in robes!

If you mean “become a Stream Enterer again” I agree with the above that this is an oxymoron. Once you’re a sotāpanna, there’s no going back.

If you mean, “reattain absorbed states of consciousness” then obviously this will require some meditation, but probably much less than for an ordinary person.

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Not knowing one is already a stream-enterer, reattain is knowing the insights again.

PS. specifically, a person who attained stream-entry already, told a story that his past life got the same attainment (of stream entry) and before the same attainment in this life, he explored the Hindu’s attainments and various insights into “I AM” the universal consciousness, or awareness or something like that.

The “insight” into impermanence doesn’t go away. Of course the baby sotāpanna would have to re-encounter Buddhism to put language to their insight, but the insight itself isn’t “lost” Being a stream enterer (i.e. having insight into the dhamma) and knowing one is a stream enterer are two different things.

Hmmm. So I guess you’re asking if it’s possible that a reborn sotāpanna would take an interest in spirituality more broadly, but might take a while to sort out that it was Buddhism specifically that they were looking for?

My gut reaction to that question is that that’s possible but unlikely. :man_shrugging: But yeah, as Snowbird said, it’ll be really hard to say much concrete. Best to just pull an Upaka and say: “May it be so!” :laughing:

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I think there is no answer in Tipitaka to it (?) but my guess will be Sotapanna would know Dhamma by its own nature and by his own words or will have in-born knowledge of Dhamma

That’s a good question, and one that should be answered or presented to the right functional hemisphere of the brain, the implisitt dimension of conscious reality. I know how it answers this question, and feel fine about it, because there are no other part of my conciousness that is to trust in matters like this.

If it’s presented to the left functional hemisphere of the brain, the explicit dimension of conciousness. I also know how this part of conciousness answers, and that’s in accordance with the reality of making up differences, didvide wholeness, and separate me from the rest. This is the domain of ego, shadow and Mara.

Mara, I know you :pray: :heart:

That is an answer I say come from a Buddhist box, left brain responding, and isn’t true. I mean how can you know anything about all the other boxes when you only taken one single box to your heart? Wisdom comes from the heart, not paper wrappings around the heart.

A stream winner is reborn with right view in the heart, so he or she would by heart see or know the right stream to continou the journey.

A reborn stream winner picks up vibrations from any phenomena that reveal the nature of reality, whether it comes in form of words, sounds or formal wisdom teachings. One can see the truth in a nice work of pottery, a well prepared meal, a perfect hymn or chant. My theory is that he or she isn’t necessarily needy of Buddhism, because when he or she died they already had seen the Buddha.

If you see the Buddha, you see the Dhamma.

in example Kumāra-Kassapa, Pukkusāti, Dārucīriya, Dabba Mallaputta and Sabhiya were Dhamma followers in times of the previous Buddha Kassapa


we are not really persons but a bunch of processes arising conditioned by kamma trends. If somebody keeps Dhamma sincerely he/she will meet Dhamma again and again, until nibbana. No backward for this when this is installed in the heart.

This tragicomic hallucination seems the only one but this is just another one. With Dhamma It is expected that we develop the thought “it is enough”, although unfortunately we don’t believe it while still we have energy to pursue appearances. And this thought will arise more frequently when closer to death, without more time. Therefore the rebirth becomes quite probable with all the risks associated because kamma is very old and it can manifest what we never expect

A sotapanna knows the path and doesn’t need to be told what the path is, he knows what work needs to be done. The only difference is that those further along the path have developed more. It’s like a rookie hockey player and a veteran hockey player, they have the same training plan, except the veteran player can speed through all the things the rookie is struggling with.

So if someone misinterprets the path and says that Jhanas isn’t required and thus misinterprets Samma Samadhi, then they cannot be a sotapanna because a sotapanna has proven to himself the 4 noble truths, with the fourth being the noble eightfold path, which ends with Samma Samadhi.

As for memory of the path in the next life: SuttaCentral


Touching on this point, the Buddha says a baby doesn’t have a sense of identity, but the latent tendencies lay dormant within. So I believe as the child grows the latent tendencies stir up, cause kamma, etc…

If someone doesn’t have fetters then they won’t fall for rituals, misconceive, etc… as they grow up. Perhaps they’ll be more skeptical than their peers and will incline towards a certain attitude, like staying home instead of going out to party, preferring minimalism over hoarding, less likely to fall for addictions like alcoholism, etc…

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