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116334Re: [dsg] Re: A Sotapanna

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  • sarah abbott
    Jul 20, 2011
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      Dear Vince,

      How's life in Spain?

      Back to the life of the sotapanna in our thread:

      --- On Sat, 2/7/11, Vince <cerovzt@...> wrote:
      >I think what you says maybe can be accepted with the texts in our hands.
      However, this description of progress is isolated of life and it is not
      effectively real.
      Life is much more complex of what we can imagine. We can imagine somebody with a relatively fortunate life who reach the sotapanna state. And later, those tendencies to be angry against his selfish ex-couple, his boss, etc.. all these disappear quickly. Maybe that person goes to another country to become a monk in a safe environment without situation to break them. Or that person remains as a lay but he buys a nice house in the mountains with a central heating system, and that lay person don't break the precepts again.
      S: Yes, unless insight has been developed to the stage of sotapanna, we don't know what latent tendencies will condition strong akusala in various circumstances. However, it is the insight, not the 'central heating' or 'kind boss' that leads to the eradication of those akusala tendencies.
      V:>Also, we can imagine somebody with a relatively unfortunate life, who reach the sotapanna state. And later, the tendencies to be angry against the killers of his family or his torturers in a war, should decrease progressively. Maybe that person is poor and lives far of a Buddhist resource to get help or to become a monk. So maybe he will break some precept in some degree, despite the tendency to observe sila already is rooted. But he will be the only interpret available for that new sila tendency and what is able to refrain.
      S: No matter the circumstances, he won't knowingly break any precepts.
      V:> Also, note the sotapanna is not able to know a lot of things. He/She ignores if the stealing of a medicine to save the life of 1,10,100 people can be a right or a wrong action. Because there is ignorance about next rebirth for these beings and for his own. A sotapanna cannot know all that, although for sure he/she would break the precept if such situation appears.
      S: This would be impossible. They will never steal for any justification at all. They know the harm of those cittas involved in stealing - the taking from others, the deviousness and so on. They know that any justification is just thinking about concepts, so the idea of stealing in this scenario won't even be contemplated.

      Here is an extract from a sutta which Ven Samahita posted recently in #115945:

      >The Blessed Buddha once said:
      Beings are owners of their actions (kamma = karma), inheritors of
      their actions, are created by their actions, linked to their actions,
      their actions produce their destiny. Whatever actions they do;
      good as evil, the resulting reaction and effect will be only theirs!
      There is one who kills living beings, steals what belongs to others,
      commits adultery with others' partners; speaks lies, uses divisive
      and aggressive speech, prattles empty gossip; is covetous, envious,
      jealous, wicked-minded, & of evil views. Such one is creeping in all
      bodily, verbal, and mental actions. Hidden & secret are such one's
      actions, words, and thoughts, of ulterior and concealed motives.
      But I tell you: Whoever pursues hidden ways and objects will have
      to expect one of these two results: Either the torture of hell, or
      birth among the creeping animals. Thus is it with all rebirth of any
      being: They will be reborn according to their actions (kamma)...
      When reborn, they experience the exact effects of their actions.<...>

      Numerical Discourses of the Buddha. Anguttara Nikâya AN 10:205
      S: Note the comments about the one who breaks precepts, "hidden and secret are such one's actions, words, and thoughts, of ulterior and concealed motives." It then talks about the rebirth of such deeds in hell or animal realms. And yet we know there is no lower rebirth for the sotapanna. Therefore it is impossible that a sotapanna would perform such deeds.
      >V:This thread however has been useful to clarify more things about the relation between sila and wisdom. This is more complex of what I thought, with different views in both lay people and monks.
      S: Yes, it is complicated and the development of kusala sila cannot be separated from the development of wisdom. Your example of stealing above is a good example. Clinging to being a vegetarian is another one. Without an understanding of the importance of the present citta and cetasikas through the development of wisdom, one will always be confused about good and bad deeds conditioned by the mind, i.e sila.
      >V:thanks for the discussion,
      S: Thank you too. You've given lots of helpful examples and good quotes and I like the way that friends such as yourself keep questioning until really satisfied with the responses.


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