Reply To: To become a Sotapanna, do you have to know Paticca Samuppada?


upekkha wrote: “This worries me. I have trouble understanding the Paticca Samuppada. All this time I thought it was mainly the Tilakkhana one had to understand.
Does one have to know the ins and outs in detail or is a general understanding fine?”

Tilakkhana and Paticca Samuppada are inter-related. One cannot understand one without the other.

We need to understand the following facts:

1. Even a Buddha cannot change Nature’s laws. A Buddha just discovers them by his own efforts. He himself was subjected to Nature’s laws. He got old, was subjected to illnesses, and finally passed away.
– But he found the way to permanently stop any FUTURE suffering from arising. And he taught us how to do that.

2. Attaining the Sotapanna stage (and stopping the suffering within a few lives after that) is an accomplishment that is infinitely better than any other achievement anyone can have. Understanding Nature’s laws is not an easy task.
– Think about how much effort a person puts into getting into a college or to get a job.
– Just like one cannot pass a high school test without going through years of learning at primary school, one needs to learn the basics first.

Those are not directed personally to upekkha. Those are general statements. I have no idea where anyone else is at, with respect to their progress on the Path.
– Furthermore, I did not make those points to discourage anyone. I just wanted to point out the reality.
– Furthermore, any effort one puts in does not go to waste. Even if one cannot get there in this lifetime, it will help in future lives.
– In fact, that is why some people get there faster than others. They had done much work in past lives. So, it is not that some are “luckier than others.”

I hope this explanation would help clarify some issues. Please feel to comment or ask questions. This is a concern that many people have.