Reply To: Buddha and humor


Let me put this in a bit different way.

We are bound to this world (i.e., to the rebirth process) with ten “mental tethers” or “samyojana”. That can be compared to a dog tethered to a pole with ten chains.
The first three tethers are broken at the Sotapanna stage: Sakkaya ditthi, vicikicca, silabbata paramasa.
– All three are about WRONG VIEWS. Thus they are tethers that are PRIMARILY related to moha.
– However, when those three tethers are broken, the other seven also become WEAKENED.

Thus, at the Sotapanna stage, lobha is reduced to raga (kama raga, rupa, raga, arupa raga), and dosa is reduced to patigha. The other three samyojana (mana uddacca, avijja), directly related to moha reduce too.
– Therefore, at the Sotapanna stage, one would not have extreme greed or extreme anger (hate).
– But HOW MUCH kama raga and patigha that one may still have, is dependent on the person.
– Some people may lose a lot and could be very close to Sakadagami or even Anagami stage. Others may be far away from even the Sakadagami stage.

That is why we see people with a wide range of gati (character) at the Sotapanna stage.
– Ven Ananda was a Sotapanna at the Parinibbana of the Buddha. But obviously, he was very much at a different “level” compared to Sarakani (who was unable to give up his drinking habit) or the woman who attained the Sotapanna stage at age seven and eloped with a hunter.
– The latter two had just barely reduced lobha to kama raga. They did not have the apayagami lobha level, but still had strong levels of kama raga.
– But of course, all three had “seen” the dangers of kama raga and patigha and the other samyojana.

This is also why it is impossible for anyone else to decide whether one is a Sotapanna. Only that person would know. Even that person may not be certain until life experiences confirm that conclusion.