Reply To: Susila Thero – Excellent Sinhala Discourses


These discourses are entirely consistent with those of Waharaka Thero. But they provide some new insights.

One thing of interest is his explanation of attaining the Sotapanna stage.
We know the following:
– One becomes a Sotapanna Anugami by first hearing about the correct interpretations of Four Noble Truths/Paticca Samuppada/Tilakkhana. All three present the same Buddha Dhamma in three different ways.
– One becomes a Sotapnna Anugami by hearing/reading about these explanations. If one really comprehends, one ‘sees” that the rebirth process is a “cause and effect” effect and that there is no “self” or a “soul” going through various rebirths. However, since there is a causal connection among all those rebirths, one cannot also say that rebirth happens without there being a previous “satta” existing in one of the realms.
– When one contemplates these concepts (as a Sotapanna Anugami), those concepts become firmly established in one’s mind at some point. That is the Sotapanna phala moment.

In summary, Susila Thero says the following.
– One becomes a Sotapanna Anugami when one gets rid of Sakkaya ditthi by removing both ucceda ditthi (there is no rebirth process) and sassata ditthi (that there is a “soul” or “atman” or “a vinnana” going from one life to another. This requires the first two conditions of Sap­purisa­saṃ­sevana and saddham­ma ­savana, i.e., learning the true Dhamma from a “Noble friend.”
– Then one becomes a Sotapanna when one gets rid of any uncertainty about that after contemplating (yoniso manasikara) and living according to that Dhamma (dhammanudhamma patipada). That is when both vicikicca and silabbata paramasa (two other samyojana necessary for the Sotapanna stage) are removed.
– So, it is an interesting point. Furthermore, he seems to think that the “phala moment” can come at any time, not necessarily while listening to a discourse.

We have discussed those four conditions at, “Four Conditions for Attaining Sōtapanna Magga/Phala”