Comment 2: Anagami Stage and Family Life
First a reminder. These comments assume that one has SEEN (with wisdom) the anicca, dukkha, anatta nature of this world. That is the same as understanding the Four Noble Truths and Paticca Samuppada.
1. We have all read about the fact that Anagami is someone who has removed “kama raga.”
– As I explained in Comment 1 above, “When one has “kama raga” one gives preference to be reborn in kama loka.” One has “kama raga” if one places a high value on sensory pleasures.
– That will happen as long as one cultivates abhisankhara of two types: apunnabhisankhara and punnabhisankhara.
– Apunnabhisankhara are immoral deeds. But how can punnabhisankhara lead to rebirths?
2. Punnabhisankhara are associated with engaging in moral deeds AND also cultivation of the first four (rupavacara jhana) without comprehension of Tilakkhana/Noble Truths/Paticca Samuppada.
– With the comprehension of Tilakkhana, punna kamma become the same as kusala kamma. Kusala kamma are those that will lead to Nibbana. See, “Kusala and Akusala Kamma, Puñña and Pāpa Kamma.”
– Also see, “Rebirths Take Place According to Abhisaṅkhāra.”
3. That is why one has to transcend above and beyond “doing good deeds or even cultivating anariya jhana” to get to the Anagami stage.
– One cannot be an Anagami as long as one continues doing abhisankhara that will lead to rebirths in either the 11 realms of kama loka (four apayas, human realm, 6 Deva realms) or even in the rupavacara Brahma realms (except those reserved for Anagamis).
– To get there, one MUST cultivate/comprehend Tialkkhana (anicca, dukkha, anatta nature) of those realms.
– when that becomes successful, the mind WILL NOT be attached to any sensual pleasures: tastes, smells, and body touches. Of course, that last one includes sex.
4. That is why it is not easy to become an Anagami WHILE being a “householder.” One has to abstain from any sensual pleasures including sex.
– Of course, that is not done only by willpower. It happens NATURALLY as one understands the deeper levels of Tilakkhana. Still, it is an impossible task while being an “average married person.”
– Our children are independent now and my wife and I decided to live Anagārika lives. See the Wikipedia article “Anagārika” (Of course, we don’t wear “white clothes or robes” as mentioned in that article. It is all in the mind!)
– However, this may not be an option for many.
– That is why I had avoided discussing this issue in detail. But it keeps coming up and it is a good idea to understand the issues involved in getting to the Anagami stage.
Please feel to ask questions or comment. It is important to understand the practical implications as well as underlying concepts.