Reply To: Vipassana Meditation After Sotapanna Stage


Yash and LDF asked: “Also Lal mentioned “At the end of the “Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna Sutta (DN 22)” the Buddha promised that one would attain at least the Anagami stage in two weeks if one practiced it incessantly;”
So what exactly should be done, Lal. I mean can you provide a structure from where should one start from to attain the stage within a fortnight?”

As always, statements need to be taken in context. Let me write down some bullet points. We can discuss any of them if you have questions.

1. The time limits mentioned are specifically for bhikkhus. Attaining the Angami stage is practically impossible for a “householder” living a family life, as I have explained many times. By definition, anyone engaging in sex or related activities will not be able to attain the Anagami stage.

2. Even for bhikkhus, those are guidelines. To get to the Anagami or Arahant stage in two weeks, one must have a high level of panna and completely immerse in the effort. A good example is Ven. Sariputta and Ven. Moggalana. Many bhikkhus in the time of the Buddha could get to those magga phala within seven years. But it can be even slower these days, primarily because the true teachings of the Buddha are not available to most people.

3. Thus, the main goal of a householder should be to make sure to get to the Sotapanna stage. But confirmation of the Sotapanna stage is not as straightforward as that of the Anagami stage. If one attains the Anagami stage, there will be no doubt in their mind. That is because kama raga WILL NOT arise in an Anagami, even if the most beautiful woman in this world comes to him and invites him for sex. But watching an adult movie (porn) is enough to confirm it, too, in most cases.
– On the other hand, there is no such reliable indicator for the Sotapanna stage.
– Therefore, getting to at least the Anagami stage, if practical, is the best confirmation.

4. But abstaining from sex may not be an option for many people.
– Even in that case, reducing “extra activities” like watching porn will help one get to the Sakadagami stage. A Sakadagami still has kama raga but at a lower intensity. That is why they will not be born in the human world but only in a Deva realm.
– Furthermore, as one progresses, one can experience the lessening of kama raga. We need to remember that kama raga means much more than sex. Any cravings for sensual pleasures (including tastes, smells, and other bodily comforts) are included in kama raga. The desire to own things is reduced and then goes away before one completely loses cravings for them. The progress is gradual, but there is definite progress that one can experience, as I have.
– Another aspect is that some “bad habits” go away just by learning Dhamma. For example, I did not make a strong effort to quit drinking; of course, I was not a heavy drinker. But I used to take a drink or two almost every day while I worked. That habit gradually went away. These days, I get a headache if I have a strong drink like whiskey. I can tolerate a beer, but there is no urge to have one. That vinnana has died! My advice is to avoid all that can be avoided. Most “pleasures” are mind-made. It is our vinnana that fools us into believing that those experiences are pleasurable. I know that from experience.

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