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Gad
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MAHĀ VACCHAGOTTA SUTTA: GREATER DISCOURSE TO VACCHAGOTTA

“Other than Master Gotama, other than the monks, other than the nuns, is there any one layman, a disciple of Master Gotama, a householder dressed in white, leading a celibate life, who, with the destruction of the five lower fetters, will arise spontaneously in the Pure Abodes and attain final Nibbana there without ever returning from that world?”

“Vaccha, not one, not one hundred, not two hundred, not three hundred, not four hundred, not five hundred, but far more laymen, my disciples, householders dressed in white, leading a celibate life, who, with the destruction of the five lower fetters, will arise spontaneously in the Pure Abodes and attain final Nibbana there without ever returning from that world.”

“Other than Master Gotama, other than the monks, other than the nuns, other than the laymen, disciples of Master Gotama, householders dressed in white, leading a celibate life, is there any one layman, a disciple of Master Gotama, a householder dressed in white, who enjoys sense pleasures, who practises the teaching, follows the instructions, has gone beyond doubt, free from uncertainties, gained fearless confidence, and independent of others, dwells in the teaching?”

“Vaccha, not one, not one hundred, not two hundred, not three hundred, not four hundred, not five hundred, but far more laymen, who are my disciples, householders dressed in white, who enjoy sense pleasures, who practise the teaching, follow the instructions, have gone beyond doubt, free from uncertainties, gained fearless confidence, and independent of others, dwell in the teaching.”

“Other than Master Gotama, other than the monks, other than the nuns, other than the laymen, disciples of Master Gotama, householders dressed in white, leading a celibate life, other than laymen, householders dressed in white, who enjoy sense pleasures, is there any one laywoman, a disciple of Master Gotama, a householder dressed in white, leading a celibate life, who, with the destruction of the five lower fetters, will arise spontaneously in the Pure Abodes and attain final Nibbana there without ever returning from that world?”

“Vaccha, not one, not one hundred, not two hundred, not three hundred, not four hundred, not five hundred, but far more laywomen, my disciples, householders dressed in white, leading a celibate life, who, with the destruction of the five lower fetters, will arise spontaneously in the Pure Abodes and attain final Nibbana there without ever returning from that world.”

“Other than Master Gotama, other than the monks, other than the nuns, other than the laymen, disciples of Master Gotama, householders dressed in white, leading a celibate life, other than laymen, householders dressed in white, who enjoy sense pleasures, other than the lay women, householders dressed in white, leading a celibate life, is there any one laywoman, a disciple of Master Gotama, a householder dressed in white, who enjoys sense pleasures, who practises the teaching, follows the instructions, has gone beyond doubt, free from uncertainties, gained fearless confidence, and independent of others, dwells in the teaching?”

“Vaccha, not one, not one hundred, not two hundred, not three hundred, not four hundred, not five hundred, but far more laywomen, who are my disciples, householders dressed in white, who enjoy sense pleasures, who practise the teaching, follow the instructions, have gone beyond doubt, free from uncertainties, gained fearless confidence, and independent of others, dwell in the teaching.”

Correct me if I’m wrong. In this verse, Lord Buddha clarifies to the venerable Vacchagotta that many lay people dressed in white and who live a celibate life are Anagami. I believe Lord Buddha meant about Anagarikas. I noticed that the venerable Vacchagotta clarified his questions. He seemed to have some form of basic knowledge of the Buddha Dhamma. He did not ask, for example, whether there were lay people who enjoyed the senses and who were Anagamis.

It Is evident that it is impossible to be Anagami and enjoy sensual pleasures. It is, therefore, obvious that all those who aspire to become Anagami will have to become Anagarika sooner or later.

A person cannot hope to be Anagami if he indulges in alcohol, sex, games, shows, and anything that highlights beauty (jewelry, makeup, beautiful clothes…) and extreme comfort of the body (a luxurious mattress is not necessary for sleeping) A simple mattress may be sufficient unless you have health problems that require this. This person must put the necessary causes so that the effect matures. I may want to be Anagami with the best intentions in the world. However, if the causes are not met, it would be impossible. The Sotāpanna and Sakadagamin stages are accessible regardless of whether one enjoys sensual pleasures (One must have a basic understanding of tilakkhana). The practice of the eight precepts is the best condition to reach the Anagami stage.

(Celibacy meant the absence of romantic and sexual attachment. I forget the name of this sutta, but it told the story of an Anagami who lived with his ex-wives and told them that from now on, they were no longer his wives but his sisters!)

It’s up to everyone to see what’s best for them. If a person does not feel ready to live with the eight precepts, that is completely okay. Reaching the sotāpanna stage is already an immeasurable blessing. The eight precepts are useless to reach the first two stages. However, one cannot obtain something with mere wishes. You have to put in the effort for the vipaka to take effect. Kamma is the intention, and vipaka is the effect. If I want to obtain kamma vipaka to be Anagami (this is valid for everything), I must have the required conditions.

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