Reply To: Useful Essays from DRARISWORLD and Other Websites

#47318
Gad
Participant

Excuse me if I seem persistent and stubborn Sir.

I thought about these statements overnight. Saying that one can be sotāpanna for two sāsana contradicts the statement “A Lord Buddha is the first to discover the laws of nature in his time.” A sotāpanna has acquired knowledge of these laws. If so, then a Lord Buddha is not the first to discover these laws.

 

There is a Burmese monk who taught one of my masters. He said that there are two types of puthujunas those of good will and those who are mired in saṃsāra. Those of good will develop their paramis with a view to reaching a stage of magga phala in the near or distant future. They performed various meritorious deeds in sasanas of the past. These actions allowed them to avoid apāyas, for very long periods and to encounter a sasana where they would become ariyas.

 

All the 80 disciples and the many disciples who reached a stage of magga phala, during the time of Lord Buddha are examples. Arahant Anuruddha was king of devas for 30 kappa and 28 times kings of humans was not sotāpanna. It was these meritorious actions towards a Paccekabouddha Buddha that enabled him to avoid apayas and encounter the Dhamma.

 

The puthujunas who reside most of the time in the apayas are those who do not make any effort to develop the paramis and kusulas. They are fully mired in saṃsāra.

Some are in both. They perform anantariya kamma but they have done kusalas which will lead them to the state of arahant. Arahant Maha Mogallana committed anantariya kamma(He killed his parents in a past life. He suffered for a long time in Niraya hell, before seeing the Dhamma.). However, he quickly attained the state of arahant and became one of the main disciples of Lord Buddha, thanks to his kusalas. King Ajatasattu and Devadatta fall into this category. They both committed anantariya kammas but will become paccekabuddha.

 

Ajātasattu

According to the Digha Commentary, (i.237-8) Ajātasattu was born in the Lohakumbhiya niraya after his death. He will suffer there for 60,000 years, and later will reach nibbana as a Pacceka Buddha named Viditavisesa (Vijitāvī). Ajātasattu’s crime of parricide is often given as an example of an upacchedaka-kamma which has the power of destroying the effect of meritorious deeds (E.g., AA.i.369). He is also mentioned as the worst kind of parricide (E.g. AA.i.335).

 

Devadatta,

As his end drew near, he wished to see the Buddha, though the latter had declared that it would not be possible in this life. Devadatta, however, started the journey on a litter, but on reaching Jetavana, he stopped the litter on the banks of the pond and stepped out to wash. The earth opened and he was swallowed up in Avīci, where, after suffering for one hundred thousand kappas, he would be reborn as a Pacceka Buddha called Atthissara. (The Saddharmapundarika (chap.xi.) says he will be a Buddha named Devarāja). It is said (DhA.i.147; see also Mil.108) that at the moment of being swallowed by the earth, Devadatta uttered a stanza in which he declared that he had no refuge other than the Buddha. It is this last act of Devadatta’s which the Buddha had in view when he agreed to ordain Devadatta. (He was one of five people who were swallowed by the earth in the Buddha’s time. Mil.101).

 

Devadatta although he fell into hell, performed meritorious deeds. He paid homage to Lord Buddha, towards the end of his life. The Buddha said that Devadatta will soon attain enlightenment as Paccekabuddha named Atthissara, after his punishment in the apayas.

Imagine going from hell to the paccekabouddha stage. All this by the simple fact of having sincerely paid homage to Lord Buddha. A paccekabuddha is the second supreme person after a SammāsamBuddha. They are far superior to the arahants. It is said that “even 100 arahants like Sariputta and Maha Mogallana are not worth the qualities of a paccakabuddha”. They can achieve enlightenment as quickly as people like arahant Santati and Bahiya. Not only do they attain enlightenment, but also all jhanas and supernormal powers.

It’s pretty incredible!! Devadatta was in the worst bhava of Samsarā and here he ends his last life in glory.

It was just an aside to support my point. The kusulas that we accumulate do not lead us directly to magga phala. It can take eons, as in the case of Devadatta.

 

This affirmation also contradicts the statement that “The sasana will disappear when the last jati sotāpanna dies. As soon as the relics of Lord Buddha disappear there are no ariyas remaining in the kāma loka. The only ariyas remaining are those living in the five pure abodes of the anagamis (These are the ariyas with several Lord Buddha).

THE DURATION OF GOTAMA SASANA (DISPENSATION

The Buddha said that after his parinibbaana, only for 1,000 years can monks acquire analytical knowledge (Patisambhida), or what we call Arahanthship or profound knowledge. Then, over time, they will only be able to reach Anagami (Non Returner). And then only Sakadagami (Once returned), and finally, only Sotapanna (Entered the flow). With the death of the last disciple who reached Sotapanna, the achievements will disappear.

 

With these examples I don’t think it is possible for a sotāpanna from the past sāsana to arise in a new one. A sotāpanna will reach Nibbāna much earlier. If this sotāpanna becomes an anagami brahma then it is okay. But in all cases, the kāma loka is empty of ariya before the arrival of a Buddha Lord.