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Gad
Participant

NANDIYA SAKKA SUTTA: DISCOURSE TO SAKYAN NANDIYA

On one occasion, the Buddha was residing at the Nigrodharama monastery near Kapilavatthu in the region of the Sakyans. One day Nandiya the Sakyan went to the Buddha, paid homage, and sat to one side.

As he was sitting to one side, he said to the Buddha:

“Venerable Sir, if a disciple of the noble ones lacks the four factors of Stream Entry in every way, is he a disciple of the noble ones who lives heedlessly?”

A Stream Enterer possesses four positive qualities or characteristics:

Unshakable confidence with wisdom (aveccappasada) in the Awakened One (Buddha)

Unshakable confidence with wisdom (aveccappasada) in the Buddha’s teaching (Dhamma)

Unshakable confidence with wisdom (aveccappasada) in the Buddhist Monastics (Sangha)

Unbroken and perfect morality that is pleasing to the Noble ones (Ariya kanta sila)] 

“Nandiya, someone who lacks these four factors of Stream Entry in every way, is an outsider who belongs with the ordinary persons. However, Nandiya, I will teach you how a disciple of the noble ones lives heedlessly and heedfully. Listen well and pay attention. I will speak.”

“Yes, Venerable Sir,” Nandiya the Sakyan replied. Then the Buddha Said:

“And how, Nandiya, does a disciple of the noble ones live heedlessly? There is a case where a disciple of the noble ones has unshakable confidence in the Awakened One: ‘Indeed, the Blessed One is worthy, a self-awakened Buddha, accomplished in knowledge and conduct, well gone, knower of the world, unexcelled as a trainer for those who wish to train, the Teacher of gods and human beings, awakened, blessed.’ He is content with that unshakable confidence in the Awakened One and does not make a further effort for solitude by day or seclusion by night. When he lives heedlessly like this, there is no joy in his mind. When there is no joy, there is no rapture. When there is no rapture, there is no tranquility. When there is no tranquility, there is suffering. When one is suffering, the mind does not become concentrated. When his mind is not concentrated, principles do not become clear. Because principles have not become clear, he is reckoned to live heedlessly.”

Me: Lord Buddha said the same for the other 3 qualities of a Sotāpanna.

“And how, Nandiya, does a disciple of the noble ones live heedfully? There is a case where a disciple of the noble ones has unshakable confidence in the Awakened One: ‘Indeed, the Blessed One is worthy and rightly self-awakened, consummate in knowledge and conduct, well gone, an expert about the world, unexcelled as a trainer for those people fit to be tamed, the Teacher of gods and human beings, awakened, blessed.’ Not content with that unshakable confidence in the Awakened One, he makes a further effort for solitude by day or seclusion by night. When he lives heedfully like this, there is joy in his mind. When there is joy, there is rapture. When there is rapture, there is tranquility. When there is tranquility, he is happy. When he is happy, the mind becomes concentrated. When the mind is concentrated, principles become clear. When principles have become clear, he is reckoned to live heedfully.”

I found this sutta particularly interesting and useful if one wants to know whether the sotāpanna stage is reached or not. What does Lord Buddha mean by Solitude? What is the deeper meaning of this concept here? We all know that to be sotapanna we don’t need to be isolated. While living a “normal” life one can grasp tilakkhana.