Does A Sotāpanna Have Perfect Sila?

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    • #15270
      Johnny_Lim
      Participant

      In accordance to the 5 precepts:

      1. Panatipata veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
        I undertake the precept to refrain from destroying living creatures.
      2. Adinnadana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
        I undertake the precept to refrain from taking that which is not given.

      3. Kamesu micchacara veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
        I undertake the precept to refrain from sexual misconduct.

      4. Musavada veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
        I undertake the precept to refrain from incorrect speech.

      5. Suramerayamajja pamadatthana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
        I undertake the precept to refrain from intoxicating drinks and drugs which lead to carelessness.

      Under precept #4, which encompasses the 4 vaci sankhāra of lying, harsh speech, slandering, and idle chatter. Can a lay person Sotāpanna really avoid idle chatter? He or she has to work for a living and it is impossible to avoid idle chatter completely. If that is the case, does it meanthe statement ‘a Sotāpanna has perfect sila’ is untrue? If I remember correctly, there was an account of a lay person in the sutta who had a foul mouth. He used to talk harshly to his employees. But the Buddha proclaimed him to be a Sotāpanna. He himself doubted it. Saying, how can he be a Sotāpanna when his temper is so bad. So, it’s very clear from this account that a Sotāpanna does not have perfect sila.

      Any comments, please?

    • #15276
      Embodied
      Spectator

      Hi Johnny,

      “Can a lay person Sotāpanna really avoid idle chatter? ”
      i’m trying it hard and i’m appreciating the results. It helps to silence the monkey/noisy mind, triggers “cooling down”, allows energy-saving and stimulates sati. It’s worth it, thus.

      Which doesn’t mean either that i don’t say a word all day…

      • #15284
        Johnny_Lim
        Participant

        Hi Embodied,

        I have heard of some monks who place small quantity of water in their mouths to deter them from talking!

    • #15280
      Anonymous

      Lal has said in many posts that one does not stop all dosa akusala until one is an Arahant. Remember vaci sankhara is not only speech outloud, but conscious talking in the mind. Until manosankhara stops, it’s very challenging not to talk frivolously (talk w/o content or meaning) in the head.

      What helps is analyzing the potential speech (outloud or in the mind) of how you may be hurting another or yourself. Frivolous talk sets the example that’s it’s acceptable and leads to bigger immoral acts (ie, gossip, slander, etc). What you don’t know about another person is what causes them to suffer.

      Many like to talk about the weather, how bad it’s going to be. Some people have fears about severe weather and do all kinds of strange preparations for the possibility and suffer from mental agitation. So, weather which seems so mundane to one causes another to suffer and that’s immoral.

      If what you have to say has meaning and useful (content to get a job done), then that’s not immoral as lay person. As a bhikkhu(ni), most talk that is relevant to one’s job is Dhamma, the most meaningful talk possible.

      Donna

    • #15283
      Johnny_Lim
      Participant

      Hi Donna,

      Thanks for the reminder that vaci sankhara is also our silent chatter in the head!

    • #15288
      Embodied
      Spectator

      Hi

      Y not said (at least in my email):

      “At other times, minutes go by, we are not aware, we just get carried away.”

      Precisely and that’s why it’s necessary to train what i would call “basic background awareness”. The more one trains it, the more one will be able to stop vacisankhara on-the-spot and /or move on to beneficial anapana-sati according Pure Dhamma.

      Metta

    • #15290
      y not
      Participant

      Thank you Embodied.

      My post does not show. It disappeared (to me, at least) after I had edited to correct the format. I am surprised somewhat that it was there for you to read.

      y not

    • #15291
      Lal
      Keymaster

      y not said:”My post does not show. It disappeared (to me, at least) after I had edited to correct the format. I am surprised somewhat that it was there for you to read.”

      You have not read the following WARNING I had put out:

      March 23, 2018: Do not try to edit posts older than an hour! It will get DELETED. Just make a new reply with what you want to revise.

      This is the way the bb Press software (that runs this discussion forum) is setup. Please keep this in mind.

      I was occupied most of yesterday. I will try to comment today or tomorrow. Y not can post his comment again if he wants to.

      • #15298
        Anonymous

        Lal made the recommendation to write your posts in another word processing application (Word or text editor) b/c if you take an hour to compose it on the forum editor, the clock is ticking. So, you when press “Submit”, see an error, click edit, fix it and press “Submit” again, it’s gone. You’ve expired the hour time limit.

        Or you could copy and paste your text into an editor, just in case it disappears.

        Also, to cut down on the amount of server space for this forum, unclick the the checkbox that saves the edits you’ve made. Unless they’re very important, it just takes up extra storage space and cost Lal more for his hosting.

        Lal, I would like to make a donation to this site and your efforts. Please can you setup Venmo or PayPal account to accept donations? Or any other convenient method.

        With metta,
        Donna

        • #15309
          Lal
          Keymaster

          Thanks, Donna, for various suggestions for improvements.

          I saw that I could remove the option for a user to leave log of different edits. I have removed that option. For all: Please keep in mind that a given post can be edited only within an hour of posting.

          Thank you, Donna, also for the offer to make donations. That is not necessary, but I appreciate your kindness. You have helped in many ways, including the suggestion above.

          The best way to contribute to the efforts of this website is to “spread the Pure Dhamma” to as many as possible, but only to those whom you know could be interested in Buddha Dhamma.

    • #15292
      y not
      Participant

      thanks Lal:

      I edited only after about a minute or two at most. AND going back to the list of replies and voices, it said ‘ y not …minutes ago) but my post did not show.
      So perhaps you will need to revise your warning, if it be not a one-off.

      y not

      ….and it is still not showing. Just checking wether NOW it disappears too.

      …No it has not. Must have been a one-off indeed.

      • #15296
        Johnny_Lim
        Participant

        I encountered the same issue. Nowadays I just post once without editing. Because once I go back and edit my post (within minutes) and re-post it, the post will be lost. Also, if you try to copy the whole message and save it somewhere, thinking of using it later if the post is lost, it won’t work.

    • #15297
      y not
      Participant

      Thank you johnny:

      (for Lal’s attention as well)

      Actually that is what I did. Retrieved my post going back to the Google history entry, pasted, copied and hit submit. The wonder was that then it said’duplicate’ ‘already submitted’ . Submitted, yes, but still it did not show.

      y not

    • #15301
      Anonymous

      Here’s y not’s post from April 21, 11:53PM that got deleted.

      y not wrote:

      It is difficult. It the what we are here for, the assignment all of
      us have to take on sooner or later.

      It is difficult because vaci sankhara is not easy to control; at times a thought trend comes on, and if we become aware of it, we try to stop it there and then. At other times, minutes go by, we are not aware, we just get carried away.

      And as far as the outer version of it goes, as opposed to meaningful and beneficial talk, 80% of all conversations among men centre around business/investment,slander with visible malevolent undertones at he base of it and useless chatter. Women are more pragmatic, more ‘grounded’ into their immediate day-to-day realities. This gives no opportunity to say something useful and meaningful (even here women are more open to this than men ) so one keeps silence.

      So the outward side of it is not that difficult for me. I talk little by nature, at times too little (to my own detriment) It is the ‘conscious
      talking in the mind’ which I have to grapple with.

      Thank you Inflib for bringing this up.

      y not

    • #15304
      y not
      Participant

      Inflib:

      ..and thanks once more. I did try to re-post. You read my
      intention.

      Metta

      y not

    • #15305
      y not
      Participant

      Lal has said in several posts that a human bhava comes with its duration embedded in it,as it were, say 1000 years etc, say, 12 Jatis or so.

      Now say someone attains the Sotapanna stage while in, say, the third Jati of a human Bhava. Does that mean that he will not attain the next stage, the Sakadagami stage, until he has lived through however many human Jatis are left in that Bhava, in order to ‘conform’ to and use up the anticipated lenght of that Bhava? Is he prevented?

      Or, put another way,say he does attain the Sakadagami stage in that third Jati, will he still have to come back here until the human Bhava is exhausted before he ‘appears’ in a Deva realm?

      y not

      • #15311
        Lal
        Keymaster

        y not said: “.. put another way,say he does attain the Sakadagami stage in that third Jati, will he still have to come back here until the human Bhava is exhausted before he ‘appears’ in a Deva realm?”

        Bhava could be broken while in the middle of it.
        – First is to realize that if one attains Arahanthood, no more birth in any realm when the current human physical body dies.
        – If one attains the Sakadagami stage, the next birth would NOT be in the human realm, but in the deva realm.
        – Even when one attains an anariya jhana, one’s next birth would be in a brahma realm. But of course, one would come back to the human realm in the future, and may even be reborn in the apayas.
        – If a Sotapanna attains an Ariya jhana, he/she will be born in a brahma realm and WILL NOT come back to human realm or even deva realm.

        So, there are various situations that one can analyze. It may take some time for all this to become clear. One needs to keep reading relevant posts (and keep contemplating, not just reading).

        • #15462
          Johnny_Lim
          Participant

          Hi Lal,

          “If a Sotapanna attains an Ariya jhana, he/she will be born in a brahma realm and WILL NOT come back to human realm or even deva realm.”

          Does this Sotāpanna need to maintain his Ariya jhana until the last moments before death in order to be reborn in Brahma realm? If this Sotāpanna has attained Ariya jhana once in this lifetime and he does not practise meditation anymore for the rest of his life, will he still get reborn into the Brahma realm?

          • #15463
            Lal
            Keymaster

            Hi Johnny,

            No. There is no need to “maintain” an Ariya jhana; once attained, it is never lost.

            The reason is that, for example, in the first Ariya jhana kama raga anusaya is removed. So, there is no way for kama raga to EVER come back to that mind. Therefore, it is a PERMANENT change.

            On the other hand, kama raga is only SUPPRESSED when one attains anariya jhana (anusaya is still there). Even during that lifetime itself kama raga can come back, and one could lose the anariya jhana.

            However, if one dies with the first anariya jhana intact, then one will be born in the corresponding brahma realm. Again, he/she will come back to human realm and can go to apayas too.

            • #15502
              Johnny_Lim
              Participant

              Hi Lal,

              If a Sotāpanna attains the first Ariya jhana, he is essentially an Anagami already, right?

              Your post Power of the Human Mind – Ariya Jhanas has mentioned…

              “9. One gets to the first Ariya jhāna by removing (uccēda pahāna) kama raga, whereas one can get to the first anariya jhāna by suppressing (vikkhambana pahāna) kāma rāga. Therefore, one will be an Anāgami by the time one gets to the first Ariya jhāna.”

              But what if the meditator has completely removed kama raga but not patigha? Does it qualify him as a Sakadagami?

              • #15503
                Lal
                Keymaster

                I guess that is possible.

                However, kama raga and patigha go together, just like dosa (dvesha) is the second manifestation of lobha (in simple terms, one gets angry because he/she is not getting what is desired).

                So, it is more likely that kama raga and patigha are removed at the same time.

    • #15306
      Lal
      Keymaster

      What is seela (sila) or moral conduct?

      1. When one becomes a Sotapanna, two important things happens to ones’ mind:
      2. One becomes “sanditthiko or “san” + “ditthiko” or “one who has seen “san” to some extent (enough to avoid apayagami citta from automatically arising under ANY circumstance).
        – Because of that now one can avoid worst defilements that could make one eligible to be born in the apayas. Then one is said to have attained “sanvara, or “san” + “vara”, meaning “warding off san” or “ability to stay away from san”. Sanvara in both Pali and Sinhala therefore, mean “being moral because one has seen san”.
        – This is why the Buddha said, “sanvaratttena seelan” or “one becomes moral by removing “san” or defilements”. To put it another way, this means staying away from dasa akusala.

      3. This is why “san” is such a key word; see, “What is “San”? Meaning of Sansāra (or Samsāra)“.
      4. – The ability to see “san” (defilements of greed, hate, ignorance that come to one’s mind) increases significantly when one starts comprehending Tilakkhana, i.e., at the Sotapanna stage.

      5. Of course, these are only the first stages of “sanditthiko” and “sanvara” attained at the Sotapanna stage. One gets to higher magga phala, will “see san” even better (sanditthiko), and thus become more moral or “sanvara”.
      6. – When one gets to the Arahant stage, one has become fully “sanditthiko” and one is at the highest possible moral standards.

      7. Today, people are judged by their outward appearances. If one talks slowly, walks slowly, one is ASSUMED to have high moral standards.
      8. – On the other hand, a Sotapanna may run if needed, may even talk a bit harshly (not with malice), to get a point across to someone who “is slow to get it”, etc.
        – I know people who write nice words, but I can sense their malice in the way they write.

      9. Anyway, this is the basic idea. As one makes progress on the Ariya Path, one is AUTOMATICALLY prevented from doing dasa akusala, first at strong levels (capable of leading to births in the apayas) at the Sotapanna stage; then eventually rebirth at any realm in this world at the Arahant stage. Thus, only an Arahant will have “perfect sila“.
        – Of course, one MUST forcefully stay away from any dasa akusala when one realizes one is about to do one. If one realizes that one just did such an act, one must make a determination to avoid it next time. That is how one makes progress.
        – Feel free to ask more questions if further clarifications are needed.
      • #15314
        Embodied
        Spectator

        “he ability to see “san” (defilements of greed, hate, ignorance that come to one’s mind) increases significantly when one starts comprehending Tilakkhana, i.e., at the Sotapanna stage.”

        Yes and what works more effectively in my case is the bhavana on the outcomes of anatta.

    • #15310
      y not
      Participant

      I may have just found the answer in the desana ‘Suffering in this life-according to Paticcasamuppada’, (10′ 15″ to 10′ 59″) but that refers specifically to those who attain Jhanas in a human Bhava (they appear in the appropriate realm immediately after the death of the body in which they experienced that or those Jhanas)

      y not

    • #15313
      y not
      Participant

      Thanks Lal:

      As you see, I had come across the desana on suffering probably as you were writing your reply.

      ‘One needs to keep reading relevant posts (AND KEEP CONTEMPLATING, not just reading)’ I find I am spending much more time contemplating, even when I am engaged in other matters, outdoors or indoors.

      One thing that I was reminded of a few days ago: I heard the sms bleep on my mobile and at once SENSED ‘this is someone who does not text me often’.It turned out to be a woman from France whom I had met about 10 years ago and with whom there is no contact for long stretches of time, sometimes years. Someone she was attached to and who I too had met had died. About 8 years ago she sms’d me ‘out of the blue’ asking whether I was alright, and something HAD just happened to me ( I cannot recall what for sure). That is, now SHE had the sensation of an event having to do with me. In the second case I had it (because I felt too that probably it was not good news).

      Where do these hunches come from? What is the source? Is it the gandhabba of the other sending a message, or one’s own, or some ‘one’ else?

      thank you

      y not

    • #15454
      y not
      Participant

      Hello all:

      Does anyone have a clue as to who/what is at work (my post 23rd April) last 2 para’s. perhaps someone has had similar experiences; does not have to be an answer

      thanks

      y not

    • #15468
      Anonymous

      Hello y not,

      Your answer is here in this YouTube video at about minute 7:30 (https://youtu.be/gUyqfUut8lA). I recommend reading Lal’s post Quantum Entanglement – We Are All Connected to get a taste of quantum mechanics. The above video and the other short video (https://youtu.be/X93XMwOG66E) in this post ties it all together.

      Enjoy,
      Donna

    • #15475
      y not
      Participant

      Hello there Donna:

      Will go through those soon. I just want to thank you even
      before doing that, just for taking the time.

      I will let you know later

      metta

      y not

    • #16076
      y not
      Participant

      Lal:

      ‘Anyway, this is the basic idea. As one makes progress on the Ariya Path, one is AUTOMATICALLY prevented from doing dasa akusala, first at strong levels (capable of leading to births in the apayas) at the Sotapanna stage;
      ‘Of course, one MUST forcefully stay away from any dasa akusala when one realizes one is about to do one. If one realizes that ONE JUST DID SUCH AN ACT, one must make a determination to avoid it next time.’ Your post, April 22, #5

      What of the kamma vipaka generated by akusala 1) done BEFORE setting out on the Path and 2)by the ones while on the Path? Will that determination to avoid it in the future be in itself of any direct consequence in preventing it coming to the fore at the cuti-patisandhi moment? How is that to be prevented in both cases ? Is frequent Ariya Metta Bhavana, or anything else, advised?

      Here I am reminded of the instance where Angulimala had killed a thousand people, yet still attained Arahanthood.

      Thank you.

      y not

    • #16094
      Lal
      Keymaster

      @y not: Your questions are probably answered in the comment that I just posted in “Anantariya Kamma, Euthanasia and Assisted Suicides“.

      If not, feel free to ask any remaining questions.

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