Mental State/Demeanor of a Sotapanna

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    • #15192
      Embodied
      Spectator

      Hi,

      If you were to define a Sotapanna by describing his/her demeanour and mental state in everyday life how would you describe it ?

      Thanks
      With metta

    • #15206
      Akvan
      Participant

      Hi Embodied,

      No one except a Buddha would know for certain if one were a sotapanna or not. Sometimes not even that person would know if he was a sotapanna himself.

      There were sotapannas who were married and had 5-7 kids, some married to hunters, others who were kings, princes, princesses, millionaires, businessmen and even prostitutes. So one will never be able to know by one’s behaviour.

    • #15208
      Embodied
      Spectator

      Hi Akvan,

      Thanks for your input. Now :social statute it’s one thing, behaviour it’s another (imo).But agree with the fact that only a Buddha can see thoroughly through.Still,such shouldn’t prevent one of making a “clear” picture of what a Sotapanna might be, it’s a matter of motivation.
      Of course there is the link “How does one know wether the Sotapanna stage is reached”(which i still didn’t read) but i think it’s also important to get there by using one’s own words.
      So basically to me a Sotapanna is someone that :
      Is unceasingly aware (sati) of the Path, that has reasonably understood Tilakhanna based upon PureDhamma definition but also – i.e. – in terms of dhamma (phenomenon) “rise (jati) & fall”.
      He is aware of the fact that there is a kammic tendency to cling (crystallization) to phenomenon when they are in its rising phase.
      He’s aware of and watches over his khanda, he still has asavas & correspondent anusaya BUT he is not a slave of them – he do his best to apply khaia, to improve his gati.
      The Sotapanna strives for an healthy body (kaya) and acute mental faculties yet without getting obsessed by such.
      He is sober about every thing body related – food, sexuality, he commands it instead of being a puppet in the hands of Mara.

      Just some points,of course there is much more to it.

    • #15209
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Embodied asked: “If you were to define a Sotapanna by describing his/her demeanour and mental state in everyday life how would you describe it ?”

      I have changed the title of the topic to state clearly what the topic is about: “Mental State/Demeanor of a Sotapanna”.

      It is a good question, but always try to make the title meaningful and descriptive too.

      Sotapanna is the first stage of Nibbana, which by definition is “ragakkhaya, dosakkhya, mohakkhaya” or “removal of greed, hate, ignorance from one’s mind”.
      – At the first stage of Sotapanna, one would removed the panca nivarana: kamaccanda, vyapda, thinamiddha, uddacca kukkucca, vicikicca. These are what “covers” one’s mid and makes one CAPABLE of doing apayagami actions under extreme conditions.
      – When pancanivarana are removed PERMANENTLY, one starts experiencing a change at least over time, lessening of the burden on the mind. Desire to enjoy sense pleasure is likely to continue unless one makes rapid progress. Stopping the rebirth process does not happen until the Arahant stage, but the sense of well-being starts actually at the Sotapanna Anugami stage.

      The main thing that happens is a drastic change in one’s world view. Even though one may still enjoy sense pleasures, one has clearly seen the fruitlessness and even dangers in attaching to sense pleasures. One will definitely not do any apayagami actions even spontaneously (and that is the key). So, the first thing is a change of mindset.

      Outward appearances is more tricky.
      Akvan said: “There were sotapannas who were married and had 5-7 kids, some married to hunters, others who were kings, princes, princesses, millionaires, businessmen and even prostitutes.”

      That is correct. One cannot recognize a Sotapanna by his/her outward appearance. However, what Akvan cited above were the exceptions rather than the norm. They of course make a point: One’s outward appearances could be deceiving.
      – One would normally become more “settled down” and “more responsible”. That could be sensed by one’s close family/friends. Certainly, the person him/her self would realize the change at least over time.

      • #15222
        Embodied
        Spectator

        Thank you very much Lal. In my answer to Akvan there are alot of strictly personal insights in my own language whereas your answer gives me a solid basis for evolving. Or at least for a serious try…

    • #15938
      Alay
      Participant

      Hi,
      How should an individual who is “on the path to Nibbana” respond in the following situations?

      A person blatantly breaks the law (could be stealing from a Supermarket, a home-invasion / breakin or could be in a parking lot where they crash another vehicle and take off etc..)

      Should the individual take any form of action or should they ignore the breaking of the law and drop the thoughts and move on? If they were to take some form of action (i.e. speak to the Manager about the stealing or speak to the owner of the house / damaged vehicle) does that belong to “dosakaya” or should any action taken be purely based on the rule of law with no dosa involved towards the law-breaker?

    • #15945
      Lal
      Keymaster

      A Sotapanna would act exactly the same a law-abiding, normal person would act.

      The key is think about what kind of mental factors are likely to arise in such a person acting as a “good samaritan” or a “good neighbor”.

      How can dosa arise in such a person who is trying to prevent a wrong doing? Law-breaking is almost always immoral. Preventing that is a good thing. Of course, there are limits to one can do. At least notifying the appropriate authorities can be done.

    • #15947
      Alay
      Participant

      Thank you Lal.
      I guess one should not have anger towards the person who is committing wrong (i.e. in most cases, we get angry seeing such actions and as a result, we take some action).

    • #15949
      Lal
      Keymaster

      It could be anger initially, and with more understanding of Dhamma, one realizes that those people commit such actions out of ignorance. One feels bad about them too, since they are destined to suffer so much due to such actions.

      So, yes. There could be some anger involved too, but overall one will have more “good thoughts”, especially after taking action. Humans have an innate understanding of what is right and what is wrong. So, many times, people do the right thing instinctively.

    • #15981
      Alay
      Participant

      Thank you Lal.

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