January 21, 2023 at 4:24 pm #42110DipobhasadhammaParticipant
The Pure Dhamma site covers an immense amount of specific information about the Dhamma. Each subject is linked to other subjects, which, of course, makes sense as everything is Dhamma. Of all of the Buddha’s teachings, which are considered the most important to learn. If a person were to learn anything about the Dhamma, what would be at the top of the list? For example: Clear understanding and comprehension of the First Noble Truth? Clear understanding and comprehension of dukkha, Paticca Samuppada , rebirth? Specifically, for one who is drawn to the Dhamma and comprehends the true nature of reality (thus a Sotapanna Magga Anugami), what are the top subjects that a Sotapanna (not a Sotapanna Magga Anugami) undertands? I believe that I understand that a Sotapanna Magga Anugami is on the path to where he can see the mountain. Upon arriving at the mountain, but perhaps not in full possession of the treasure of the mountain, the Sotapanna Magga Anugami thus becomes a Sotapanna.
January 21, 2023 at 7:15 pm #42112LalKeymaster
It is a good question.
The answer depends on the level of understanding of the person. One way to look at it is as follows.
1. There are two paths: mundane and lokuttara (Noble).
- One must complete the mundane eightfold path first. That means getting rid of the ten wrong views (miccha ditthi.) As long as one does not believe in kamma and their vipaka, the validity of the rebirth process, that there are living beings in other realms, etc., one does not have the necessary background to comprehend the Four Noble Truths/Paticca Samuppada/Tilakkhana.
- I keep wondering whether I need to add more posts on completing the mundane path. Relevant posts at “Moral Living and Fundamentals” and “Living Dhamma.”
- P.S. The importance of getting rid of miccha ditthi is discussed in “Micchā Diṭṭhi, Gandhabba, and Sōtapanna Stage.”
2. Once one gets rid of those wrong views, the next step is to be exposed to the correct explanations of our Noble Truths/Paticca Samuppada/Tilakkhana.
- The Noble Truths are about the suffering in the rebirth process, how that suffering arises due to attachment to worldly things (which people perceive as pleasures), and how to overcome that attachment by seeing the dangers of remaining in the rebirth process.
- That means understanding Paticca Samuppada (PS), which explains how one’s actions/mindset leads to different rebirths. In particular, understanding what types of actions (via apunna abhisankhara) lead to births in the apayas.
- Then, simultaneously, one would realize the anicca, dukkha, and anatta nature of this world of 31 realms.
So, yes, a Sotapanna Anugami starts on the Noble Path by getting a glimpse of that “deeper vision.” Once getting to that point, there is no turning back because the more one contemplates the nature of this world, the more one becomes convinced about the futility AND danger of remaining in the rebirth process.
That is one way to look at it. “Paṭicca Samuppāda, Tilakkhana, Four Noble Truths.”
Of course, there are always more details. We can discuss any suggestions.
January 21, 2023 at 8:05 pm #42113TripleGemStudentParticipant
– “If a person were to learn anything about the Dhamma, what would be at the top of the list?“
This is just from my own personal journey and experiences. At the beginning when I first started learning from this website, I was reading and learning whatever seem interesting to me at that time. I could say I was all over the place, but then I thought to myself that I should build a solid foundation understanding of the Buddha dhamma and should put more focus on certain teachings. What that meant to me at that time was focusing on the Tilakkhana, specifically on anicca, then onto dukkha and anatta. The amount of time and effort that I have put into learning and practicing the Tilakkhana is approximately anicca 50%, dukkha 35%, anatta 15%. I believe by learning / understanding the Tilakkaha, it would also help me with understanding of the other dhamma teachings as well, such as the four noble truths.
What helped me with learning and understanding the Tilakkhana besides reading / learning from the Puredhamma website is watching / learning from Venerable Waharaka Thero subtitled desana’s.
Even though I don’t understand what’s being said besides from the English subtitled, but listening to Venerable Waharaka Thero teach / speak increased my faith and confidence in I was learning from the right teachers / source (Venerable Waharaka Thero, Lal and others). I have mentioned this many times before, but I have never come across any dhamma teacher in my life that teaches / can teach like Venerable Waharaka Thero.
Another important dhamma teaching one should at least get the general idea is Paticca Samuppada. Initially one doesn’t need to know or understand everything about P.S. but very beneficial to at least get the general idea / understanding of it.
What’s mentioned and emphasized here on Puredhamma is that one should stay away from akusala kamma and initial kusala or moral / wholesome deeds as much as possible. From what I have seen you mentioned before about yourself, I’m sure you’re already doing this.
What I found to be beneficial on the path as well is to be flexible with one’s learning and contemplation. What this mean to me is that there are times when I want to focus on a specific dhamma teachings or subjects during contemplation or meditation. But at times no matter how hard I try or want to, nothing comes to mind or my mind doesn’t want to focus on certain dhamma teachings at that time. So I just keep trying to find a dhamma teaching that my mind is willing to latch onto at that moment and go from there. As well everyone has their own characteristic / traits of learning, there might be certain dhamma subjects / topics that’s more suitable to each individual learning at the time.
– “what are the top subjects that a Sotapanna (not a Sotapanna Magga Anugami) undertands?“
Without going into further details, a Sotapanna would know yoniso manasikara. See’s / understands this world as anicca, dukkha, anatta and nibbana as nicca, sukha, atta. Besides contemplating on the tilakkhana, I can’t stress enough the importance of focusing the mind on nibbana as well.
I haven’t / didn’t share everything that would completely answer your questions, but I’m sure others can mention additional insights / information that can benefit you.
January 21, 2023 at 8:09 pm #42115DipobhasadhammaParticipant
What I have discovered Lal:
- “Should a seeker not find a companion who is better or equal, let them resolutely pursue a solitary course.” Dhammapada 61
- Completion of the Noble Eightfold Path results in a persistent state of calmness, where nothing material and even mental pleasantries outside of the Dhamma seems attractive or desired.
- This leads to a kind of isolation, where gathering with others who are not inclined to the Dhamma holds no attraction. When I am in a situation where I find myself amongst such persons, there is a sense of detachment, as though I were not really there.
- Upon waking in the morning there are no other thoughts but the Dhamma. (Sometimes I have to remind myself to eat.)
- All I want to do is learn the Dhamma, teach the Dhamma, and learn the deeper things of the Buddha’s teachings.
- Is it somehow strange (healthy) that nothing else seems to matter anymore?
- Focus on the paramitas takes the front of the mind, and there is almost a tangible sense of Nibbana, and yet it seems far away.
- Ädeenava becomes a natural part of the mind. The name of the path becomes Ädeenava.
- I envision the path of the mountain simile as a one way trip. The path behind no longer exists, step by step, the path behind disappears. It is pointless to look at the path I have left behind.
- In one section of your site you state: “Anyone reading this website has been exposed to Buddha Dhamma in the past.” I know that this statement is true. Although I started on the path late in life, it now feels as though I never left…it seems all so familiar and natural. (https://puredhamma.net/three-levels-of-practice/moral-living-and-fundamentals/where-to-start-on-the-path/)
- Knowing: Knowing that I know is intense, wonderful, a bit scary, and has caused the feeling of detachment, dissatisfaction and dispassionate about the world at large.
That is what I have discovered.
January 22, 2023 at 6:22 am #42116LalKeymaster
TGS wrote: “Without going into further details, a Sotapanna would know yoniso manasikara. “
- Yes. This is the same as what I wrote in #2 in my comment above: “That means understanding Paticca Samuppada (PS), which explains how one’s actions/mindset leads to different rebirths.” That is why yoniso manasikara is one of the four conditions for attaining the Sotapanna stage.
- If one can understand the implications, one can start seeing why it is unfruitful/dangerous to seek sensual pleasures. The first step there is to see the dangers of engaging in immoral deeds seeking sensual pleasures, i.e., generating apunna abhisankhara (“avijja paccaya sankhara.“) That is when one starts seeing the anicca nature (and that it leads to dukkha and anatta.)
Dipobhasaddhamma: You seem to be on the Noble Path based on what you wrote. Of course, no one can vouch for anyone else’s attainments.
- Once one gets to the Anagami stage, there will be no doubts because no lustful thoughts can arise regardless of how strong a sensory input (arammana) is.
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