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Stream entry in a previous life

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  • Stream entry in a previous life

    This question has been bothering me for quite some time. I know part of it is from ego but I feel it's also intellectual for me, as I have done my best to set aside my ego. If someone achieved stream entry in a previous life will they, in their current life, be reborn with all the knowledge achievement and attainment from their previous life or do they grow back into it so to speak. I feel they will be born with certain tendencies but it won't be until later on in life that they will realize what they did in their previous life in which they acquired stream entry. From there they will further progress until the end of their current life. Please explain if my idea is wrong. To further explain I feel the person will have the knowledge of nonself but not the realization,the insight that is deeper than knowledge until later on in life.

  • #2
    Hi Dustin,

    It seems the Buddha was quiet on the matter, since the suttas don't say anything about reborn stream winners. So unless one is one such a person oneself--and knows one is without a doubt by remembering the past life and the event of stream entry vividly--one can't really give an in depth reply to this question. And I'd say such persons are extremely rare.

    But it's quite clear to me why the Buddha didn't mention this, for two reasons:

    The first is that most stream winners will, I feel, not be reborn as humans. Stream winners have the wisdom and virtue to be reborn in the higher realms, and will not often be reborn a human again. Especially nowadays when there is no Buddha alive to teach, there is no real reason for them to be reborn as a human, other than perhaps some strong bad karma or strong sensual attachments.

    Secondly--and this is not just my feeling but generally accepted--stream winners don't really need instructions anymore. They have no doubts about the dhamma, and therefore all questions they may have are practical questions. That means questions on how to develop the path more quickly, not on how to get on the path, or on whether they are on it or not. Therefore, it would have been a waste of the Buddha's time to explain these things. And for that reason I will also not share my ideas on the matter. It will only be more theory for people that has little if any practical use. Those who are stream winners don't need to be told, and those who are not stream winners have nothing to gain by it!

    It should be clear, though, that a born stream winner won't be your average kid. Many kids are very virtuous, but on top of that stream winners also have very little fear, especially when it comes to death, and have a bunch of other characteristics that most kids don't share.

    With metta,
    Sunyo
    Last edited by Bhikkhu Sunyo; 22nd-October-2017, 09:39 AM.

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