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How to detect Ariya's

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  • How to detect Ariya's

    Dear Bhante Brahmali,

    Is it possible to determine if someone (else) is a Stream-Enterer/Once-Returner/Non-Returner/Arahant, according to the Suttas? If so, I was wondering if you knew the name of such a Sutta?

    Also, what is your personal opinion about this?

    Thank you!

    Kind regards,


  • #2
    Dear Guy,

    The sutta I usually refer to on this topic is MN95, the Canki Sutta. Essentially what it says is that one should observe someone with regard to greed, hatred and delusion, and that one should place faith in someone if they are free of these defilements. Notice the responsibility one has for one's own faith/confidence - one should not just believe what others.

    With metta.


    • #3
      Thanks or your reply, Bhante!

      If an ordinary worldling has good Sila, then it might be hard to tell that they are not Ariya, right? Unless they display obvious wrong views.


      • #4
        Yes, sometimes it can be hard to tell. That's why several suttas state that we need to observe people closely over a long period of time before we make a commitment. Not only that, but we have to be wise ourselves to judge someone in this way. It's a high standard, but in the end we have to trust our own judgement. If we see someone being angry, then we have to assume that it is real anger and not dismiss our own observations just because other people claim he or she is an arahant. At the same time we need to be open to the possibility that we may have misunderstood or mis-observed. It's all a fine balance between humility and trusting one's own judgement.

        With metta.


        • #5
          Thank you for sharing your time and wisdom on this topic, Bhante.


          • #6
            This Sutta is relevant to this topic:



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