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Questions on Stream-Winning

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  • Abhishek Venkatesh
    started a topic Questions on Stream-Winning

    Questions on Stream-Winning

    Dear Ajahn Brahmali,

    How is it the case that a stream-winner can stay as a lay person whereas someone who is a monk who has renounced more in a worldy sense may not have attained to stream winning?

    Also the 3 fetters that the stream winner abandons seems to be more focused on the abandoning of the delusion, and not so much to do with greed and hatred. So for this reason should a practitioner focus more on abandoning delusion more that the other 2? I'm assuming that all the 3 are inter-linked and the reduction of one of the them influences the reduction in the other two.

    So what is the proper balance as to how much effort we need to put towards each of these three.
    Hatred being the more destructive one, has to be worked with higher priority.
    Among Greed and Delusion, which one of them needs to be worked on more?

    With Metta.

  • Abhishek Venkatesh
    replied
    Thank You Venerable Ajahn Brahmali for that reply.

    With Metta.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ajahn Brahmali
    replied
    Dear Abhishek,

    Remember that overcoming sensuality and ill will is actually done by practicing the eightfold path - jhāna is only the last step on that path. As you practice the path, you gradually reduce the defilements. It is only after you have removed these defilements that attaining jhāna becomes possible. So the purpose of jhāna is not so much to remove the defilements as it is to make the removal stable. After jhāna the mind is empowered and it takes a long time before the hindrances re-arise (see MN68). It is this stabilizing quality that makes the jhānas so important.

    Are there any other states of samādhi with a similar effect to the jhānas? The four brahmavihāras ("divine abidings"), when fully developed, will have a similar effect. The three samādhis known as suññata-samādhi, appaṇihita-samādhi and animitta-samādhi may also work in this way. But in the suttas it is the jhānas that are the preeminent form of samādhi, and for this reason it is the jhānas that one should aim for.

    With metta.

    Leave a comment:


  • Abhishek Venkatesh
    replied
    Thank you for your reply, Venerable Ajahn Brahmali. I have a few more questions.

    Originally posted by Ajahn Brahmali View Post
    But the point is that you need to temporarily overcome sensuality and ill will to be able to achieve stream-entry.
    I'm assuming when you say temporary overcoming of sensuality and ill-will, that it is done only after a Jhana or by somebody who has practiced Jhanas in previous lives and just needs an uplifting of the mind through talk on dana, sila, heavens. Are there any other ways of temporarily overcoming of sensuality and ill-will?

    With Metta.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ajahn Brahmali
    replied
    Dear Abhishek,

    I think a large part of this has to do with a person's responsibilities. Some people already have a family when they come across the Dhamma, or they have old parents they need to look after. The classic story from the suttas is that of Ghatikara who is a non-returner but who cannot take ordination because his parents need him (MN81). Another part may have to do with character trait and inclination. But as a rule, the further along the path one is, the more likely it is that one will be ordained.

    You are making a good point about stream-entry having more to do with abandoning delusion than ill will and sensuality. The full abandoning of sensuality and anger only happens for the non-returner. But the point is that you need to temporarily overcome sensuality and ill will to be able to achieve stream-entry. Thus your efforts should be put towards abandoning these two, while being fully aware that it is only a temporary abandonment. Once one has achieved stream-entry (based on this temporary abandonment), one should practice further for the full and permanent abandoning of sensuality and ill will. But just getting to stream-entry in this life is a magnificent achievement! Even this much is very rare.

    With metta.

    Leave a comment:

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