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Why not? ( Theravadic perspective)

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Why not? ( Theravadic perspective) Sithum Lalinda Rajakaruna 6/17/10 2:13 PM
RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective) Nikolai . 6/17/10 4:44 PM
RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective) Sithum Lalinda Rajakaruna 6/17/10 11:43 PM
RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective) Nikolai . 6/18/10 7:42 AM
RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective) Sithum Lalinda Rajakaruna 6/18/10 11:03 AM
RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective) Yadid dee 6/18/10 11:10 AM
RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective) Sithum Lalinda Rajakaruna 6/18/10 12:34 PM
RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective) J Adam G 6/18/10 7:51 PM
RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective) Bruno Loff 6/18/10 12:07 PM
RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective) Sithum Lalinda Rajakaruna 6/18/10 12:46 PM
RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective) Nicky 1/14/16 2:44 PM
RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective) Nicky 1/14/16 2:27 PM
RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective) Jackson Wilshire 7/7/10 11:01 AM
RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective) Anon Anon 6/17/10 8:26 PM
RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective) This Good Self 6/17/10 11:13 PM
RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective) Sithum Lalinda Rajakaruna 6/17/10 11:42 PM
RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective) This Good Self 6/17/10 11:56 PM
RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective) Clayton James Lightfoot 6/18/10 1:49 AM
RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective) Nikolai . 6/18/10 7:17 AM
RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective) Bruno Loff 6/18/10 4:00 AM
RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective) Clayton James Lightfoot 6/18/10 5:05 AM
RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective) Dan K 6/18/10 9:11 PM
RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective) Sithum Lalinda Rajakaruna 6/18/10 11:36 PM
RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective) Daniel M. Ingram 7/3/10 12:25 AM
RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective) Chuck Kasmire 7/4/10 7:25 PM
RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective) This Good Self 7/5/10 9:10 PM
RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective) Chuck Kasmire 7/7/10 10:37 AM
RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective) This Good Self 7/7/10 8:04 PM
RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective) ANNA AIYAR 1/8/16 7:15 PM
RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective) Nicky 1/14/16 2:58 PM
RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective) Nicky 1/14/16 3:02 PM
RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective) Nicky 1/14/16 3:06 PM
RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective) Chuck Kasmire 1/14/16 8:20 PM
RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective) Nicky 1/14/16 9:11 PM
RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective) Chuck Kasmire 1/15/16 6:06 PM
RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective) Nicky 1/17/16 7:03 PM
RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective) ANNA AIYAR 1/18/16 1:41 AM
RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective) CJMacie 1/31/16 5:43 AM
RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective) Nicky 1/31/16 9:09 PM
RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective) josh 1/30/16 8:52 AM
RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective) svmonk 1/30/16 9:37 PM
RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective) CJMacie 1/31/16 6:05 AM
Why not? ( Theravadic perspective)
stream entry pure righteousness sri lanka theravada truth
Answer
6/17/10 2:13 PM
Dear Followers of the Gautama Buddha,

I'm a Sri lankan Buddhist following the theravadic tradition.

I'll get straight to the point;

I once personally inquired a respected and a famous monk in Sri Lanka, on the subject of stream entry, and why real ''Stream enterers' never openly admits his achievement, Because I always wondered what's wrong in doing so.

The venerable sir responded by explaining that its for the own good of the public. At first I couldn't fathom this logic, So i asked him to explicate this matter further.

I'll try to recall his answer to the best of my ability.

He said ' Ok, lets say that person is actually a stream enterer ( A person who has firmly and undoubtedly established himself on the Noble eight fold path), and he openly claims that he is a 'Sotapanna'. The public, on the receiving end of this communication
will accept or reject this message,depending on his or hers personal interpretation. Those who reject and develop 'Dvesha'( Hatred) towards this Stream enterer, i.e. calling him a fraud, will gain astronomical amounts of bad karma, because it's an immense 'Akusala'( un-wholesome thought) to formulate 'Dvesha' towards a stream enterer or any other noble person (Sakadagami (Once returner), Anagami (Non- returner) and Arahant (Fully enlightened). Therefore, because of the loving kindness towards them, he would not openly announce his achievement'.

Fair enough, so how would a person know for sure whether he is actually a Stream enterer?

First up, If you are not sure, then i'm afraid you are not one. We know when we have a cold, and we 'Know' when we are cured. Like wise a Sotapanna realizes that he has abandoned the following three characteristics.

1. "Sakkaya ditti'- Existence of a self in the Five aggregates.
2. ''Vichikichcha'- Doubtfulness of the Buddha and his teachings.
3. ''Seelabbhatha paraamaasa'' - Belief on rites and rituals.

There is also a common false view on the procedure of achieving this stage of enlightenment, which is the belief that Stream entry is a junction of the usual jhanic meditation process. Yogis who are unaware of buddhas teachings are also capable of going into jhanas. But are they on the noble eightfold path? (The ONLY Path to Nirvana), most certainly not. However jhanas provide the platform to contemplate on the 'Anicca', 'Dukka' and 'Anatta' nature of the Five aggregates ( Rupa, Vedana , Sanna, Sanskara, vinyana).

More information later. Please join in.

May the noble triple gem bless you!

RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective)
Answer
6/17/10 4:44 PM as a reply to Sithum Lalinda Rajakaruna.
Hi Sithum,

Please read what is written at these links and tell us what you think. Have you heard of the mushroom factor? I mean no disrespect against the theravada tradition, good stuff there. But I whole heartedly disagree with the venerable monk you talked to. The whole "it's bad, bad karma to diss a stream enterer and above" screams of dogma to me. It's all speculation and I seem to be very anti-speculation these days...could be a 3rd path thing. Things are changing and full disclosure is the new movement. I am all for talking about enlightenment out in the open, normalizing it and making it accessible and understandable to all who are interested, no secrecy. All this out in the open like Daniel Ingram and Kenneth Folk who both came out of the closet, claimed arahatship, people got the idea that they could do it too and now they are getting it done as well. This place is so not traditional Theravada in that respect. Sorry if this ruffles anyone's feathers but I prefer for teachers to tell me that they have gotten stream entry and beyond and how they did it to crawling around in the dark a la mushroom factor style, speculating and blindly guessing as to what to do and if it is something that can really be attained. Sorry if this seems too straightforward but it is what a lot of people who come here and who go over to Kenneth Folk's site are attracted to and benefitting from. Full honest disclosure and how to get it done too, without any mysticism and unproven speculations.

http://bit.ly/c4gJpM

http://kennethfolkdharma.wetpaint.com/thread/3858629/the+anti-mushroom+culture



Nick

RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective)
Answer
6/17/10 8:26 PM as a reply to Sithum Lalinda Rajakaruna.
Sithum Lalinda Rajakaruna:
He said ' Ok, lets say that person is actually a stream enterer ( A person who has firmly and undoubtedly established himself on the Noble eight fold path), and he openly claims that he is a 'Sotapanna'. The public, on the receiving end of this communication will accept or reject this message,depending on his or hers personal interpretation. Those who reject and develop 'Dvesha'( Hatred) towards this Stream enterer, i.e. calling him a fraud, will gain astronomical amounts of bad karma, because it's an immense 'Akusala'( un-wholesome thought) to formulate 'Dvesha' towards a stream enterer or any other noble person (Sakadagami (Once returner), Anagami (Non- returner) and Arahant (Fully enlightened). Therefore, because of the loving kindness towards them, he would not openly announce his achievement'.


In some ways this makes sense to me, but in other ways it doesn't. Here's a counterargument. Suppose a person is a stream-enterer, and proclaims it. Some people will disbelieve this or not care about it either way, and some people will believe it or be interested in investigating it further. For the latter types of people, they may ask "how did you become a stream-enterer?", and then would receive very practical instructions on how it was done. Some of these people, hearing these instructions, would gain faith in the possibility of attaining stream-entry and go on to attain it, whereas without having ever met a person who claimed to be a stream-enterer they might not have such faith and therefore might not practice and might not ever attain stream-entry themselves. So out of concern for the wellbeing of these people, a stream-enterer would proclaim it.

This is especially true, in my opinion, in societies like the United States where Buddhism is uncommon and most people are nonreligious or Christian. In other words, societies where most people do not believe there is any such thing as stream-entry and would be surprised to hear that there are practical instructions that can be given on how to attain it. Hearing those practical instructions is a cause by which a person attains faith in the dhamma.

Perhaps things are different in Sri Lanka? Do most people there believe that there is such a thing as stream entry and that it can commonly be attained today by an everyday person who is devoted and practices with diligence?

RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective)
Answer
6/17/10 11:13 PM as a reply to Sithum Lalinda Rajakaruna.
This is total crud. Any person has a right to question the attainments of others. Any person projecting 'bad karma' onto someone who questions or rejects certain claims to attainments has a lot of his self wrapt up in his small egoic fears. What he is afraid of is being judged by others. Being judged by others is part of life - no one likes it, but there it is, we all do it and we all have it done to us. Sometimes those judging you are correct, sometimes they are incorrect - but who fucking cares? He who cares the most is the furthest from enlightenment. And yet this guy is shouting "I AM BETTER THAN YOU! I MEDITATED FOR 10 YEARS, AND YOU BETTER RESPECT ME FOR IT!". His attainments amount to nought. Tripe.

RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective)
Answer
6/17/10 11:43 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Hi Nikolai,

Thank you very much sir, for the links. I'll look into this 'mushroom factor' matter, and then share my thoughts on that later. Because I have to learn extensively about Kenneth Folk and Ingram and see whether i could identify any one (or all) of the characteristics of an arahant.

About disclosure, I have to say it might depend on the culture of a particular country as well. And most of the time people who openly announce their achievements are being driven by other factors (money, ego, recognition etc).

I need some time to conduct a research on the above mentioned 'Arahants'. I'll try and complete it.

Is it possible for you to share the email addresses of kenneth and ingram with me? Thanks in advance.

RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective)
Answer
6/17/10 11:42 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
@ C C C

You type with a lot of 'dvesha' in your heart. So its impossible for us to take you seriously. Sorry!

RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective)
Answer
6/17/10 11:56 PM as a reply to Sithum Lalinda Rajakaruna.
Who is this "us" you speak of? You and your guru and other sycophants?

Or do you say "us" so as to try and recruit others to your way of thinking?

Don't be sorry. Just lose the ego pal, then someone might take you seriously.

RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective)
Answer
6/18/10 1:49 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
Hey friend,

Good to hear you are interested in these matters. This whole community has built up around the principle that it is better to talk about this stuff than to hide it. First of all--you need to know that the Arahatship that Kenneth and Daniel claim is probably not consistent with your idea of what a Arahat is. Daniel talks about Arahatship as untying the final knot of perception. Kenneth talks about 4th path as being comfortable knowing that you have 'done what needs to be done.' Neither one of them will claim to have perfect conduct etc. Which is fine because the old text have a lot of eccentric Arahats who people believed were behaving in undignified ways. For me the idea of insulting a stream winner being negative karma... I don't believe that. Its your right to believe that if you want. But I follow the Kalama Sutra--I don't believe things just because some scripture says so. I investigate for myself. My advice? Work diligently along the 16 stages of insight and become a stream winner. (you might already be one--you say yourself you are unsure about weather or not one should claim it)... It helped me so much to have people tell me Honestly you can get stream entry. Go do it! I did it. You can too...

Metta,

Clayton

Edit: Buddhism is not the only way to Nirvana. I am sorry that is just not true. Once you experience Nirvana you realize that a some people from every religion have experienced it although its not that common... Buddhism is probably the quickest path at least for me... but Nirvana is not just a Buddhist thing just a Buddhist term for a human experience...

check out this article... http://www.buddhistgeeks.com/2010/06/on-enlightenment-an-interview-with-shinzen-young/

RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective)
Answer
6/18/10 4:00 AM as a reply to Sithum Lalinda Rajakaruna.
"it's bad, bad karma to diss a stream enterer and above"

Although this might sound like a piece of dogma, it is really very rational if you define your terms properly. Define bad karma as "past action leading away from enlightenment," i.e., preferences you acquired that prevent you from deciding to go for enlightenment.

With this definition, if it had happened at some point that you met a self-proclaimed stream-enterer or some such, and you decide you don't like him or her at all, to the point of getting aversion to this person, and if, furthermore, you somehow associate this with his meditative attainment, then you have acquired some "bad karma."

Of course, if you think of bad karma as imoral behavior or something similar, then the statement doesn't make sense.

RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective)
Answer
6/18/10 5:05 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
I like your point of view Bruno--very middle way...

RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective)
Answer
6/18/10 7:17 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:
Who is this "us" you speak of? You and your guru and other sycophants?

Or do you say "us" so as to try and recruit others to your way of thinking?

Don't be sorry. Just lose the ego pal, then someone might take you seriously.


Please don't let this become a flame war here. There is no need to insult eachother at all. We all have different views. Let's express them with respect.


And I think I agree with Bruno's middle way view of bad karma to stream enterers etc. I guess it could result in someone turning away from teachings and advice on how to get it done too.

Nick

RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective)
Answer
6/18/10 7:42 AM as a reply to Sithum Lalinda Rajakaruna.
Sithum Lalinda Rajakaruna:
Hi Nikolai,

I need some time to conduct a research on the above mentioned 'Arahants'. I'll try and complete it.

Is it possible for you to share the email addresses of kenneth and ingram with me? Thanks in advance.


Hi Sithum,

I gather you may be following the traditional orthodox Theravada view on what an arhat is supposed to be and do and not supposed to be and do. You will probably whole heartedly disagree with Kenneth and Daniel's views on what an arahat is. It doesn't match up to the traditional limited action and limited emotional model of enlightenment that is adhered to in Theravada traditions.

Here are some more links to familiarize yourself with their views. I happen to agree with them from my experience of at least 1st, 2nd and now possibly 3rd path. A lot of the traditional views are a little dogmatic with threads of truth. A little exaggerated in my opinion, especially as it was monks who were doing the describing. They live lives of renunciation so are not exposing themselves to situations that may show them the traditional views are not exact. And the laypeople are attached to those views too so the monks are just going to have to go with it rather than say the truth so as not to cause people to reject them. The times have changed and we are not monks so there is no danger in saying the truth about enlightenment. More laypeople, are getting path and arahtship and no, you don't die after 7 days if you don't become a monk, that is pure dogma.

I also held all these traditional views until I got to 2nd path and now at possible 3rd (I have 3rd path symptoms, nirodha samapati, 2 jhanas after the 8th Jhana (pure abodes) and perception is different, the self is not as sticky anymore, very aloof). The traditional descriptions don't always match up.

I hope you aren't scared off by all this. This is a great open source of Dhamma here. You can PM Daniel Ingram here at the DhO. You can post a thread asking questions to Kenneth (They've already been asked there though) or send PM to him at his website. www.kennethfolk.com

http://www.interactivebuddha.com/arahats.shtml

http://kennethfolkdharma.wetpaint.com/page/What+is+an+arahat%3F+(A+letter+to+a+friend)

Metta,

nick

RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective)
Answer
6/18/10 11:03 AM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Hi friends,

This is a unique place, and i feel a lot of love even through the virtual realm

Please Forgive me If i hurt feelings of anyone. I never intended to do so.

I'll follow the Ancient path of Buddha and try my best to understand the four Noble truths, within this life time.

I wish all the best on your spiritual journeys.

I won't be conducting the research on kenneth and ingram, since ultimately we believe and accept what we want to.And id rather meditate on loving kindness in that time.

''(4 x 10^142) x 100,000 aeons= is the time that took for Gautama to attain 'samma sambuddhaship' ( The noble, fully enlightened one who understand the 4 noble truths without the help of a teacher, and has the ability to teach it to others so they can be Arahants, Anagamis, Sakadagamis, Stream enterers). In this Gautama Buddhas period , the first Arahant was the 'great Kondanna'
The noble eightfold path ( The middle way) is not taught in any other religion or philosophy. This path is only revealed by a Buddha who appear in this 'loka'. People call it buddhism, which (the term) is actually dampening the meaning of this 'truthful way of living'.''- Knowledge from ancient texts.


May the triple gem ( Buddha , Dhamma , Sanga) Bless you!

RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective)
Answer
6/18/10 11:10 AM as a reply to Sithum Lalinda Rajakaruna.
Hello Sithum,

As you may have noticed, one of the main things about this forum is that it favors personal, pragmatic, derived from personal experience, posts, rather than ones based on dogma or suttas for that matter.

So if a person on this forum says "I have attained arahatship by doing this and this and this, I can help you attain this yourself in your own experience with some practice tips" then it is favored over posts which are just quoting suttas or dogma.

This is what makes this forum special, and so far, and as far as I can tell, 99% of those who participate in this forum have gained much from this sort of attitude. So basically, since people are talking about what they believe their attainments are (stream entry and beyond) from personal experience, others are able to "get more done" in their practice.

So while I respect what you quoted that Sri-lankan monk saying, it simply doesn't apply here. The fact that people report their attainments openly here is the main strength of this forum and "we" all highly benefit from it.

RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective)
Answer
6/18/10 12:07 PM as a reply to Sithum Lalinda Rajakaruna.
How much is an aeon, exactly? emoticon

Dude, we're in the information age, (4 x 10^142) x 100,000 aeons go by very quickly these days...

RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective)
Answer
6/18/10 12:46 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
How much is an aeon, exactly? emoticon

Dude, we're in the information age, (4 x 10^142) x 100,000 aeons go by very quickly these days...


Lol. I agree. Btw I'm feeling like a christian on an atheist forumemoticon. Anyways its all for the good of our spiritual awakening.

Gautama Buddha gave an example which could help us fathom the duration or to get an idea of how long an aeon would be.

"Imagine a cube with equal sides of 10 miles, and throwing in a mustard seed in there every 100 years. An aeon is even longer than the time it takes to fill the whole cube with mustard seeds with the above mentioned 100 year intervals between each throw''

For us humans this seems like an infinity but for Brahmas ( Especially in 'Arupa' worlds) this is quite understandable since their lifetimes are given in number of aeons as well. ( The number of aeons vary depending on the Plane of existence of the brahmas)

Hope this helped.

RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective)
Answer
6/18/10 12:34 PM as a reply to Yadid dee.
Hi Yadid,

Your post hit the nail on the head! That's exactly what ive learned from the responses.


May you attain nibbana soon!

RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective)
Answer
6/18/10 7:51 PM as a reply to Sithum Lalinda Rajakaruna.
Hi, and welcome! Just think of us as Christians who believe that there was a guy named Jesus who had a lot of extremely powerful advice for how to live a good life and go to heaven (though we think the common idea of heaven is somewhat inaccurate and exaggerated in order to get people to follow his teachings -- a fault of the people who do the exaggeration, not a fault of the teachings or practices themselves). However, we don't think that people who mix the threads in their fabrics, men who lie with men as if with a woman, people who sometimes say "goddamn," or people who work on Sundays are going to suffer forever if they don't repent.

At any rate, I don't think anyone here would actually have a problem with whether or not you believed in what we consider the Theravada orthodoxy. I mean, if you're doing Buddhist meditation and you come here to ask questions about your practice, and share your experiences and answers to questions that you've found the answers to, and everyone benefits from it, how can that be anything but good? I'm sure everyone on this forum disagrees with every other member on some certain points. However, we all agree to help each other out, and it works out in the end.

RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective)
Answer
6/18/10 9:11 PM as a reply to Sithum Lalinda Rajakaruna.
I see another advantage of not proclaiming attainments. It insulates the Buddhist community somewhat against charlatans and otherwise delusional people. With other religions it's so easy for people to say "I am an incarnation of this or that deity", and people tend to believe these sorts of claims, which can cause a lot of damage.


Fair enough, so how would a person know for sure whether he is actually a Stream enterer?

First up, If you are not sure, then i'm afraid you are not one. We know when we have a cold, and we 'Know' when we are cured. Like wise a Sotapanna realizes that he has abandoned the following three characteristics.

1. "Sakkaya ditti'- Existence of a self in the Five aggregates.
2. ''Vichikichcha'- Doubtfulness of the Buddha and his teachings.
3. ''Seelabbhatha paraamaasa'' - Belief on rites and rituals.

There is also a common false view on the procedure of achieving this stage of enlightenment, which is the belief that Stream entry is a junction of the usual jhanic meditation process. Yogis who are unaware of buddhas teachings are also capable of going into jhanas. But are they on the noble eightfold path? (The ONLY Path to Nirvana), most certainly not. However jhanas provide the platform to contemplate on the 'Anicca', 'Dukka' and 'Anatta' nature of the Five aggregates ( Rupa, Vedana , Sanna, Sanskara, vinyana).


People around here tend to be skeptical of a lot of dogma. I think every statement that you made in the quotes, although correct by traditional Theravada standards, would be regarded with suspicion by this board's members.

RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective)
Answer
6/18/10 11:36 PM as a reply to Dan K.
Dan K:
I see another advantage of not proclaiming attainments. It insulates the Buddhist community somewhat against charlatans and otherwise delusional people. With other religions it's so easy for people to say "I am an incarnation of this or that deity", and people tend to believe these sorts of claims, which can cause a lot of damage.


This is wonderful, thank you for the contribution!

RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective)
Answer
7/3/10 12:25 AM as a reply to Sithum Lalinda Rajakaruna.
The invitation above to keep it practical, about one's practice and how to do it, what one is doing, what it has lead to, etc. is of great value.

Let's say we could agree to disagree about many points of dogma, but there are many here who could definitely and with great skill help you to get stream entry, and then you could see for yourself, and then we all could talk about something real.

I am sorry that when traditionalists come here they have such a hard time, that the dogma and conditioning and fixed beliefs interfere so much with the actual doing of the thing itself.

If you have read the Suttas, you know the monks would be sitting around telling each other how to do it, encouraging each other, and some would go off for a period and practice and return and report and they would compare notes and learn from each other. This is that sort of place.

Anyway, if the religious stuff is your thing, there is lots of that around and I think you will have no trouble finding tons of it on the internet and your community. Blind, untested faith can be a real source of stability and comfort to many people.

If you decide that this particular flavor of very rigorous, technical, empowered, team approach to actually becoming a master of the art of meditation, then please, partake of the rare treasures that this and its related communities are.

All the best,

Daniel Ingram

RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective)
Answer
7/4/10 7:25 PM as a reply to Sithum Lalinda Rajakaruna.
In response to your first post:
Regarding the need for people to not speak of being a stream-winner: I have read suttas where Buddha specifically encourages lay practitioners to state that they are stream-winners when that is the case. In this respect I think you are encountering a cultural view which is a different issue. In my experience, you can say it all you want and most everyone won't here a word you say :-(

how would a person know for sure whether he is actually a Stream enterer?

If you are in contact with those who have been through it - that is probably the best way. Of course, you have to have some sense that they have not deceived themselves. Short of that, I think keep practicing, have patience (years), and see what happens.

It is quite possible to go through the functional equivalent of stream-entry and not have any knowledge of Buddhism, noble eight fold path, etc. It has happened to many people including myself. I went through stream-entry years before I knew anything about Buddhism, Suttas, etc. Even so, my experience was very much like it is described in the Suttas. So a little about that:

1. "Sakkaya ditti'- Existence of a self in the Five aggregates.
2. ''Vichikichcha'- Doubtfulness of the Buddha and his teachings.
3. ''Seelabbhatha paraamaasa'' - Belief on rites and rituals.

The first three fetters:
1) Self. So you have this experience - It will without a doubt convince you that you are not this body, thoughts, etc. After this experience, you will still get caught up in all the ego stuff - patterns of behaviour - but when you reflect on your stream-entry experience (aka 'direct perception of emptiness') you will keep coming back to 'I know this isn't so' - something like that.

2) Doubt. If you have been studying the suttas then you 'get' lots about suffering and other stuff the Buddha teaches - this is as a direct result of the stream-entry experience (insight) [If you haven't studied the suttas (my situation) you still 'get' lots about suffering (but you would describe it in your own language obviously)]. You know for sure that Buddha was not making this stuff up.

3) Rites and Rituals - The issue is really more general: You no longer believe that concepts, beliefs, etc. are going to get you out of this mess. You have directly seen the nature of samsara and know that these things are the brick and mortar of your prison.

Many people feel that fetters = defilements. Fetters are what link you (your conscious awareness) to a defilement (lets say anger), producing a sense of self. An analogy is a post (anger), a horse (your awareness), and a rope (the fetter). When the rope ties the horse to the post this is like you being bound up with anger. When the rope is cut then the post may or may not be there (there may or may not be anger for example) but the horse is not defined or constrained by it (you no longer create a sense of self in relation to it). There are suttas that clarify this - one I recall likening a fetter to a rabbit snare - but trying to figure this out from the suttas can be confusing. Fetters are tricky - you cannot actually cut them yourself because before they break you are not locate them and afterwards all you know is that something has changed in you.

In the suttas, jhana combines insight and tranquillity. Together they develop a sense of dispassion for conditioned experience and the mind inclines more and more toward stillness until it releases (stream entry). This is a common theme in the Suttas and describes my own experience of stream entry. I know that Daniel and others here have had different experiences - there may be many I suppose - but what is written in the Suttas does define at least one way stream-entry is experienced.

Yogis who are unaware of buddhas teachings are also capable of going into jhanas. But are they on the noble eightfold path? (The ONLY Path to Nirvana), most certainly not.


This, to me, is dogma. I think you need to consider that Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed, etc. all said something to the equivalent of this. Lots of people have gotten killed over this one. My experience now is so different (4th path) as compared to before that I don't think they were refering to their teachings or egoic sense of self - rather their statements are more like: 'Only through this process that I have come through could anyone arrive at this experience'.

-Chuck

RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective)
Answer
7/5/10 9:10 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Chuck, you say: "It is quite possible to go through the functional equivalent of stream-entry and not have any knowledge of Buddhism, noble eight fold path, etc. It has happened to many people including myself. I went through stream-entry years before I knew anything about Buddhism, Suttas, etc."

I'd be really interested to hear how you got there (stream entry). Even if you think Buddhist practices are more direct and efficient, I'd still like to hear.

RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective)
Answer
7/7/10 10:37 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:
I'd be really interested to hear how you got there (stream entry). Even if you think Buddhist practices are more direct and efficient, I'd still like to hear.

I don't know how I got there. Certainly wasn't something I was trying to do. What I can tell you is something about what was going on for me at that time. I started having strange experiences at night (I think Daniel might call them formations), I heard voices a couple of times as if someone was standing right next to me speaking to me (very unnerving), went through some intense depression and kind of broke through to a sort of void space between thoughts (scary) (Daniel is probably going through his check list :-). Then I ended up taking a chi gong class - though I knew nothing at the time about it nor had any past involvement or knowledge of meditation, etc - just sounded interesting to me. About 6 weeks into the class I went through stream entry - very much as described in the suttas where they talk about moving through the jhanas and then releasing. The chi gong style I was doing was a meditative type - not a movement type - and in some ways quite similar to the type of jhana practice that Thanissaro Bhikkhu teaches.

It is perplexing to me that this approach seems almost the opposite of what Daniel teaches. Maybe the answer is that you can either exit through slowing things down until they come to a stop or you can speed things up until something breaks. Not sure.

RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective)
Answer
7/7/10 11:01 AM as a reply to Sithum Lalinda Rajakaruna.
Sithum Lalinda Rajakaruna:
About disclosure, I have to say it might depend on the culture of a particular country as well. And most of the time people who openly announce their achievements are being driven by other factors (money, ego, recognition etc).


Hello Sithum,

You allude to something insightful in the above quotation that I feel has been largely overlooked in this discussion.

As a Westerner, who grew up in a post-industrial post-modern culture, I tend to favor being open and honest about attainments in this context. People with a similar cultural background as myself are inspired more often than driven to feelings of ill-will when we encounter someone who claims to have accomplished something we wish to accomplish. We are likely to ask how they did it, try it ourselves, and come to conclusions about the claimant after the fact.

In pre-modern cultures, however, the socio-religious structures are based heavily on a mythic interpretation of reality. An individual immersed in a myth-based culture is likely to have very different views about "enlightenment," or "stream-entry," etc. In this case, it really may not be the best idea to come right out and say, "Hey everyone, I'm a Sotapanna! Wanna know how I did it?!" There are perhaps more skillful ways of approaching this stuff with people of different cultural backgrounds, and I'm OK with that.

In the same way that I don't find it skillful for realized practitioners in modern or post-modern cultures to withhold information about their development in insight, I think it could be detrimental for people of pre-modern cultures to be bombarded by a modern-style approach of making outright claims. Each situation is unique, and should be approached with care. Rigidly adhering to either extreme (total openness or total withholding) is bound to hurt more than help when applied to individuals with different socio-religious backgrounds. As often said in Buddhist scenes, a middle-way is best.

~Jackson

RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective)
Answer
7/7/10 8:04 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
interesting chuck. Thanks.

RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective)
Answer
1/8/16 7:15 PM as a reply to Sithum Lalinda Rajakaruna.
Dear Sithum, 

Been a Sri Lankan myself... I have heard many sutta deshana's by many Sri Lankan monks many of them are going round and round without coming to the point... either they don't know or give discourses to different groups of lay people.. which is absolutately fine... back in Buddha's time too, Buddha gave discourses to the levels (according to the pragna level) of the people listening.. hence nothing is either right nor wrong.. 

But for people who are really into learning, practising, (ready to progress and with deep pragna levels) this forum is really helpful to develop both insight knowledges without running around the bush, straight to the point and they find it very helpful.

With Mettha... 
Anna 

RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective)
Answer
1/14/16 2:58 PM as a reply to Sithum Lalinda Rajakaruna.
Sithum Lalinda Rajakaruna:

Fair enough, so how would a person know for sure whether he is actually a Stream enterer?

First up, If you are not sure, then i'm afraid you are not one. We know when we have a cold, and we 'Know' when we are cured. Like wise a Sotapanna realizes that he has abandoned the following three characteristics.

1. "Sakkaya ditti'- Existence of a self in the Five aggregates.
2. ''Vichikichcha'- Doubtfulness of the Buddha and his teachings.
3. ''Seelabbhatha paraamaasa'' - Belief on rites and rituals.

There is also a common false view on the procedure of achieving this stage of enlightenment, which is the belief that Stream entry is a junction of the usual jhanic meditation process. Yogis who are unaware of buddhas teachings are also capable of going into jhanas. But are they on the noble eightfold path? (The ONLY Path to Nirvana), most certainly not. However jhanas provide the platform to contemplate on the 'Anicca', 'Dukka' and 'Anatta' nature of the Five aggregates ( Rupa, Vedana , Sanna, Sanskara, vinyana).



The stream-enterer has has abandoned "Sakkaya ditti'- the view of 'self' in the Five aggregates.

Therefore, why would the stream-enter declare "I am a stream-enterer" when the stream-enterer has abandoned the view of "I am"? To believe "I am" a stream-enterer would be delusion & a fetter. 

When 'we' think 'we' have a cold, this is delusion since it is not 'we' that has a cold but the rupa khandha that has a cold. If the mind believes "I have a cold" it is not following the teachings of the Lord Buddha. Instead, it is following the teachings of the Lord Mara. emoticon

RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective)
Answer
1/14/16 3:02 PM as a reply to Sithum Lalinda Rajakaruna.
Sithum Lalinda Rajakaruna:

There is also a common false view on the procedure of achieving this stage of enlightenment, which is the belief that Stream entry is a junction of the usual jhanic meditation process. Yogis who are unaware of buddhas teachings are also capable of going into jhanas. But are they on the noble eightfold path? (The ONLY Path to Nirvana), most certainly not. However jhanas provide the platform to contemplate on the 'Anicca', 'Dukka' and 'Anatta' nature of the Five aggregates ( Rupa, Vedana , Sanna, Sanskara, vinyana).



To contemplate on the 'Anicca', 'Dukka' and 'Anatta' nature of the Five aggregates does not require jhana. The stream-enterer must experience 'Anicca', 'Dukkha' and 'Anatta' yet the Pali scriptures do not equate the stream-enterer with jhana. It is convient to say that it is the Once-Returner that enters jhana and the Non-Returner that emerges from jhana. 'Jhana' is a 'worldly' state of mind because the mind becomes bound via ekkagatta to the bliss (rather than is open & non-attached). 

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To help answer the question whether the jhānas are necessary for the attainment of the stages of awakening, we might narrow the question down by asking whether they are needed to reach the first stage of awakening, known as stream-entry (sotāpatti). Since the Nikāyas order the process of awakening into four stages -- stream-entry, once-returning, non-returning, and arahantship -- it is possible that the jhānas come to assume an essential role at a later stage in the unfolding of the path, and not at the first stages. Thus it may be that the insight required for the earlier stages does not presuppose prior attainment of the jhānas, while the jhānas become indispensable in making the transition from one of the intermediate stages to a more advanced stage. I myself believe there is strong evidence in the Nikāyas that the jhānas become an essential factor for those intent on advancing from the stage of once-returning to that of non-returner. I will review the texts that corroborate this thesis later in this paper. (Bhikkhu Bodhi)

http://www.budsas.org/ebud/ebdha267.htm

RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective)
Answer
1/14/16 3:06 PM as a reply to Sithum Lalinda Rajakaruna.
Sithum Lalinda Rajakaruna:

 Those who reject and develop 'Dvesha'( Hatred) towards this Stream enterer, i.e. calling him a fraud, will gain astronomical amounts of bad karma, because it's an immense 'Akusala'( un-wholesome thought) to formulate 'Dvesha' towards a stream enterer or any other noble person (Sakadagami (Once returner), Anagami (Non- returner) and Arahant (Fully enlightened). 


Your understanding is totally mixed up & completely confused. It is the stream-enterer that publically declares they are a 'stream-enterer' that does an immense 'Akusala' (un-wholesome thought). 

Since a lay person cannot know the mind of a stream-enterer, the lay person cannot know whether the stream-enterer is speaking the truth. 

There is two reasons why it is unwholesome for a person to declare they are a stream-enterer: 

(1) It is conceit or self-view. 

(2) It cannot be confirmed by most people thus can be potentially a lie. 

What attains stream-entry is the mind

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RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective)
Answer
1/14/16 2:27 PM as a reply to Sithum Lalinda Rajakaruna.
Sithum Lalinda Rajakaruna:

I'll follow the Ancient path of Buddha and try my best to understand the four Noble truths, within this life time.


''(4 x 10^142) x 100,000 aeons= is the time that took for Gautama to attain 'samma sambuddhaship' ( The noble, fully enlightened one who understand the 4 noble truths without the help of a teacher, and has the ability to teach it to others so they can be Arahants, Anagamis, Sakadagamis, Stream enterers). In this Gautama Buddhas period , the first Arahant was the 'great Kondanna'
The noble eightfold path ( The middle way) is not taught in any other religion or philosophy. This path is only revealed by a Buddha who appear in this 'loka'. People call it buddhism, which (the term) is actually dampening the meaning of this 'truthful way of living'.''- Knowledge from ancient texts.




The 1st arahant was not Kondanna. Kondanna was the 1st stream-enterer (where as the 1st five arahants occurred simultaneously). 

Your idea about 4 x 10^142 x 100,000 aeons is superstition. 

The 4 Noble Truths explain: 

1. All suffering is summarised as clinging (upadana) to the five aggregates. 

2. This suffering (dukkha) arises when there is craving that results in new (ego/self) becoming, in the here-&-now. 

3. Suffering ends when craving ends. 

4. The path to end suffering is being mindful of right-view so clinging & becoming are abandoned. 

Each time you promote 'self-views' on this forum as you are doing, including worshipping stream-enterers, arahants & Buddhas like they are gods, you do not follow the Noble Truths but, instead, follow the path of Mara. 

In reality, there is no 'person' doing bad karma. Instead, according to Dependent Origination, there is only ignorance functioning. 

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RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective)
Answer
1/14/16 2:44 PM as a reply to Sithum Lalinda Rajakaruna.
Sithum Lalinda Rajakaruna:
Bruno Loff:
How much is an aeon, exactly? emoticon

Dude, we're in the information age, (4 x 10^142) x 100,000 aeons go by very quickly these days...


Lol. I agree. Btw I'm feeling like a christian on an atheist forumemoticon. Anyways its all for the good of our spiritual awakening.

Gautama Buddha gave an example which could help us fathom the duration or to get an idea of how long an aeon would be.



Yes, indeed. Christianity has plenty of superstition attached to it, similar to Sri Lankan Buddhism. 

Just because the Catholic Church has carried Christianity for 1600 years, this does not necessarily mean the Catholic teachings are a true representation of the teachings of Christ. Sri Lankan Buddhism is the same. 

Gautama Buddha gave an example that when he taught his Dhamma to virtuous & faithful people, those virtuous & faithful people attained stream-entry immediately and, many of those, soon after, reached arahantship. 

Gautama Buddha said his Dhamma is sanditikko (here & now), akaliko (immediately effective; without delay), ehipassiko (inviting inspection), opanyikko (leading directly to Nibbana) and to be experienced by each wise person for themself. 

So why is it that Gautama Buddha taught the path & Nibbana is here-&-now but you are teaching it requires aeons? 

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RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective)
Answer
1/14/16 8:20 PM as a reply to Nicky.
Nicky:


Your understanding is totally mixed up & completely confused. It is the stream-enterer that publically declares they are a 'stream-enterer' that does an immense 'Akusala' (un-wholesome thought). 


As far as I can tell, Buddha did not seem to be aware of this:

“...a noble disciple, should he so desire, can declare of himself: 'There is no more rebirth for me in hell, nor as an animal or ghost, nor in any realm of woe. A stream-enterer am I, safe from falling into the states of misery, assured am I and bound for Enlightenment.'" - DN 16

"Sariputta, when you know of a householder clothed in white, that he is restrained in terms of the five training rules and that he obtains at will, without difficulty, without hardship, four pleasant mental abidings in the here & now, then if he wants he may state about himself: 'Hell is ended; animal wombs are ended; the state of the hungry shades is ended; states of deprivation, destitution, the bad bourns are ended! I am a stream-winner, steadfast, never again destined for states of woe, headed for self-awakening!' - AN 5.179

When, for a disciple of the noble ones, five forms of fear & animosity are stilled; when he is endowed with the four factors of stream-entry; and when, through discernment, he has rightly seen & rightly ferreted out the noble method, then if he wants he may state about himself: 'Hell is ended; animal wombs are ended; the state of the hungry shades is ended; states of deprivation, destitution, the bad bourns are ended! I am a stream-winner, steadfast, never again destined for states of woe, headed for self-awakening!' - AN 10.92

"To the extent that the Blessed One has white-clad householder female disciples who reach firm ground in this Doctrine & Discipline, attain a firm foothold, attain consolation, overcome their doubts, dispel their perplexity, reach fearlessness, & gain independence from others with regard to the Teacher's message [aka stream entry], I am one of them. If anyone doubts or denies this, let him go ask the Blessed One..." - AN 6.16

RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective)
Answer
1/14/16 9:11 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Chuck Kasmire:
If anyone doubts or denies this, let him go ask the Blessed One... - AN 6.16


The quote posted above itself refutes the gross misunderstandings you appear to be unwholesomely promoting. 

So where exactly are we, in the year 2559 AB, going to find the Blessed One for such confirmations? Is the Blessed One on Facebook or does the Blessed One have a mobile phone number? 

As for the other quotes, they do not appear to be for the purpose of public boasting. What does the Vinaya or DN 11 say about public boasting? 

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Should any bhikkhu report (his own) superior human state to an unordained person, when it is factual, it is to be confessed.... Intention is not a factor under this rule. Thus, whether one has a skillful or an unskillful motive for mentioning one’s factual superior human attainments to an unordained person is irrelevant to the offense. (page 263)

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/bmc1.pdf

RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective)
Answer
1/15/16 6:06 PM as a reply to Nicky.
Nicky:
The quote posted above itself refutes the gross misunderstandings you appear to be unwholesomely promoting. 
You’ve lost me. I was pointing out several sutta references that state that it was OK for lay stream winners to state that they were stream winners. I suppose I am guilty of suggesting that people cite their sources - as unwholesome as that may be.

So where exactly are we, in the year 2559 AB, going to find the Blessed One for such confirmations? Is the Blessed One on Facebook or does the Blessed One have a mobile phone number? 

I don’t think any of the readers on this forum - including you - would interpret that quote within the context that I placed it as suggesting that someone should try to confirm that another is a stream winner by contacting someone that has been dead for 2,500 years.

As for the other quotes, they do not appear to be for the purpose of public boasting.

No, of course not. Who said anything about public boasting? This is the first that you mention it - is it not? There could be any number of reasons a person would be open about being a stream winner - I am not in a position to judge their motivation  - are you?

What does the Vinaya or DN 11 say about public boasting? 

As for your reference to the Vinaya - specifically the rule forbidding monks to speak about there attainments to lay people - that is what it is: a rule for monks. It has nothing to do with lay practitioners speaking of their own stream entry - something I think you are well aware of.





RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective)
Answer
1/17/16 7:03 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Chuck Kasmire:
As for your reference to the Vinaya - specifically the rule forbidding monks to speak about there attainments to lay people - that is what it is: a rule for monks. It has nothing to do with lay practitioners speaking of their own stream entry - something I think you are well aware of.

The event of an individual declaring themself a 'stream-enterer' does not necessarily mean their mind is actually a stream-enterer. 

Further, the non-enlightened listener or puthujjana has no possible way to know for certain if the declaration of stream-entry is true. 

This is why, in the sutta you quoted, the good lady said to her husband to ask the Buddha for confirmation. 

The Vinaya rule exists for a reason. The Vinaya considers both actual attainment & non-attainment ('over-estimation'). In the event of non-attainment, the person will be engaging in false-speech. 

What is the point or benefit of a puthujjana believing you are a stream-enterer? 

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RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective)
Answer
1/18/16 1:41 AM as a reply to Nicky.
There are four instances where a person will claim as an "Ariya" - according to the Sutta's

1. Deluded mind
2. Lying Mind
3. Insane Mind
4  Ariya mind

Only a Buddha will know 100% for sure if a person is "Ariya" or "Anariya" 

Even one Arahat cannot 100% tell whether the other is an Arahat.  Only assume.  However, an Arahat can at times (even not 100%) tell if a person is Sotapanna, Sakurdagami or Anagami only after close aquaintance and very deep Dhamma discussions, that too, after a very long time of mindful association. 

Without knowing 100% for sure, how can one either accept or reject? but one knows oneself.. therefore, one could have a chat and see if the person who claims to be an Ariya, can give one practical advices how to cross a certain hindrance or something in which one is struggling and can give dhamma guidance in a practical way... if those advices proves to be helping one in the way... able to reduce the suffering, able to attain tranquality... then one can take him/her as a "Kalyana Mithra"... That too if one is a Dhammanusaari or Shraddhanusai or Chula Sotapanna... because a Pruthakjana will never be able to understand or identify an Ariya... accurately.. 

emoticon With Mettha














  

RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective)
Answer
1/30/16 8:52 AM as a reply to Sithum Lalinda Rajakaruna.
I think it's because the more 'attainment' you have, the more stupid you feel talking about it. If people decided I was an arahant and I was invited to give a speech about in front of a hundred people, I would feel it was absurd. I could give the speech, but I would feel as if we were all marionettes and I was going through the motion and the audience were going through the motions. In my mind the only reason people would bring up attainments would be to show off and make themselves feel good, and that isn't an actual possibility once you do have attainment. It's like if you speak a rare language from birth and everybody thinks you are amazing and mysterious for speaking it, but you personally feel like 'yeah, whatever, it's just normal'

RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective)
Answer
1/30/16 9:37 PM as a reply to josh.
Hi josh,

I think an arhat might speak of attainment but not a bodhisattva. As the Heart Sutra puts it:
Therefore in emptiness: no form, no feelings, no perceptions, no
formations, no consciousness; no eyes, no ears, no nose, no tongue, no
body, no mind; no color, no sound, no smell, no taste, no touch, no object
of mind; no realm of eyes...until no realm of mind-consciousness; no
ignorance and also no extinction of it...until no old-age and death and
also no extinction of it; no suffering, no origination, no stopping, no
path, no cognition, also no attainment.

With nothing to attain a bodhisattva depends on Prajnaparamita and the mind is no hindrance.
Without any hindrance no fears exist. Far apart from every perverted view one dwells in nirvana.
In the three worlds all buddhas depend on Prajnaparamita and attain unsurpassed complete perfect enlightenment.

RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective)
Answer
1/31/16 5:43 AM as a reply to Nicky.
re: Nicky (1/17/16 5:03 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire)

"What is the point or benefit of a puthujjana believing you are a stream-enterer?"

[puthujjana -- m. a common world-ling; uneducated person.]


Being, I think, technically aputhujjana, tho not totally "uneducated" in these matters, I find distinct benefits from knowing at least two individuals, both monks, who I have strong reasons to believe are ariya (tho without their making such claims).
1) Their teachings and personal guidance is immensely helpful; unmistakably they know whereof they speak;
2) Recognizing the immanence of the Dhamma in their example is inspiring, contributes to motivation.

"Further, the non-enlightened listener or puthujjana has no possible way to know for certain if the declaration of stream-entry is true."

There's certainly a wide range of of degrees between the extremes of being a totally non-enlightened listener (literal puthujjana) and having actual attainment. With sufficient "education", but still short of full knowledge / gnosis, it's possible to get pretty close to certain about observations. Compare with the case of an advanced music student, with enough of an educated ear to be able to discern cases of supreme musical mastery, but oneself being, as yet, short of such attainment.

RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective)
Answer
1/31/16 6:05 AM as a reply to josh.
josh:
I think it's because the more 'attainment' you have, the more stupid you feel talking about it. If people decided I was an arahant and I was invited to give a speech about in front of a hundred people, I would feel it was absurd. I could give the speech, but I would feel as if we were all marionettes and I was going through the motion and the audience were going through the motions. In my mind the only reason people would bring up attainments would be to show off and make themselves feel good, and that isn't an actual possibility once you do have attainment. It's like if you speak a rare language from birth and everybody thinks you are amazing and mysterious for speaking it, but you personally feel like 'yeah, whatever, it's just normal'
I recognize you (josh) are talking about someone with 'attainment' talking about that 'attainment', but the attitude you depict, e.g. in the last sentence, is, I suggest, misplaced. In my experience, those who I intuit to be highly likely to be ariya demonstrate it in their behavior. Not by way of intent to gloat over the fact (attainment), but because their concern is to touch their listeners, using their 'dhamma-eye' insight into their minds and level of understanding, to try to furnish appropriate hints and clues to guide them closer. It's not any kind of mushy emotional compassion, but just seeing clearly opportunity for meaningful teaching.

Some ariya, e.g. those with less understanding of their listeners culture (e.g., in my experience, someone like PaAuk Sayadaw speaking to American audience), often have trouble establishing that level of communication. And some, with whatever level of attainment, just aren’t teachers. Others, Westerners I've observed, with 30, 40 years of monastic training in Dhamma, and further training and experience in how to teach it, often show an amazing ability to adjust to the listeners' level, e.g. individual questions, at whatever level they present – from devout but relatively 'uneducated' lay, to highly learned scholarly types, or other types of more advanced practitioners.

It's like these teachers are capable of communication as a sort embodying the Dhamma itself, rather than as 'personal' communication. That may appear sort of 'impersonal', or 'cold', but actually it's usually very richly human, which may seem s/w paradoxical.

RE: Why not? ( Theravadic perspective)
Answer
1/31/16 9:09 PM as a reply to CJMacie.
Chris J Macie:

There's certainly a wide range of of degrees between the extremes of being a totally non-enlightened listener (literal puthujjana) and having actual attainment. With sufficient "education", but still short of full knowledge / gnosis, it's possible to get pretty close to certain about observations. Compare with the case of an advanced music student, with enough of an educated ear to be able to discern cases of supreme musical mastery, but oneself being, as yet, short of such attainment.

This must be why charlatans can sound like 'music' to the puthujjana; due to attachment to sensual pleasure. With every guru sexual abuse scandal, they all say: "But he sounded enlightened to me".  emoticon