(The following has been adapted from Goenkaji’s discourse on Day 30 of the 30-day course)
There are three important qualities in the life of a sotāpanna:
1) Total liberation from all doubts and scepticism about Dhamma (vicikicchā).
How can there be any doubt about Dhamma, about the path after one has directly experienced Dhamma, directly experienced the path, has walked on the path, and experienced the benefits. If one has doubts about Dhamma, about the path, about the technique, and feels that one has become a sotāpanna, it is a big delusion.
2) Total liberation from attachment to all rites and rituals (sīla-vata parāmasa).
Every sect, every organized religion has some rites, rituals, and ceremonies.
Some people develop tremendous attachment towards these rites, rituals and ceremonies, and feel that they will get liberated by practising them.
A sotāpanna is liberated from this kind of delusion and understands that attachment to these rites and rituals cannot take one to the final goal. If one still has attachment towards them and feels that “I am a sotāpanna,” it is a big illusion, a big delusion.
3) Total liberation from the belief of some essence in this mind-matter phenomena (sakkāyaditthi).
For conventional purposes, to deal with people, one has to use these words—“I” and “mine”.
However in reality neither the physical structure nor the mental structure nor the combination of the two is “I” or “mine” or “my soul”.
That becomes clear to a sotāpanna not by listening to discourses or by reading scriptures but by direct personal experience.
Having divided, dissected, disintegrated, and dissolved the entire physical and mental structure, it becomes clear how the mind and matter interaction is going on constantly, how the illusion of “I” and “mine” is being created.
These 3 qualities become established in a sotāpanna.
May Dhamma spread for the good of many, for the happiness of many, for the liberation of many.
Bhavatu sabba mangalaṃ!
(Vipassana Newsletter .June’ 07)