Becoming Faith follower or Dhamma follower

The famous Cakkhu sutta:

At Savatthi. “Monks, the eye is impermanent, changeable, becoming otherwise. The ear… The nose… The tongue… The body… The mind is impermanent, changeable, becoming otherwise. One who has conviction & belief that these phenomena are this way is called a faith-follower: one who has entered the orderliness of rightness, entered the plane of people of integrity, transcended the plane of the run-of-the-mill. He is incapable of doing any deed by which he might be reborn in hell, in the animal womb, or in the realm of hungry shades. He is incapable of passing away until he has realized the fruit of stream-entry. One who, after pondering with a modicum of discernment, has accepted that these phenomena are this way is called a Dhamma-follower: one who has entered the orderliness of rightness, entered the plane of people of integrity, transcended the plane of the run-of-the-mill. He is incapable of doing any deed by which he might be reborn in hell, in the animal womb, or in the realm of hungry shades. He is incapable of passing away until he has realized the fruit of stream-entry. One who knows and sees that these phenomena are this way is called a stream-enterer, steadfast, never again destined for states of woe, headed for self-awakening.”

This sutta always interested me.

It seems so easy to be faith follower and Dhamma follower as if it is a fast forward ticket to Sotapanna goal.

So if I accept the teaching with sufficient reasoning and with wise reflection, that the eye is impermanent, changeable, becoming otherwise. The ear… The nose… The tongue… The body… The mind is impermanent, changeable, becoming otherwise…am I a Dhamma follower now?

How can one understand that he/she is on which side now?

And it seems both Faith follower and Dhamma follower will not born into woeful states too.

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I have gone through this term before with the Sri Lankan monk. It seems like it would be easy… but it is not…
It is definitely referring to sotāpanna. But I think it is with an emphasis of one or the other characteristics. Similar to the different types of Bodhisattas who mature into Buddhas. I’ll try to look this up for you.

This is definitely one of those things we need to address in the book (that I have not really started yet).
This is the same’ol argument of path and fruition being long time periods apart.
There are actually suttanta references to clarify this as well. I’ll try to dig them up.
Unfortunately… since I’m one of the devs of the TPP, I lose my bookmarks all of the time. :slight_smile:

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Thank you Bhante :pray:t2:

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Well… that was much easier than I thought… and I found a Suttanta reference too.
However, I was shown this before, so TPP did the work for me.

MN 70. Kīṭāgirisutta

Katamo ca, bhikkhave, puggalo saddhānusārī?
And what person is a follower by faith?

Idha, bhikkhave, ekacco puggalo ye te santā vimokkhā atikkamma rūpe āruppā te na kāyena phusitvā viharati, paññāya cassa disvā ekacce āsavā parikkhīṇā honti, tathāgate cassa saddhāmattaṃ hoti pemamattaṃ, api cassa ime dhammā honti, seyyathidaṃ—

It’s a person who doesn’t have direct meditative experience of the peaceful liberations that are formless, transcending form. Nevertheless, having seen with wisdom, some of their defilements have come to an end. And they have a degree of faith and love for the Realized One. And they have the following qualities:

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Thank you for the Sutta reference, Bhante.

In previous post, you wrote:

It is definitely referring to sotāpanna.

So may I know in your opinion, Faith follower or Dhamma follower is a type of Sotāpanna? (I thought they are only three types of Sotapannas: ekabiji, kolankola, sattakkhattuparama)

I always take them as a stage arrived before Sotapannahood.

The way I understand it is:
A person will become either Saddhanusari or Dhammanusari first in the initial stage, then progress to Sotāpanna Magga and Phala.

It is very clear in the commentary too.

Majjhimanikāye
Mūlapaṇṇāsa-aṭṭhakathā

Tattha dhammānusārino saddhānusārinoti ime dve sotāpattimaggaṭṭhā honti. Yathāha – ‘‘katamo ca puggalo dhammānusārī? Yassa puggalassa sotāpattiphalasacchikiriyāya paṭipannassa paññindriyaṃ adhimattaṃ hoti, paññāvāhiṃ paññāpubbaṅgamaṃ ariyamaggaṃ bhāveti. Ayaṃ vuccati puggalo dhammānusārī. Sotāpattiphalasacchikiriyāya paṭipanno puggalo dhammānusārī, phale ṭhito diṭṭhippatto. Katamo ca puggalo saddhānusārī? Yassa puggalassa sotāpattiphalasacchikiriyāya paṭipannassa saddhindriyaṃ adhimattaṃ hoti, saddhāvāhiṃ saddhāpubbaṅgamaṃ ariyamaggaṃ bhāveti. Ayaṃ vuccati puggalo saddhānusārī.

mm para 248
Also found in pu. pa. 30 (mula) reference given by commentary and found in TPP as well.

According to my weak pāḷi knowledge. It is saying that the attainment sotāpattiphalasacchikiriyāya is with a high measure of wisdom or a high measure of faith. I highlighted the key words which you can understand.

Thank you Bhante for the information.

But if Saddhanusari/Dhammanusari is equivalent to Sotāpanna, that would be contradictory with Okkantasamyutta wasn’t it?

For the Suttanta stated that they are different stages. Saddhanusari takes up the teaching by faith while Dhammanusari takes up the teaching after wise reflection; but Sotapanna sees the teaching directly.

In the Suttanta, both Saddhanusari and Dhammanusari were mentioned as “he is incapable of passing away without having realized the fruit of stream-entry.”, which indicates that he/she is not yet a Sotapanna but going to be soon.

Then Puggalapannati in Abhidhamma (Navaka Niddesa):
IMG_20220605_100230

The way I try to understand the Atthakatha Pāli above (my Pāli isn’t good either) could be roughly like this: People that striving for Sotapanna fruit realization (sotāpatti phala sacchikiriyāya) with wisdom faculty (paññindriyaṃ) as main factor (adhimattaṃ) are known as Dhammanusari. People that striving for Sotapanna fruit realization with faith faculty (saddhindriyaṃ) as main factor are known as Saddhanusari.

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Yes… it is difficult to understand.
I get the feeling from that passage (which is the same as the commentary which references this mula translation page) that this is some sort honorary class of attainment made by a special determination. It appears that it might be very difficult to attain this special class of attainment whereas a simple Sotāpanna would be easier and most secure. However, I will ask a teacher on this… because … what do I know compared to them.

So far, I was explained this topic (brought up by myself too) in the way I explained back to you.
I can try to give more information to the teachers for a counter explanation.

Perhaps ven @AriyadassanaBhikkhu can give an answer.

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It is still at best a magga status. Do not forget that phala is one mind moment away and therefore, impossible to die without attainment.

However, a discussion with a lankhara ex monk friend said it is generally known as a sotāpanna. It is splitting hairs at this point and he does not like the discussion. It also speaks of higher attainments with this distinction.

I can maybe try to ask the meditation teacher about this. However, it is still splitting hairs by a mind moment.

Sure, thank you Bhante.

But I disagree with your ex-monk friend. I don’t think it is a hair splitting matter. This is quite essential to understand whether we misinterpretated the Suttanta or Atthakatha or not. As it touches on the important issue of enlightenment stages, if we misinterpretated it, that would be a big blockage to our understanding of Dhamma.

Since Magga is followed closely by Phala, that would mean that Dhammanusari and Saddhanusari weren’t Magga either. Because if they are, the Buddha would have said so in the Suttanta or Abhidhamma that they are to be considered as the same. And if Dhammanusari and Saddhanusari were Sotapatti Magga, the Buddha wouldn’t say “he is incapable of passing away without having realized the fruit of stream-entry.”, which implied there is a gap of time for practice.

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This old post from ven Dhammanando has some good info:
https://groups.io/g/dsg/message/69360

This is a late reply to message #60469 (Thu Jun 15, 2006) in which you discussed the phrase sotaapattiphalasacchakiriyaaya pa.tipanno (‘practising for the realization of the fruition of stream-attainer’) as it occurs in the Dakkhi.naavibhanga Sutta.
I don’t recall anyone posting any more detail, but as this very issue has just come up on E-sangha I thought I would post here my reply to a question from the Czech monk Ven. Gavesako (Jakub Bartovsky):

Ven.G:
“Can I ask, how does the commentary explain the 8 types of individuals mentioned in the Suttas, namely, “one practising for realizing the fruit of stream-entry”, “stream-enterer” and so on? (These are also described as recipients of offerings, which means they have to be at that particular stage for more than a single moment.)”

Dh:

I think phalasacchikiriyaaya pa.tipanna would be better translated as “one who has entered upon the way to the realisation of the fruit…” (~Naa.namoli’s rendering), rather than “one practising for…”

In answer to your question, a good place to start is the commentary to the Dakkhi.naavibhanga Sutta (MN. 142); this is one of the suttas in which these persons are described as potential recipients of offerings.

It should be noted that the 8 types in this Sutta do not perfectly overlap with the “4 pairs of persons, 8 kinds of individuals” that constitute the Noble Sangha, for the 4 pairs here are not attainer of the path vs. attainer of the fruit, but rather, one who has entered upon the way to realisation of the fruit vs. one has realised the fruit. In the commentarial exposition, disciples in whom sotaapatti magga has arisen are just one sub-class of persons who have entered upon the way to realisation of sotaapatti phala.

The phrase “one who has entered upon the way to realisation of the fruit of stream-entry” (sotaapattiphalasacchikiriyaaya pa.tipanna) is defined by the commentary according to the Sutta Method, and the definition given is a rather broad and inclusive one; in this context any worldling who has become an upaasaka by going to the three refuges is reckoned as “one who has entered upon the way to realisation of the fruit…” The commentator remarks that being an upaasaka with the three refuges is the bare minimum (he.t.thimako.ti) for a person to be counted as such; he then proceeds to list seven other types who are progressively more worthy to be recipients of offerings:

  • one established in the five precepts;
  • one established in the ten precepts;
  • one who goes forth as a saama.nera (so long as the offering is given to him on the day he goes forth);
  • a bhikkhu who is dutiful (vattasampanna);
  • a vipassaka (i.e. one who has developed insight up to but not including the knowledge of rise and fall);
  • an aaraddhavipassaka (one who has developed strong insight, i.e. knowledge of rise and fall onwards);
  • a maggasamangii (one possessed of the factors of the path).

The last is the highest type and is the only one who has actually attained sotaapatti magga.

The commentator then asks if it is possible to give a gift to a maggasamangii, considering that such a ‘person’ only exists for a single mind-moment. He answers that it is and gives the example of an aaraddhavipassaka bhikkhu who goes to a layman’s house for almsfood, the people there take his almsbowl from him and then emergence of the path ( magga-vu.t.thaana) occurs in him at the same moment that they are putting food in his bowl. There are a few other examples given, but they are essentially the same, differing only in the manner in which the food is given.

Later, to make the difference between the two lists of eight clearer to another poster, I summarized them:

List A: the Noble Sangha:

  1. Attainer of the path of stream-entry. (ariyan).

  2. Attainer of the fruit of stream-entry. (ariyan).

  3. Attainer of the path of once-returning. (ariyan).

  4. Attainer of the fruit of once-returning. (ariyan).

  5. Attainer of the path of non-returning. (ariyan).

  6. Attainer of the fruit of non-returning. (ariyan).

  7. Attainer of the path of arahatta. (ariyan).

  8. Attainer of the fruit of arahatta. (ariyan).

List B: Eight persons worthy of gifts:

  1. One who has entered upon the way to the realization of the fruit of stream-entry. (might be an ariyan or puthujjana. If he’s an ariyan then he will be the same as person 1 in List A).

  2. Stream-entrant. (ariyan = person 2 in List A).

  3. One who has entered upon the way to the realization of the fruit of once-returning. (ariyan).

  4. Once-returner. (ariyan).

  5. One who has entered upon the way to the realization of the fruit of non-returning. (ariyan).

  6. Non-returner. (ariyan).

  7. One who has entered upon the way to the realization of the fruit of arahatta. (ariyan).

  8. Arahant. (ariyan).

And in another later post I added the qualification that though the above is the case with the Dakkhi.naavibhanga Sutta, there are other suttas in which person 1 in List A refers only to the maggasamangii / attainer of the path of stream-entry, and so in these suttas the list consists entirely of ariyans.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando

Hello Ayasma,

You’ve made a mistake there as the pali doesn’t match the english. I believe you’ve mixed up the saddhavimutti(english) and saddhanussari(pali), basically quoting the wrong verse as translation.

Saddhanussari haven’t seen with discernent.

You will need to quote me properly so I can understand what is wrong. Try highlighting the post and then it will ask you to quote. This will make a reply to this thread with the highlighted quote.

You were quoting mn70

The latter english part describes ‘one liberated by faith’

“What kind of person is one liberated-by-faith? Here some person does not contact with the body and abide in those liberations that are peaceful and immaterial, transcending forms, but some of his taints are destroyed by his seeing with wisdom, and his faith is planted, rooted, and established in the Tathāgata. This kind of person is called one liberated-by-faith.

It doesn’t describe a ‘faith-follower’.

“What kind of person is a faith-follower? Here some person does not contact with the body and abide in those liberations that are peaceful and immaterial, transcending forms, and his taints are not yet destroyed by his seeing with wisdom, yet he has sufficient faith in and love for the Tathāgata. Furthermore, he has these qualities: the faith faculty, the energy faculty, the mindfulness faculty, the concentration faculty, and the wisdom faculty. This kind of person is called a faith-follower. SuttaCentral

I don’ t know what you are trying to say.
I also may have quoted the commentary.
The main thing is that when taints / defilements are destroyed… that means enlightened and irreversible. Therefore it is not some type of Path that Suttantas /ebt’ers claim.

This is a group where the suttas and dhamma and abhidhamma and commentary are all considered a complete package. This is what ClassicalTheravada discussion is about. We try to avoid those who lurk in the dhammawheel and suttacentral. Those groups might be a better place for those discussions on a Path that last for longer than a mind moment and other suttanta ebt ideas.

If you have intention to be a Sotāpanna Anugāmi (Sotāpanna Anugāmi is a sotāpattiphalasacchikiriyāya paṭipanno which means person practicing for realizing the fruit of entering the Stream) which is equivalent to either Dhammānusārī (dhamma follower) or Saddhānusārī (faith follower), then you have to read and understand the following suttā:

  1. Patipanna Sutta (SN 48.18) describes the eight types of Noble Persons.

  2. The eight Noble Persons (Ariyā) are also listed in other suttā too including “Paṭhama Puggala Sutta (AN 8.59)” and in “Puggala Sutta (AN 9.9).”

  3. An important way of classification of the Noble Persons (Ariyā) relevant to this topic on Dhammānusārī or Saddhānusārī is given in Tatiyasankhita Sutta (SN 48.14).

To know the details of the above suttā, please read this article on “Sotāpanna Anugāmi – No More Births in the Apāyā.”

You may also want to know that there are four conditions for reaching the Sotāpanna magga/phala.

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Thanks for the sutta reference. Appreciate that.

However, “Pure Dhamma” isn’t Theravada and it is Waharaka monk doctrine. I will not consider it.

I advise you not to waste time at their website too.

I understand now that there is a confusion because the translations are radically different

Here is Bhikkhu Bodhi’s translation;

“What kind of person is a faith-follower? Here some person does not contact with the body and abide in those liberations that are peaceful and immaterial, transcending forms, and his taints are not yet destroyed by his seeing with wisdom, yet he has sufficient faith in and love for the Tathāgata.

Here is Thanissaro

"And what is the individual who is a conviction-follower? There is the case where a certain individual does not remain touching with his body those peaceful liberations that transcend form, that are formless, nor — having seen with discernment — are his fermentations ended. But he has a [sufficient] measure of conviction in & love for the Tathagata.

Whereas Sujato pins it

And what person is a follower by faith?
It’s a person who doesn’t have direct meditative experience of the peaceful liberations that are formless, transcending form. Nevertheless, having seen with wisdom, some of their defilements have come to an end.

I think i’ve figured it out and it’s that Sujato’s pali text is lacking the negative prefix in aparikkhīṇā describing saddhanussari.

You can see here MN I_utf8

Katamo ca bhikkhave puggalo saddhānusārī: idha bhikkhave ekacco puggalo ye te santā vimokkhā atikkamma rūpe āruppā te kāyena phassitvā viharati, paññāya cassa disvā āsavā aparikkhīṇā1 honti. Tathāgate cassa saddhāmattaṃ hoti pemamattaṃ.

It does not matter.
You seem to change the Pāḷi here and try to quote incorrectly

āsavā aparikkhīṇā

The original quote is this

ekacce āsavā parikkhīṇā honti ,

and this means that First Fruition has arisen. The rest is with the leading quality that preceded it.

It seems that a game of “comparison” is done here similar to what Ajahn Sujato often does.
List lots of different versions of the same thing and then somehow insist that there is some other meaning.

My original quote still stands.

ekacce āsavā parikkhīṇā honti , simply means ekacce āsavā parikkhīṇā honti ,
You don’t need to know Pāḷi to see that it means some āsavā are destroyed.

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