(Last Updated on : 07/04/2009)
Sotapanna in Buddhism
refers to the stream winner or stream enterer. According to Gautama Buddha
a Sotapanna will definitely attain enlightenment or Arahantship. Sotapanna ship is the foremost step that leads a Buddhist follower to enlightenment. Literally the word refers to the individual who has entered the stream or the sota. A Sotapanna crosses the three obstacles namely Sakkaya-ditthi, Vicikiccha and Silabbata-paramasa.
The three sanyojanas or the fetters stand for the belief in the existence of a soul; the superstition that salvation comes only with penance and an anticipation for the future life. According to Buddha a Sotapanna can take seven rebirths within one life. It implies that the pain and suffering of seven lives will end within one life and then the individual will be capable of preaching the Buddha marga to one and all. The Sotapanna or the steam winner will also be free of rebirths. A Sotapanna is supposed to have absolute belief in the Triple Gems
, have a comprehensive understanding of Buddhist philosophy
and follow the Buddhist morality.
Once the Sotapanna is able to abide by all these rules he can bask in the glory of Sotapatti. He is now a niyato sambodhiparayano i.e. he has arrived at the threshold of nirvana and he will never have to arrive at the gates of the Hell.
Even in Buddhist literature
the reference to Sotapanna could be found. He or she is the first member of the Buddhist Sangha. The Sangha in its turn is the abode for the disciples of Buddha. This place is worthy of respect, gifts, hospitality and salutation.