Entering the Stream to Enlightenment - Experiences of the Stages of the Buddhist Path in Contemporary Sri Lanka - Yuki Sirimane
Yuki Sirimane [+]
In Chapter 8, this study concludes that the Buddhist religious experience is unique and it is impossible to draw adequate conclusions about it based on a mere textual study alone. Many debates, controversies and confusions are dueto overlooking the experiential aspects and teachers and preachers introducing new elements, terminology and analyses to Dhamma over and above what the Buddha declared, at times even against the advice of the Buddha. Even amongst the successful practitioners there are varied views depending on the route each one followed personally up to their goal and they take it that that alone is the Path and all others are not-the-Path. However, despite these debates amongst successful practitioners, a common ground can be established with regard to the fundamentals of their transforming experience on the Path. These fundamentals also correspond to what has been laid down in the texts. Further, many current trends of thought relating to supramundane fruits and noble persons and even public claims made by certain individuals with regard to the Path and attainment of its fruits, can at least be evaluated technically against the texts. In fact there is ample room to do so without having to accept them blindly or reject them outright, or even getting confused about contradictory views and opinions expressed by equally knowledgeable and known authorities. It also concludes that, despite rampant distortions, myths and wrong views professed publicly, the true Dhamma is not limited to the texts. It is still very much alive, taught generously and is practised diligently, though discretely or even silently.