Foreword by Professor Asanga Tilakaratne
Entering the Stream to Enlightenment - Experiences of the Stages of the Buddhist Path in Contemporary Sri Lanka - Yuki Sirimane
Asanga Tilakaratne [+]
University of Colombo
This book is a study on the nature and effects of the Theravāda Buddhist religious experiences of the four supramundane fruits of the Noble Eightfold Path - the experience of the fruit which is stream-entry, once returning, non-returning and Arahanthship - with special focus on the experience of stream-entry. It represents the first time within Theravāda Buddhist studies that a serious textual study has been combined with a substantial field research. Despite disciplinary rules which virtually prohibit a monk with higher ordination from discussing their personal religious experiences, this book presents seven comprehensive anonymous interviews conducted mainly with forest monks on their meditative experiences. The study presents a definition for the ‘supramundane fruit’ of the path and an alternate framework to discuss and evaluate Theravāda Buddhist religious experiences. It then uses this framework to address some longstanding debates around the Theravāda path and its fruits thus bringing experience back to the centre stage of these debates.