BEING STREAM WINNER IS SUPREME -The Story of Kala, son of Anathapindika – Dhammapada Verse 178)
“Pathavya ekaraggena Saggassa gamanenava
Sabbalokadhipachcena Sotapatti palam varam”
“The achievement of the fruit of stream – winning is the primary stage in the attainment of spiritual success. That state is greater than being a universal monarch,or reaching heaven.”
While residing at the Jetawana Monastery, the Buddha spoke this verse, with reference to Kala, son of Anatapindika the well renounced rich man of Savasthi.
Kala, son of Anatha Pindika, always kept away when ever the Buddha and his company of monks came to their house. Anatha Pindika was afraid that if kept on behaving in this way, he would be reborn in one of the lower worlds (apayas). So he enticed his son with promise of money. He promised to give one hundred if the youth consented to go to the monastery and keep a Sabbath for one day. So the youth went to the monastery and returned home early the next day, without listing to any religious discourses. His father offered him rice gruel, but instead of taking his food, he first demanded to have the money.
The next day, the father said to his son, “My son if you learn a stanza of the text from the Buddha, I will give you one thousand on your return.” So Kala went to the Monastery again, and told the Buddha that he wanted to learn some thing. The Buddha gave him a short stanza to learn by heart: at the same time he willed that the youth would not be able to memorize it. So the youth had to repeat a single stanza many times. But because he had to repeat it so many times, in the end, he came to perceive the full meaning of the Dhamma and attained Sotapatthi fruition.
Early next morning, he followed the Buddha and the monks to his own house. But on that day, he was silently wishing, ‘I wish my father would not give give me one hundred thousand in the presence of the Buddha. I do not wish the Buddha to know that I kept the Sabbath just for the sake of money.” His father offered rice gruel to the Buddha and the monks, and also to him. Then his father brought him one thousand, and told Kala to take the money but surprisingly refused. His father pressed him take it, but he still refused.
Then Anathapindika said to the Buddha, “Venerable, and the demeanor of my son to day, pleases me.” “How is that great treasurer?” “ Day before yesterday I sent him to the, Monastery, saying to him, I will give you a hundred pieces of gold, Yesterday he refused to eat because I did not give him the money: but today, when I give him the money, he refuses to touch it.’ The Buddha replied, “It is even so, great treasurer, to day in attaining the fruit of conversion, your son has attained that which surpasses the attainment of a universal monarch, the attainment of the world of the deities, the attainment of the world of the Brahma”
Here “Sothapatti” means stream entry, the stream that leads to Nibbana. It is the noble Eightfold Path. “Sota” means the stream that leads to Nibbana. “A” means for the first time. ‘Patti” means attainment.” Attainment of the stream for the first time. It is the realization of Nibbana for the first time. This is the first stage of sainthood. The stream winners are not born in woeful states, but the worldly great are not exempt from them.
One should note that Kala’s case was rare as he was able to listen to Dhamma preached by a Samma Sambuddha. This was because, the Buddha perceived a special intelligence (gnana) called “Para Citta Vijanana Gana,” (ability to read other’s minds) which is one of the five super normal psychic knowledge’s and "Indriya Paro Pariyatti Nana." ( Six Kinds of Incomparable knowledge, Sad Asadarana Nana) These can be achieved only by Samma Sambuddha. This is the knowledge regarding the development of the faculties (indriya) of another person.(Faith, effort, mindfulness, concentration power, and wisdom). Buddha also had the Special knowledge called,"Asayanusaya Nana," this is regarding the ability to understand the mental attitude of the listeners, their mental background, such as hindrances (defilements.
Therefore the Buddha’s direct preaching helped him to attain Sotapanna (stream entry), as he was able to understand Kala’s mind and preached according to his level of development. There were more than billions of people and Devas who attained Sotapanna during Buddha’s time. This was because most of them had perfected their Paramitas (perfections) in their long journey of samsara, their five faculties were well developed (pancha indriya), they were able to fulfill their aspirations- the wish to be liberated in the presence of a Buddha.
In the present day, we may need to work a bit extra to attain Sotapanna (stream entry), because a Buddha is not at present. We still
need to practice the qualities of
the Thirty Seven Factors of Enlightenment
and listen to Dhamma Sermons through
When we act and practice according to
When we act and practice according to
the Buddha’s teachings, using
mindfulness and wise attention
in the forefront of our thoughts, attend to Samata and Vipassana meditation practice, one will gradually detach from worldly pleasures and, one’s mind will be purified and this would lead to peace and lasting happiness.