How to become a stream-enterer (sotāpanna)?

A sotāpanna (Pāli), “stream-enterer”, is a person who has realized the Dhamma and have greatly diminished the first three fetters (Pāli: samyojana).  To realize the Dhamma is to realize the Four Noble Truths.  The three fetters are:

  • self-view (sakkāya-ditthi), 
  • clinging to rites and rituals (sīlabbata-parāmāsa), 
  • and skeptical indecision (vicikicchā).

The word sotāpanna literally means “one who entered (āpanna) the stream (sota), stream-enterer”, after a metaphor which calls the Noble Eightfold Path a stream which leads to the vast ocean, Nibbāna. 

The sotāpanna realizes the Dhamma, this wisdom is right view (Pāli: sammā diṭṭhi) and has unshakable confidence in the Buddha, Dhamma, and Saṅgha.  The sotapanna has “opened the eye of the Dhamma” (dhammacakka), the realization that whatever arises will cease (impermanence).  Their conviction in the Dhamma is unshakable.

The stream-enterer is endowed with the four limbs of stream-entry (Pāli: sotāpannassa angāni): unwavering confidence in: 

  • the Buddha,
  • the Dhamma,  
  • the Saṅgha (community of noble ones), and 
  • commitment to moral conduct.