Points of Controversy

3.5. Of the Eighth Man

Controverted Point: That for the person in the Eighth Stage, outbursts of wrong views and of doubt are put away.

Theravādin: Are you then also prepared to admit that the eighth man is a Stream-Winner, one who has won, obtained, arrived at, and realized the Fruit of Stream-Winning, and that, having achieved, he lives in personal contact therewith? Are you further prepared to admit that he has put away the latent bias of doubt and wrong views? And if these, then also the infection of mere rule and ritual? For your proposition involves all this. Conversely, if you deny that these are put away by him, you must also deny that he has put away wrong views and doubt.

How should he have already put away wrong views and doubt when he has not yet practised the Path wherein they get put away? And not only the Path (the Eightfold), but all the other factors of Enlightenment?

For if he have not put away wrong views and doubt by the Path, or the other factors, he can surely not have put them away by means that is not the Path, but is worldly, co-intoxicant, etc. … and corrupt.

Andhakas and Sammitīyas: Since you deny that a person of the eighth rank has put away the overt outburst of wrong views and of doubt, I ask you, will these arise any more in him?

Theravādin: They will not.

Andhakas and Sammitīyas: Surely then our proposition is true: they are put away.

Theravādin: Assuming that the outbursts will not again arise i.e., become manifest in action, you say they are put away. But is the latent bias of wrong opinions, doubt, and belief in mere rule and ritual equally put away simply because these do not arise? And this you are not prepared to admit.

Once more, you claim that the eighth man has put away wrong views and doubt. But you must then allow that one who has reached the stage in jhāna-meditation of “adoption” has put them away, and in this you do not concur.