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Apannaka Sutta: A Safe Bet Print E-mail


The Buddha often likened himself to a doctor, offering a treatment for the sufferings of the heart. Unlike ordinary doctors, however, he could not show newcomers the state of health — nibbana — that his teaching was supposed to produce. If they followed his teaching, they would see it for themselves. But until they followed his teaching, he could offer them no empirical that nibbana was a genuine possibility. As he stated in MN 27, the proof that he was awakened — and that awakening was a good thing — came with one's first taste of the Deathless, at the first level of awakening, called stream-entry. However, stream-entry could be attained only through a serious commitment to the practice. Thus he had to provide other, non-empirical, means of persuasion to induce his listeners to give his teachings a serious try.

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