A Study on The Process of The Human Formation of The Four Steps toward Enlightenment(四果) as The Practice in Buddhism and Its Educational Significances : In Comparison with John Dewey’s Educational Empiricism

Songgon Lee1,*   

1Dongguk University


From the viewpoint of the educational experience, This Paper aims to examine the process of the human formation of ‘The Four Steps for The Practice toward Enlightenment(四果)’, that is The Sotāpanna(須陀洹), The Skadāgāmī(斯陀含), The Anāgāmī(阿那含), The Arahan(阿羅漢) in the early buddhism among buddhist history and thereby to suggest its educational significances.

First of all, as the comparative method for this, the writer used the principles of growth of education, its continuity, and its interaction in John Dewey.

Although there is no common denominator between the concept of The Four Steps of The Practice(bhāvanā) toward Enlightenment and that of Educational Experience in John Dewey, I tried to build a theory of human formation by educational experience in The Four Steps of The Practice toward Enlightenment by comparing that both, that is The Four Steps of The Practice by ‘interdependent theory(緣起法)’ appeared as logical structure in the former, which The Sotāpanna(須陀洹) as the first step for the practice succeed to accompany The Skadāgāmī(斯陀含) as the next step and continuously next to The Anāgāmī(阿那含) and continuously next to The Arahan(阿羅漢) and the ‘contunity’ for the growth of educational experience in the latter.

The comparative discussion between the two like this is possible. To put it concretely, because the concept of the vividly educational experience that progressed by continuity and growth in nature for John Dewey is built on the foundations of ‘the inter-connected relation of the whole situations(全體狀況의 相互連結)’ is roughly like that of the supreme educational experience at ‘The Four Steps of the practice toward Enlightenment’ that the three poisonous mind, namely Greed(貪欲) · Anger(瞋恚), · Foolishness(痴闇), is totally disappeared through elimination of the ten fetters including Greed by The Hwanmyeolmun(還滅門 ; The gate of nibbāna through which one escape transmigration(輪迴) through successive extinction of anguishes based on the twelve links of dependent arising) progressing step by step from ‘all sentient beings(凡夫衆生)’ to ‘The Arahan', as the supreme state in ‘the world’. ‘The Four Steps of the practice toward Enlightenment’ has revealed the Value of the buddhistic human formation by the comparative discussion like this. In addition, this Four Steps of the practice toward Enlightenment is meaningfil in that appears epistemologic relation. Therefore, this ‘Four Steps for the practice toward Enlightenment’(四果) in the early buddhism has the educational significances for the human formation.

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