Dhammapada Verse178 (Anathapindikaputtakala Vatthu) says: “Higher than being a Monarch, greater than being born in the Deva Lokas, or heavenly planes, greater than being a ruler of the three worlds, higher than all of these is the attainment of Sovan (Sotapanna / The Way to Stream Entry)
At this stage the practitioner / sothapanna, begins to understand that there is the deed but not the doer, and this knowing is complete in an Arahant. We have to understand that there is no individual who owns body, feeling, perception, thought and consciousness. That is the most difficult aspect of the Buddha’s teaching. Difficult to conceptualize and even more difficult to experience. Without meditation, it will remain an intellectual exercise. For this one’s meditation should be exactly as per Supreme Buddha’s instructions found in the many suttas like Girimananda Sutta, Ananda Sutta etc.
To understand a simpler person, who is a sotapanna, it is good to read the story of Kukkuta Mltta the hunter and his family comprehend the Dhamma. The story is about a girl who had comprehended the Dhamma, marrying a hunter. In explaining the actions of this hunters wife, Buddha said:
'Bhikkhus, those who are sotapannas don't kill, they don't wish others to get killed. The wife of the hunter was only obeying her husband in getting things for him. It never occurred to her to think she was helping her husband to commit evil deeds. Just as the hand that has no wound is not affected by poison, so since she has no intention to commit evil she has not created any bad kamma.'
The first of the three fetters which the Sotāpanna eradicates is strong self Identity view (Strong ego) / Sakkaya Dhitti - The view that there is a permanent controllable self or soul which can be considered ME/MINE/MY SOUL / MY SELF, which survives after the death. In other words it is the speculative view that a so-called self / Soul (Atta/ Atman exists in the five aggregates of clinging (physical forms, feelings/sensations, perception, mental formations and consciousness), is eradicated because the Sotāpanna gains insight into the selfless nature of the aggregates.
Sakkaya Dhitti is explained in detail in.. Chula vedalla Sutta: The Shorter Set of Questions-and-Answers.
Skeptical Doubt is the second of the three fetters which the Sotāpanna eradicates. - Doubt about Supreme Buddha and his teaching is eradicated by a Sotapanna, because the Sotapanna personally experiences the true nature of reality through insight, and this insight confirms the accuracy of Buddha’s teaching. There is no need for a Sotapanna to associate teachers to take advice to develop spiritually. Through intuition he knows what to do.
Clinging to rites, rituals and superstitions is the third of the three fetters which the Sotāpanna eradicates. - Clinging to the view that one becomes pure simply through performing ritual or rigid moralism, such as relying in a god for non-causal deliverance, slaughtering animals for sacrifice, ablutions, following superstiotions, Astralogical auspicious ways..etc. is eradicated because the Sotāpanna realizes that the excessive rites, rituals and superstitions are nothing more than an obstructive tradition and deliverance can be won only through the practice of the Noble Eightfold Path.
The fifty-fifth Samyutta of the Samyutta Nikaya is called the Sotāpatti-saṃyutta, and concerns Sotapannas and their attainment. In Sutta-numbers of chapter 1-4, 6-9, 11-14, 16-20, 22-36, 39-49, 51, 53, 54, Sotapannas are praised as a part of the Ariya Sangha.
The Anguttara Nikaya (A.iv,392-95) records a fabulous alms-giving conducted by the Bodhisatta when he was born as a brahman named Velama. Lavish gifts of silver, gold, elephants, cows, carriages, etc., not to mention food, drink and clothing, were distributed among everybody who came forward to receive them. But this open-handed munificence was not very valuable as far as merit was concerned because there were no worthy recipients. It is said to be more meritorious to feed one person with right view, a stream-enterer (sotapanna), than to give great alms such as that given by Velama. It is more meritorious to feed one once-returner than a hundred stream-enterers. Next in order come non-returners, arahants, Paccekabuddhas and Sammasambuddhas.
@dmsp.. your question was how to become a Soptapanna (Stream Entrant) through meditation. So I will give a short answer as I do not want the answer to be too lengthy. The meditative way to go about it is this:
Here one should be aware that there are two levels in this Noble Eightfold Path. It is the laukika and the lokottrara levels. Almost all of us that identify ourselves as ‘Buddhists’ are at the ‘laukika’ level. It is the "mundane" (or "worldly") level where we try to follow the Noble Eightfold Path with expectations of a better life now and in future lives, depending on our beliefs, or need, or level of knowledge. As a result we also gain ‘kleshas’ & ‘upakkleshas’ at this mundane level. Buit it is not so at the lokottrara level. This is the "supramundane"(or "transmundane") level where no ‘kleshas’ & ‘upakkleshas’ develop.
If we want to work towards this higher level we have to be like the “kata kirilli”. The Buddha had referred to the kata kirilli, the common hedgebird, found in paddy fields, in the Sakunagghi Sutta-The Hawk. The kata kirilla builds its nest under the mud raised by ploughing the fields, and as long as it stays there, that’s it’s safeguard. Likewise our safeguard is the Satara Satipatthāna (The four foundations of mindfulness).
The path to free oneself from suffering is the Satara Satipatthāna (The four foundations of mindfulness), which means establishing one’s mind (on it). One should learn it with utmost respect and establish one’s mind according to it, if one wants to embark on this road less travelled. Then we will be able to free our minds from other external ‘mundane’ objectives and concentrate on the Satara Satipatthāna (The four foundations of mindfulness). If one could do it, then it is the Sapta Bojjañga (the Seven Factors of Enlightenment) that is going to get developed in him/her. That is, the items that aid in attaining realization of the Path, that will start to get developed. There are seven items that aid realization. They are: Sati (mindfulness); Dhammavicaya (investigating the Dhamma); Viriya (effort; energy); Pīti (happiness); Passaddi (tranquility); Samādhi (concentration) and pēkkā (equanimity).
We will start to understand that cultivation little by little (Sati). When a mind concentrate on the Dhamma in this manner, one will develop the talent of investigating the Dhamma by his wisdom (Dhammavicaya). When the talent of investigating Dhamma by his mind is developed, his effort gets cultivated (Viriya). When effort is developed, happiness gets cultivated (Pīti). When happiness is formed, alleviation/tranquility with respect to his (physical) body and mind gets cultivated (Passaddi). When he feels that relaxation with respect to his body and mind, his mind gets concentrated (Samādhi). A concentrated mind will become temperate since it is cultivated by wisdom (Upēkkā). This mind we have can be cultivated to that level.
Through meditation, the seven factors are developed sequentially since mindfulness factor leads to investigative analysis and so on. Anapanasati sutta (Majjima Nikaya) explains development of the seven factors:
"How bhikkus do the four foundations of mindfulness developed and cultivated, fulfill the seven enlightenment factors?
Bhikkhus, on whatever, occasion a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body as body, ardent, fully aware, and mindful, having put away covetousness and grief for the world – on that occasion unremitting mindfulness is established in him. On whatever occasion unremitting mindfulness is established in a bhuikkhu - on that occasion the mindfulness enlightenment factor is aroused in him, and he develops it and by development it becomes to fulfillment in him. Abiding thus mindful he investigates and examines the state with wisdom and embarks upon a full inquiry into it. "