Pairs of Ariyas

Hello all,

Does anyone understand the classical Theravada understanding of the 8 types of ariya - the four types of noble ones taken in pairs.

sotāpattiphalasacchikiriyāya paṭipanne dānaṁ datvā
having given a gift to one who has entered upon the way to experiencing the fruit of Stream-Entry

asaṅkheyyā appameyyā dakkhiṇā pāṭikaṅkhitabbā.
an immeasurable, unlimited offering is to be expected (in return).

Ko pana vādo Sotāpanne?
What to say about a Stream-Enterer?

Ko pana vādo Sakadāgāmiphalasacchikiriyāya paṭipanne?
What to say about one who has entered upon the way to experiencing the fruit of Once-Returning?

Ko pana vādo Sakadāgāmissa?
What to say about a Once-Returner?

Ko pana vādo Anāgāmiphalasacchikiriyāya paṭipanne?
What to say about one who has entered upon the way to experiencing the fruit of Non-Returning?

Ko pana vādo Anāgāmissa?
What to say about a Non-Returner?

Ko pana vādo Arahattaphalasacchikiriyāya paṭipanne?
What to say about one who has entered upon the way to experiencing the fruit of Worthiness?

Ko pana vādo Arahante?
What to say about a Worthy One? … 0woGA#toc3

Buddhaghosa’s Visuddhimagga has a chapter on this in XXII regarding Gotrabhu (change of lineage) and then the 8 types of ariyas (path and fruit of each stage of enlightenment). But I can’t say I understand what he’s talking about when he distinguishes between one who has entered upon the path of a sotapanna and an actual sotapanna who has realized the fruits.

  1. Immediately next to that knowledge [path of sotapanna], however, there arise either two or three
    fruition consciousnesses, which are its result. For it is owing to this very fact that
    supramundane profitable [consciousness] results immediately that it is said,
    “And which he called the concentration with immediate result” (Sn 226), and
    “Sluggishly he reaches what has immediate result for the destruction of the
    cankers” (A II 149), and so on.
  2. Some, however, say that there are one, two, three, four, or five fruition
    consciousnesses. That is inadmissible. For change-of-lineage knowledge arises
    at the end of conformity’s repetition, so at the minimum there must be two
    conformity consciousnesses, since one alone does not act as repetition condition.
    And a single series of impulsions has a maximum of seven [impulsion]
    consciousnesses. Consequently, that series which has two conformities and
    change-of-lineage as a third and path consciousness as fourth has three fruition
    consciousnesses. That which has three conformities and change-of-lineage as
    fourth and path consciousness as fifth has two fruition consciousnesses. That is
    why it was said above, “There arise either two or three fruition consciousnesses.”
  3. Then some say that which has four conformities and change-of-lineage as
    fifth and path consciousness as sixth has one fruition consciousness. But that is
    refuted because it is the fourth or fifth [impulsion] that reaches [the path], not
    those after that, owing to their nearness to the life-continuum (see IV.75). So that
    cannot be accepted as correct. [676]
  4. And at this point this stream-enterer is called the second noble person.
    However negligent he may be, he is bound to make an end of suffering when he
    has travelled and traversed the round of rebirths among deities and human
    beings for the seventh time.

The common non-classical idea that anyone practicing to be a sotapanna is one who has entered the path doesnt seem to be supported by the Visuddhimagga, which states the level of gotrabhu must be achieved before entering upon the path to sotapanna, and if you look at the preceding chapter in the Vism, gotrabhu requires some attainment of jhana and mastery of the conformity knowledges first. the difference between path and fruit of ariya stages seems to be meditative attainment/fetter(?) related but perhaps in a more subtle way than the differences in the actual four levels of enlightement. Although if someone was to ask me to explain the difference between path and fruit of ariya stages I certainly dont think i could.

Is anyone here knowledgeable in this? Or at least think you know what Buddhaghosa is talking about?

Your questions seems to be similar to this topic.

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Yes, it certainly seems similar. Although maybe a bit different though. The other post mentions the magga phase is experienced only for a moment prior to the phala phase. My question is more, what is the difference between the magga and phala phase at all? Even if the magga phase lasts just a moment what is the distinguishing feature between them that gives one a reason to differentiate them?

Hi Trobinson
To your question , yes the magga citta is only one moment and then the phala cittas arise in the same process for only 2 or 3 moments. It all happens in a flash.
From A Survey of Paramattha Dhammas:
A-Survey-of-Paramattha-Dhammas.pdf (1.1 MB)

Lokuttara citta is of two j¯atis: kusala and vip¯aka. There is no lokuttara kiriyacitta.
There are eight types of lokuttara citta, corresponding with the
four stages of enlightenment. For each stage there is the magga-citta,
path-consciousness, which is lokuttara kusala citta, and the fruitionconsciousness, phala-citta, which is lokuttara vip¯akacitta.

The lokuttara kusala citta is the condition for the lokuttara vip¯akacitta
> to succeed it immediately; there is no other type of citta arising in
> between the lokuttara kusala citta, which is cause, and the lokuttara
> vip¯akacitta, which is result. Apart from the lokuttara kusala citta, no
> other type of kusala citta can produce vip¯akacitta immediately succeeding it.

As soon as the magga-citta of the sot¯apanna, which is lokuttara
kusala citta, has fallen away, it is succeeded by the phala-citta that is
lokuttara vip¯akacitta. It is the same in the case of the magga-citta and
the phala-citta of the sakad¯ag¯am¯ı, the an¯ag¯am¯ı and the arahat.
The four types of lokuttara vip¯akacitta, the phala-cittas, cannot perform the functions of rebirth, bhavanga and dying. They are different
from mundane vip¯akacittas.9 The lokuttara vip¯akacitta that immediately succeeds the lokuttara kusala citta also has nibb¯ana as object. The
lokuttara vip¯akacitta, the phala-citta, performs the function of javana
in the same process as the lokuttara kusala citta that precedes it. The
phala-citta is the only type of vip¯akacitta that can perform the function
of javana in a process. It performs the function of javana and it has
nibb¯ana as object. Each type of lokuttara kusala citta arises only once
in the cycle of birth and death and it eradicates defilements completely,
in conformity with the stage of enlightenment that has been attained.
However, there are two or three lokuttara vip¯akacittas arising after the
lokuttara kusala citta; these succeed one another and have nibb¯ana as
object. It depends on the type of person who attains enlightenment
whether phala-citta arises two or three times.

the AtthasaliniThe expositor PTS (translator : maung tin).
P58. Triplets in the Matika
Has a useful section where it explains that the process where Nibbana is attained has the same level of concentration as mundane jhana - but very different in other aspects from mundane jhana.

The Discourse on LOKUTTARA (transcendental).

“He cultivates the Jhana means that he evolves, produces the ecstatic jhana of one momentary flash of consciousness. because it goes forth from the world, from the round of rebirths, this is jhana called going out…This is not like that which is known as ‘leading to accumulation’ which heaps up and increases rebirths by the moral(kusala) consciousness of the three planes[includes kusala such as giving as well as all levels of “mundane” jhana]

Maybe you can quote that. But actually no mundane jhana is required prior to magga citta.

here is a topic about this:

Aww yes, looks like you’re right. change-of-lineage comes after conformity knowledges but it doenst look like you necessarily need jhana for the conformity knowledges.

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