The Non-Returner (Anāgāmī) Who Was Restless About His Friend

Dear friends,
I remember reading a story in the Pali scriptures; I believe it was Visuddhimagga, but I can’t find the story anymore. It is quite important for me because it proves that an Anāgāmī (Non-Returner) can be restless and explains why.

In this story, which I cannot find anymore, an Anāgāmī older monk, and an Arahant younger monk, two friends travel to a distant place. On their way, laypeople invite these two bhikkhus to come and stay in a resthouse. They accept, but the Anāgāmī, who is an older monk, receives a safe and beautiful room, whereas the Arahant young monk receives a non-safe and ugly room. Throughout the night, the Anāgāmī old monk does not sleep because he is vexed and worries about his young friend, who is in a dangerous and ugly room. However, the Arahant young monk happily meditates throughout the night despite the low quality of his residence.

So, do you have any idea where this is in the Pāḷi texts? I used both Chaṭṭha Saṅgāyanā Tipiṭaka 4.0 software as well as Tipiṭaka Pāḷi Reader to find this text. I searched the words anāgāmī NEAR āvasathāgāra, distance max. 20 words. I also searched anāgāmī NEAR uddhacca. I could find many references that Anāgāmī has no kukkucca (remorse) but still has uddhacca (restlessness), but the story I need seems to have disappeared (?).

Or did I make up this story? Or did I dream that I read this story? :upside_down_face: Any help to find this story or any other story that shows how Anāgāmī is restless will be most appreciated, please.

Thank you all very much. :sun_with_face:

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Uddhacca (restlessness) arises with all akusala citta, so it still arises at times for the Anagami, who has yet to completely eradicate avijja and lobha.

But the Anagami has no dosa, no aversion, so the restlessness must be very subtle.


I checked. He can get restlessness.

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Yes, Non-Returners can be restless. Anāgāmī has no more kukkucca but still has uddhacca. This fact is not only supported by the Commentaries, but it is mentioned by the Buddha Himself when the Buddha explains that Anāgāmīs have yet to remove the remaining five fetters (saṃyojana), and these last five of ten fetters include uddhacca (restlessness) -

AN 10 2.3. Saṃyojanasuttaṃ
13. ‘‘Dasayimāni, bhikkhave, saṃyojanāni. Katamāni dasa? Pañcorambhāgiyāni saṃyojanāni, pañcuddhambhāgiyāni saṃyojanāni. Katamāni pañcorambhāgiyāni saṃyojanāni? Sakkāyadiṭṭhi, vicikicchā, sīlabbataparāmāso, kāmacchando, byāpādo – imāni pañcorambhāgiyāni saṃyojanāni.
‘‘Katamāni pañcuddhambhāgiyāni saṃyojanāni? Rūparāgo, arūparāgo, māno, uddhaccaṃ, avijjā – imāni pañcuddhambhāgiyāni saṃyojanāni. Imāni kho, bhikkhave, dasa saṃyojanānī’’ti. Tatiyaṃ.

→ AN 4 (9)4.8. Saṃyojanasuttaṃ
88. ‘‘Cattārome, bhikkhave, puggalā santo saṃvijjamānā lokasmiṃ. Katame cattāro? Samaṇamacalo, samaṇapuṇḍarīko, samaṇapadumo, samaṇesu samaṇasukhumālo.

‘‘Kathañca, bhikkhave, puggalo samaṇapadumo hoti? Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu pañcannaṃ orambhāgiyānaṃ saṃyojanānaṃ parikkhayā opapātiko hoti tattha parinibbāyī anāvattidhammo tasmā lokā. Evaṃ kho, bhikkhave, puggalo samaṇapadumo hoti.

In AN 10 Saṃyojana Sutta the Buddha explains the ten fetters, mentioning that the higher five fetters include the desire for fine-material spheres, the desire for immaterial-spheres, conceit, restlessness, and ignorance. In the AN 4 Saṃyojana Sutta the Buddha further explains that those who will achieve Parinibbāna in their next life, into which they are born spontaneously (with full-fledged body right upon appearance there), have removed the five lower fetters. Because in this sutta the Buddha has already mentioned Sotāpanna and Sakadāgāmī before, and after this paragraph comes the explanation of Arahanthood, we may assume the Buddha here simply says that Anāgāmī has removed the lower five fetters but still has the remaining “higher” five.

The Commentaries then provide a direct explanation:

“Kukkuccassa domanassasahagatattā anāgāmimaggena āyatiṃ anuppādo vutto.” (MM MNṬ 1.375)

“Imehi pana chahi dhammehi pahīne uddhaccakukkucce uddhaccassa arahattamaggena, kukkuccassa anāgāmimaggena āyatiṃ anuppādo hotīti pajānāti.” (DNA Mahāsatipaṭṭhānasuttavaṇṇanā, MM DNA 2.371)

But this was not the reason why I created this post. This post is here to find any (i.e., whatsoever, of any kind, of any nature, of any Pāḷi source or even any other source) story, that illustrates how a Non-Returner can be restless.



Thank you all very much for your patience and kindness. I have posted this question also in Suttacentral and received the answer from “Thanuttamo” and ven. Dhammānando: Majjhima Nikāya Aṭṭhakathā - Gaṇakamoggallānasuttavaṇṇanā. It is also mentioned by Mahasi Sayadaw in his “Manual of Insight”.

The story is in fact about two Arahants and shows how an Arahant who does not have the habit of entering Phalasamāpatti (Fruition) often, may end up unable to enter Phalasamāpatti. Could the restless Arahant be in fact Anāgāmī? Otherwise, I am coming to a dilemma: what if the Arahant passed away during his restless time? :upside_down_face:

Restlessness is removed by the attainment of Arahanthood, as explained in the aforementioned AN 4 & 10 Saṃyojana Suttas. Anyway, I continue in my studies & practice, perhaps I will know better after another 35 years… :blush: If I don’t die earlier. :blush:

“The commentary [to MN] tells the following story to illustrate this point: Once, a senior monk and his novice disciple spent the rains retreat at a forest monastery. Unfortunately there were only enough accommodations at the monastery to provide lodging for the senior monk but not for the novice. The senior monk was so concerned about his novice’s lack of shelter that he could not enter the attainment of fruition during the entire three months of the rains retreat. The novice, on the other hand, was able to enjoy his attainment of fruition during those three months. After the rains retreat, the novice inquired, “Venerable sir, was this forest monastery a suitable place to stay?” The senior monk replied, “This forest monastery was not suitable for me.” The novice in this story was an arahant constantly engaged in tranquility and insight meditation, and so he could enter the fruition whenever he wished, even though he did not have any accommodation. The senior monk was an arahant, but he was not constantly engaged in tranquility and insight meditation. Because of his concern for the novice he could not enter fruition. Those noble ones who want to enter the attainment of fruition whenever they wish must live their lives constantly engaged in insight meditation.” (Mahāsi Sayadaw: Manual of Insight, p. 634. Wisdom Publications. Kindle Edition).

“Satisampajaññāya cā ti satisampajaññāhi samaṅgibhāvatthāya. Dve hi khīṇāsavā satatavihārī ca nosatatavihārī ca. Tattha satatavihārī yaṃkiñci kammaṃ katvāpi phalasamāpattiṃ samāpajjituṃ sakkoti, no satatavihārī pana appamattakepi kicce kiccappasuto hutvā phalasamāpattiṃ appetuṃ na sakkoti. Tatridaṃ vatthu – eko kira khīṇāsavatthero khīṇāsavasāmaṇeraṃ gahetvā araññavāsaṃ gato, tattha mahātherassa senāsanaṃ pattaṃ, sāmaṇerassa na pāpuṇāti, taṃ vitakkento thero ekadivasampi phalasamāpattiṃ appetuṃ nāsakkhi. Sāmaṇero pana temāsaṃ phalasamāpattiratiyā vītināmetvā ‘‘sappāyo, bhante, araññavāso jāto’’ti theraṃ pucchi. Thero ‘‘na jāto, āvuso’’ti āha. Iti yo evarūpo khīṇāsavo, so ime dhamme ādito paṭṭhāya āvajjitvāva samāpajjituṃ sakkhissatīti dassento ‘‘satisampajaññāya cā’’ti āha.” (MNA Gaṇakamoggallāna Sutta)

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Normally, I do not second guessed the commentaries.
But something seems off with that.
I will try to ask ven maggavihari about this again, and the other topic that RobertK posted about phalasamāpatti attainments.

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Dear venerable
The arahat has no restlessness at all - but not all have mastery in jhana , and even those that do have differing abilities in this.
I don’t see an issue with this … Surely there would be variations in skill in attaining phala samapatti between those arahats who had that ability.

As for passing away, the arahat has eradicated the causes for rebirth. No change in that.

Even a sakadagami layman like Mahanama who experienced great fear at the sight of a raging elephant, if he passed away at that time is bound for a pleasant state.

“> Sir, this Kapilavatthu is successful and prosperous and full of people, with cramped cul-de-sacs. In the late afternoon, after paying homage to the Buddha or an esteemed mendicant, I enter Kapilavatthu. I encounter a stray elephant, horse, chariot, cart, or person. At that time I lose mindfulness regarding the Buddha, the teaching, and the Saṅgha. I think: ‘If I were to die at this time, where would I be reborn in my next life?’”

“Do not fear, Mahānāma, do not fear! Your death will not be a bad one; your passing will not be a bad one. A noble disciple who has four things slants, slopes, and inclines towards extinguishment. What four? It’s when a noble disciple has experiential confidence in the Buddha … the teaching … the Saṅgha … And they have the ethical conduct loved by the noble ones … leading to immersion.

Suppose there was a tree that slants, slopes, and inclines to the east. If it was cut off at the root where would it fall?”
“Sir, it would fall in the direction that it slants, slopes, and inclines.”
“In the same way, a noble disciple who has four things slants, slopes, and inclines towards extinguishment.” … ript=latin

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Dear @RobertK ,
Arahant does not need any jhāna for phalasamāpatti. Moreover, in Myanmar it is believed that every Stream-Enterer should be able to enter phalasamāpatti, so what shall we say about Arahants.

While it is true, that phalacittas are by Abhidhammatthasangaha considered to be exclusively jhana-like cittas, unlike an ordinary person who has a jhana and may lose it upon restlessness, an Arahant cannot lose his/her Enlightenment, or knowledge, or wisdom, or mindfulness. Or… now it seems Arahant can lose his/her peace.

As if Arahants actually do not need to be peaceful. What is the mental state, that is void of peace on account of thinking about another person’s happiness, like in the story above? How is that different from being restless on account of thinking about another person’s happiness? :thinking:

I encountered a similar problem first when I learned that even the Buddha sometimes took a nap and fell asleep. I was wondering about the difference between drowsiness (middha) in a sekha and in asekha.

It seems like the Buddha and Arahant can be drowsy, but at the same time, they can’t be drowsy. :thinking: For the time being I see it as that the asekha drowsiness does not involve laziness. It comes only with the wisdom that the body (karajakāya) is tired and needs energy (possibly in the same way as they experience hunger).

In addition to physical drowsiness, based on the commentarial story above, we now can see that an Arahant can lose peace (which in English is called “restlessness”) to such an extent, that he/she cannot attain phalasamāpatti. Or will you call it peacelessness and say, that it is different from restlessness? If so, we’ll have to provide clear explanation how exactly they are different.

Shall we therefore use a new English word for Arahant’s restlessness? Like we did with drowsiness: “physical drowsiness” (middha), we may like to consider distinguishing the restlessness (uddhacca) of an Anāgāmī and peacelessness (uddhacca) of an Arahant.