Buddhist Enlightenment in Four Stages
Proposed WQ edit of Wikipedia
The four stages of enlightenment in Buddhism are the four degrees of approach to full enlightenment as an Arahant (English, arhat) which a person can attain in this life. The four stages are Sotapanna, Sakadagami, Anagami, and Arahant.
1 The Ordinary person
2 The Noble persons
An ordinary person, or puthujjana (in Pali; Sanskrit, pṛthagjana) is trapped in the endless cycles of saṃsara. Performing beneficial and harmful deeds -- as influenced by his/her desires, aversions, and views -- an ordinary person is born in higher or lower states of being (heavens or hells or many other worlds) according to these actions (all collectively known as karma). As these persons have little control over either their minds or conduct, their destinies are haphazard and subject to a great deal of suffering. An ordinary person has never seen, heard, or experienced the ultimate truth of Dharma, and therefore has no way of finding an escape from this predicament.
Those who begin sincere training on the Buddhist path (Pali, Sekhas, "those in training") and who experience the truth to the extent that they cut some of the Ten mental Fetters (Pali, saṃyojana) become ariya puggala (Sanskrit, āryapudgala): "noble persons" who will surely become Arahants in the near future (within seven lives). Their specific path is governed by the degree of attainment reached.
- (1) the path to stream-entry; (2) the fruition of stream-entry;
- (3) the path to once-returning; (4) the fruition of once-returning;
- (5) the path to non-returning; (6) the fruition of non-returning;
- (7) the path to arahantship; (8) the fruition of arahantship.
- Buddhist images by Anya Langmead: