|Mural of the Buddha under the Bodhi tree, Vancouver, BC (Romila Barryman/Flickr.com)|
- with rapture and happiness born of withdrawal, accompanied by applied and sustained attention.
- with rapture and happiness born of concentration, single-minded, free of applied and sustained attention, with internal assurance.
- 'Equanimous and mindful one has a pleasant abiding.'
- with purity of equanimity and mindfulness beyond pleasure and pain.
Before realizing full enlightenment [or at least before becoming a once-returner or a non-returner], the great Buddhist commentator Buddhaghosa distinguishes three levels of attainment within the first stage, listed here from highest to lowest:
- "With the destruction of the three fetters, [some] are 'one-seeders' (eka-bijin): after taking rebirth only one more time on the human plane, they will put an end to all suffering.
- "Or not breaking through to that attainment, not penetrating that far, with the destruction of the three lower fetters they are 'born among noble families-ers' (kolan-kola): after wandering on through two or three more families (according to the commentary, this phrase should be interpreted as 'through two to six more states of becoming'), they will put an end to all suffering.
- "Or not breaking through to that attainment, not penetrating that far, with the destruction of the three lower fetters they are 'seven-times-at-most-ers' (sattakkhattuparama): after wandering on among devas and human beings, they will put an end to all suffering."