This book explains the various stages of enlightenment, containing material found in chapters 6–11 of Buddhadhamma. It is a companion volume to the book on Nibbāna and to the book on Calm & Insight.
This book describes in detail the various stages of enlightenment, and shows how the Buddha defined a truly ‘noble’ person. As the venerable author points out, there is a tendency to look at fully awakened beings—arahants—in a negating sense, by only focusing on those things they have abandoned. He emphasizes how such individuals are actively engaged in society, working tirelessly for the wellbeing of others. Moreover, he describes the truly eminent and extraordinary qualities of these fully awakened individuals, including the mastery over their own perceptions.
An outstanding feature of this book is its emphasis on ‘stream-entry,’ the first stage of awakening, where one is ‘sure in destiny, with enlightenment as one’s destination.’ As Ajahn Payutto points out, the encouragement to reach stream-entry provides a realistic, less intimidating goal for our spiritual aspirations, while at the same time directly connecting to the highest human achievement, of realizing Nibbāna, the complete and utter end of suffering.
Eight Noble Beings (pdf)
Physical Development (bhāvita-kāya)
Moral Development (bhāvita-sīla)
Mental Development (bhāvita-citta)
Wisdom Development (bhāvita-paññā)
Seven Noble Beings
King of Arahants
Distinctions Between Different Levels of Noble Beings
Factors of Stream-Entry (pdf)
Attributes of Stream-Enterers
Buddha’s Words on Stream-Enterers
Additional Points on Stream-Enterers
Appendix 1: Sīlabbata-parāmāsa
Appendix 2: Learned Ones (sutavant), Noble Disciples (ariya-sāvaka), and Noble Dhamma (ariya-dhamma).
Appendix 3: Incentives for Giving
Appendix 4: Additional Scriptural Quotations