Arahant. how does one know the stage happened?

My question is about if the stage where arahat happens (elkmination fo all feters) happens after a jhana due to an insight or if it happens when one is not knowledgeable of when it happens but one can know it happens when one reflect what fetters are left?

Is it an insight one gets the INSTANT one becomes an arahant that this is their last life. It seems that the Buddha knew right away that this is their kast life? does the stage happen immediately after a jhana?

I’m interested how the succesive stages happen and also knowledge of them. If each stage occurs as an insight or if it os gradual development of the mind.

stream entry i know is an insight and a moment one knows it. What about the other stages and then final stage?

Your guessing is partly true, it is a reflection on absence of fetters which gives knowledge that there is no more of birth, old age and death. But most certainly if one thinks “I must be an arahat” one overestimates oneself, since arahat doesn’t think in the terms of “I” and “mine”.

Here, bhikkhus, some recluse or brahmin, with the relinquishing of views about the past and the future, through complete lack of resolve upon the fetters of sensual pleasure, and with the surmounting of the rapture of seclusion, unworldly pleasure, and neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, regards himself thus: ‘I am at peace, I have attained Nibbāna, I am without clinging.’96524. “The Tathāgata, bhikkhus, understands this thus: ‘This good recluse or brahmin, with the relinquishing of views about the past and the future…regards himself thus: “I am at peace, I have attained Nibbāna, I am without clinging.” Certainly this venerable one asserts the way directed to Nibbāna. Yet this good recluse or brahmin still clings, clinging either to a view about the past or to a view about the future or to a fetter of sensual pleasure or to the rapture of seclusion or to unworldly pleasure or to neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling. And when this venerable one regards himself thus: “I am at peace, I have attained Nibbāna, I am without clinging,” that too is declared to be clinging on the part of this good recluse or brahmin.

That is conditioned and gross, but there is cessation of formations.’ Having understood ‘There is this,’ seeing the escape from that, the Tathāgata has gone beyond that.25.

“Bhikkhus, this supreme state of sublime peace has been discovered by the Tathāgata, that is, liberation through not clinging, by understanding as they actually are the origination, the disappearance, the gratification, the danger, and the escape in the case of the six bases of contact. MN

“I” is the result of the wrong interpretation of experience when duality in name-and-matter on which consciousness depends is seen it terms self and world. When sensory organs aren’t assessed as mine, no such notion as “I” is possible.

In practical terms, if there is need of verification total absence of fear should confirm liberation of the mind.

thank you i was joking around a bit with “I” as we have language to communicate and conventionally it is easier to speak in terms of I etc but yes of course there is no I :slight_smile: but i edited my question to make ot clearer. I appreciate your response. Does my question make more sense now?

Any progressive stage introduces an important change in the field of perception either quantitative - there is no new quality for once-returner who advanced from the state of sotapanna, “only” reduction of greed, hate and delusion - or qualitative one, in the case of arahat the conceit “I am” is removed so liberation of the mind cannot be “overlooked” it should be immediately recognized, as such. But since liberation is immediate experience and reflection is upon immediate experience, there should be some time sequence where after liberation mind reflexively recognises it.

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It is important to recognise that the sotapati is a permanent change, it gives knowledge which doesn’t depend on memory, and so cannot be forgotten. So one should be careful talking about the moment. Knowledge comes suddenly, but as a matter of fact, sotapati in the strict sense cannot be classified as “experience”, since any experience is temporal, belongs to sankhata dhatu.

Now, in the case of sankhata dhatu, arising disappearing and change are evident. But sotapati can be described as recognition of asankhata dhatu, and it is changeless. The less intense are states of greed, hate and delusion, the more clearly asankhata dhatu presence is recognized.

Follow-up question: In what way, if any, does a non-dual experience during meditation relate to the status of arahant?

Now, the term “non-dual experience” sounds like oxymoron since any kind of experience requires consciousness, but every consciousness is consciousness of something, so experience cannot be non-dual. This is the reason that avijja can survive all eight attainments, puthujana consciousness still has something with which it is possible to identify oneself.

Assuming that there is something which doesn’t change at all, neither has beginning nor end, most certainly it cannot be an object of consciousness. Consciousness and time go together while nibbana as such can be described rather in the terms of the cessation of time. But cessation of time is not the range which can be described by language:

Bhikkhus, these are the three times, What three? Past time, future time, and present time. These, bhikkhus, are the three times?

Perceiving what can be expressed through concepts,
Beings take their stand on what is expressed.
Not fully understanding the expressed,
They come under the bondage of Death.

But by fully understanding what is expressed
One does not misconceive the speaker.
His mind has attained to freedom,
The unsurpassed state of peace.

Understanding what is expressed,
The peaceful one delights in the peaceful state.
Standing on Dhamma, perfect in knowledge,
He freely makes use of concepts
But no more enters into concept’s range.

Addhā Sutta

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I know, but this experience can be arrived at trough meditation or continouus philosophical contemplation. It was reported by ancient Skeptics and Mystics.

I was under the impression that Ajan Thanissaro’s description of Nibbana was pretty similar to it. Therefore I’m asking.

Arahantship arises through recognising the four noble truths in full detail. It is a term that refers to a perfected person.

Such one has realised the four noble truths,
Has actualized the eightfold Wheel as their heart and mind.

The first meditative absorption is pleasure and rapture born of thinking which has led to one getting a sense for the path. One sees it in ones sight and intellectual has made sense of such.

The second meditative absorption is the above without directed thought and evaluation but an assurance, an inner unity of awareness, born of finally seeing the path and taking a handful, or, a footful, of steps. This is the beginning of experientially walking the path.

The third absorption is equanimity and mindfulness born of walking the path. One experiences a coolness and full insight into the four foundations of mindfulness - is aware of the mechanism by which the mind comes to experience further suffering.

The fourth absorption is equanimity and mindfulness with neither pleasure nor pain. Jhana is a term for meditative absorption.

I refer to you: the four noble truths - a study guide, the magga vibhangha sutta and ‘into the stream’. All found on access to insight or through Google.

In short, suffering, and a determination to uproot it as to live a life at ease, at peace, and from a position of wellbeing. Discard the fluff of past and future lives & strive to developing an impertruable calm in nowness. Then the rest follows. People become starry eyed at the exotic terminology and, let’s be frank, the sheer amazingness and profundity of the Path - but do not lose yourself in the clouds. Earnestly working to realise the four noble truths is one dhamma door.

The Buddha gave us indications as to what kinds of utterances or thoughts arise when Nibbana is reached.

Here, Ānanda, a bhikkhu thinks thus: ‘This is peaceful, this is sublime, that is, the stilling of all activities, the relinquishing of all acquisitions, the destruction of craving, dispassion, cessation, nibbāna.’

AFAIKT - this isn’t a literary device. Bhikkhus who reach Nibbana literally think these things when they arrive.

And, you’re right. Nibbana is an insight achieved after dwelling in the fourth jhana. And, moreover, it would be, AFAIKT, the case also that one who achieves first jhana notes to themselves:

“This is rapture and bliss accompanied by applied and sustained thought.”


“Applied and sustained thought have faded. There is only rapture and bliss.”

And so forth. Moreover, the gradual enlightenment taught by the Buddha is so well formulated and taught that, upon reaching forth jhana, the following utterance applies:

In the same way—with his mind thus concentrated, purified and bright, unblemished, free from defects, pliant, malleable, steady and attained to imperturbability—the monk directs and inclines it to the knowledge of the ending of the mental fermentations

So these are the stages a person will go through and the milestones they’ll reach. There will be no doubt in the mind that one has reached the goal and that there is no further searching to be done.

However much people vacillate over the meaning and nature of the goal, the teachings of the Buddha are succinct. There is no more and no less to add to them. And they guide the student along the path every step of the way.