Jhananagami reference?


The sangha here at Homestead Vihara were listening to a recording of a recent talk by Ajahn Brahm. He mentions the concept of a “Jhananagami”, that being someone who is a stream enterer and dies whilst in a jhana, whereby that is his state until final nibbana.

A “Jhana-anagami”.

He points out that he can’t find the sutta reference for that assertion. Is anyone able to find evidence?

Cheers and stay happy,

Ajahn J.R.


The concept is introduced in AN 3.94 but only the commentary explicitly calls it a jhānānāgāmī.

AN 3.94
After the rainy season the sky is clear and cloudless. And when the sun rises, it dispels all the darkness from the sky as it shines and glows and radiates.

In the same way, when the stainless, immaculate vision of the teaching arises in a noble disciple, three fetters are given up: identity view, doubt, and misapprehension of precepts and observances.

Afterwards they get rid of two things: desire and aversion. Quite secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unskillful qualities, they enter and remain in the first absorption, which has the rapture and bliss born of seclusion, while placing the mind and keeping it connected. If that noble disciple passed away at that time, they’re bound by no fetter that might return them to this world.”

Bhikkhu Bodhi has notes about it in AN 3.94 and AN 10.219.


Great, thanks for that. I’ll let the boss know.


Can’t this be read as implying they got to anāgāmī already? In which case it’s saying that an anāgāmī who dies while in jhana is fully liberated… which makes more sense to me…

Another way to read this might be that the stream enterer gets reborn into a heavenly realm (but short of the pure abodes) and then finishes the path from there, in which case “this world” would be “the human world” not “saṃsāra” as a whole.

Always skeptical of making bold claims based on one short, ambiguous sutta…

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