I agree that my interpretation in that comment was not quite correct. Different types of anāgāmīns given in the Sīlasutta are listed below.
- uddhaṃsoto akaniṭṭhagāmī
Please note that there is no definitions for these words in EBTs. So now we have to interpret those words with no derect evidences from EBTs. We can come into a conclusion, with or without a view of an existance of an intermediate state.
Think with upekkhā for a moment you will realize that so called convincing comes with your own view. This the same for me if I am going to prove that there is no intermediate state.
Since you already been explained, lets keep the idea that there is an intermediate state away for a moment.
What if there is no intermediate state.
How could we explain the similes?
Lets take the antarāparinibbāyī and simile which has three different types of similes representing three types of antarāparinibbāyīns.
With the ending of the five lower fetters they would be antarāparinibbāyīns.
Suppose you struck an iron pot that had been heated all day. Any spark that flew off would be extinguished.
Suppose you struck an iron pot that had been heated all day. Any spark that flew off and floated away would be extinguished.
Suppose you struck an iron pot that had been heated all day. Any spark that flew off and floated away would be extinguished just before landing.
Now the difference between three similes can be explained using the way used in commentaries.
- The one who attain arahanthood just after the birth in suddāvāsa
- The One who attain arahanthood some time after the birth in suddāvāsa but before the mid of the lifespan.
- The one who attain arahanthood just close to the mid lifespan or right at the mid lifespan.
Now I am going to propose my own interpretation.
Since these are similes, one would accept that each of these similes illustrate how one could attain anāgāmīpala (hope the word is okay), where extinguishment of the spark can be rather taken as attaining of anāgāmīpala than arahantpala.
Here we can see that there are three different types of antarāparinibbāyīns. To get an idea about these three types lets take an account of EkabījīSutta (SN48.24)
In this sutta only one type of antarāparinibbāyīns can be seen. But in purisagatisutta there are three difderent types. Thus, the other attaining levels in EkabījīSutta could be included in above antarāparinibbāyīn types.
Then, Type 1 are the ones who attain anāgāmīpala in current life thats why the extinguishing and the separation from the metal occurs at once.
Type 2 are the ones who attain anāgāmīpala after this life in realms of kāma as sakadāgāmī, ekabījī and kolaṃkola where the distance travelled before extinguishment can be vary.
Type 3 are the ones who attain anāgāmīpala after this life in realms of kāma and gets the maximum number of births possible (7) as sattakkhattuparama similar to the travel of the spark to its maximum possible distance.
You may find the definitions for ekabījī, kolaṃkola and sattakkhattuparama in SaupādisesaSutta (AN9.12)