Were every arahants a once returner in their previous life?

Continuing the discussion from Was the buddha a once returner in his previous life?:

For the merit of the question please exclude the Buddha so by arahants here I mean non buddha arahants


No, most weren’t. I’m actually not aware that it was ever mentioned that someone who became an arahant in the time of the Buddha was any kind of noble disciple in the past. Perhaps someone else can think of an example.


The first five ascetics who practiced self-mortification with the Buddha and later became his first Arahant disciples?

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But that’s not the question the OP asked? But they’ve accepted your answer, so ¯\(ツ)

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I think you are thinking of non-returners.

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I hope the @moderators can change the rule so I can mark 2 solutions here instead of just one

Ah yes, I’m confused Anagami with Sakadagami, please ignore my comment…

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Better make this a discussion topic.
I’m no moderator but I can change it as a long time user. Hence I did.


No, Your question is “Every”, so only need to show counterexamples. And also too easy.

In the suttas, there’s clearly some people who attained to first stream winner, then arahanthood in that same life they met the Buddha.


The Buddha’s father, and

The first disciple who attained to stream winner after first discourse, then attained to arahanthood at the next discourse.

Sariputta, who attained to stream winner when hearing just a bit of Dhamma, and then arahanthood soon after ordaining.

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This is out of the moderators hands actually, the Discourse software comes with this setting


I believe there is at least one Sutta where the Buddha is in dialog with a deva who knew him in a past life and who is glad they are both in their last lives. If I recall correctly, this Deva was the potter (or potter’s apprentice) who had encouraged a Brahmin youth (the future Buddha Gotama) to seek out the Buddha of that time. Unfortunately I cannot recall the name of the Sutta or the proper names of any of the figures involved (to more easily search for the Sutta).

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I think you are talking about Ghaṭīkāra.

Ghaṭikārasutta MN 81 is where we get the most information about him. Ghaṭīkārasutta SN 1.50 is when he comes to visit the Buddha.