to obtain fruition attainment repeatedly


Nina van Gorkom:

I shall quote parts of a treatise in Thai I translated as Dhamma

The Visuddhimagga, Ch XXIII, Description of the Benefits in
Developing Understanding (explaining who can enter fruition
attainment and who cannot) states: “All ariyans can enter fruition-
attainment”. This is a conclusion which refutes an argument of some
teachers who had wrong view. They stated that the sotๅpanna
(streamwinner) and the sakadๅgๅmํ (once-returner) are not able to
enter fruition-attainment, and that only the anๅgๅmํ (non-returner)
and the arahat could enter fruition-attainment. They argued that only
the anๅgๅmํ and the arahat could reach accomplishment in samๅdhi
(concentration). However, even the ordinary person (who is not an
ariyan) may reach accomplishment in samๅdhi, so that he may enter
mundane jhๅna-attainment, jhๅna-samๅpatti. Thus, all ariyans, namely,
the sotๅpanna, the sakadๅgๅmํ, the anๅgๅmํ and the arahat can enter
fruition-attainment, provided they are able to attain jhๅna.

The Saddhammappakๅsinํ, Commentary to the Pa์isambhidๅmagga, Path of
Discrimination, Khuddaka Nikๅya, explains that the ariyan who can
enter fruition-attainment must have attained jhๅna.
We read in the Commentary to Ch XXXIII, Abiding without Conflict
(Arana Vihๅra, peaceful abiding) about the understanding of peaceful
abiding (ara๙a vihๅra). It explains about the arana vihๅra dhammas as
the means to be without defilements which are like enemies or cause
beings to cry and lament. It states that the ariyans who can enter
fruition attainment must have attained jhๅna; only then can they be
intent upon fruition-attainment. As it is said:

“ Panํtๅdhimutta, they are intent upon fruition attainment. (panํtๅ
means: excellent, superior, what does not cause agitation and leads
to predominance; adhimutta means: to be intent upon, inclined to).
The inclination and disposition to fruition-attainment is called
pa๙ํtๅdhimutta. It is the inclination to fruition-attainment which is
subtle and refined. Pa๙ํtๅdhimutta is here actually the prerequisite
of pa๑๑ๅ which is intent upon fruition-attainment.”
In another part in the Commentary, in the explanation of
“Understanding of Peaceful Abiding”, arana vihๅra ๑ๅna, we read about
the arahat entering into fruition-attainment:

”With the words pathamam jhๅna, the first jhๅna, he speaks about the
attainment of jhๅna (jhๅna samๅpatti) which is the object of
vipassanๅ of someone wanting to enter fruition-attainment of the
stage of the arahat.”

Even the arahat who is without the hindrances must, when he wants to
enter fruition-attainment, have calm of citta of the degree of jhๅna,
from the first stage of jhๅna onwards, and this is arana vihๅra,
peaceful abiding. We read:
“The meaning of the words ‘pathamena jhๅnena nํvarane harati ti,
arana vihๅro’, is as follows: it is called ara๙a vihๅra, peaceful
abiding, because it removes the hindrances by the first jhๅna. It is
explained that the first jhๅna is called peaceful abiding because the
factors which constitute the first jhๅna remove the hindrances
(nํvarane harati). The other words of the text also explain this in
the same way. One should know that the first jhๅna has been referred
to as removing the hindrances because the first jhๅna is opposed to
the hindrances and this is said also with regard to the arahat who
does not have them anymore.”

We read further on: ”…Jhๅna-attainment which is the foundation for
vipassanๅ of fruition-attainment”. This clearly shows that in order
to enter fruition-attainment one must be able to attain jhๅna.
The Commentary (of the Path of Discrimination) to the Chapter on
“Attainment of Cessation” (Nirodha Samๅpatti, Ch XXXIV) explains
three classifications of insight knowledge, vipassanๅ ๑ๅna:

“There are three kinds of insight knowledge:
insight as comprehension of formations (sankhๅra parigganhanaka
insight as fruition-attainment, phala-samๅpatti vipassanๅ
insight as cessation-attainment, nirodha-samๅpatti vipassanๅ
These three kinds of vipassanๅ are explained as different:
insight as comprehension of formations is pa๑๑ๅ which understands
conditioned dhammas, sankhๅra dhammas, that is, nๅma dhamma and r๚pa
dhamma; insight as fruition-attainment and insight as cessation
attainment are degrees of insight knowledge which have as their aim
to enter fruition-attainment and progressively cessation-attainment.
For the latter two attainments it is necessary to be able to attain
jhๅna which is in conformity with those attainments.”
With regard to the arahats who are sukkhavipassaka, with “dry”
insight (insight alone), they have attained arahatship with lokuttara
cittas without jhๅna factors of the different stages of jhๅna, but
they have calm of citta since defilements have been completely
eradicated. If they have accumulated the inclination to calm of the
degree of jhๅnacitta, then they are able to enter fruition-
attainment, which is “abiding in bliss here now” (ditthadhamma
With respect to this, we read in the Subcommentary (Tํka) to the
Vinaya, the Sๅratthadํpanํ, in the section “Through wisdom (vijjๅ)”:

“As to the words stating the benefit of citta which has a single
object, thus, the benefit of citta with samๅdhi, concentration, these
have been explained as follows: the benefit of “abiding in bliss
here now” (ditthadhamma sukhavihๅra). The abiding in bliss (sukha)
here now, the commentator describes this with the leading words that
the citta has a single object and that the citta having a single
object has that benefit. This refers to the arahat who has dry
insight (sukkha vipassaka).”

We read in the Visuddhimagga Ch XXIII, the Benefits of the
Development of Understanding, (XXIII, 11, how can one enter fruition-

”And if the Path he has arrived at was accompanied by the first
jhๅna (pathama jhๅnika magga), his fruition will also be accompanied
by the first jhๅna when it arises. If the Path is with the second
jhๅna, so will the fruition. And so with the other jhๅnas.”

This shows that here only the person who is able to attain jhๅna has
been referred to. Thus, if the supramundane path-consciousness
(lokuttara magga-citta) is accompanied by factors of one of the
stages of jhๅna he can enter fruition-attainment in accordance with
the factors of that particular jhๅna.
One may object that when for the ariyan without jhๅna-attainment the
magga-citta arises there is a high degree of calm with absorption
which can be compared to the calm of the first stage of jhๅna. One
might therefore conclude that afterwards he is likely to be able to
enter fruition-attainment with phala-citta accompanied by factors of
the first jhๅna (pathama jhๅnika phala). However, we should consider
the following: it is true that the magga-citta of the ariyan without
jhๅna-attainment has calm with absorption equal to the tranquillity
of the first jhๅna, but this is because nibbๅna is the object at that
moment. Since he is without jhๅna attainment and he has lokuttara
citta without jhๅna factors, samๅdhi, concentration, has not
sufficient strength so that the citta with strong absorption in the
object of nibbๅna could arise again after he attained enlightenment
and became an ariyan.



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