Has anyone had reverse enlightenment?
Does Enlightenment Mean Achieving Purity?
There are four levels of enlightenment (as described in the Anapanasati Sutta): Sotapanna, Sakadagami, Anagami, and Arahant; Stream enterers, one-time returnees, non-returnees, and arahants; respectively.
Stream Enterer: A stream enterer attains arahantship in seven rebirths if he opens the eye of the Dharma.
... with the waste of [the first] three shackles, stream winners, steadfast, never destined for suffering again, on the way to self-awakening ...
One-time returnees: Both the stream enterer and the one-time returner have given up the first three shackles. The stream entryer and the one-time returner are characterized by the fact that the one-time returner has weakened lust, hatred and deception to a greater extent.
... with the waste of [the first] three shackles and with the weakening of passion, aversion and deception are unique returnees who - if they return to this world only one more time - will put an end to the stress. ..
Non-returnee: The non-returnee who has overcome sensuality does not return to the human world or any other unhappy world after death.
... with the waste of the five lower fetters that are to be reborn [in the pure abodes] to be totally unbound, destined never to return from this world ...
Arahant: The fourth level is that of Arahant, a fully awakened person. He has given up all ten fetters and will not be reborn in any plane or world after death, having completely escaped Saṃsāra.
... the arahants are whose spiritual effluents have ended, who have attained the fulfillment, the task done, the burden laid down, the true goal reached, the bondage of becoming wasted, and being set free by right gnosis ...
Individuals can experience nirvana as an object of mental awareness. Certain contemplations of nibbana as an object of samādhi prevent them from returning. When the individual at this point of contemplation realizes that even this state is constructed and therefore impermanent, the fetters are broken, arahantship attained, and nibbāna realized.
With regard to nirvana, a distinction is made between a person's experience of nirvana during their life and after their death. These two aspects of nirvana are described as follows:
Nirvana During Life (Nirvana with Rest) - indicates the experience of someone who has had nirvana in their life but still remains in their physical body.
Nirvana After Death (Nirvana Without Remainder) - indicates the experience of nirvana for someone after their death.
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