| 【ariya puggala
or simply ariya: 'Noble Ones', 'noble persons'.
(A) The 8 ,a. are those who have realized one of the 8 stages of holiness, i.e. the 4 supermundane paths (magga) and the 4 supermundane fruitions (phala) of these paths. There are 4 pairs:
1. The one realizing the path of Stream-winning (sota^pattimagga).
2. The one realizing the fruition of Stream-winning (sota^pattiphala).
3. The one realizing the path of Once-return (sakada^ga^miphala).
4. The one realizing the fruition of Once-return (sakada^ga^miphala).
5. The one realizing the path of Non-return (ana^ga^mimagga).
6. The one realizing the fruition of Non-return (ana^ga^miphala).
7. The one realizing the path of Holiness (arahatta-magga).
8. The one realizing the fruition of Holiness (arahatta-phala).
Summed up, there are 4 noble individuals (ariya-puggala): the Stream-winner (Sota^panna), the Once-Returner (Sakada^ga^mi), the Non-Returner (Ana^ga^mi^), the Holy One (Arahat).
In A. VIII,10 and A. IX, 16 the gotrabhú (q.v.) is listed as the 9th noble individual.
According to the Abhidhamma, 'supermundane path', or simply 'path' (magga), is a designation of the moment of entering into one of the 4 stages of holiness - Nibba^na being the object - produced by intuitional insight (vipassana^) into the impermanence, misery and impersonality of existence, flashing forth and forever transforming one's life and nature. By 'fruition' (phala) is meant those moments of consciousness which follow immediately thereafter as the result of the path, and which in certain circumstances may repeat for innumerable times during the life-time.
(I) Through the path of Stream-winning (sota^patti-magga) one 'becomes' free (whereas in realizing the fruition, one 'is' free) from the first 3 fetters (samyojana, q.v.) which bind beings to existence in the sensuous sphere, to wit: (1) personality-belief (sakka^ya-ditthi; s. ditthi), (2) skeptical doubt (vicikiccha^, q.v.), (3) attachment to mere rules and rituals (si^labbata-para^ma^sa; s. upa^da^na).
(II) Through the path of Once-return (sakada^ga^mi-magga) one becomes nearly free from the 4th and 5th fetters, to wit: (4) sensuous craving (ka^ma-cchanda = ka^ma-ra^ga; s. ra^ga), (5) ill-will (vya^pa^da = dosa, s. múla).
(III) Through the path of Non-return (ana^ga^mi-magga) one becomes fully free from the above-mentioned 5 lower fetters.
(IV) Through the path of Holiness (arahatta-magga) one further becomes free from the 5 higher fetters, to wit: (6) craving for fine material existence (rúpa-ra^ga), (7) craving for immaterial existence. (arúpa-ra^ga), (8) conceit (ma^na, q.v.), (9) restlessness (uddhacca, q.v.), (10) ignorance (avijja^, q.v.).
The stereotype Sutta text runs as follows:
(I) "After the disappearance of the three fetters, the monk has won the stream (to Nibba^na) and is no more subject to rebirth in lower worlds, is firmly established, destined for full enlightenment.
(II) "After the disappearance of the three fetters and reduction of greed, hatred and delusion, he will return only once more; and having once more returned to this world, he will put an end to suffering.
(III) "After the disappearance of the five fetters he appears in a higher world, and there he reaches Nibba^na without ever returning from that world (to the sensuous sphere).
(IV) "Through the extinction of all cankers (a^sava-kkhaya) he reaches already in this very life the deliverance of mind, the deliverance through wisdom, which is free from cankers, and which he himself has understood and realized."
For the various classes of Stream-winners and Non-Returners, s. Sota^panna, Ana^ga^mi^.
(B) The sevenfold grouping of the noble disciples is as follows:
(1) the faith-devotee (saddha^nusa^ri^), (2) the faith-liberated one (saddha^vimutta), (3) the body-witness (ka^ya-sakkhi^), (4) the both-ways-liberated one (ubhato-bha^ga-vimutta), (5) the Dhamma-devotee (dhamma^nusa^ri^), (6) the vision-attainer (ditthippatta), (7) the wisdom-liberated one (pan~n~a^-vimutta). This group of seven noble disciples is thus explained in Vis.M. XXI, 73:
(1) "He who is filled with resolution (adhimokkha) and, in considering the formations as impermanent (anicca), gains the faculty of faith, he, at the moment of the path to Stream-winning (A.1) is called a faith-devotee (saddha^nusa^ri^); (2) at the seven higher stages (A. 2-8) he is called a faith-liberated one (saddha^-vimutta). (3) He who is filled with tranquillity and, in considering the formations as miserable (dukkha), gains the faculty of concentration, he in every respect is considered as a body-witness (ka^ya-sakkhi^). (4) He, however, who after reaching the absorptions of the immaterial sphere has attained the highest fruition (of Holiness), he is a both-ways-liberated one (ubhato-bha^ga-vimutta). (5) He who is filled with wisdom and, in considering the formations as not-self (anatta^), gains the faculty of wisdom, he is at the moment of Stream-winning a Dhamma-devotee (dhamma^nusa^ri^), (6) at the later stages (A. 2-7) a vision-attainer (ditthippatta), (7) at the highest stage (A. 8) a wisdom-liberated one (pan~n~a^vimutta)." - Further details about the body-witness, the both-ways-liberated one and the wisdom-liberated one, s. under the three Pa^li terms. Cf. also M. 70; A. IX, 44; S. XII, 70; Pts.M. II, p. 33, PTS.