Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Buddhist practitioners are described, according to their level of attainment. The standard is four, but there are also longer descriptions with more types. The four are stages of the path to enlightenment pdf Stream-enterer, Once-returner, Non-returner and the Arahant.
The descriptions are elaborated and harmonized, giving the same sequence of purifications before attaining each of the four paths and fruits. Buddhist teachings, as the main means to liberation. The process of becoming an Arahat is therefore characterized by four distinct and sudden changes, although in the sutras it says that the path has a gradual development, with gnosis only after a long stretch, just as the ocean has a gradual shelf, a gradual inclination with a sudden drop only after a long stretch. Chán school harmonized this point of view with the need for gradual training after the initial insight. It is only when suffering becomes acute, or seemingly unending, that an entity looks for a “solution” to and, if fortunate, finds the Dharma.
A stream-enterer reaches arahantship within seven rebirths upon opening the eye of the Dharma. Both the stream-enterer and the once-returner have abandoned the first three fetters. The stream-enterer and once-returner are distinguished by the fact that the once-returner has weakened lust, hate, and delusion to a greater degree. The once-returner therefore has fewer than seven rebirths. Once-returners do not have only one more rebirth, as the name suggests, for that may not even be said with certainty about the non-returner who can take multiple rebirths in the five “Pure Abodes”.