Difference between "Arahant phala samapatti" and "Nirodha samapatti" ?

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This topic contains 16 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Lal 3 days, 22 hours ago.

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  • #13742

    C. Saket

    Hii everyone
    May the blessings of the Triple Gem be with you always !

    I have few questions.

    (1) Pabhassara citta is called a pure (uncontaminated) citta.

    All cittas have the 7 universal chetasikas with it.

    So does it mean that the pabhassara citta also have the universal chetasikas of phassa, vedana, sanna, chetana, ekaggata, jivitindriya, manasikara ?

    If yes, then what does this pabhassara citta makes contact (phassa) with ? In other words, what does the pure mind (pabhassara citta) takes as its object ? Does the pabhassara citta takes Nibbana as its object ?

    Similarly, what is the function of sanna and chetana (chetasikas) of a pabhassara citta ? What does it cognize or perceive ? Does a pabhassara citta cognize or perceive Nibbana ?

    (2) What is the difference between jhana samapatti and Nirodha samapatti ?

    (3) What is the difference between Arahant phala samapatti and Nirodha samapatti ?

    (4) What is the difference between the state of Nirodha samapatti and Parinibbana ?

    (5) I have read that – all the 5 khandhas have to be together.
    If rupa khandha do not arise then all the other 4 khandhas also do not arise.
    So after death of an Arahant, he/she does not hold on to any trace of rupa anywhere in the 31 realms.
    Hence the other 4 khandhas also do not arise after the death of an Arahant. And he/she attains Parinibbana.

    In nirodha samapatti, there is no cittas flowing. So there is no vedana, sanna, sankhara, vinnana.
    But the gandhabba is still present inside the physical body (it does not vanish when an Arahant is in nirodha samapatti). So rupakhandha is still present, but the other 4 khandhas do not arise in nirodha samapatti. How can it be ?
    If life in the physical body is maintained by the kammic energy than what is the ahara (food) for the gandhabba during this period (during nirodha samapatti) ? How does the gandhabba is alive ?

    (6) What happens in Asanna brahma realms ? How is it different from nirodha samapatti ?

  • #13743

    C. Saket

    One more question :

    (7) Is there any difference between Anariya jhana samapatti and Ariya jhana samapatti ?

  • #13744


    Here is a summary of various entities mentioned by C. Saket in the above question:

    No citta vithi run in nirodha samapatti. Life in the body is maintained with kammic energy. No vedana, sanna, etc. Maximum time in nirodha samapatti is 7 days.

    Parinibbana state is just like nirodha samapatti. The only difference is that there is no “coming back”.

    Samapatti basically mean manodvara citta vithi will flow continuously. There is no falling to bhavanga or to take an external object with a pancadvara citta vithi. Thus one cannot see, hear, etc. Normally, samapatti will eventually break on its own or (when one gets good at it) one can pre-set the time to be in samapatti (in one’s mind).

    Arahant phala samapatti is where an Arahant experiences the pabhassara citta, a pure citta with just the universal cetasika. Nibbana is the object made contact with phassa cetasika and vedana are sanna are based on that (we have no idea about that). There, one does not hear, see, anything either, just like in jhana samapatti.

    In jhana samapatti, jhanic citta flow continuously at the monodvara, and there is no opportunity for pancadvara citta vithi to arise. That is why one does not hear, see, etc in jhana samapatti. A different mechanism.

    In jhanas (not jhana samapatti), jhanic (manodvara) citta vithi are intermingled with pancadvara citta vithi. Thus one can hear, see, etc in jhanas.

    So, I think answers to questions (1)-(4) are given above.

    (5). Gandhabba is not to be taken as an entity that “exists”. As with everything, the Buddha rejected “something exists” AND “something does not exist”. Something is in existence at a given moment due to a cause. If the cause is not there, the “thing” or the “entity” is not there. So, during nirodha samapatti, the causes for a gandhabba to exist are not there. So, we cannot talk about a gandhabba during nirodha samapatti, during which time the life is maintained by kammic energy.

    Another somewhat similar case applies to a being in the asanna realm. There is no gandhabba there, no citta. Just a fine body is maintained by the kammic energy. When that kammic energy expires, citta start flowing and a new bhava will be grasped.

    Also, it is important to remember what the Buddha said: “there is no movement of the vinnanakkhandha without the other four khandhas”. We have discussed the sutta references in another discussion or a post; if someone remembers, please give the reference to the post or the disussion. So, there can be rupakkhandha without the other four, like in norodha samaptti or in the asanna realm.

    (6). One has not removed avijja when in the asanna plane, and thus will first come back to the human realm and is likely even to go to apayas, unless attaining Sotapanna stage while in the human realm.
    One gets to nirodha samapatti by taking Nibbana as the object. Thus one had removed avijja completely.

    (7). The only similarity is that one would not see, hear, etc while in either Ariya or anariya jhana samapatti. The differences are due to none of anusaya being removed in anariya jhanas. For example, kama raga anusaya is removed at the first Ariya jhana, and avijja anusaya is removed at the fourth Ariya jhana.

  • #13746

    C. Saket

    Ven. Lal Sir,
    Thank you so much for the explanations.

    I am having problem in understanding the difference between a being in the Asanna brahma realm and an Arahant in Nirodha samapatti.

    You said: “Another somewhat similar case applies to a being in the asanna realm. There is no gandhabba there, no citta. Just a fine body is maintained by the kammic energy…”
    “…So, there can be rupakkhandha without the other four, like in nirodha samapatti or in the asanna realm.”

    It seems that there is similarity between an Asanna brahma and an Arahant in Nirodha samapatti ?

    In both the cases, the rupa-khandha is there, but the other 4 khandhas do not arise. And the body is maintained by kammic energy.

    In both Asanna brahma and an Arahant in Nirodha samapatti, there is no chitta flowing, means no vedana, sanna, sankhara, vinnana.

    But I think both the cases are different.

    I think, one gets to Asanna brahma realm by deliberately suppressing the vedana, sanna, sankhara, vinnana. So in Asanna brahma realms, cittas do not arise. But the causes for them to re-arise are still there (not removed). So there is no Nibbana.

    But an Arahant achieves nirodha samapatti by focusing on Nibbana.
    So the cittas and chetasikas (vedana, sanna, sankhara, vinnana) ceases automatically because all the causes and conditions that lead cittas and chetasikas to arise are removed. So when all the causes and conditions are removed then the only thing left is Nibbana, because Nibbana is the uncaused and unconditioned.

  • #13747


    C. Saket said: “In both Asanna brahma and an Arahant in Nirodha samapatti, there is no chitta flowing, means no vedana, sanna, sankhara, vinnana.

    But I think both the cases are different…” and so on.

    All that is true. Did I say anything otherwise? You just explained it in more detail, for example, as to how to get a birth in the asanna realm.

  • #13748


    Interesting to read. I do not know this state.

    Is it correct that in nirodha samapatti there is no sense or perception of a body too?

    Is being in nirodha samapatti not the ultimate proof that we are not the body we experience, not the experienced feelings, the perceptions, mental formations and consciousnesses? Does one, who knows nirodha samapatti, not be without any doubt he/she is not the khandha’s?

    kind regards,

  • #14105


    I just published a new post “Nirōdha Samāpatti, Phala Samāpatti, Jhāna, and Jhāna Samāpatti“, that would hopefully address more remaining questions.

    This post should cover the questions raised in the discussion forum under the topics:” Nirōdha Samāpatti”, “Difference between “Arahant phala samāpatti” and “Nirōdha samāpatti” ?”, and “Nirōdha Samāpatti and Amoha”.

    If there are more questions on this and related issues, please ask them here. I am going to close the other two topics, in order to not have too many parallel and related discussions.

  • #14110


    Hi Lal,

    In point #2…
    “In the same way, it is hard to imagine for a normal human how nirōdha samāpatti (where all thoughts are stopped) can provide happiness.”

    I came across 2 Pali words: Vedayita-sukha (happiness based on feeling); Avedayita-sukha (happiness without feeling);

    I would think Avedayita-sukha is the happiness associated with Parinibbana and nirōdha samāpatti. Is there any mention in the Tipitaka on these 2 words?

    In point #9…
    “Life is maintained by the kammaja kaya via an active rūpa jivitindriya (not the jivitindriya cētasika).”

    Thanks for clarifying this point. I have found a source that talks about this rūpa jivitindriya too.

    I shall quote from this source…“Both nāma-jīvitindriya and rūpa-jīvitindriya arise at the moment of conception. They simultaneously perish at the moment of decease. Hence death is regarded as the perishing of this jīvitindriya. Immediately after, due to the power of Kamma, another nāma-jīvitindriya arises in the subsequent birth at the moment of conception. Simultaneous with the arising of the one nāma-jīvitindriya there arise three rūpa-jīvitindriyas in the case of a human being.*

    Just as a boatman depends on the boat and the boat depends on the boatman, even so jīvitindriya depends on mind and matter, and mind and matter depend on jīvitindriya.”

    *[They are the Rūpa-Jīvtindriyas of tho ‘body decad’ (kāyadasaka) ‘sex-decad’ (bhāvadasaka) and ‘seat-decad’ (vatthudasaka). See ch. VI.]

    I recalled you have mentioned kāyadasaka, bhāvadasaka, and vatthudasaka in one of your posts before.

    In point #12…
    “Not all Arahants can get into nirōdha samāpatti. Access to nirōdha samāpatti is NOT by taking Nibbānā as the thought object, but via the 8th jhānā.”

    In MN 121 a type of concentration called the theme-less concentration is mentioned. Seems like this theme-less concentration is a prelude to nirōdha samāpatti.

  • #14114


    Hi Johnny. You said: “I came across 2 Pali words: Vedayita-sukha (happiness based on feeling); Avedayita-sukha (happiness without feeling)”

    I just revised the post to include two Tipitaka references.
    Under new #12, “This also clarifies that saññā­ve­dayi­ta means without any saññā or vedana.” Also, #13 is revised.

    So, it is possible that avedayita sukha means with saññā or vedana.

    Can you provide a reference where those two words are described/mentioned?

  • #14115


    Hi Lal,

    I first learned about these 2 words from a bhante (based on his own course material). So, I’m not sure about the original source. Then, I googled them and found some info.


    “There is no vedayita sukha bliss in Nibbána – there is only Santisukha.”

    LINK 1

    “The state of Cessation of Perception and Feeling is a ‘pleasure, not being felt’ (avedayita-sukha).”

  • #14118


    Thanks, Johnny.

    Your second reference is good, and I have just revised the post again to include that with another bullet added.

    I normally do not give references to English translations of a sutta, but this one good. So, here is the second reference from Johnny: “Pañcakanga Sutta“.

    Nibbanic bliss (and the bliss in saññāvedayita nirōdha samāpatti) is not a cetasika vedana, which would belong to this world. I have compared it to the relief one feels when a long-experienced migraine headache finally goes away (in the “Nibbana” subsetion). The above sutta explains too that it is not a cetasika vedana.

    However, the first reference does not give a Tipitaka reference. It just makes a statement, which seems to be incorrect based on the Mahāve­dalla Sutta (MN 43) as I described in the revised post.

  • #23587


    Hi all,

    I came across this forum recently. Like the rest of the site, it is greatly educational and particularly timely for me since I recently had a discussion about nibbana with someone, and I’ll call him or her X. I have a few questions, and will phrase them based on a couple of points of discussion I had with X.

    1) X said that for a person “in nibbana”, the mind “stops” or “ceases”. Asked to elaborate, X said that for that duration all desires for the mind to grasp at anything in this world are gone, so there is no reason for the mind to exist. I suppose that X meant that there was no citta vithi flowing, but X doesn’t know abhidhamma.

    Per our discussion here, I think X must have meant nirodha samapatti, although X doesn’t know these Pali terms, and I now see that this explanation is not adequate: the mind “stops” not just in nirodha samapatti but also in the asanna realm. Thus, the mind “stopping” may nor may not have relationship to nibbana, correct?

    2) To X, nibbana is an either/or phenomenon; one is either “in nibbana” or in this world. Again, per our dicussion here, there is a connection between nibbana and this world, in the case of Arahant phala samapatti, i.e. the pabhassara citta (still “this world”) is in contact with nibbana. Is this correct?

    Also, elsewhere I have heard of the terms nibbana dhatu. Is nibbana dhatu what is in contact with pabhassara citta during Arahant phala samapatti?

    I appreciate any elucidation on these, and I greatly appreciate this forum, since prior to this my view on the nibbana experience was pretty much the same as X’s.


  • #23588


    Hello Lang,
    Yes. Nibbana is a difficult to understand for many. The reason for that is that one needs to have knowledge/belief in rebirth and the wider world view of 31 realms in order to understand Nibbana.
    Contrary to what most people believe, repeated rebirth in this world of 31 realms has much more suffering than any short periods of happiness, in the long run.

    For most of us in the human realm happiness seems to be more frequent than any suffering. There is even more happiness in deva and brahma realms.

    However, living being spend much more time in the four lowest realms compared to time they gte to spend in human and higher realms. This may be hard to believe, but the Buddha said that it is indeed the case; see, “How the Buddha Described the Chance of Rebirth in the Human Realm“.
    – That is because most beings do immoral things to enjoy life, and anyone who has not attained a magga phala CAN BE tempted to immoral things if the temptation is high enough.

    Now, Nibbana and “this world of 31 realms” are totally detached. The Buddha said that Nibbana exists, but it cannot be described by the terminology of “this world”. Furthermore, and most importantly, there is no a trace of suffering in Nibbana.

    When one attains Parinibbana, one will be totally removed from this suffering-filled world and one will be in Nibbana. More details at, “Nibbana“.

    This is a bit easier to understand in terms of the four ultimate entities: rupa, citta, cetasika, and Nibbana.
    – The first three belong to “this world” and Nibbana is totally detached from “this world”. In other words, Nibbana and “this world’ are mutually exclusive. One can be either in “this world” or in Nibbana.
    – So, it is true that citta, cetasika, and rupa do not exist in Nibbana.

    But other than the fact that there is no suffering in Nibbana, we do not know what would be the “experience of Nibbana”. Only those who can get to Nirodha Samapatti can “experience” Nibbana while in this world (only up to 7 days).
    – Even though beings in the asanna realm do not experience citta vithi as you mentioned, they “come back to this world” when their lifetime expires. Thus even though suffering stops for the duration of that lifetime, their suffering does not end.

    On the other hand, when one merges with Nibbana (at Parinibbana), there is no coming to “this world” that is filled with suffering. Suffering is stopped permanently.

  • #23589


    Thank you, Lal, and I just read the post “Nirōdha Samāpatti, Phala Samāpatti, Jhāna, and Jhāna Samāpatti”, which clarifies some more.

    So, is it correct to say the following:

    1) Nibbana means either Parinibbana or Nirodha Samapatti.
    2) Phala Samāpatti, including Arahant phala samāpatti, are still “this world” because there are citta running.


  • #23590


    Yes. That is correct.

    The post you referred to is a good one: “Nirōdha Samāpatti, Phala Samāpatti, Jhāna, and Jhāna Samāpatti

  • #23603


    Lal said:

    “Something is in existence at a given moment due to a cause. If the cause is not there, the “thing” or the “entity” is not there. So, during nirodha samapatti, the causes for a gandhabba to exist are not there.”

    So nibbana (nirodha samapatti or parinibbana) “happens” when all causes cease, correct?

    On the other hand, arahant magga phala comes from causes (eg a person’s cultivation of panna), right?

  • #23604


    “Things” or “events” in this world arise due to six root causes (lobha, dosa, moha, alobha, adosa, amoha).
    – Lobha, dosa, moha lead to rebirths in the apayas (four lowest realms).
    – Alobha, adosa, amoha lead to rebirths in human and higher realms.
    – All those perpetuate sansaric journey (rebirth process), and thus binds one to suffering filled “this world of 31 realms”.

    Those are the causes. When those causes are removed nothing in this can arise, and one attains Nibbana.

    There are no causes for Nibbana. That is why it is called asankata.
    – Nibbana RESULTS when all six causes are removed by cultivating panna, i.e., by comprehending the true nature of this world.

    Cultivation of panna is not a cause. It is the Path to Nibbaba (via removing all six root causes).

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