Conditions for the Four Stages of Nibbāna

Revised August 3, 2016; Revised November 19, 2018

The following Table shows the conditions to be fulfilled (i.e., factors to be eliminated) to attain each stage of Nibbāna. For example, in order to attain the Sōtapanna stage, three of the ten samyōjana (or the ten fetters) are removed, akusala citta #1, 2, 5, 6, and 11 are removed; also, the apāyagāmi strength in the other citta also removed, etc.

 SanyojanaAkusala CittaAnusayaAsava (Asaya)Kilesa (Asobhana Cetasika)
Sōtapannasakkāya ditthi
vicikiccā
silabbata parāmāsa
1,2,5,6,11
Also removes apāyagāmi strength in the rest
ditthi
vicikiccā
ditthāsavaRemoved: ditthi, vicikiccā, thina, middha, issa, maccariya, kukkucca
Reduced: lōbha, dōsa, mōha to rāga, patigha, avijjā
Sakadāgāmikāma rāga (reduced)
patigha (reduced)
weakens 9, 10
also weakens kāma rāga in 3,4,7,8
kāma rāga (reduced)
patigha (reduced)
kāmāsāva (reduced)Reduced: kāma rāga and patigha
Anāgāmikāma rāga
patigha
9,10
also removes kāma rāga in 3,4,7,8
kāma rāga
patigha
kāmāsāvaRemoved: kāma rāga and patigha
Arahantrupa rāga
arupa raga
māna
uddacca
avijjā
3,4,7,8,12
(see below for a list of akusala citta)
bhava rāga
māna
avijjā
bhavāsava
avijjāsava
Removed: avijjā, ahirika, anatoppa, uddacca, māna

The ability to commit akusala kamma also is removed in stages as one progresses, and are completely removed only at the Arahant stage. It is important to note that a Sōtapanna completely removes only one akusala kamma, that of having wrong views (micchā ditthi): “What is the only Akusala Removed by a Sōtapanna?“. But this leads to the removal of many kilesa (mental impurities); see the Table.

Asava and anusaya are discussed in the post, “Gathi (Character), Anusaya (Temptations), and Asava (Cravings)“. Kilesa are discussed in “Diṭṭhi (Wrong Views), Sammā Diṭṭhi (Good/Correct Views)“. For a discussion on Dasa Samyōjana, see, “Dasa Samyōjana – Bonds in Rebirth Process”.

The 12 types of akusala citta are listed in, “Akusala Citta and Akusala Vipaka Citta“. But I thought it would be more explanatory to list them. The numbers below correspond to the numbers  in the Table.

Lōbha (Greedy) Citta (Also has the mōha root)

1. Citta connected with wrong view, accompanied by pleasure, and done with habit.

2. Citta connected with wrong view, accompanied by pleasure, and done reluctantly.

3. Citta NOT connected with wrong view, accompanied by pleasure, and done with habit.

4. Citta NOT connected with wrong view, accompanied by pleasure, and done reluctantly.

5. Citta connected with wrong view, accompanied by neutral mind, and done with habit.

6. Citta connected with wrong view, accompanied by neutral mind, and done reluctantly.

7. Citta NOT connected with wrong view, accompanied by neutral mind, and done with habit.

8. Citta NOT connected with wrong view, accompanied by neutral mind, and done reluctantly.

Dōsa (Hateful) Citta (Also has the mōha root)

9. Citta associated with hate, accompanied by  displeasure, done with habit.

10. Citta associated with hate, accompanied by  displeasure, done reluctantly.

Mōha Citta (only with the mōha root)

11. Citta accompanied by neutral mind, associated with vicikiccā (not aware of bad consequences)

12. Citta accompanied by neutral mind, associated with uddacca (unfocused).

Notes:

1. Even though recent Abhidhamma literature categorize lōbha and dōsa citta as asankhārika (unprompted) and sasankhārika (prompted), in original Abhidhamma, they were not categorized as such.

2. For example, the two dōsa-mula cittas are:

  1. Dōmanassa sahagata patigha-sampayutta citta.
  2. Dōmanassa sahagata sasankhārika patigha-sampayutta citta.
  • The first citta arises due to sansāric habits and thus are more potent. For example, someone who has a tendency to flare-up, normally generates such potent citta.
  • On the other hand, another person without such a habit, may not generate such a citta unless “forced hard”; it is done with reluctance, “when pushed to the limit”, or if the perceived “sense pleasures” are enticing. Then he/she is actually “incorporating new “san” or initiating a new habit; thus the name “sasankhārika“.