1. Dukkha Ariya Sacca ( Comprehension of Suffering) 2. Dukkha Samudaya Sacca ( Cause of Suffering) 3. Dukkha Nirodha Ariya Sacca (Cessation of Suffering) 4. Dukkha Nirodha Gamini Patipada Ariya Sacca or Magga Ariya Sacca(Path leading to Cessation of Suffering)
Four Magga (the Path leading to the Nibbana)
1. The Path of Stream-winner ( Sotapatti-magga) 2. The Path of Once-returner(Sakadagami-magga) 3. The Path of Non-returner (Anagami-magga) 4. The Path of Arahat (Arahatta-magga)
The entire Path of training in Theravada Buddhism is from the State of a Puthujjana to an Arahant. There are Three kinds of Puthujjana: Human Beings, Devas (Gods) and Brahmas Higher Gods.
An Arahat is an Ariya (Holy Person). There are Four Kinds of Kinds of Ariya:
Sotapanna, Sakadagami, Anagami and Arahat
Arahat is also written as Arahant.
Whilst the Puthujjanas are mundane and subject to endless rebirth in Samsara. The Ariyas have entered the Stream which leads irreversibly to Nibbana, whilst the Arahant has destroyed Rebirth forever. All Ariyas are Supramundane.
In Theravada Buddhist Cosmology, the Universe is comprised of 31 Planes of Existence, which correspond to 31 kinds of Rebirth Consciousness. Any one of these may occur at the moment of Conception of a 'new' being, according to kamma. Thus, there are 31 different kinds of rebirth in the Cosmos according to Theravada Buddhism.
Rebirth occurs immediately after Death, with there being no intermediate Realms or Planes of Exxistence, such as the Bardo known to Tibetan Buddhism.
The Being who is known as God in other Religions is known as the Mahabrahma in Theravada Buddhism. The Mahabrahma is mundane, and subject to endless Rebirth in Samsara. He is not known as a Supramaundane, liberated being.
The Four kinds of Ariya are in Two Categories:
The Ariyamaggas and the Ariyaphalas. For each kind of Ariya, there is the Moment of Path Consciousness [Magga[, immediately followed by the Moment of Fruition Consciousness [Phala].
there are two kinds of Sotapanna:
there are two kinds of Sakadagami:
there are two kinds of Anagami:
there are two kinds of
This gives rise to Eight kinds of Ariya. They are known as Eight Kinds of Noble Person, with only the Arahant truly being Holy, but all eight are Supramundane, above the 31 Planes of Existence.
Theravada Buddhism denies Eternalism and the Buddha [Arahant], and his Disciples [Arahants] are all impermanent.
This is a totally different understanding to that of Mahayana Buddhism which regards Buddhas as Eternal.
In Theravada Buddhism, a Bodhisatta [Bodhisattva], is a mundane, unenlightened being who is destined to become a supramundane Buddha. To be selected for the long haul of training, a Bodhisatta must be capable of realising Arahantship under the direct Teaching of a living Buddha, at the time of selection. Once the selection has been made, the Bodhisatta will not realise Arhantship under any Teacher. The Bodhisatta is destined to descover the AriyaDhamma for himself upon th eCompletion of Ten Perfections which can only arise form carefully developed |Kamma over a very long period of Time.
For this Reason, Theravada Buddhism denies that the Buddha was a Hindu, or that he is an Avatar of God. Avatars are born. Brahmins arise after Seven Successive Reincarnations as a Brahmin (Human Being in the Sattva Guna [Mode of Existence). Liberation in Hinduism is Nirguna [No Guna]. Bodhisatta is a person who lives in the Samsaric Cosmos. A Bodhisatta is not a Buddha. A Buddha has transcended the Entire Cosmos. Space and Time. The Buddha realised another dimentsion of Reality, which is Uncreated, Unborn, beyond the Wheel of Becoming, Dependent Origination. One cannot speak about it because there are no words or language to describe it. It may be realised, but only when the conditions for realisation have been developed.
In any World Period, there can only be One Sammasambuddha, there cannot be two, or several. His disctinction is that he discovers the Dhamma without a Teacher, Realises Perfect Enlightenment and Teaches it. Everyone else requires a Teacher. that is the fundamental difference between the Sammasambuddha and other Teachers form Other religions.
This is the reason why Theravada Buddhism says to the other reogius Schools, that whilst he Truth of their Faith is not denied, it may not be found in the Theravada. There ahs only been One Teacher of the Theravada, and His Dhamma is preserved as His Word, Buddhavacana by the Ariya Sangha for 2500 years. The only time the Dhamma is reviewed is at bona Fide theravada Buddhist Councils wich may ony be conmvened and attended by Arahants.
The Bodhisatta who became the Buddha [Siddhartha Gautama] was called Sumedha. His trianing lasted for Four Incalculable Aeons plus One Hundred Thousand World Cycles of Cosmological Time.
In Theravada Buddhism, a Bodhisatta is a Puthujjana. During his last life on Earth, the Bodhisatta is Transformed at the moment the Four Supramundane Paths Arise:
Sotapanna, Sakadagami, Anagami and Arahat
[Transfored froma Puthujjana to an Ariya].
Even the Buddha had to traverse these Four Kinds of Ariya Person in Eight Stages before realising Buddhahood.
The notion that a person can became a Sammasambuddha in a single lifetime is not taught in Theravada Buddhism. However, this does not mean that a Puthujjana cannot become an Arahant in a single lifetime under the Direct Teaching of the Buddha.
In this Time, the question arises as to who is one's Teacher in the Theravada Dhamma. The answer is the same today as it has been for the last 2500 years: The Buddha:
He who sees the Dhamma sees me.
May we offer our respects to the Mahayana Schools of Buddhism.