Sunday, September 16, 2007

phyir 'ong ba - Once Returner

The next title of a meditator which is on the track to personal Nirvana is phyir 'ong ba - Once Returner.

phyir is one of those words good to recognize, again: because, in order to. It usually starts a second meaning, where the first meaning states something, and then the second meaning states: phyir, and then the explanation why the first statement is true is revealed. However, in this context here it means again, or back to.

'ong ba means to arrive. Thus the term is again-arriving, or once-arriving, or better, Once Returner.

This meditator has seen emptiness directly as a personal liberation sequence, and is coming back to this cyclic existence one last time with a physical body in the desire realm, and in that cycle will become an Arhat. Note again, that these terms are not applied to Bodhisattvas, only to the Shravakas and Pratyekabuddhas.

By the way, if you want to read more in detail about all these classifications, Alex Berzin has a good presentation online.

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