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Arya sangha

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Arya sangha. (Skt. āryasaṃgha; P. ariyasaṅgha; T. ’phags pa’i dge ’dun; C. shengseng; J. shōsō; K. sŏngsŭng 聖僧). Can be translated as the "noble sangha", "noble community", "commumity of noble ones", etc.[1] It refers to disciples of the Buddha who have reached high stages of realization.

Traditionally, all of the arya sangha are said to have reached one of the four stages of enlightenment. Thus, there are said to be four or eight types or groups of individuals in this community (as shown in the table):

Four groups Eight groups[1]
(i) stream-enterer (1) one who has entered the path to stream-entry
(2) one who abides in the fruition of stream-entry
(ii) once-returner (3) one who has entered the path to once-returning
(4) one who abides in fruition of once-returning
(iii) non-returner (5) one who has entered the path to non-returning
(6) one who abides in the fruition of non-returning
(iv) arahant (7) one who has entered the path to arahantship
(8) one who abides in the fruition of arahantship

In the context of going for refuge in the Three Jewels of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, it is the arya sangha that is the object of refuge.

See also

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Princeton Dict icon 166px.png Robert E. Buswell Jr., Donald S. Lopez Jr., The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism (Princeton: 2014), entry for āryasaṃgha
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