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anāgāmi (T. phyir mi 'ong ba; C. buhuan/bulai/anahan), or non-returner, is the third of the four stages of the supramundane path. The non-returner has abandoned the first five of the ten fetters that keep one bound to samsara; these are:

  1. view of a personal identity (satkāyadṛṣṭi)
  2. deluded doubt (vicikitsā)
  3. attachment to rites and rituals (śīlavrataparāmarśa)
  4. attachment to sensuality (kāmarāga)
  5. ill will (vyāpāda)

The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism states:

The anāgāmin has also weakened considerably the last five of the ten fetters (including such affective fetters as pride, restlessness, and ignorance), thus enervating the power of saṃsāra. Having completely eradicated the first five fetters, which are associated with the sensuous realm (kāmadhātu), and weakened the latter five, the anāgāmin is a “nonreturner” in the sense that he will never be reborn in the kāmadhātu again; instead, he will either complete the path and become an arhat in the present lifetime or he will be reborn in the “pure abodes,” or śuddhāvāsa (corresponding to the five highest heavens in the subtle-materiality realm, or rūpadhātu); and specifically, in the Akaniṣṭha heaven, the fifth and highest of the pure abodes, which often serves as a way station for anāgāmins before they achieve arhatship.[1]


  1. Buswell & Lopez 2014, s.v. anāgāmi.