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ariya

in Theravada Buddhism, a person who has attained one of the four levels of holiness. A first type of holy person, called a sotapanna-puggala ("stream-winner"), is one who will attain Nirvana (the supreme goal of Buddhist thought and practice) after no more than seven rebirths. Another type of holy person is termed a sakadagamin ("once-returner"), or one who is destined to be reborn in the human world only once more before reaching Nirvana. A third type of ariya-puggala is the anagamin ("never-returner"), or one who will not be reborn in the human realm and will enter the realm of the gods at the time of death. The never-returner, however, is still not considered to have reached Nirvana.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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