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  • samyojana

'fetters'.

There are 10 fetters tying beings to the wheel of existence, namely:

  • (1) personality-belief (sakkāya-ditthi)
  • (2) sceptical doubt (vicikicchā)
  • (3) clinging to mere rules and ritual (sīlabbata-parāmāsa; s. upādāna)
  • (4) sensuous craving (kāma-rāga)
  • (5) ill-will (vyāpāda)
  • (6) craving for fine-material existence (rūpa-rāga)
  • (7) craving for immaterial existence (arūpa-rāga)
  • (8) conceit (māna)
  • (9) restlessness (uddhacca)
  • (10) ignorance (avijjā)

The first five of these are called 'lower fetters' (orambhāgiya-samyojana), as they tie to the sensuous world. The latter 5 are called 'higher fetters' (uddhambhāgiya-samyojana), as they tie to the higher worlds, i.e. the fine-material and immaterial world (A.IX.67-68; A.X.13; D.33, etc.).

  • He who is free from 1-3 is a Sotāpanna, or Stream-winner, i.e. one who has entered the stream to Nibbāna, as it were.
  • He who, besides these 3 fetters, has overcome 4 and 5 in their grosser form, is called a Sakadāgāmi, a 'Once-returner' (to this sensuous world).
  • He who is fully freed from 1-5 is an Anāgāmī, or 'Non-returner' (to the sensuous world).
  • He who is freed from all the 10 fetters is called an Arahat, i.e. a perfectly Holy One.

For more details, s. ariya-puggala.

The 10 fetters as enumerated in the Abhidhamma, e.g. Vibh. XVII, are:

  1. sensuous craving,
  2. ill-will,
  3. conceit,
  4. wrong views,
  5. sceptical doubt,
  6. clinging to mere rules and ritual,
  7. craving for existence,
  8. envy,
  9. stinginess,
  10. ignorance.

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