Hello Gena1480, all,
This extract from a paper by Piya Tan may be helpful:Chapter 19 Destiny of the lay arhat
In the Tevijja Vaccha,gotta Sutta (M 71), when Vacchagotta asks, “Master Gotama, is there any
householder who, without abandoning the householder’s fetters,111 when the body has broken up, makes
an end of suffering?” the Buddha answers that there is none (M 71.11/1:483). Here, “householder’s
fetters” (gihi,sayojana) refers to attachment to the requisites of a householder (such as land, ornaments,
wealth, grain, etc, says the Mah k).
The Majjhima Commentary says that even laymen, on becoming arhats, have destroyed all attachment
to worldly things and thus either went forth as monks or passed away immediately after their attainment
and also mentions Santati the privy councillor, Uggasena the treasurer’s son, and the boy Vta,soka
as examples of layman arhats (MA 3:196).
This point about the lay arhat’s destiny is discussed in the Milinda,paha:
There are two destinies for a householder who has attained arhathood: either, that very day, he
goes forth or he attains final nirvana. (Miln 264; cf 164)
This well known statement is only found in the Commentaries (eg MA 3:196) but is untraced in the
The Milinda,paha explains that the lay disciple, upon attaining to arhathood, either ordains that very
day or will enter final nirvana. This, Nagasena argues, is not the defect of arhathood but the defect of
being a layperson, just as in the case of someone who has a stomach disorder, “it is not the defect in the
food, but the defect of the stomach” (Miln 265). Two famous canonical examples of lay arhats are Yasa
and Bahiya Drucriya. Yasa joined the Order (V 1:17) but Bahiya died shortly.112
My own understanding of this interesting situation—that layman arhats must join the order or die
within a day—is a dramatic way of saying that on ordaining, they are bound by the Vinaya, so that they
have to go on almsround, keep healthy, teach the others and be an example to them.
In other words, one of the purposes of the Vinaya is that the monastics live on for the sake on the teaching.http://dharmafarer.org/wordpress/wp-con ... s-piya.pdf