In MN 74:
However, in MN 111, the Buddha recounts Sāriputta's Enlightenment as the following:MN 74 (transl., Bhikkhu Bodhi) wrote: [... (having taught Dīghanakha the elements and feelings, and their impermanence)]
14. Now on that occasion the venerable Sāriputta was standing behind the Blessed One, fanning him. Then he thought: “The Blessed One, indeed, speaks to us of the abandoning of these things through direct knowledge; the Sublime One, indeed, speaks to us of the relinquishing of these things through direct knowledge.” As the venerable Sāriputta considered this, through not clinging his mind was liberated from the taints. 738
While one could argue that Sāriputta reached the rūpa and arūpa jhānas after having reflected on what the Buddha said, it precisely says "As the venerable Sāriputta considered this, through not clinging...". In MN 111, his "taints were destroyed by his seeing with wisdom", after having reached cessation of perception and feeling, of which thought-conception and discursive thinking can't occur.MN 111 (transl., Bhikkhu Bodhi) wrote: During half a month, bhikkhus, Sāriputta gained insight into states one by one as they occurred. 1046 Now Sāriputta’s insight into states one by one as they occurred was this:
3. “Here, bhikkhus, quite secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states, Sāriputta entered upon and abided in the first jhāna, which is accompanied by applied and sustained thought, with rapture and pleasure born of seclusion.
[... (passing through all four rūpa jhānas, and then all arūpa jhānas preceeding the base of neither-perception-nor-non-perception)]
19. Again, bhikkhus, by completely surmounting the base of neither-perception-nor-non-perception, Sāriputta entered upon and abided in the cessation of perception and feeling. And his taints were destroyed by his seeing with wisdom. 1052
20. “He emerged mindful from that attainment. Having done so, he recalled the states that had passed, ceased, and changed, thus: ‘So indeed, these states, not having been, come into being; having been, they vanish.’ 1053 Regarding those states, he abided unattracted, unrepelled, independent, detached, free, dissociated, with a mind rid of barriers. He understood: ‘There is no escape beyond,’ and with the cultivation of that [attainment], he confirmed that there is not. 1054
Anybody know why this is?
Bhikkhu Bodhi's note 738 in MN 74 says the following:
And the notes for MN 111, 1046 and 1052 to 1054:738. MA: Having reflected on the discourse spoken to his nephew, Ven. Sāriputta developed insight and attained arahantship. Dīghanakha attained the fruit of stream-entry.
1046. Anupadadhammavipassanā. MA explains that he developed insight into states in successive order by way of the meditative attainments and the jhāna factors, as will be described. The two-week period referred to fell from the time of Ven. Sāriputta’s ordination under the Buddha to his attainment of arahantship while listening to the Buddha explain the comprehension of feeling to Dīghanakha (see MN 74.14).
1052. MA offers this explanation of the passage, transmitted by “the elders of India”: “The Elder Sāriputta cultivated serenity and insight in paired conjunction and realised the fruit of non-returning. Then he entered the attainment of cessation, and after emerging from it he attained arahantship.”
1053. Since there are no mental factors in the attainment of cessation, MA says that “these states” here must refer either to the states of material form that were occurring while he attained cessation, or to the mental factors of the preceding fourth immaterial attainment.
1054. Note the realisation that there is “no escape beyond” the attainment of arahantship.