From the Yuganaddha Sutta, there are four paths described:

  1. Development of insight preceded by development of tranquility
  2. Development of tranquility preceded by development of insight
  3. Tranquility developed in tandem with insight
  4. Mind's restlessness concerning the Dhamma well under control

From my understanding, the first three are about vipassana (insight) and samatha (tranquility).


  1. How does the fourth path work? Please elaborate on the fourth path.
  2. How does one practise that? Please provide details.
  3. Why is vipassana and samatha not required on the fourth path?

Ven. Ananda said: "Friends, whoever — monk or nun — declares the attainment of arahantship in my presence, they all do it by means of one or another of four paths. Which four?

"There is the case where a monk has developed insight preceded by tranquillity. As he develops insight preceded by tranquillity, the path is born. .....

"Then there is the case where a monk has developed tranquillity preceded by insight. As he develops tranquillity preceded by insight, the path is born. .....

"Then there is the case where a monk has developed tranquillity in tandem with insight. As he develops tranquillity in tandem with insight, the path is born. .....

"Then there is the case where a monk's mind has its restlessness concerning the Dhamma [Comm: the corruptions of insight] well under control. There comes a time when his mind grows steady inwardly, settles down, and becomes unified & concentrated. In him the path is born.

He follows that path, develops it, pursues it. As he follows the path, developing it & pursuing it — his fetters are abandoned, his obsessions destroyed.
Yuganaddha Sutta

  • There are some interesting commentaries on this sutta here by Piya Tan, here by Ven. Anālayo and here by Ven. Kaṭukurunde Ñāṇananda.
    – ruben2020
    Sep 4, 2017 at 10:20
  • I am not inclined to support the views of Analayo & Nanananda. The comments of Bhikkhu Bodhi in Piya Tan seem reasonable, which would also imply a non-returner, who has already developed samatha & vipassana. Sep 4, 2017 at 10:32
  • I'm inclined towards Piya Tan's (or is he quoting Bhikkhu Bodhi?) comment on the fourth path: "The story of how Bāhiya Dārucīriya awakens by just listening to the Buddha as related in the (Arahata) Bāhiya Sutta (U 1.10) should be carefully examined: note especially how the Buddha skillfully calmed Bāhiya’s mind."
    – ruben2020
    Sep 4, 2017 at 11:23
  • on 2nd thought, i think Nanananda's view is reasonable however it renders the sutta idiosyncratic, i.e., merely reflective of Ananda's alleged arahantship, which itself is a difficult to believe story. the idea that Ananda attained arahantship when his head lay on a pillow is far-fetched to me. Sep 4, 2017 at 20:45
  • The 4th is a Ch'an (Zen) path. Buddha taught many paths, but for those converted to the Pali Canon regarded that's the totality of Buddhavacana this 4th path is not designed for them, due to their "citta capacity"; a rice bowl holds 100ml of water, but the ocean with all the water in the world could never spill. Hence none elaboration nor any Abidhamma text to explain, except maybe Vismgg. - Buddhaghosa imported Mahayana teachings to help these incomplete teachings; like the Pali scholars today stealing Mahayana doctrines - but mostly for fame. ~ I'm joking! :D, yet it is not a joke :| Sep 6, 2017 at 4:59

6 Answers 6


How does the fourth path work? Please elaborate on the fourth path.

By attaining “anariya jhanas”, one can attain only ceto vimutti. Thus to achieve all of the four paths, one has to practice “ariya jhanas”. Only this second Ariya Jhana will lead to magga phala with panna vimutti.

The fourth path does not involve samatha meditation. It is completely a vipassana meditation. In Pali this fourth method is called **Dhamma Uddhacca Vigghahita Maanasan”. Unlike the other three methods, it takes only a very short time to come to realization through this method, but only a highly developed person can do this. This method is not for you and I. The only Ariya Meditation that may help the ordinary folk is the Savitakka/Savicara mode of meditation. For those who are more disciplined and wiser, there is the Avitakka/Avicara mode of meditation.

How does one practise that? Please provide details.

This question can never be answered. The scriptures tell us of only 14 people who have realized nibbhana by practising this method. Few of them that come to mind are Bahiya Dharuciraya, King Pukkusati, King’s Minister Santhathi, Arahant Dabbamallatissa, and Bhikku Kumara Kashyapa.

Why is vipassana and samatha not required on the fourth path?

This answer is there within the above explanation. These few individuals came to panna vimutti, but to come to this they never did any kind of Jhana. They never had to do samatha or vipassana meditation. Within a matter of minutes, they achieved nibbana through **Dhamma Uddhacca Vigghahita Maanasan”.

To explain this Pali term…. Uddhacca means the tendency to be high-minded (restlessness) - It arises because of high-mindedness. Uddacca remains as a cetasika and is removed only at the Arahant stage. Uddacca is the tendency to get at least irritated when not treated as expected. But it is to be noted that the levels of mana, uddacca, avijja that an Anagami has, are at much reduced level.

Uddhacca Vigghahita means the eradication of Uddhacca. This is the quickest way to remove all traces of the root causes - raga, dosa, and, moha. Or in other words Uddhacca Vigghahita is the easiest way to remove lobha, dosa, and, moha (for akusala kamma), and alobha, adosa, and amoha (for kusala kamma).

  • @SapthaVisuddhi thank you for this answer. We have noted "freed by wisdom" as a key phrase that will find 18 suttas.
    – OyaMist
    Aug 6, 2021 at 15:42

Bhikkhu Bodhi has a footnote about this, which I have decided to disagree with, for the sake of alternative view. However, in his footnote, he points out how there are three variations of this Pali text (PTS, Sinhala, Burmese), including 'dham­muddhac­ca­vig­gahitaṃ mānasaṃ' (which he agrees with, namely, 'manasa' as 'mind' or 'thinking') versus 'dham­muddhac­ca­vig­gahitaṃanā' (which I have decided to agree with). BB rejects the later because it would include the word 'conceit' ('ṃanā'), which he believes is suspicious. However, I have decided to disagree with BB and speculate 'ṃanā' is not suspicious because the other term in the phrase is 'uddhac­ca', namely, restlessness. The other word is 'vig­gahita', which means 'taken hold of, seized; seduced by'.

'Conceit' ('ṃanā') is the 8th fetter; 'restlessness' ('uddhac­ca') is the 9th fetter. Here, in the 4th path, the practitioner is a 'non-returner' ('anāgāmi') seized/seduced by two of the final fetters needed to be broken for arahantship. Thus, in this 4th path, the non-returner has already developed tranquility & insight but encounters a speed bump with the 8th & 9th fetters. But the non-returner settles the mind (citta), breaks the fetters and completes the path.

Since the sutta is strangely attributed to Ananda about arahants making declarations to him, which is even more bizarre, and since this sutta is both a one-off and has varied versions, personally, I would ignore & reject it. The sutta seems typical of the non-sense found in the Anguttara Nikaya.

Bhikkhu Sujato at Sutta Central might take an interest in this. I suggest to start this topic there.

  • Thanks. There is already a discussion thread at Sutta Central on this here.
    – ruben2020
    Sep 4, 2017 at 10:11
  • Funny Brahmali agreed with my concluding comment, where he said: "I do not think such marginal ideas deserve much attention" . There is a 1st time for everything. :) Having read the posts at SC, I think my answer here is best, which seems to conform with the concluding comment that: "the case of Bahiya... because the sutta talks about attaining arahantship, not stream-entry". Bahiya, like the monk in MN 140, had probably already developed the 4th jhana thus was essentially mentally a non-returner (but not in terms of wisdom). Regards Sep 4, 2017 at 10:20

When you read S.N. or A.N. You should connect sutta that come before or after together, too. Obviously, the sequence of everything in contexts are very important to understand tipitaka. This is a reason that why I often said that reciting&memorizing, just pāli, are better than reading, and especially better than reading the translated version.

I don't want to insult anyone. I just try to advise the one way path that intention-cetasika of bodhisatta choose to born to be then buddha force bikkhu to make it done for to be a perfect bhikkhu and for to be ariya (perfect person).

The Answer

Full answers already answered inside yugganaddhakathā of paṭisambihdāmagga, and nettipakaraṇa desanāhāravibhaṅga+nayasamuṭṭhāna. Also, you can use commentary, but you must recite and memorize tipitaka first because comment in commentary is over short, for the reader.

Connect with the previous sutta, Asubha Sutta.

  1. Practitioner who hard to meditate, quickly/delayed access to insight = Development of insight preceded by meditating concentration. This practitioner's hindrances often arise between his meditation. He must inhibits hindrances before meditate an insight. So buddha said "Bhikkhu, you must meditate a concentration, bhikkhu who meditated a concentration, will access to insight (5 aggregates)".
  2. Practitioner who easily to meditate, quickly/delayed access to insight = Development of concentration preceded by meditating insight. This practitioner's hindrances not often arise between his meditation. So he meditate easily.
  3. Practitioner who quickly access to insight, easily/hard to meditate = Tranquility developed in tandem with insight. This practitioner turned to be pro of 1st and 2nd above. He meditating insight at pahāna-pariññā state (from 3 pariññā).
  4. Practitioner who delayed access to insight, easily/hard to meditate = Practitioner who has to inhibit hindrances from mind when meditating insight. This practitioner is not pro enough of 1st and 2nd above. He still meditating insight at tīraṇa-pariññā state. So he have to try more to meditate 1st, 2nd to be 3rd. See the advance detail in tipitaka paṭisambhidāmagga (somewhere, I have not read it done), and visuddhimagga understanding-part maggāmaggañāṇadassanavisuddhi-niddesa to (especially from indriyatikkhakāraṇanavaka-kathā to paṭipadāñāṇadassanavisuddhi-niddesa).

Vocabulary in sutta that connect it together:

Paṭipadā=Maggo sañjāyati. Dhammuddhacca=Vipassanpakilesa.

(there are more word, but you should to recite&memorize&meditate from pali of them yourselves with the meditated teacher such as pa-auk teachers).

  • Are you saying that meditation comes easily for one who develops insight before concentration, because insight overcomes hindrances?
    – ruben2020
    Sep 4, 2017 at 12:53
  • No, that is thai understanding tradition which not compatibility with the suttas' explanation in that vagga. Buddha explained about 5 indriya, so it is about power accumulation of whole 5 indriya. It is not about one help one such as paññindtiya (insight) help samādindriya (concentration), because no way that the practitioner can meditate an insight, before his hindrances overcome by concentration. So I quoted above that buddha said "Bhikkhu, you must meditate a concentration, bhikkhu who meditated a concentration, will access to insight (5 aggregates)."
    – Bonn
    Sep 4, 2017 at 13:17
  • Moreover, I can completely say that thai meaning is a mistake that make reader confuse. A person who was the beginner of that definition was not tipitaka memorizer (he was anti-abhidhammist, who had a manpower in thai about more than 100 years ago in colony war period). This is not my idea even though not commentary idea, because the sequences of pali words and sutta force the memorizer, who reciting pali, to understand like that.
    – Bonn
    Sep 4, 2017 at 13:25
  • OK. So, it is the opposite. It is easier in meditation practice, to cultivate concentration before insight or both in tandem, but it's harder in meditation practice, to cultivate insight before concentration? And what about the fourth path that I asked in my question? Where does that come in?
    – ruben2020
    Sep 4, 2017 at 13:44
  • I wroted above "Practitioner who has to inhibit (samatha) hindrances (dhammuddhacca) from mind when meditating insight (vipassanā, especially taruṇa-udayabyañāṇa). "
    – Bonn
    Sep 4, 2017 at 14:32
  1. How does the fourth path work? Please elaborate on the fourth path.

You are thinking and pondering about the dhamma you have experiencing

  1. How does one practise that? Please provide details.

There is no explicit way to to do this. If you start thinking and pondering on the Dhamma then this happens.

  1. Why is vipassana and samatha not required on the fourth path?

Both are required. If you do not do Vipassana you do not experience the Dhamma to think and ponder on. Either Samantha develops or through developing Samantha where you mind is calmed.

  • Did Bāhiya practise Vipassana and Samatha? Quote (Piya Tan): "The story of how Bāhiya Dārucīriya awakens by just listening to the Buddha as related in the (Arahata) Bāhiya Sutta (U 1.10) should be carefully examined: note especially how the Buddha skillfully calmed Bāhiya’s mind."
    – ruben2020
    Sep 5, 2017 at 15:56
  • Bahiya had reached the 8th Jhana (atta samapatti) before meeting the Buddha. Thi is the highest form of Jhana. Sep 6, 2017 at 15:17

I think that comy is almost certainly wrong here and that the 4th path probably refers to people who don't need to do much in terms of learning [pondering] or meditating [for lower attainments] and their mind rather quickly goes to the Deathless [destruction of taints; nibbananirodhadhatu; associated with cessation of perception & feeling] even from the lower jhanas as soon as there is an opening due to the maturity of their insight faculty, these are probably those who end up as released-by-wisdom-arahants lacking the arupa jhanas or as what they call dry-insight worker maybe.

I don't see what else it could be based on other sutta and i think the commentary theory has no basis at all in the sutta.

If one takes the first 3 types to be those whovdeveloped arupa jhana and 4th type as those who didn't then the 4-fold classification makes sense imo.


I wrote a formatted and detailed answer here on my blog, which I cut and paste below the blog post link (losing html formatting).


There are 4 permutations of samatha and vipassana, the order in which they're developed.

The 3rd permutations is the ideal scenario, where both are developed in tandem.

The 4th permutation, neither are developed, at first. But then:

Puna caparaṃ, āvuso, bhikkhuno dhammuddhaccaviggahitaṃ mānasaṃ hoti. Another monk’s mind is seized by restlessness to realize the teaching. Hoti so, āvuso, samayo yaṃ taṃ cittaṃ ajjhattameva santiṭṭhati sannisīdati ekodi hoti samādhiyati. But there comes a time when their mind is stilled internally; it settles, unifies, and becomes undistractify-&-lucidifyd in samādhi. Tassa maggo sañjāyati. The path is born in them. So taṃ maggaṃ āsevati bhāveti bahulīkaroti. They cultivate, develop, and make much of it.

To answer the OP questions, two key points need to be understood.

ekodi and samadhi is code phrase indicating second jhana or higher (see MN 20, MN 119, and several others).


Uddhacca is referring to the 5 hindrance's restlessnness.

vigggahitam means trying to the ascertain the meaning.

So the meditator, in trying to ascertain the meaning of Dhamma when under the influence of the hindrance of restlessness (4th of 5 hindrances), fails. In other words, he's not doing vipassana successfully because he has insufficient samatha.

But later on, he develops second jhana or higher as indicated by the ekodi and samadhi markers, fullfilling requisite amount of samatha (see SN 46.2, samatha is nutriment for samadhi). Therefore the uddhacca restlessness is no longer a problem, and his Dharma investigation succeeds, his vipassana succeeds because his samatha is good enough.

Since the 4 permutations already covered the samatha preceding vipassanna, then this 4th case is unlikely to be that, and more likely to be having initially no samatha and vipassana, and later samatha and vipassana in tandem.

Conclusion on AN 4.170 So when one considers all 4 permutations, and all 4 attain a path that leads to arahantship, it's clear that samatha and vipassana both need to be present to sufficient quality to succeed, it's just that through inherent weakness in individual meditators, some may mature in samatha first or vipassana first, and not the case that the Buddha recommended one develop samatha before vipassana, or vice versa.

Also, if you study the formula for the four jhanas carefully, and the satipatthana formula carefully, you'll see that 3rd jhana (any of 4 jhanas would fulfill samatha) includes both sati and sampajano (equivalent to pañña and vipassana). And within the satipatthana formula, which also includes sati and sampajano factors, the "vineyya loke abhijja domanassa" is a reference to one having subdued the 5 hindrances, the tough part of samatha training, and putting you right in the doorway of first jhana (which would satisfy samatha). In other words, satipatthana is embedded within jhana, and jhana is embedded within satipatthana. That's the Buddha saying samatha and vipassana is ideally developed in tanndem ( 4 Jhānas🌕 ≈ 4 Satipaṭṭhāna🐘 ).

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