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I have a vague recollection of a Dhamma teacher saying that, in the process of awakening, the practitioner eventually reaches a stage of development where they either awaken fully or they die.

I'm not sure if my memory of this is correct or not.

I have a vague recollection of the Dhamma teacher treating this as a myth which is not to be taken seriously. For this reason, I may have discarded it.

However, I am intensely curious. Is anything like this mentioned anywhere in the suttas?

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    not that I'm aware of, though if you can attain "nirodha samapatti", it kinda makes sense if you could just spontaneously die, also. maybe you're confusing the 'great death' in zen: enlightenment.
    – user23997
    Commented Aug 5, 2022 at 9:19

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Yes, but only in the sense that the risk of death is ever present. You could die right in the next moment regardless what you do. So don't waste any time. Death is common. An auspicious birth with a chance at liberation via the Buddhist path and the fruits thereof are not.

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