Points of Controversy
18.5. Of a One and Only Path
Moreover, if there be one path only, which of the four is it?
Andhakas and Uttarapāthakas: The path of Arahantship.
Theravādin: But do we teach that by that path the three first of the ten Fetters are removed—to wit, theory of soul, doubt, and infection of mere rule and ritual? Did not the Exalted One say that these are removed by the Stream-Winning Path?
And are gross passions and malevolence removed by the path of Arahantship? Did not the Exalted One say that the fruit of the Once-Returner was the state of having reduced these to a minimum? And is it by the path of Arahantship that that minimum is removed? You know it is not. If you assent, I can refer you to the words of the Exalted One, who said that the fruit of the Never-Returner was the state of having removed that minimum without remainder.
Theravādin: But if the Exalted One realized these four fruits of the religious life by one Ariyan Path only, and the disciples by four Paths, they have seen what he did not see, they arrive, at where he did not arrive, they realize that which he did not reaIize. You cannot admit this…