Only one who remains at the source and does not come back, anagamin…. These words are from the same root. Gamin means going. The English word go comes from the same root as the Pali word gamin. Anagamin means one who is not going back. It is better to feed one anagamin than to feed ten millions of skridagamins.
It is better to feed one arhat than to feed one hundred millions of anagamins. Now things are a little more subtle. Arhat means the victorious. Now there is nothing for him to achieve; he has come home. The anagamin has come to the source. He is not going back, but there are weaknesses in him which do not allow him to be totally victorious. He has reached the place from where victory is possible. He is not going back – but he is not going ahead either.
An arhat is one who goes ahead of the anagamin. The anagamin becomes so happy with the source that he has reached that he feels that this is all there is; he has arrived – and that’s an illusion. There is much more. The arhat is not satisfied – although it is very pleasant, nice. But he has not come on this journey, on this pilgrimage to reach a pleasant state. He wants truth, and he is ready to lose all pleasures – even this spiritual pleasure of being at the source. His search is for truth, not for pleasure. It is better to feed one arhat than to feed one hundred millions of anagamins.
It is better to feed one pratyak buddha than to feed one billion of arhats.
Pratyak buddha means a man who has attained enlightenment. The arhat is victorious but he is not illuminated. There is still darkness at the very center of his being. A pratyak buddha is one whose whole darkness has disappeared; he is simply light. The arhat has discovered the truth; the pratyak buddha has become it.
You have to understand the difference. One has discovered it, but it is still there and he is separate from it. The pratyak buddha has become it. There is no question of victory, because there are not two; hence the difference you can see: It is better to feed one pratyak buddha than to feed one billion of arhatas. The distance goes on becoming bigger and bigger and bigger. It is better to feed one of the buddhas, either of the present or of the past or of the future than to feed ten billions of pratyak buddhas.
What is the difference between pratyak buddhas and buddhas? The pratyak buddha is one who has become enlightened, but he never becomes a master. He has experienced it, but he cannot explain it. Neither is he interested in anybody else, or in sharing his experience with anybody else. He has the same status as a buddha, but the difference is that the buddha wants to share it, and the pratyak buddha simply keeps it within himself. He becomes the truth, but his great achievement is confined only to himself. A buddha works hard, against all kinds of oppositions, difficulties, to reach people, to reach those who are on the path but are in darkness.