“These seven individuals, monks, are worthy of offerings (āhuneyyā), worthy of hospitality (pāhuneyyā), worthy of gifts (dakkhiṇeyyā), worthy of reverential salutation (añjalikaraṇīyā), an incomparable field of merit for the world (anuttaraṃ puññakkhettaṃ lokassā). What seven? One liberated both ways (ubhatobhāgavimutto),¹ one liberated by wisdom (paññāvimutto),² a body witness (kāyasakkhī),³ one attained to right-view (diṭṭhippatto),⁴ one liberated by faith (saddhāvimutto),⁵ a Dhamma follower (dhammānusārī),⁶ a faith follower (saddhānusārī).⁷ These seven individuals, monks, are worthy of offerings, worthy of hospitality, worthy of gifts, worthy of reverential salutation, an incomparable field of merit for the world.⁸
1. Liberated both ways means an attainer of the eight absorptions and the path of Arahantship through the destruction of the outflows.
2. An attainer of the path of Arahantship through the destruction of the outflows, without attaining the eight absorptions.
3. Those who have attained the first, second, or third path, and various stages of absorption, with concentration dominant.
4. Those who have attained the first, second, or third path, and various stages of absorption, with wisdom dominant.
5. Those who have attained the first, second, or third path, and various stages of absorption, with faith dominant.
6. Those who accept the Dharma after pondering over it with wisdom, but who do not have quick and sharp wisdom, and have not attained complete release, but who do possess the five faculties of faith, energy, mindfulness, concentration, and wisdom.
7. Those who possess the five faculties and who have affection for the Buddha. These latter two are called lesser Stream-winners (cūḷasotāpannā). As the Ledi Sayādaw says in his Gambhīra Dīpanī: “When knowledge of things as they really are is attained by virtuous worldlings and lesser stream-winners, they begin to escape from the control of conditioned things, which they can contemplate as impermanent, unsatisfactory, and not-self. They can realise that psychophysical phenomena are not a person, a being, a man or a woman. The defect, harm, and danger of psychophysical phenomena can be known by seeing things as they truly are. This is the victory of virtuous worldlings and lesser stream-winners over psychophysical phenomena.” So, virtuous Buddhists should strive to practise insight meditation and gain insight into mental and physical phenomena.
8. No mention is made of whether they are men or women, ordained or laity. They are worthy on account of their spiritual attainments.