Konchog1 wrote:Theravada states that only monks can attain Enlightenment. However, the Pali Canon mentions Enlightened laypeople. Mahayana states anyone can attain Enlightenment. This point is made explicitly clear in the Lotus Sutra wherein a young Naga girl attains Enlightenment (that is a nonhuman female child) thus showing that there are no limits.
Some Chinese writers suggest this as well -- you need to renounce before you attain the fourth fruit of arhatship. Stream-entry and so on are possible as a layperson, but arhatship requires renunciation.
I believe that really just means you need to give up desire entirely, which is what the arhat does. A layperson might still store food, keep money and have sex, whereas the fourth fruit of arhatship requires that it all be abandoned, which is what formal renunciation is ideally supposed to entail.