34) “Lay people cannot be arahants, can they?”
DON’T GO GIVING an unqualified answer to this question either, saying they can or cannot. It must be answered by saying that an arahant has transcended laity and monkhood alike. Please note that the belief that one who becomes an arahant must hurry off and be ordained within seven days or else die was made by over- confident, assertive teachers of later ages, and appears only in commentaries, sub-commentaries, and other such post-canonical works. An arahant must always transcend laity and monkhood. No one can make an arahant into a lay person (i.e. a worldly person), but he lives above and beyond the state of monkhood too.
Therefore, don’t go making statements as to whether an arahant can live at home or not. Even though they might take an arahant and force him to live at home, they could never make him into a householder. He has transcended both laity and monkhood.