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Tipitaka >> Sutta Pitaka >> Anguttara Nikaya >> Three Types of Patients

AN 3:22 Three Types of Patients

Translated from the Pali by Nyanaponika Thera and Bhikkhu Bodhi


There are, O monks, three types of patients found in the world. What three?

There is one patient: whether or not he obtains proper nourishment, proper medicine, and adequate nursing, he will not recover from his illness.

There is another patient: whether or not he obtains all these things, he will recover from his illness.

There is still another patient who will recover from his illness only if he receives proper nourishment, proper medicine, and adequate nursing, but not if he lacks these. For him, O monks, a special diet, curative medicine, and good nursing are prescribed. But apart from him, also the other two types of patients should be attended to.

These three types of patients are found in the world.

Similarly, monks, there are three other types of persons comparable to those three patients.

There is one type of person: whether or not he has the chance of seeing the Tathagata and of listening to the Dhamma and Discipline proclaimed by him, he will not enter the path of assurance and will not reach perfection in wholesome states.

There is another person: whether or not he has the chance of seeing the Tathagata and of listening to the Dhamma and Discipline proclaimed by him, he will in any case enter upon the path of assurance and will reach perfection in wholesome states.

Again, there is one person who will enter upon the path of assurance and will reach perfection in wholesome states only if he has the chance of seeing the Tathagata and of listening to the Dhamma and Discipline proclaimed by him, but not if he lacks this opportunity. It is for this person, O monks, that instruction in the Dhamma has been prescribed. But apart from him, the two others should also be instructed in the Dhamma.

These are the three types of persons found in the world who are comparable to the three patients.

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