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Tipitaka >> Sutta Pitaka >> Anguttara Nikaya >> Three Mentalities

AN 3:25 Three Mentalities

Translated from the Pali by Nyanaponika Thera and Bhikkhu Bodhi


There are, O monks, three types of persons found in the world. What three? There is one with a mind like an open sore; one with a mind like lightning; one with a mind like a diamond.

Of what nature, monks, is the person with a mind like an open sore? He is one who is irascible and irritable. If he is criticised even slightly he loses his temper and becomes angry and upset; he is stubborn and displays anger, hatred, and resentment. Just as, for instance, a festering sore, if struck by a stick or a sherd, will discharge matter all the more, even so is the person who is irascible … and displays anger, hatred and resentment. Such a person is said to have a mind like an open sore.

And of what nature is the person with a mind like lightning? He is one who understands as it really is, “This is suffering”; he understands as it really is, “This is the origin of suffering”; he understands as it really is, “This is the cessation of suffering”; he understands as it really is, “This is the path leading to the cessation of suffering.” Just as a man with good sight can see objects in the darkness of night by a flash of lightning, even so a person understands these Four Noble Truths as they really are. Such a person is said to have a mind like lightning.

And of what nature is a person with a mind like a diamond? He is one who, by the destruction of the taints, in this very life enters and dwells in the taintless liberation of mind, liberation by wisdom, having realised it for himself by direct knowledge. Just as there is nothing that a diamond cannot cut, be it gem or rock, even so a certain person, by the destruction of the taints, in this very life enters and dwells in the taintless liberation of mind, liberation by wisdom, having realised it for himself by direct knowledge. Such a person is said to have a mind like a diamond.

These three types of persons are found in the world.

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