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AN 3:83&88; combined - The Threefold Training

Translated from the Pali by Nyanaponika Thera and Bhikkhu Bodhi


On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Vesali in the Great Wood in the Hall with the Peaked Roof. Then a certain monk from the Vajjian clan approached him … and said to him:

“Lord, I am unable to train in the more than a hundred and fifty training rules that come for recitation every forthnight.”

“Then, monk, there are these three trainings: the training in the higher virtue, the training in the higher mind, and the training in the higher wisdom.

“And what is the training in the higher virtue? Here, a monk is virtuous, restrained by the restraint of the Patimokkha, perfect in conduct and resort, seeing danger in the slightest faults. Having undertaken the training rules, he trains himself in them. This is called the training in the higher virtue.

“And what is the training in the higher mind? Here, secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states, a monk enters and dwells in the first jhana, which is accompanied by thought and examination, with rapture and happiness born of seclusion. With the subsiding of thought and examination, he enters and dwells in the second jhana, which has internal confidence and unification of the mind, is without thought and examination, and has rapture and happiness born of concentration. With the fading away as well of rapture, he dwells equanimous and, mindful and clearly comprehending, he experiences happiness with the body; he enters and dwells in the third jhana of which the noble ones declare: ’He is equanimous, mindful, one who dwells happily,’ With the abandoning of pleasure and pain, and with the previous passing away of joy and sadness, he enters and dwells in the fourth jhana, which is neither painful nor pleasant and includes the purification of mindfulness by equanimity. This is the training in the higher mind.

“And what is the training in the higher wisdom? Here, a monk understands as it really is: ’This is suffering. This is the origin of suffering. This is the cessation of suffering. This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.’ This is the higher wisdom.

“Are you able, monk, to train in the three trainings?”

“I am, Lord.”

“Well then, monk, train in these three trainings: the higher virtue, the higher mind and the higher wisdom. When you train thus you will abandon lust, hatred, and delusion. With their abandoning you will not do anything unwholesome or resort to anything evil.”

Then afterwards that monk trained in the training in the higher virtue, in the training in the higher mind, and in the training in the higher wisdom. As he so trained, he abandoned lust, hatred, and delusion. With their abandoning he did not do anything unwholesome or resort to anything evil.

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