Translating Classical Buddhism to Modern English

The Related Discourses

1. The Aggregates

147 (35). Three Gentlemen

1. Thus have I heard: One time, the Buddha was staying at the Bamboo Park Monastery in Cedi.

2. At that time, there were three upright gentlemen who had left home not long before. They were Venerable Aniruddha, Venerable Nandika, and Venerable Kimbila.

3. Knowing what they were thinking in their minds, the Bhagavān then instructed them: “Monks, this is mind, this is reasoning, this is consciousness. This should be contemplated. Don’t contemplate that. Stopping this desire and stopping this form, a person fully abides in realization.[1] Monks, could there be form that’s permanent, unchanging, and a correct abode?”

The monks said to the Buddha, “No, Bhagavān.”

4. The Buddha told the monks, “Good, good! Form is impermanent and liable to change. Tiring and parting with desire for it, it ceases, becomes tranquil, and disappears. Thus, since the distant past, all forms have been impermanent, painful, and liable to change. Known in this way, the conditioning of those forms produces the contaminants, which are harmful, burning, and grievous. Destroy them all. Once they are destroyed, there’s no attachment. Once there’s no attachment, one will live in well-being. Once they live in well-being, they’ll attain parinirvāṇa. Feeling, conception, volition, and consciousness are likewise.

5. When the Buddha spoke this sūtra, those three upright men didn’t produce the contaminants, and their minds were liberated.

6. After the Buddha spoke this sūtra, the monks who heard what the Buddha taught rejoiced and approved.


  1. fully abides in realization. Ch. 作證具足住. In SĀ 1.61, 1.154 et al, this is a synonym for liberation from rebirth. The expression “to fully abide” is also used for attaining each of the four dhyānas in SĀ 4.10, 6.5, et al. [back]

Translator: Charles Patton

Last Revised: 17 October 2022