Dharma Pearls

Translating Classical Buddhism to Modern English

The Related Discourses

1. The Aggregates

147. 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 instructed them: “Monks, this mind, this reasoning, this consciousness should contemplate this. Don’t contemplate that. Stop this desire, stop this form. Someone who realizes this abides fully. 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! Forms are impermanent and subject to change. Tiring of and parting with desire for them, they cease, become tranquil, and disappear. Thus, since the distant past, all forms have been impermanent, painful, and subject to change. Known in this way, the conditioning of those forms produces the contaminants, which are harmful, burning, and grievous. Stop and cease them all. Once they are stopped and ceased, there’s no attachment. Once there’s no attachment, you’ll live in well-being. Once you live in well-being, you’ll attain parinirvāṇa. Feelings, perceptions, volitions, 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.

Translator: Charles Patton

Last Revised: 12 October 2020