HeartDhamma

AN III 89 The Three Higher Trainings

Paṭhamasikkhattaya Sutta

 

“Monks, there are these three trainings.

What three?

 

(1) The Training in Higher Virtue, 

(2) The Training in Higher Mind, 

(3) The Training in Higher Wisdom.[1]

 

[Higher Virtue]

 

What is the Training in Higher Virtue?

 

 

(1) A monk is virtuous,

(2) Observing the self-mastery of the Pātimokkha,

(3) Endowed with good behavior, 

(4) Seeing danger even in the slightest lapse of attention, 

(5) A monk undertakes the training in the virtuous rules.

 

This, I say, is the Training in Higher Virtue.

 

 

[Higher Mind]

 

What is the Training in Higher Mind?

 

(1) Being thus disengaged from outward desires, 

and detached from unwholesome mental states,

Attended by thinking and reflection,

With the blissful happiness born of mental detachment,

 

A monk understands and abides 

in the first level of meditation.

 

(2) With the calming of thinking and imagining,

With inner tranquilization,

His mind becoming unified,

Without thinking and imagining

With the blissful happiness born of mental stillness,

 

A monk understands and abides 

in the second level of meditation. 

 

(3) With the stilling of bliss, 

Abiding in mental steadiness,

Present and fully aware,

Experiencing happiness within his body 

That state, which the Awakened ones describe as such:

“Steady presence of mind: 

This is a pleasant abiding.”

 

A monk understands and abides 

in the third level of meditation.

 

(4) Leaving behind the notions of happiness and unhappiness,[2]

With the earlier settling of mental gladness and affliction,

With neither pain nor pleasure,

Purified by unmoving presence,

 

A monk understands and abides 

in the fourth level of meditation.

 

This, I say, is the Higher Training of the Mind.

 

 

[Higher Wisdom]

 

What is the Training in Higher Wisdom?

 

(1) A monk knows, as it is: “This is tension”[3]

(2) He knows, as it is: “This is the increase of tension”

(3) He knows, as it is: “This is the release from tension”

(4) He knows, as it is: “This is the way to release tension.”

 

This, I say, is the Training in Higher Wisdom.

 

Monks, these are the three trainings.

 

 


[1] Adhisīlasikkhā, adhicittasikkhā, adhipaññāsikkhā.

[2] Due to the strong unity and steadiness of the mind, concepts lose their value and interest, even pleasure and pain.

[3] Careful observation towards knowing and seeing mental distractions and imperfections as the root of harm.

 
 

 

This is a gift of Dhamma

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