Aṅguttara Nikāya

The Book of the Threes

59. Jāṇussoṇī

Then the brahmin Jāṇussoṇī approached the Blessed One … and said to him:

“Master Gotama, whoever has a sacrifice, a memorial meal, an offering dish, or something to be given should give the gift to brahmins who are masters of the threefold knowledge.”

The Blessed One said: “But how, brahmin, do the brahmins describe a brahmin who is a master of the threefold knowledge?”

“Here, Master Gotama, a brahmin is well born on both sides … as in 3:58 … and skilled in the marks of a great man. It is in this way that the brahmins describe a master of the threefold knowledge.”

“Brahmin, a master of the threefold knowledge in the Noble One’s discipline is quite different from the one that the brahmins describe.”

“But in what way, Master Gotama, is one a master of the threefold knowledge in the Noble One’s discipline? It would be good if Master Gotama would teach me the Dhamma in such a way as to make clear how one is a master of the threefold knowledge in the Noble One’s discipline.”

“Well then, brahmin, listen and attend closely. I will speak.”

“Yes, sir,” the brahmin Jāṇussoṇī replied. The Blessed One said this:

“Here, brahmin, secluded from sensual pleasures … all as in 3:58, down to: … This is the third true knowledge attained by him. Ignorance is dispelled, true knowledge has arisen; darkness is dispelled, light has arisen, as happens when one dwells heedful, ardent, and resolute.

“One consummate in virtue and observances,
who is resolute and composed,
whose mind has been mastered,
one-pointed and well concentrated;

“one who knows his past abodes,
who sees heaven and the plane of misery,
and has reached the destruction of birth
is a sage consummate in direct knowledge.

“Through these three kinds of knowledge
one is a triple-knowledge brahmin.
I call him a triple-knowledge master,
not the other who utters incantations.

“It is in this way, brahmin, that one is a master of the threefold knowledge in the Noble One’s discipline.”

“A master of the threefold knowledge in the Noble One’s discipline, Master Gotama, is quite different from a master of the threefold knowledge according to the brahmins. And a master of the threefold knowledge according to the brahmins is not worth a sixteenth part of a master of the threefold knowledge in the Noble One’s discipline.

“Excellent, Master Gotama! … Let Master Gotama consider me a lay follower who from today has gone for refuge for life.”