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trividyā [alt. traividyā] (P. tevijjā; T. rig gsum; C. sanming 三明) is translated as "three knowledges," "threefold knowledge," "one endowed with threefold (higher) knowledge," etc.

It refers to three types of higher knowledge:[1][2]

These three types of knowledge were obtained by the Buddha during the "three watches of the night" at the time of his awakening.[2]

The three knowledges are mentioned in numerous discourses, such as the Maha-Saccaka Sutta (MN 36), in which the Buddha describes obtaining one of these knowledges on the first, second and third watches respectively of the night of his enlightenment.[4]

These forms of knowledge typically are listed as arising after the attainment of the fourth jhana.[4]

See also


  1. Nyanatiloka Thera 2019, s.v. te-vijjā.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Buswell & Lopez 2014, s.v. trividyā.
  3. Note that:
  4. 4.0 4.1 Thanissaro (1998). Other discourses that mention the three knowledges include the Tevijja Sutta (DN 13) and the Bhaya-bherava Sutta (MN 4).