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The third book of the Aṅguttara Nikāya, the Collection of the Numbered Discourses of the Buddha, collects 352 suttas or discourses whose subject matter focuses on groups of three topics. For example, suttas are collected, not exhaustively, that speak of the three emotional reactions: pleasant, unpleasant and indifferent. There are other suttas included in other collections that are not in this one. 
The book of threes breaks with the purely mnemonic mechanics of the "matika" series of the first two books. This is a book made to be read. Even so, both its subject matter and content are far from interesting since they neither relate the life of the Buddha nor include unique doctrinal principles. 
Perhaps the sutta of greatest interest is AN 3.65: With the kālāmas of Kesamutta, which is about adopting a belief based on results rather than fallacies. It is a lengthy and interesting sutta. 
On the opposite side and marked with a double asterisk (**), we find a pair of extemporaneous suttas, out of context, with a particular structure and a spurious content. They are the suttas AN 3.80: Minor and AN 3.107: Lamentations. 
"Minor" is a discourse similar both structurally and in content to the decadent suttas that Gogerly encountered upon his arrival in Sri Lanka in the nineteenth century, characterized by depicting the Buddha as somewhere between mythological and fantastic being endowed with magical powers, much to the taste of Eastern excess. So we can here see the Buddha giving voices heard in all the galaxies and, at the end of the sutta, the imagination runs wild when the Buddha becomes a prophet, predicting that: "Ānanda will be extinguished in the present life", which turned out to be false. Every false sutta has a bastard intention, and in this case it is to rivet the orthodoxy and trustworthiness of one of the leaders of the First Council who, far from being worthy, did not even achieve anything since he was more occupied in the robe dealing than in practice. 
The other apocryphal sutta is AN 3.107: Lamentations, a strangely structured sutta that amounts to a scolding against people who hear music, or laugh. The author did not dare to assign to the Buddha the authorship of the rebuke and left it at a simple "it is considered". 

The Book of Threes - Aṅguttara Nikāya

  • Aṅguttara Nikāya

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