Site Map
The Mahayana Kalama Sutra
Section › 10 Set Search Previous Next

Terms

Reservations Contents  

The Discourse to the Kálámas

81

Thus have I heard: At one time the Buddha, who was wandering in the territory of the Kálámas together with a great company of monks, having arrived at Kesaputta, was staying in a rosewood grove north of Kesaputta.

At that time, the Kálámas of Kesaputta heard that the renunciant Gotama, a son of the Sakyans, who had gone forth from the Sakya clan to train in the path, was wandering in the territory of the Kálámas together with a great company of monks and, having arrived at Kesaputta, was staying in a rosewood grove north of Kesaputta.

[They also heard that] the renunciant Gotama had a great reputation, which had spread in all the ten directions:

The renunciant Gotama is a Tathágata, free from attachment, fully awakened, accomplished in knowledge and conduct, a Well-gone One, a knower of the world, an unsurpassed one, a trainer of those to be tamed, a teacher of gods and human beings, and known as the Buddha, the Fortunate One.

In this world, with its gods, Máras, Brahmás, renunciants, and brahmins, from human beings to gods, he has [attained] understanding and awakening by himself, and dwells having personally realized it. The Dharma he teaches is good in the beginning, good in the middle, and good in the end, with the right meaning and phrasing, revealing a holy life endowed with purity.

If one visits such a Tathágata, who is free from attachment and fully awakened, [if one] pays homage to him respectfully and serves him, then one will quickly get good rewards.

[They thought:] "We should go together to see the renunciant Gotama and pay homage to him."

Having learned [of the Buddha], the Kálámas of Kesaputta left Kesaputta, relatives walking in groups together. They went north toward the rosewood grove to visit the World-honored One and pay homage to him. Having approached the Buddha, some of the Kálámas paid respect with their heads at the Buddha's feet and sat to one side; some exchanged courteous greetings with the Buddha and sat to one side; some saluted the Buddha with their palms placed together and sat to one side; and some, having seen the Buddha from a distance, sat down silently.

When each of the Kálámas was seated and settled, the Buddha taught them Dharma, exhorting, encouraging, and delighting them. Having, by countless skillful means, taught them Dharma, having exhorted, encouraged, and delighted them, he remained silent.

Then the Kálámas, having been taught Dharma by the Buddha, having been exhorted, encouraged and delighted, rose from their seats, arranged their clothes so as to bare one shoulder, saluted the Buddha by placing their palms together, and said to the World-honored One:

Gotama, some renunciant or brahmin approaches [us] Kálámas and just praises what he himself has come to know and see, while denouncing and disparaging what others have come to know and see. And then, Gotama, another renunciant or brahmin approaches [us] Kálámas and also praises what he himself has come to know and see, while denouncing and disparaging what others have come to know and see. Gotama, having heard these, we have come to doubt: Which of these renunciants or brahmins is right, and which is wrong?

The World-honored One told them: Kálámas, do not doubt! Why? When there is doubt, hesitation arises. Kálámas, you yourselves do not have clear knowledge about whether there is a next life or whether there is no next life. Kálámas, you yourselves also do not have clear knowledge about what action is an offense and what action is not an offense. Kálámas, you should know that all actions have three causes, sources, roots, causal conditions. What are the three?

Kálámas, desire is a cause, a source, a root, a causal condition of actions. Kálámas, hatred and ignorance are causes, sources, roots, causal conditions of actions.

Kálámas, someone who has desire becomes overwhelmed by desire; their mind is never satisfied. Such a one may kill living beings, or take what is not given, or engage in sexual misconduct, or knowingly speak falsehood, or drink intoxicating liquor.

Kálámas, someone who has hatred becomes overwhelmed by hatred; their mind is never satisfied. Such a one may kill living beings, or take what is not given, or engage in sexual misconduct, or knowingly speak falsehood, or drink intoxicating liquor.

Kálámas, someone who is ignorant becomes overwhelmed by ignorance; their mind is never satisfied. Such a one may kill living beings, or take what is not given, or engage in sexual misconduct, or knowingly speak falsehood, or drink intoxicating liquor.

Kálámas, a learned noble disciple abstains from killing, gives up killing, discards blade and cudgel. He has shame and scruple, and a mind [full of] loving-kindness and compassion, [wishing to] benefit all [beings], including insects. He purifies his mind with regard to killing living beings.

Kálámas, a learned noble disciple abstains from taking what is not given, gives up taking what is not given. He takes [only] what was given and delights in taking [only] what was given. He is always fond of generosity, rejoicing in it, without stinginess, and not expecting a reward. He purifies his mind with regard to taking what is not given.

Kálámas, a learned noble disciple abstains from sexual activity, has 439a given up sexual activity. He diligently practices celibacy, is energetic in this good conduct, pure, without blemish, having abandoned sensual desires, having given up sexual desires. He purifies his mind of sexual activity.

Kálámas, a learned noble disciple abstains from false speech, has given up false speech. He speaks the truth, delights in the truth, is unshakably established in the truth, is completely trustworthy, and would not deceive [anyone in] the world. He purifies his mind with regard to false speech.

Kálámas, a learned noble disciple abstains from divisive speech and abandons divisive speech. He does not engage in divisive speech and does not harm [the relationships of] others. Hearing something from this person he does not tell it to that person, in order to harm this person; hearing something from that person he does not tell it to this person, in order to harm that person. He has the wish to unite those that are divided, delighting in unity. He does not belong to any faction and does not delight in or praise factions. He has purified his mind with regard to divisive speech.

Kálámas, a learned noble disciple abstains from harsh speech, has given up harsh speech. He has given up the type of speech that consists of words that are rough and rude in tone, offensive words that grate on the ear, that people neither enjoy nor desire, that cause others suffering and vexation, and that are not conducive to concentration. He speaks the type of speech that consists of words that are pure, peaceful, gentle, and beneficial, that are pleasant to the ear and enter the mind, that are enjoyable and desirable, that give others happiness, words endowed with meaning, that do not make others afraid and that help others to attain concentration. He purifies his mind with regard to harsh speech.

Kálámas, a learned noble disciple abstains from frivolous speech and abandons frivolous speech. He speaks at the [proper] time, speaking what is true, what is Dharma, what is meaningful, what is calming, delighting in speaking what is calming. [In regard to any] matter he teaches well and admonishes well, in accordance with the [proper] time and in a proper way. He purifies his mind with regard to frivolous speech.

Kálámas, a learned noble disciple abstains from covetousness and abandons covetousness; his mind is not full of envy on seeing another's wealth and lifestyle, he does not long for them, wishing: "If only I could get that!" He purifies his mind with regard to covetousness.

Kálámas, a learned noble disciple abstains from hatred and abandons hatred; he has shame and scruple; his mind is full of loving-kindness and compassion for the welfare of all beings, including insects. He purifies his mind with regard to hatred.

Kálámas, a learned noble disciple abstains from wrong view and abandons wrong view. He holds right view, view that is not distorted. He has these views and makes these declarations:

There is offering, there is sacrifice, there are incantations; there are wholesome and unwholesome deeds, there are results of wholesome or unwholesome deeds; there is this world and the other world, there are father and mother; there are True Persons in the world who are headed for a supreme attainment, who are well gone and well directed, who in this world and another world have [attained] understanding and awakening by themselves, and dwell having personally realized it.

He purifies his mind with regard to wrong view.

In this manner, Kálámas, a learned noble disciple achieves purity of bodily actions, achieves purity of verbal and mental actions. He abandons ill will and quarrel, discards sloth and torpor, is without restlessness [439b] or conceit, and cuts off doubt; he transcends arrogance, has right mindfulness and right attentiveness, and is without confusion.

With a mind imbued with loving-kindness, he dwells pervading

one direction, likewise the second, the third, and the fourth direction,

and also the four intermediate directions, above, and below, all around,

everywhere. With a mind imbued with loving-kindness, free from

fetters and resentment, without ill will or quarrel, he dwells pervading

the entire world [with a mind] boundless, exalted, immeasurable and

well cultivated.

It is the same with compassion, empathic joy, and equanimity;

free from fetters and resentment, without ill will or quarrel, he dwells pervading the entire world [with a mind] boundless, exalted, immeasurable and well cultivated.

In this way, Kálámas, the mind of a learned noble disciple is free from fetters and resentment, without ill will or quarrel, and he obtains four assurances. What are the four?

[He thinks:]

[If] there is this world and another world, [if] there are results of wholesome and unwholesome actions, then upholding and being endowed with this right view and action in conformity with it, at the breaking up of the body, after my death, I will certainly go to a good realm of existence, be reborn in a heavenly realm.

Thus, Kálámas, this is the first assurance obtained by a learned noble disciple whose mind is free from fetters and resentment, without ill will or quarrel. Again, Kálámas, [he thinks:]

[If] there is neither this world nor another world, [if] there are no results of wholesome and unwholesome actions, then in this case, in this lifetime I am not censured by others for this belief, but am praised for having right attentiveness, as one who is diligent and one who is said to have right view.

Thus, Kálámas, this is the second assurance obtained by a learned noble disciple whose mind is free from fetters and resentment, without ill will or quarrel. Again, Kálámas, [he thinks:]

Whatever I have done, I have certainly done no evil, and I recollect no evil. Why? Since I have done no evil, whence could suffering arise?

Thus, Kálámas, this is the third assurance obtained by a learned noble disciple whose mind is free from fetters and resentment, without ill will or quarrel. Again, Kálámas, [he thinks:]

Whatever I may have done, I have certainly done no evil, and I have not violated the [customs of the] world, either out of fear or without fear; I have always had compassion and empathy for the entire world. My mind has been free of contention with beings, untainted, and delighted.

Thus, Kálámas, this is the fourth assurance obtained by a learned noble disciple whose mind is free from fetters and resentment, without ill will or quarrel. These, Kálámas, are the four assurances obtained by a learned noble disciple whose mind is free from fetters and resentment, without ill will or quarrel.

The Kálámas[, repeating the teaching,] said to the World-honored One:

Indeed, Gotama, the mind of a learned noble disciple whose mind is free from fetters and resentment, without ill will or quarrel obtains four assurances. What are the four?

[If] there is this world and another world, [if] there are results of wholesome and unwholesome actions, then upholding and being endowed with this right view and with action in conformity with 439c it, at the breaking up of the body, after my death, I will certainly go to a good realm of existence, and be reborn in a heavenly realm.

Thus, Gotama, this is the first assurance obtained by a learned noble disciple whose mind is free from fetters and resentment, without ill will or quarrel. Again, Gotama,

[If] there is neither this world nor another world, [if] there are no results of wholesome and unwholesome actions, then in this case, in this lifetime, I am not censured by others for this belief, but am praised for having right attentiveness, as one who is diligent and is said to have right view.

Thus, Gotama, this is the second assurance obtained by a learned noble disciple whose mind is free from fetters and resentment, without ill will or quarrel. Again, Gotama,

Whatever I may have done, I have certainly done no evil, and I recollect no evil. Why? Since I have done no evil, whence could suffering arise?

Thus, Gotama, this is the third assurance obtained by a learned noble disciple whose mind is free from fetters and resentment, without ill will or quarrel. Again, Gotama,

Whatever I may have done, I have certainly done no evil, and I have not violated the [customs of the] world, either out of fear or without fear. I have always had compassion and empathy for the entire world. My mind has been free of contention with beings, untainted, and delighted.

Thus, Gotama, this is the fourth assurance obtained by a learned noble disciple whose mind is free from fetters and resentment, without ill will or quarrel. These, Gotama, are the four assurances obtained by a learned noble disciple whose mind is free from fetters and resentment, without ill will or quarrel.

Gotama, we have come to know it! Well-gone One, we have understood it! World-honored One, we go for lifelong refuge to the Buddha, the Dharma, and the community of monks. May the World-honored One accept us as lay followers! From this day forth until life ends we go [to him] for refuge.

This is what the Buddha said. Having heard the Buddha's words, all the people of Káláma and the monks were delighted and remembered them well.

(Tr. Kin-Tung Yit, in Bingenheimer 2013, 89-96. Reproduced with permission)

17. The Discourse to Gámani 82

Thus have I heard: At one time, the Buddha was staying at Nálandá, in Pávárika's mango grove.

At that time, [the seer] Asita Devala had a son named Gámani, who was of majestic complexion and build, radiant and bright. Just before dawn [Gámani] approached the place where the Buddha was, paid homage at the Buddha's feet, and stood to one side.

Gámani, the son of Asita Devala, said:

440a World-honored One, brahmins arrogantly claim that they serve various gods, and that they can, at will, cause beings to reach a good realm of existence after death, to be reborn in a heavenly realm. The World-honored One is the King of Dharma. May the World-honored One cause people to reach a good realm of existence after death, to be reborn in a heavenly realm!

The World-honored One said:

Now, Gámani, I shall ask you something. Answer according to your understanding. What do you think, Gámani? If in a village there are men and women who are lazy and indolent and who behave in evil ways, undertaking the ten unwholesome courses of action – killing living beings, taking what is not given, sexual misconduct, false speech, . . . (and so on up to) wrong view – and at the time of their death crowds of people come, placing their palms together, praising and imploring, saying:
You men and women, who have been lazy and indolent and have behaved in evil ways, undertaking the ten unwholesome courses of action – killing living beings, taking what is not given, sexual misconduct, false speech . . . (and so on up to) wrong view – because of this, conditioned by this, after the breaking up of the body, at death, you shall83 reach a good realm of existence, and be reborn in a heavenly realm.

Gámani, those men and women, who have been lazy and indolent and have behaved in evil ways, undertaking the ten unwholesome courses of action – killing living beings, taking what is not given, sexual misconduct, false speech . . . (and so on up to) wrong view – on being urged [when near death] by those crowds of people who come, placing their palms together, praising and imploring them, will they because of this, conditioned by this, after the breaking up of the body, at death, reach a good realm of existence, and be reborn in a heavenly realm?

Gámani replied: "No, World-honored One."

The World-honored One praised him saying:

Very good, Gámani! Why so? That those men and women who have been lazy and indolent and who behaved in evil ways, undertaking the ten unwholesome courses of action – killing living beings, taking what is not given, sexual misconduct, false speech, . . . (and so on up to) wrong view – on being approached [when near death] by crowds of people, placing their palms together, praising and imploring them; that because of this, conditioned by this, after the breaking up of the body, at death, they should reach a good realm of existence, and be reborn in a heavenly realm, this is not possible.

Suppose, Gámani, there was a deep lake full of water located not far from a village, and a man was to throw a large heavy rock into it. If a crowd of people came along and, placing their palms together, praising and imploring, said: "Rock! May you float up and come out!" – what do you think, Gámani? On being urged by that crowd of people who have come, placing their palms together, praising and imploring, because of this, conditioned by this, would that large heavy rock come out?

Gámani replied: "No, World-honored One."

[The Buddha continued:]

So it is, Gámani. Those men and women who have been lazy and indolent and have behaved in evil ways, having undertaken the ten unwholesome courses of action – killing living beings, taking what is not given, sexual misconduct, false speech, . . . (and so on up to) wrong view – on being approached [when near death] by crowds of people, placing their palms together, praising and imploring them; that because of this, conditioned by this, after the breaking up of the body, at death, they should reach a good realm of existence, and be reborn in a heavenly realm, this is not possible.

440b And why not? These ten unwholesome courses of action are black

and have black results; by nature they incline downward, certainly leading to a bad realm of existence.

What do you think, Gámani? If in a village there are men and women who are diligent and energetic and practice the sublime Dharma, undertaking the ten wholesome courses of action – they refrain from killing and have abandoned killing, . . . taking what is not given, . . . sexual misconduct, . . . false speech, . . . (and so on up to) they abstain from wrong view and have abandoned wrong view, they have acquired right view – and at the time of their death crowds of people come, placing their palms together, praising and imploring them, saying:

You men and women have been diligent and energetic and have practiced the sublime Dharma, undertaking the ten wholesome courses of action – you refrained from killing and had abandoned killing, . . . taking what is not given, . . . sexual misconduct, . . . false speech, . . . (and so on up to) you abstained from wrong view and had abandoned wrong view, had acquired right view – and because of this, conditioned by this, after the breaking up of the body, at death, you shall reach a bad realm of existence, be reborn in hell.

What do you think, Gámani? Those men and women who have been diligent and energetic and have practiced the sublime Dharma, undertaking the ten wholesome courses of action – [who] refrained from killing and had abandoned killing, . . . taking what is not given, . . . sexual misconduct, . . . false speech, . . . (and so on up to) [who] abstained from wrong view and had abandoned wrong view, had acquired right view – on being urged by the crowds of people who come, placing their palms together, praising and imploring, will they because of this, conditioned by this, after the breaking up of the body, at death, reach a bad realm of existence, and be reborn in hell?

Gámani replied: "No, World-honored One."

The World-honored One praised him saying:

Very good, Gámani. Why? Gámani, those men and women who have been diligent and energetic and practiced the sublime Dharma, undertaking the ten wholesome courses of action – they refrained from killing and had abandoned killing, . . . taking what is not given, . . . sexual misconduct, . . . false speech, . . . (and so on up to) they abstained from wrong view and abandoned wrong view, had acquired right view – on being urged by crowds of people, placing their palms together, praising and imploring; that because of this, conditioned by this, after the breaking up of the body, at death, they should reach a bad realm of existence, and be reborn in hell; this is not possible.

Why so? Gámani, these ten wholesome courses of action are white and have white results, by nature they ascend, certainly reaching a good realm of existence.

Gámani, suppose there were a deep lake full of water located not far from a village, and a man were to throw into the water a jar full of ghee and oil and then break it, so that fragments of the jar sank downward, while the ghee and oil floated upward.

Gámani, it is the same with those men and women who have been diligent and energetic and have practiced the sublime Dharma, undertaking the ten wholesome courses of action – they refrained from killing and had abandoned killing, . . . taking what is not given, . . . sexual misconduct, . . . false speech, . . . (and so on up to) they abstained from wrong view and abandoned wrong view, had acquired right view –

At the time of their death, the body, which is gross matter, composed of the four elements, was born of father and mother, nourished and raised in dependence on food, and [in old age] endured being sat down or laid down to be massaged and bathed, is of a nature to break

440c up, of a nature to cease, of a nature to be dispersed. After death, it will

be pecked at by ravens, or eaten by tigers and wolves, or burned, or buried, and finally become ashes and dust. [However,] their mind, their mental faculty, their consciousness, having been constantly pervaded by faith, diligence, much learning, generosity, and wisdom, because of this, conditioned by this, by nature they will ascend, to be reborn in a good realm of existence.

Gámani, those who kill living beings, if they refrain from killing and abandon killing, then they are on the path of uplift, the path of ascent and progress, the path to a good realm of existence. Gámani, those who take what is not given . . . [who engage in] sexual misconduct . . . false speech . . . (and so on up to) those who have wrong view, if they abstain from wrong view and acquire right view, then they are on the path of uplift, the path of ascent and progress, the path to a good realm of existence.

Moreover, Gámani, there is another path of uplift, [another] path of ascent and progress, [another] path to a good realm of existence. What, Gámani, is this other path of uplift, the path of ascent and progress, the path to a good realm of existence? It is the eightfold noble path: right view . . . (and so on up to) right concentration – these eight. Gámani, this too is a path of uplift, a path of ascent and progress, a path to a good realm of existence.

This is what the Buddha said. Having heard the Buddha's words, Gámani and the monks were delighted and remembered them well.

(Tr. Kin-Tung Yit, in Bingenheimer 2013, 96-101. Reproduced with permission)

Contents


Mahayana Buddhism, Literature  



Mahayana Buddhism, To top Section Set Next

Mahayana Buddhism. USER'S GUIDE: [Link]  ᴥ  Gain-Ways: [Link]
© 2018, Tormod Kinnes, MPhil. [Email]  ᴥ  Disclaimer: [Link]