SOCIÉTÉ BOUDDHIQUE LAOTIENNE  WAT LAO SAMAKHIDHAMMARAM                         

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THE KALAMAS'S DILEMMA STORY

O
ne time Buddha was walking on tour with a large group of monks, when he come to a town of the Kalamas called Kesaputta, The Kalamas of Kesaputta thought: " It is very good indeed to see Awakened Ones such as these."  And so they went up to where Buddha was, Having seated themselves to one side, the Kalamas of Kesaprutta said this to Buddha:

"There are, sir, many different teachers that come to Kesaputta, They illustrate and illuminate their own doctrine, but the doctrines of others they put down, revile, doubts arise concerning them: Who indeed of these venerable teachers speaks truly, who speaks falsely?"

"I t is indeed fitting, Kalamas, to be uncertain, it is fitting to doubt. For in situations of uncertainty, doubts surely arise, You should decide, Kalamas, not by what you have heard, not by following convention, not by assuming. It is so , not by relying on the texts, not because of reasoning, not because of logic, not by thinking about explanation, not by acquiescing to the views that you prefer, not because it appears likely, and certainly not out of respect for a teacher.

"When you would know, Kalamas, for Yourselves, that  "These things are unhealthy, these things, when entered upon and undertaken, incline toward harm and suffering then Kalamas, You should reject them.

"W hat do you think, Kalamas? When greed, hatred, or delusion arise within a person, does it arise for their welfare or their harm?" 

"For their harm, sir"

"And when a person has become greedy, hateful, or deluded, their mind consumed by this greed, hatred, or delusion, Kalamas, do they kill living creatures, and take what has not been given, and go to anther's spouse, and speak what is false, and induce others to undertake what is for a long time, to their harm and suffering?"

"T
his is true, sir."

"And what do you think, Kalamas? Are these things healthy or unhealthy?

"Unhealthy, sir"

"And when entered upon and undertaken, so they incline toward harm and suffering or don't they?"

"W e agree, sir, that they do."

"Butt when you would know, Kalamas, for Yourselves, that 'These things are healthy, these things, when entered upon and undertaken, incline toward welfare and happiness' then, Kalamas, having come to them you should stay with them.

"What do you think, Kalamas? When non greed, non hatred, or non delusion arise within a person, does it arise for their welfare or their harm?'

"For their welfare, sir."

"And when a person has not become greedy, hateful or deluded, their mind not consumed by this greed, hatred, not take what has not been given, and not go to anther's spouse, and not speak what is false, and induce others to undertake what is, for a long time, to their welfare and happiness?"

"T
his is true, sir"

"A
nd what do you think, Kalamas? Are these things healthy or unhealthy?"

"Healthy, sir"

"And when entered upon and undertaken, do they incline toward welfare and happiness or don't they:?"

"W
e agree, sir, that they do."

"T hat person, Kalamas, who is a follower of the noble path is thus free of wanting, free of harming, and without confusion, Clearly conscious and mindful, he or she abides having suffused the first direction, then the second, the third and fourth-- and so above, below and across, everywhere and in every way--with a mind dedicated to loving kindness, compassion, good will, and equanimity that is abundant, expansive, immeasurable, kindly, and free of harming.

"And so, Kalamas, the follower for the noble path whose mind is thus kindly and free of harming--their mind is not defiled, but is purified.

Introduction to BUDDHISM

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Last modified: 2006-03-22