Kalama Sutta: The Buddha’s Charter of Free Inquiry The Kalamas who were inhabitants of Kesaputta: “Reverend Gotama, the monk, the son of the Sakiyans, . A Look at the Kalama Sutta by Bhikkhu Bodhi. The discourse has been described as “the Buddha’s Charter of Free Inquiry,” and though the discourse certainly. Kalama Sutta. The people of Kalama asked the Buddha who to believe out of all the ascetics, sages, venerables, and holy ones who, like himself, passed.

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Is the lack of such freedom caused by blind ignorance and indifference regarding the Kalama Sutta?

Kalama Sutta

The Kalama Sutta is to be used by people of all ages. Some people even claim that it teaches us not to believe or listen to anything. He proposes not a passive acceptance but, rather, constant questioning and personal testing to identify those truths which verifiably reduce one’s own stress or misery Pali: However, the other rabbis replied that the voice of God is no substitute for a good reason and argument and they would not accept the decision even if the voice of God supported it.

They also expound and explain only their own doctrines; the doctrines of others they despise, revile, and pull to pieces.

That is the only safe approach. The Buddha begins by assuring the Kalamas that under such circumstances it is proper for them to doubt, an assurance which encourages free inquiry. Nowadays, we must be wary of computers because the programmers who feed them data and manipulate them may feed in the wrong information or use them incorrectly.

Each population should choose whichever system suits the kakama circumstances that it faces. On the basis of a single passage, quoted out of context, the Buddha has been made out to be a kalamaa empiricist who dismisses all doctrine and faith, and whose Dhamma is simply a freethinker’s kit to truth which invites each one to accept and reject whatever he likes.

He cautions against legends which are stories based on unproven facts.

All that is pure and free from covetousness, anger and lust are productive of good, and therefore to be acted upon. Conscious Creativity See all. These teachings are specifically intended for those who have accepted the Buddha as their guide to deliverance, and in the suttas he expounds them only to those kzlama “have gained faith in the Tathagata” and who possess the perspective necessary to grasp them and apply them. This advice can be dangerous if suta to those whose ethical sense is undeveloped, and we can thus assume that the Buddha regarded the Kalamas as people of refined moral sensitivity.


He gave ssutta basic conditions to beware of in order to avoid becoming the intellectual slave of anyone, even of the Buddha himself. The Kalama Sutta states Pali expression ssutta parentheses: By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Nowadays the world has been shrunk by superb communications.

The ten examples, which the Buddha gave in the Kalama Sutta follow:. An evening with hedgehogs December 21, Consequently, behaviour based on these three roots should be abandoned. Then, how can ill results affect me who do no evil deed? The Buddha emphasized this point often, and there were disciples, such as the venerable Shariputra, who confirmed this practice. Still confused by the conflicting claims to which they have been exposed, they are not yet clear even about the groundwork of suta.

Kalama Sutta, help us! These truths have been imparted to us by the Buddha out of his own profound comprehension of the human condition. Let us not retreat from giving this Christmas December 23, Zutta of them tripped and fell, broke their necks, or tumbled to death off cliffs.

Critical Thinking in Buddhism: The Kalama Sutta

But does the Kalama Sutta really justify such views? Venerable sir, may the Blessed One regard us as lay followers who have gone for refuge for life, from today. We also call it hearsay. Scriptures gain their authority through belief in their divine origin or that they record the words of a sage.

The good repute of the Reverend Gotama has been spread in this way: Modern teachers of Buddhism often cite the Kalama Sutta to show that Buddhism is a rational and critical teaching for understanding the nature of life and spiritual liberation from the bondage of ego and suffering in its many forms.


Buddhist Scriptures: Kalama Sutta

Instead, the Buddha says, only when one personally knows that a certain teaching is skillful, blameless, praiseworthy, and conducive to happiness, and that it is praised by the wise, should one then accept it as true and practice it. The principle of the Kalama Sutta is appropriate for everyone, everywhere, every era and every world— even for the world of devas gods.

On the basis of a single passage, quoted out of context, the Buddha has been made out to be a pragmatic empiricist who dismisses all doctrine and faith, and whose Dhamma is simply a freethinker’s kit to truth which invites each one kalamx accept and reject whatever he likes. Even with ordinary advertising, we must depend on the principle of the Kalama Sutta, to say nothing of needing this principle to deal with outright propaganda, which is full of intentional deceptions.

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We ought never to believe blindly immediately upon hearing something, nor should we be forced to believe out of fear, bribery and the like. They can be what we regard as half truths. The Kalamas, however, at the start of the discourse are not kalmaa fertile soil for him to sow the seeds of his liberating message.

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They approached him merely as a counselor who might help dispel their doubts, but they did not come to him as the Tathagata, the Truth-finder, who might show them the way to spiritual progress and to final liberation. The instruction of the Kalamas Kalama Sutta is justly famous for its encouragement of free inquiry; the spirit of the sutta signifies a teaching that is exempt from fanaticism, bigotry, dogmatism, and intolerance. Gotama lists the various forms of information that should be questioned: The Buddha asserts that a happy and moral life would be correct even if there is no karma and reincarnation.

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