December 20, 2018 at 10:06 am #20861upekkha100Participant
This is one of my favorite suttas, in the top 10. This sutta is one of those good examples of how Buddha Dhamma is different from the rest. In society people are generally trained to believe in things even if they have not directly experienced it, to believe just because it comes from an authority figure, no questions asked, to not think freely. This sutta encourages to know for oneself(direct experience) rather than going by hearsay.
Now this is my understanding if the English translations are correct. But as I’ve learned, many suttas are incorrectly translated.
So I’d like to know: are the English translations correct? Is this one of those suttas that is straightforward and sufficient as is? Or is there a deeper meaning behind the surface meaning? Does it need patiniddesa(need to be described in detail)?
I’m mainly interested in the following specific part of the sutta:
2 English versions:
1) “Now, Kalamas, don’t go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, ‘This contemplative is our teacher.’ When you know for yourselves that, ‘These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness’ — then you should enter & remain in them. ”
Kalama sutta English translation 1
2) “Come, Kālāmas, do not go by oral tradition, by lineage of teaching, by hearsay, by a collection of scriptures, by logical reasoning, by inferential reasoning, by reasoned cogitation, by the acceptance of a view after pondering it, by the seeming competence of a speaker, or because you think: ‘The ascetic is our guru.’ But when you know for yourselves: ‘These things are wholesome; these things are blameless; these things are praised by the wise; these things, if accepted and undertaken, lead to welfare and happiness,’ then you should live in accordance with them.”
Kalama sutta English translation 2
Etha tumhe, kālāmā, mā anussavena, mā paramparāya, mā itikirāya, mā Piṭakasampadānena, mā takkahetu, mā nayahetu, mā ākāraparivitakkena, mā diṭṭhinijjhānakkhantiyā, mā bhabbarūpatāya, mā samaṇo no garūti. Yadā tumhe, kālāmā, attanāva jāneyyātha: ‘ime dhammā kusalā, ime dhammā anavajjā, ime dhammā viññuppasatthā, ime dhammā samattā samādinnā hitāya sukhāya saṃvattantī’ti, atha tumhe, kālāmā, upasampajja vihareyyātha.
(I tried to copy/paste the corresponding part in Pali, I apologize if the above is not the correct part. The rest is in the link.)
December 20, 2018 at 9:13 pm #20869LalKeymaster
Yes. I believe that translation is good.
“are the English translations correct? Is this one of those suttas that is straightforward and sufficient as is? Or is there a deeper meaning behind the surface meaning? Does it need patiniddesa(need to be described in detail)?”
Yes to the first two and no to the last two.
It is not a deep sutta, but as you say it is an important sutta.
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