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Kalama Sutta

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The Kalama Sutta is one of the most famous teachings of the Buddha. In this teaching, the Buddha visits the Kalamas, a people of ancient India who were growing weary of hearing so many competing philosophies and religions of various teachers passing through and they wished for instruction on how to choose which philosophy is best. The Kalama Sutta is referenced to Anguttara Nikaya 3.65.

In this sutta, the Buddha outlines a procedure that many scholars have likened to modern scientific method, with its use of personal observation and testing.

The Buddha’s Charter of Free InquiryEdit

Nine ways not to believe in something:

“Do not believe in something because it is reported. Do not believe in something because it has been practiced by generations or becomes a tradition or part of a culture. Do not believe in something because a scripture says it is so. Do not believe in something believing a god has inspired it. Do not believe in something a teacher tells you to. Do not believe in something because the authorities say it is so. Do not believe in hearsay, rumor, speculative opinion, public opinion, or mere acceptance to logic and inference alone. Help yourself, accept as completely true only that which is praised by the wise and which you test for yourself and know to be good for yourself and others.”

Metta and the Brahma Viharas; loving kindness and the divine emotionsEdit

“Now, Kalamas, one who is a disciple of the noble ones — thus devoid of greed, devoid of ill will, undeluded, alert, and resolute — keeps pervading the first direction [the east] — as well as the second direction, the third, and the fourth — with an awareness imbued with good will. Thus he keeps pervading above, below, and all around, everywhere and in every respect the all-encompassing cosmos with an awareness imbued with good will: abundant, expansive, immeasurable, free from hostility, free from ill will.

He keeps pervading the first direction — as well as the second direction, the third, and the fourth — with an awareness imbued with compassion. Thus he keeps pervading above, below, and all around, everywhere and in every respect the all-encompassing cosmos with an awareness imbued with compassion: abundant, expansive, immeasurable, free from hostility, free from ill will.

He keeps pervading the first direction — as well as the second direction, the third, and the fourth — with an awareness imbued with appreciation. Thus he keeps pervading above, below, and all around, everywhere and in every respect the all-encompassing cosmos with an awareness imbued with appreciation: abundant, expansive, immeasurable, free from hostility, free from ill will.

He keeps pervading the first direction — as well as the second direction, the third, and the fourth — with an awareness imbued with equanimity. Thus he keeps pervading above, below, and all around, everywhere and in every respect the all-encompassing cosmos with an awareness imbued with equanimity: abundant, expansive, immeasurable, free from hostility, free from ill will.”

ReferencesEdit

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