C*H*A*N*R*O*E*U*N

Food for Thought, Thought for Action!

Kalama Sutta-Ten Specific Sources Which Are Not Always True

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The Buddha provides ten specific sources which should not be used to accept a specific teaching as true, without further verification:

Ma anussavena.
Do not believe something just because it has been passed along and retold for many generations. [Simpler: Do not be led by what you are told.]

Ma paramparaya.
Do not believe something merely because it has become a traditional practice. [Do not be led by whatever has been handed down from past generations.]

Ma itikiraya.
Do not believe something simply because it is well-known everywhere. [Do not be led by hearsay or common opinion.]

Ma Pitakasampadanena.
Do not believe something just because it is cited in a text. [Do not be led by what the scriptures say]

Ma takkahetu.
Do not believe something solely on the grounds of logical reasoning. [Do not be led by mere logic.]

Ma nayahetu.
Do not believe something merely because it accords with your philosophy. [Do not be led by mere deduction or inference.]

Ma akaraparivitakkena.
Do not believe something because it appeals to “common sense”. [Do not be led by considering only outward appearance.]

Ma ditthinijjhanakkhantiya.
Do not believe something just because you like the idea. [Do not be led by preconceived notions (and the theory reflected as an approval)]

Ma bhabbarupataya.
Do not believe something because the speaker seems trustworthy. [Do not be led by what seems acceptable; do not be led by what some seeming believable one says.]

Ma samano no garu ti.
Do not believe something thinking, “This is what our teacher says”. [Do not be led by what your teacher tells you is so.]

Kalamas, when you yourselves directly know, “This is [these things are] unwholesome, this is blameworthy, this is condemned or censured by the wise, these things when accepted and practised lead to poverty and harm and suffering,” then you should give them up.
Kalamas, when you yourselves directly know, “These things are wholesome, blameless, praised by the wise; when adopted and carried out they lead to well-being, prosperity and happiness,” then you should accept and practise them.”

Gautama Buddha, Kesaputti Sutta, 5th sutta (sutra) in the Book of Threes (Mahavagga) in the Gradual Sayings (Tika Nipata)

Summary

Sources of wisdom to avoid

The Buddha provides ten specific sources which should not be used to accept a specific teaching as true, without further verification:

  1. Oral history
  2. Traditional
  3. News sources
  4. Scriptures or other official texts
  5. Logical reasoning
  6. Philosophical reasoning
  7. Common sense
  8. One’s own opinions
  9. Authorities or experts
  10. One’s own teacher

 

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