Please explain Kalaka Sutta

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No_Mind
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Please explain Kalaka Sutta

Post by No_Mind » Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:00 am

I do not understand AN 4.24 Kalaka Sutta https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

I have already tried reading Ven. Nyanananda's Magic of the Mind https://www.dhammatalks.net/Books12/Kat ... e_Mind.pdf but need a simpler and more concise explanation.

Ven. Nyanananda wrote this in the Introduction.
The commentary (A.A.) finds for it a setting in the aftermath of the conversion of the millionaire Kàlaka, who is supposed to have constructed the monastery. According to it, the discourse was a sequel to the widespread acclamation of the Buddha's marvellous qualities. Be that as it may, the discourse, as a matter of fact, does contain some marvellous aspects of the Tathàgata's transcendental wisdom. That the impact of the discourse was actually astounding is symbolically expressed by the commentarial assertion that the earth trembled at five points in this sermon, at the conclusion of which five hundred monks attained Arahantship.
I have a request .. let each contributor give their interpretation or answer once, and then remain silent. Edit it/add or subtract from your post as you need but do not engage with others on this post (do not quote others and challenge what they said).

Let it be each explaining what they understand without any fear of challenge.

:namaste:
I know one thing: that I know nothing

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cappuccino
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Re: Please explain Kalaka Sutta

Post by cappuccino » Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:29 am

Trump …

that's just how it is!

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DooDoot
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Re: Please explain Kalaka Sutta

Post by DooDoot » Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:46 am

No_Mind wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:00 am
I do not understand AN 4.24 Kalaka Sutta https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Thanissaro wrote:When cognizing what is to be cognized, he doesn't construe an [object as] cognized. He doesn't construe an uncognized. He doesn't construe an [object] to-be-cognized. He doesn't construe a cognizer.

Thus, monks, the Tathagata — being the same with regard to all phenomena that can be seen, heard, sensed, & cognized — is 'Such.' And I tell you: There's no other 'Such' higher or more sublime.

Whatever is seen or heard or sensed
and fastened onto as true by others,
One who is Such — among the self-fettered —
wouldn't further claim to be true or even false.

"Having seen well in advance that arrow
where generations are fastened & hung
— 'I know, I see, that's just how it is!' —
there's nothing of the Tathagata fastened."
I have already tried reading Ven. Nyanananda's Magic of the Mind https://www.dhammatalks.net/Books12/Kat ... e_Mind.pdf but need a simpler and more concise explanation.
Nanananda wrote:He does not conceive of an audible thing as apart from hearing; he does not conceive of an unheard; he does not conceive of a 'thing-worth-hearing'; he does not conceive about a hearer.

Thus, monks, the Tathàgata being such-like in regard to all phenomena seen, heard, sensed and cognized, is 'Such'. Moreover, than he who is 'Such', there is none other greater or more excellent, I declare.

Whatever is seen, heard, sensed or clung to,
is esteemed as truth by other folk,
Midst those who are entrenched in their own views
being 'Such' I hold none as true or false

This barb I beheld, well in advance,
whereon mankind is hooked, impaled,
'I know, I see `tis verily so' no such clinging
for the Tathàgatas.
Another translation of Bhikkhu Bodhi:
Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Sāketa, at Kāḷaka’s Park. There the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus: “Bhikkhus!”

“Venerable sir!” those bhikkhus replied. The Blessed One said this:

“Bhikkhus, in this world with its devas, Māra, and Brahmā, among this population with its ascetics and brahmins, its devas and humans, whatever is seen, heard, sensed, cognized, reached, sought after, examined by the mind—that I know.

“Bhikkhus, in this world with its devas, Māra, and Brahmā, among this population with its ascetics and brahmins, its devas and humans, whatever is seen, heard, sensed, cognized, reached, sought after, examined by the mind—that I have directly known. It has been known by the Tathāgata, but the Tathāgata did not become subservient (upaṭṭhāsi) to it.

“Bhikkhus, if I were to say, ‘In this world with its devas … whatever is seen, heard, sensed, cognized, reached, sought after, examined by the mind—that I do not know,’ that would be a falsehood on my part.

“Bhikkhus, if I were to say, ‘In this world with its devas … whatever is seen, heard, sensed, cognized, reached, sought after, examined by the mind—that I both know and do not know,’ that too would be just the same.

“Bhikkhus, if I were to say, ‘In this world with its devas … whatever is seen, heard, sensed, cognized, reached, sought after, examined by the mind—that I neither know nor do not know,’ that would be a fault on my part.

(1) “So, having seen what can be seen, the Tathāgata does not misconceive (maññati) the seen, does not misconceive the unseen, does not misconceive what can be seen, does not misconceive one who sees. (2) Having heard what can be heard, he does not misconceive the heard, does not misconceive the unheard, does not misconceive what can be heard, does not misconceive one who hears. (3) Having sensed what can be sensed, he does not misconceive the sensed, does not misconceive the unsensed, does not misconceive what can be sensed, does not misconceive one who senses. (4) Having cognized what can be cognized, he does not misconceive the cognized, does not misconceive the uncognized, does not misconceive what can be cognized, does not misconceive one who cognizes.

“Thus, bhikkhus, being ever stable among things seen, heard, sensed, and cognized, the Tathāgata is a stable one (tādīyeva tādī). And, I say, there is no stable one more excellent or sublime than that stable one.”

Amid those who are self-constrained, the Stable One
would not posit as categorically true or false
anything seen, heard, or sensed,
clung to and considered truth by others.

Since they have already seen this dart
to which people cling and adhere,
saying “I know, I see, it is just so,”
the Tathāgatas cling to nothing.

Iti kho, bhikkhave, tathāgato daṭṭhā daṭṭhabbaṃ, diṭṭhaṃ na maññati, adiṭṭhaṃ na maññati, daṭṭhabbaṃ na maññati, daṭṭhāraṃ na maññati; sutvā sotabbaṃ, sutaṃ na maññati, asutaṃ na maññati, sotabbaṃ na maññati, sotāraṃ na maññati; mutvā motabbaṃ, mutaṃ na maññati, amutaṃ na maññati, motabbaṃ na maññati, motāraṃ na maññati; viññatvā viññātabbaṃ, viññātaṃ na maññati, aviññātaṃ na maññati, viññātabbaṃ na maññati, viññātāraṃ na maññati. Iti kho, bhikkhave, tathāgato diṭṭha­suta­mu­taviñ­ñātab­besu dhammesu tādīyeva tādī. ‘Tamhā ca pana tādimhā añño tādī uttaritaro vā paṇītataro vā natthī’ti vadāmīti.

Yaṃ kiñci diṭṭhaṃva sutaṃ mutaṃ vā,
Ajjhositaṃ saccamutaṃ paresaṃ;
Na tesu tādī sayasaṃvutesu,
Saccaṃ musā vāpi paraṃ daheyya.

Etañca sallaṃ paṭikacca disvā,
Ajjhositā yattha pajā visattā;
Jānāmi passāmi tatheva etaṃ,
Ajjhositaṃ natthi tathāgatānan”ti.

https://suttacentral.net/en/an4.24
Last edited by DooDoot on Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:23 am, edited 2 times in total.

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nibbedhika
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Re: Please explain Kalaka Sutta

Post by nibbedhika » Sun Feb 18, 2018 5:27 am

The meaning is the same as that of the parallel Malunkyaputta sutta. That sutta is better known, is clearer and also has some elegant explanations such as Mahasi Sayadaw's A Discourse on the Mālukyaputta Sutta.

This set of four - the seen, heard, sensed, cognized - appear only a few times in the canon. Bahiya sutta is also well known and mentioned in both Nyananda's and Mahasi Sayadaw's explanations. However I also find this set of four in a marginally different sense in AN 4.183 and in:
Declarations AN 4.250-251 and 8.67-68 - (Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation)

"Bhikkhus, there are these four ignoble declarations. What four? Saying that one has seen what one has not seen, saying that one has heard what one has not heard, saying that one has sensed what one has not sensed, saying that one has cognized what one has not cognized. There are these four ignoble declarations."

"Bhikkhus, there are these four noble declarations. What four? Saying that one has not seen what one has not seen, saying that one has not heard what one has not heard, saying that one has not sensed what one has not sensed, saying that one has not cognized what one has not cognized. There are these four noble declarations."
It is also possible to speculate that Kalaka sutta emphasizes the phenomenal or vijnanavada viewpoint (whence also Nyanananda's metaphor of a magic show) as opposed to the realist or abhidharma viewpoint of the Malunkyaputta sutta. Or the difference may simply be due to the grammatical ambiguities that Nyanananda points out.

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DooDoot
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Re: Please explain Kalaka Sutta

Post by DooDoot » Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:22 am

No_Mind wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:00 am
I have a request .. let each contributor give their interpretation or answer once, and then remain silent. Edit it/add or subtract from your post as you need but do not engage with others on this post (do not quote others and challenge what they said).
OK. For me, this sutta is not particularly important; apart from possibly describing how a Tathagata relates to the non-Buddhist world of outsiders, such as Brahmans, Jains, Judaics, Taoists, Hindus, Xtians, Muslims & Theosophicans. The sutta, AN 4.24, begins:
Monks, whatever in the world — with its devas, Maras, & Brahmas, its generations with their contemplatives & brahmans royalty & common people — is seen, heard, sensed, cognized, attained, sought after, pondered by the intellect: That do I know. Whatever in the cosmos — with its devas, Maras, & Brahmas, its generations with their contemplatives & brahmans, their royalty & common people — is seen, heard, sensed, cognized, attained, sought after, pondered by the intellect: That I directly know. That has been realized by the Tathagata, but in the Tathagata it has not been established/ has not taken his stand upon it/did not become subservient to it.
The prior sutta, AN 4.23, appears to offer some context, which states:
Having directly known all the world—
all in the world just as it is—
he is detached from all the world,
disengaged from all the world
.
The sutta, SN 4.24, ends, with the possibly vague translated verse:
Amid those who are self-constrained, the Stable One
would not posit as categorically true or false

anything seen, heard, or sensed,
clung to and considered truth by others.

Whatever is seen or heard or sensed
and fastened onto as true by others,
One who is Such — among the self-fettered
wouldn't further claim to be true or even false.

Whatever is seen, heard, sensed or clung to,
is esteemed as truth by other folk,
Midst those who are entrenched in their own views
being 'Such' I hold none as true or false.
Thus, the sutta might be about the subject matter in MN 18, namely:
Dandapani ("Stick-in-hand") the Sakyan, out roaming & rambling for exercise, also went to the Great Wood. Plunging into the Great Wood, he went to where the Blessed One was under the bilva sapling. On arrival, he exchanged courteous greetings with him. After an exchange of friendly greetings & courtesies, he stood to one side. As he was standing there, he said to the Blessed One, "What is the contemplative's doctrine? What does he proclaim?"

"The sort of doctrine, friend, where one does not keep quarreling with anyone in the world with its devas, Maras & Brahmas, with its contemplatives & brahmans, its royalty & commonfolk; the sort [of doctrine] where perceptions no longer obsess the brahman who remains dissociated from sensuality, free from perplexity, his uncertainty cut away, devoid of craving for becoming & non-becoming. Such is my doctrine, such is what I proclaim."

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
In short, AN 4.24 appears to be simply saying the Tathagata does not obsessively argue with non-Buddhists because a Tathagata is free from clinging to Right View & free from delusions about the inherent ignorance of non-Buddhists. :bow:

As for the Zen-Taoist-like translations of Thanissaro & Nyanananda of the Pali word "maññati", for me, these appear to be outside of the context of the sutta (which is about how to relate to non-Buddhists in a non-Buddhist environment) & also create another doctrine that would contradict the body of the Pali suttas because the Pali suttas often refer to arahants perceiving & even conceptualizing "sense objects". The word maññati appears to mean "to imagine what is not real" & also to 'construe selfhood' (MN 1; MN 140). Also, the Pali suttas often report the Buddha declaring the truth & falsehood of various doctrines. Therefore, for me, Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation is the most authentic & consistent with the Dhamma because Bhikkhu Bodhi merely presents AN 4.24 as how the Buddha would not get into arguments about "true & false" with outsiders (rather than presents the Kalaka Sutta as some mysterious esoteric Zen-like secret teaching).

Alternately, the final verse might be saying (merely speculating :mrgreen: ):
Not by one who is Such (na tesu tādī)
Is accepted the truths & falsehoods of others (saccaṃ musā vāpi paraṃ daheyya)
Who/that are self-fettered (sayasaṃvutesu)
Who/that cling to what they (others) believe is true (ajjhositaṃ saccamutaṃ paresaṃ)
About whatever they see, hear & sense (yaṃ kiñci diṭṭhaṃva sutaṃ mutaṃ vā).
From 23:04 in this video, where the bhikkhus do not argue or debate with the Xtians, might provide an example of my interpretation:


SarathW
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Re: Please explain Kalaka Sutta

Post by SarathW » Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:02 am

It appears to me this Sutta is similar to Kalama Sutta.
The message of this Sutta is to use the six senses without attachment aversion and ignorance.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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seeker242
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Re: Please explain Kalaka Sutta

Post by seeker242 » Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:49 pm

Tathagata sees things as they actually are.

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