Kalama Sutta: Why in Anguttara Nikaya Chapter three?

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Kalama Sutta: Why in Anguttara Nikaya Chapter three?

Postby Xtofu80 » Sat Jul 05, 2014 9:32 pm

According to my understanding, the Anguttara Nikaya contains suttas arranged according to a numerical scheme.

For example, in chapter three, we find suttas which contain:
"A person endowed with three things is to be recognized as a fool. Which three?..."
"There are these three types of sick people to be found existing in the world. Which three?"

However, the Kalama Sutta which is sorted into chapter three does not contain the word three at all.
Why did it get sorted into this chapter then?
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Re: Kalama Sutta: Why in Anguttara Nikaya Chapter three?

Postby BlackBird » Sat Jul 05, 2014 11:00 pm

Good question. I don't think you're ever going to get a definitive answer. The men who decided upon which sutta fitting into which Nikaya are all long since dead, 2500 years is a long separation too. To hazard a guess, it is possible that it was placed in the 3s because Greed, hatred and delusion are addressed in the sutta.

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Re: Kalama Sutta: Why in Anguttara Nikaya Chapter three?

Postby santa100 » Sat Jul 05, 2014 11:22 pm

Xtofu80 wrote:However, the Kalama Sutta which is sorted into chapter three does not contain the word three at all.
Why did it get sorted into this chapter then?

Ven. Bodhi's note which might explain the reason for it to be in Chapter 3:
These ten inadequate sources of knowledge may be divided into three categories:
(1) The first, comprising the first four criteria, are propositions based on tradition. These include i.“oral tradition” (anussava), generally understood to refer to the Vedic tradition; ii.“lineage” (parampara), an unbroken succession of teachings or teachers; iii.“hearsay” (or “report”; itikira), popular opinion or general consensus; and iv.“a collection of scriptures” (Pitakasampada), a collection of texts regarded as infallible. In the Buddha’s day these would have been orally transmitted rather than written.
(2) The second set comprises the next four terms referring to four types of reasoning; their differences need not detain us here, but since the Buddha himself often uses reasoning, they must all involve reasoning from hypothetical premises rather than from empirical observation.
(3) The third set, consisting of the last two items, contains two types of personal authority: the first, “seeming competence” (bhabbarupata), is the personal charisma of the speaker (perhaps including his external qualifications); the second is the authority of the speaker as one’s guru (Pali garu being identical with Skt guru)
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Re: Kalama Sutta: Why in Anguttara Nikaya Chapter three?

Postby chownah » Sun Jul 06, 2014 2:59 am

Could it be that the authorities were trying to hide it because it suggests that we question all authority?
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Re: Kalama Sutta: Why in Anguttara Nikaya Chapter three?

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Jul 06, 2014 3:18 am

Blackbird wrote:To hazard a guess, it is possible that it was placed in the 3s because Greed, hatred and delusion are addressed in the sutta.

That also seems to be Bhikkhu Bodhi's interpretation, going by the numbers that he puts into his translation:
http://suttacentral.net/en/an3.65
Which identifies that three as Greed, Hatred, and Delusion.
(1) “What do you think, Kālāmas? When greed arises in a person, is it for his welfare or for his harm?”...
(2) “What do you think, Kālāmas? When hatred arises in a person, is it for his welfare or for his harm?” ...
(3) “What do you think, Kālāmas? When delusion arises in a person, is it for his welfare or for his harm?”...

:anjali:
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Re: Kalama Sutta: Why in Anguttara Nikaya Chapter three?

Postby Xtofu80 » Sun Jul 06, 2014 8:26 am

I think the explanation about greed, hatered and delusion is more reasonable.
It is a structure of the discourse after all to repeat the same text block for each of these unwholesome roots.
I have probably overseen the structure because in my (German) translation the paragraphs hatered and delusion were abridged with "..."
Moreover, the structure was not made explicit as in the other suttas. "There are these three unwholesome roots. What three?..."

The distinction of the sources of knowledge into three categories is rather an interpretation of Bodhi than an inherent idea of the passage, so I would rather dismiss it.

Thank you very much for your suggestions and insights.
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