Friday, June 27, 2014

Advice to the Kalamas; Egyptian Tattoos (video)

CC Liu, Seth Auberon, Amber Larson (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly; Ven. Dhammachotika, "Discovering Theravada Buddhism" (, also in Portuguese)
The Buddha, Afghanistan/Bactria (Boonlieng/flickr)
After advising the Kalamas not to rely upon established tradition, abstract reasoning [logic based on unquestioned assumptions, personal preferences, sacred texts], or charismatic gurus, the Buddha proposes to them a teaching that is immediately visible, verifiable, and capable of laying a firm foundation for a life of virtue that purifies the heart/mind.

He shows that whether or not there are lives to come after the death of the present one, a life of virtuous restraint and of loving-kindness (metta, friendliness) and active-caring (karuna, compassion) for all living beings brings its own intrinsic rewards here and now -- a happiness and sense of inward security far superior to the unstable pleasures that can be won by violating ethical principles or indulging the mind/heart in its shortsighted craving for sensual desires.
The British Museum (
For those who are not concerned to look any further, who are not prepared to adopt any convictions about a future life or existences beyond the present one, such a teaching will ensure their present welfare and their safe passage to a pleasant [human or kama-loka-deva] rebirth -- provided they do not succumb to the pernicious wrong view of denying karmic causality or any afterlife state.
However, for those whose vision is capable of widening to encompass the broader horizons of this present existence, the teaching given to the Kalamas points beyond its immediate implications to the very core of the Dharma.

The three states examined and questioned by the Buddha -- greed, hate, and delusion -- are not merely the basis of misconduct or defiled virtue staining the heart and obscuring the mind.

Within this teaching's framework they are the root defilements -- the primary causes of all bondage and suffering -- and the entire practice of the Dharma can be viewed as the task of uprooting these harmful factors by developing to perfection their antidotes: dispassion, kindness, and wisdom. More

Mummies's secrets: Tattoos in ancient Egypt and Sudan, June 2014 (

No comments: