Kalama Sutra

"Rely not on the teacher/person, but on the teaching. Rely not on the words of the teaching, but on the spirit of the words. Rely not on theory, but on experience. Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. Do not believe anything because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything because it is written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and the benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it."

- the Buddha

 

The Kalama Sutra is a sutra in the Anguttara Nikaya of the Tipitaka. It is often cited by Mahayana and Theravada Buddhists alike. Kalama sutra is known as the Buddha's charter of free inquiry (essential points). The Kalama Sutra was delivered to the Kalama people in the village of Kesaputta to make it clear that free inquiry and confirmation by personal revelatory experiences was the one and only authority that anyone can depend on. According to the sutra, even the Buddha's own teachings should not be accepted or not accorded to trust but rather, he counseled, that the words of the wise should be heeded and taken into account when deciding upon the value of anyone's teaching.

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