Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammāsambuddhassa

Introduction to 2.1.2
Kesamuttisuttaṃ (part two) - Don’t Believe in Tradition, in Hearsay, in Teachers but Your Own Experience, Understanding What Is Wholesome

After the Buddha had admonished the Kālāmas in the first part of his address that only by personal proper reflection and investigation of the possible consequences of actions based on lobha, dosa and moha will one understand what is good and what is bad, what is right and what is not right, what is wholesome and what does lead to opposite, negative effects. Not only in his address to the Kālāmas but also at various other occasions can one detect how emphatically the Buddha points to greed, aversion and delusion as the essential bases of impediments that should be overcome, which he even labelled ‘inner murderers’.

Tayome, bhikkhave, antarāmalā antarā-amittā antarāsapattā1 antarāvadhakā2 antarāpaccatthikā.3 Katame tayo?

Lobho, bhikkhave, antarāmalo antarā-amittoantarāsapatto antarāvadhako antarāpaccatthiko. Doso, bhikkhave, antarāmaloantarā-amitto antarāsapatto antarāvadhako antarāpaccatthiko. Moho, bhikkhave,antarāmalo antarā-amitto antarāsapatto antarāvadhako antarāpaccatthiko’ti

There are, Bhikkhus, these three inner stains, the three inner enemies, inner foes and inner murderers, the three inner opponents. What are these three? 

Greed, Bhikkhus, is the inner stain, the inner enemy, an inner foe and inner murderer. Likewise aversion, Bhikkhus, is the internal stain, the internal enemy, an internal foe and internal murderer. Also delusion, Bhikkhus, is the internal stain, the internal enemy, an internal foe and internal murderer.


The second part of the Kesamuttisutta reveals the magnificent choice  — for human beings who are able to decide their own future­ — of abandoning moha, dosa and lobha and converging with their respective opposites — amoha, adosa and alobha — in order to perform positive actions. 

The Buddha concludes his encouragement by describing how a noble disciple, devoid of all those three roots of impurities, becomes enabled to live a positive life. Dwelling fully aware, based on the practise of sampajāno,4 he permeates the world with goodwill and compassion in all four directions as well as above, below, all across and everywhere. He does so by identifying all the beings with himself and he does so undefiled, pure and without any ill-will or animosity.

ariyasāvako evaṃ vigatābhijjho5vigatabyāpādo asammūḷho sampajāno patissato mettāsahagatena6 cetasā ekaṃ disaṃ pharitvā7 viharati, tathā dutiyaṃ, tathā tatiyaṃ, tathā catutthaṃ, iti uddhamadho tiriyaṃsabbadhi sabbattatāya8 sabbāvantaṃ9 lokaṃ mettāsahagatena cetasā vipulena mahaggatena appamāṇena averenaabyāpajjhena pharitvā viharati.10

Thus performing his daily duties in this benevolent way an ariyasāvako lives assured in fourfold ways:

  • whether there may be a world beyond or not, he will either reappear in a good destiny
  • or be perfectly at ease in his life without any remorse;
  • and if there will be a result derived from unwholesome action, he will be free from any suffering derived thereof,11
  • if there will be no result, he will regardless again live at ease.


May this encouragement of the Buddha given to the Kālāmas resonate in the minds of many beings for their own benefit and the benefit of many others!

1. antarāsapattā: antara + a + sapattā — inner + not + rival, foe.

2. antarāvadhakā: antara + a + vadhakā — inner + not + killer, murderer.

3. antarāpaccatthikā: antara + a + paccatthikā — inner + not + opponent, enemy.

4. For details of this important term for every meditator, see chapter 3.8, especially 3.8.2 Satisuttaṃ - Remaining Sato and Sampajāno.

5. vigatābhijjho: vigata + ābhijjho — gone + covetousness, greed.

6. mettāsahagatena: mettā + saha + gata — metta + lit. ‘going together with’, filled with, endowed.

Chapter 4.3 will explicitly highlight the practise of mettā, for example, 4.3.7: Ettha ca mettāsahagatenāti mettāya samannāgatena – How One Should Dwell Suffused with Mettā.

7. ekaṃ disaṃ pharitvā: one direction having suffused, filled, permeated.

8. sabbattatāya: sabbattata: identification of all beings with oneself, compassionate towards all beings.

9. sabbāvanta: all, entire.

10. The noble disciple trains himself not only to suffuse himself with mettā but also with the other three ‘brahmaviharā’: Karuṇāsahagatena cetasā…pe… muditāsahagatena cetasā…pe… upekkhāsahagatena cetasā ekaṃ disaṃ pharitvā viharati, tathā dutiyaṃ, tathā tatiyaṃ, tathā catutthaṃ, iti uddhamadho tiriyaṃ sabbadhi sabbattatāya sabbāvantaṃ lokaṃ upekkhāsahagatena cetasā vipulena mahaggatena appamāṇena averena abyāpajjhena pharitvā viharati.

11. … ‘‘Sace kho pana karoto karīyati pāpaṃ, na kho panāhaṃ kassaci pāpaṃ cetemi. Akarontaṃ kho pana maṃ pāpakammaṃ kuto dukkhaṃ phusissatī”ti: “Given that suffering results for one who performs evil, but I do not even think evil for anyone. How then can I, having done no evil action get afflicted by any suffering that would result thereof”?

Last modified: Saturday, 2 December 2023, 6:05 PM