The Kesamuttisuttaṃ, the famous and clear instructions that the Buddha gave to the Kālāmā at the market town Kesamutta, opens this chapter. The Kālāmā were Khattiyas and members of their clan were known by their name along with the gotta- name, for example the previous teacher of the Buddha Ālāra Kālāma, who had mastered the ākiñcaññāyatana, the spere of nothingness.
The Kesamuttisuttaṃ is located in the Aṅguttaranikāyo and here is divided into two parts. The first part reveals how proper knowledge can be gained by realising and avoiding unwholesome states through one`s own consideration only. The second part depicts how to perform wholesomeness on base of knowledge thus achieved.
Once a fully Enlightened sammāsambuddha passes away the teaching is bound to deteriorate. He has laid out the Dhamma, which is parisuddhaṃ, paripuṇṇam. What could be added, be changed? The Buddha had foretold that the teaching was to remain for the next five hundred years, but he also had stated, that, if the instructions as presented in the teaching were applied accordingly, Arahants would continue to inhabit the world. These two statements gave rise to another double-edged question of King Milinda (see 1.3.2), who saw a contradiction:
“Bhante nāgasena, bhāsitampetaṃ bhagavatā ‘pañceva dāni, ānanda, vassasatāni saddhammo ṭhassatī’ti. Puna ca parinibbānasamaye subhaddena paribbājakena pañhaṃ puṭṭhena bhagavatā bhaṇitaṃ ‘ime ca, subhadda, bhikkhū sammā vihareyyuṃ, asuñño loko arahantehi assā’ti, asesavacanametaṃ, nissesavacanametaṃ, nippariyāyavacanametaṃ*.” - “Bhante Nāgasena, it has been stated by the Bhagava: “Ānanda, the true Dhamma will now stand for five hundred years.” But further the Bhagava declared at the time of his final passing away in regard to the question of the wanderer Subaddha: “As long as, Subaddha, the Bhikkhus live perfectly, as long the world will not be bereft of Arahants.” This statement is a statement that is ultimate, absolute, not permitting further declaration” - “Yadi, bhante nāgasena, tathāgatena bhaṇitaṃ ‘pañceva dāni, ānanda, vassasatāni saddhammo ṭhassatī’ti, tena hi ‘asuñño** loko arahantehi assā’ti yaṃ vacanaṃ, taṃ micchā. Yadi tathāgatena bhaṇitaṃ ‘asuñño loko arahantehi assā’ti, tena hi ‘pañceva dāni, ānanda, vassasatāni saddhammo ṭhassatī’ti tampi vacanaṃ micchā. Ayampi ubhato koṭiko pañho gahanatopi gahanataro balavatopi balavataro gaṇṭhitopi gaṇṭhitaro, so tavānuppatto, ……”ti. – “If, Bhante Nāgasena, the statement of the Tathāgata: “Ānanda, the true Dhamma will now stand firm for five-hundred years.” is to be correct, than the second: - “As long as, Subaddha, the Bhikkhus live perfectly, as long the world will not be bereft of Arahants.” - must be false, if the second statement: - “As long as, Subaddha, the Bhikkhus live perfectly, as long the world will not be bereft of Arahants.”- is to be correct, than the first: - “Ānanda, the true Dhamma will now stand firm for five-hundred years.” - must be false. This is a double-edged question for you, more impenetrable than a thicket, tougher than a strong man, stronger than a knot.”