The Kaḷara

Kaḷāra (SN 12.32)

At Savatthī.
i
Then the bhikkhu Kaḷara the Khattiya approached the Venerable Sāriputta and exchanged greetings with him. When they had concluded their greetings and cordial talk, he sat down to one side and said to the Venerable Sāriputta: “Friend Sāriputta, the bhikkhu Moḷiyaphagguna has abandoned the training and returned to the lower life.”
“Then surely that venerable did not find solace in this Dhamma and Discipline.”
“Well then, has the Venerable Sāriputta attained solace in this Dhamma and Discipline?”
“I have no perplexity, friend.”
“But as to the future, friend?”
“I have no doubt, friend.”
Then the bhikkhu Kaḷara the Khattiya rose from his seat and approached the Blessed One. Having approached, he paid homage to the Blessed One, sat down to one side, and said to him: “Venerable sir, the Venerable Sāriputta has declared final knowledge thus: ‘I understand: Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more for this state of being.’”
Then the Blessed One addressed a certain bhikkhu thus: “Come, bhikkhu, tell Sāriputta in my name that the Teacher calls him.”
“Yes, venerable sir,” that bhikkhu replied, and he went to the Venerable Sāriputta and told him: “The Teacher calls you, friend Sāriputta.”
“Yes, friend,” the Venerable Sāriputta replied, and he approached the Blessed One, paid homage to him, and sat down to one side. The Blessed One then said to him: “Is it true, Sāriputta, that you have declared final knowledge thus: ‘I understand: Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more for this state of being’?”
“Venerable sir, I did not state the matter in those terms and phrases.”
“In whatever way, Sāriputta, a clansman declares final knowledge, what he has declared should be understood as such.”
“Venerable sir, didn’t I too speak thus: ‘Venerable sir, I did not state the matter in those terms and phrases’?”
“If, Sāriputta, they were to ask you: ‘Friend Sāriputta, how have you known, how have you seen, that you have declared final knowledge thus: ‘I understand: Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more for this state of being’—being asked thus, how would you answer?”
“If they were to ask me this, venerable sir, I would answer thus: ‘With the destruction of the source from which birth originates, I have understood: “When the cause is destroyed, the effect is destroyed.” Having understood this, I understand: Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more for this state of being.’ Being asked thus, venerable sir, I would answer in such a way.”
“But, Sāriputta, if they were to ask you: ‘But, friend Sāriputta, what is the source of birth, what is its origin, from what is it born and produced?’—being asked thus, how would you answer?”
“If they were to ask me this, venerable sir, I would answer thus: ‘Birth, friends, has existence has its source, existence as its origin; it is born and produced from existence.’ Being asked thus, venerable sir, I would answer in such a way.”
“But, Sāriputta, if they were to ask you: ‘But, friend Sāriputta, what is the source of existence…?’—being asked thus, how would you answer?”
“If they were to ask me this, venerable sir, I would answer thus: ‘Existence, friends, has clinging as its source….’”
“But, Sāriputta, if they were to ask you: ‘But, friend Sāriputta, what is the source of clinging…? What is the source of craving, what is its origin, from what is it born and produced?’—being asked thus, how would you answer?”
“If they were to ask me this, venerable sir, I would answer thus: ‘Craving, friends, has feeling as its source, feeling as its origin; it is born and produced from feeling.’ Being asked thus, venerable sir, I would answer in such a way.”
“But, Sāriputta, if they were to ask you: ‘Friend Sāriputta, how have you known, how have you seen, that delight in feelings no longer remains present in you?’—being asked thus, how would you answer?”
“If they were to ask me this, venerable sir, I would answer thus: ‘Friends, there are these three feelings. What three? Pleasant feeling, painful feeling, neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling. These three feelings, friends, are impermanent; whatever is impermanent is suffering. When this was understood, delight in feelings no longer remained present in me.’ Being asked thus, venerable sir, I would answer in such a way.”
“Good, good, Sāriputta! This is another method of explaining in brief that same point: ‘Whatever is felt is included within suffering. ’ But, Sāriputta, if they were to ask you: ‘Friend Sāriputta, through what kind of deliverance have you declared final knowledge thus: “I understand: Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more for this state of being”?’—being asked thus, how would you answer?”
“If they were to ask me this, venerable sir, I would answer thus: ‘Friends, through an internal deliverance, through the destruction of all clinging, I dwell mindfully in such a way that the taints do not flow within me and I do not despise myself.’ Being asked thus, venerable sir, I would answer in such a way.”
“Good, good, Sāriputta! This is another method of explaining in brief that same point: ‘I have no perplexity in regard to the taints spoken of by the Ascetic; I do not doubt that they have been abandoned by me.’”
This is what the Blessed One said. Having said this, the Fortunate One rose from his seat and entered his dwelling.
ii
Then, soon after the Blessed One had departed, the Venerable Sāriputta addressed the bhikkhus thus:
“Friends, the first question that the Blessed One asked me had not been previously considered by me: thus I hesitated over it. But when the Blessed One approved of my answer, it occurred to me: ‘If the Blessed One were to question me about this matter with various terms and with various methods for a whole day, for a whole day I would be able to answer him with various terms and with various methods. If he were to question me about this matter with various terms and with various methods for a whole night, for a day and night, for two days and nights, for three, four, five, six, or seven days and nights—for seven days and nights I would be able to answer him with various terms and with various methods.’”
Then the bhikkhu Kaḷara the Khattiya rose from his seat and approached the Blessed One. Having approached, he paid homage to the Blessed One, sat down to one side, and said to him: “Venerable sir, the Venerable Sāriputta has roared his lion’s roar thus: ‘Friends, the first question that the Blessed One asked me had not been previously considered by me: thus I hesitated over it. But when the Blessed One approved of my answer, it occurred to me: “If the Blessed One were to question me about this matter for up to seven days and nights, for up to seven days and nights I would be able to answer him with various terms and with various methods.”’”
“Bhikkhu, the Venerable Sāriputta has thoroughly penetrated that element of the Dhamma by the thorough penetration of which, if I were to question him about that matter with various terms and with various methods for up to seven days and nights, for up to seven days and nights he would be able to answer me with various terms and with various methods.”

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