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The Discourse about Quarrels and Disputes

Posted by Anandajoti on Sunday, 3rd August, 2014

According to one tradition [1] the following discourse, which is from what is considered one
of the earliest collections of the teachings, [2] took place following the war between the S
kiyans and the Koliyans over the waters of the Rohin river. [3]
Following the Buddha s successful resolution of the conflict, he preached the following
discourse, which was meant to educate those overcome by hatred (dosacarita) into
understanding the root cause of their affliction.
After the discourse 250 young men from both clans decided to go forth, besides those young
men it was heard by Mahpajpati Gotam, who also decided to go forth; and the young men
s wives joined her in her aspiration, and became the first set of bhikkhunis.
The discourse therefore can be seen as having been very influential, and is even now
recommended for those who have trouble understanding the origin of the mental defilement
of hatred and aversion.
It is given in question and answer form, and follows the paiccasamuppda method of
following the causal chain link by link.
The discourse is part of a set of six discourses that address the six main character-types
known to the commentaries: those biased towards passion, hatred, delusion, reasoning, faith
and intelligence.
In the translation that follows the sign indicates that two lines
have been taken together for the purpose of translation

Painting by Bhikkhu Sumedha


Kalahavivdasutta (Sn 4.11)
The Discourse about Quarrels and Disputes
Kuto paht kalah vivd,
From where arise quarrels, disputes,
paridevasok sahamacchar ca,
lamentations, griefs together with selfishness,
mntimn sahapesu ca?
conceit, pride, together with slander?
Kuto paht te tad-igha brhi.
From where do these arise, come, please tell this.
Piy paht kalah vivd,
From what is held dear arise quarrels, disputes,
paridevasok sahamacchar ca,
lamentations, griefs together with selfishness,
mntimn sahapesu ca.
conceit, pride, together with slander.
Maccherayutt kalah vivd,
Selfishness is connected with quarrels and disputes,
vivdajtesu ca pesuni.
and when disputes occur there is slander.

Piy su lokasmi kuto nidn,


What is the source of what is held dear in the world,
ye cpi lobh vicaranti loke?
and the greed that is found in the world?
s ca nih ca kuto nidn
What is the source of hopes and their fulfillment
ye samparyya narassa honti.
for a man in regard to the next world?
Chandnidnni piyni loke,
Desire is the source of things held dear in the world,
ye cpi lobh vicaranti loke.
and the greed that is found in the world.
s ca nih ca ito nidn,
From this there are hopes and their fulfillment,
ye samparyya narassa honti.
for a man in regard to the next world.

Chando nu lokasmi kuto nidno,


What is the source of desire in the world,
vinicchay cpi kuto paht,
from what arises discrimination,
kodho mosavajja-ca kathakath ca,
anger, false speech and uncertainty,
ye v pi dhamm samaena vutt.
and whatever (bad) thoughts are spoken of by the ascetic?
Sta astan-ti yam-hu loke,
The agreeable and disagreeable are spoken of in the world,
tam-panissya pahoti chando,
desire arises from dependence on this,
rpesu disv vibhava bhava-ca,
having seen continuation and discontinuation in forms,
vinicchaya kubbati jantu loke.
a person makes discrimination in the world.
Kodho mosavajja-ca kathakath ca,
There is anger, false speech and uncertainty,
ete pi dhamm dvaya-m-eva sante.
when these two thoughts exist.
Kathakath apathya sikkhe,
One who is uncertain should train in the path of knowledge,
atv pavutt samaena dhamm.
having understood those (bad) thoughts spoken of by the ascetic.

Sta asta-ca kuto nidn,


From where arise the agreeable and disagreeable in the world,
kismi asante na bhavanti hete?
with the non-existence of what do these not come into being?
Vibhava bhava-cpi yam-etam-attha,
There is this discontinuity and continuity,
eta me pabrhi yato nidna?
tell me what is the source of this?
Phassanidna sta asta,
With contact as source there is the agreeable and the disagreeable,
phasse asante na bhavanti hete,
with the non-existence of contact these do not arise.
Vibhava bhava-cpi yam-etam-attha,
There is this discontinuity and continuity,
eta te pabrmi ito nidna.
I say to you from this is the source of that.

Phasso nu lokasmi kuto nidno,


What is the source of contact in the world
pariggah cpi kuto paht?
from where do possessions also arise?
Kismi asante na mamattam-atthi,
with the non-existence of what is there no self-centeredness
kismi vibhte na phusanti phass?
with the disappearance of what are there no contacts?
Nma-ca rpa-ca paicca phass,
Mind and bodily form are the condition for contacts,
icchnidnni pariggahni,
longings are the source of possessions,
icch na santy na mamattam-atthi,
when there are no longings there is no self-centeredness,
rpe vibhte na phusanti phass.
with the disappearance of bodily form contacts do not make contact.

Kathasametassa vibhoti rpa,


Having realised what does bodily form disappear,
sukha dukha-cpi katha vibhoti?
how does happiness and suffering disappear?
Eta me pabrhi yath vibhoti,
Tell me in what way it disappears,
ta jniym, ti me mano ahu.
we should know this, is what my mind says.
Na saasa, na visaasa,
Not perceiving perceptions, not perceiving no perceptions, [4]
no pi asa, na vibhtasa,
not without perception, not perceiving what has disappeared, [5]
Evasametassa vibhoti rpa,
For one who has realised that bodily form disappears,
sanidn hi papacasakh.
for the source of perceptions is known as an impediment.

Ya ta apucchimha akittay no,


You have explained to us what we asked about
aa ta pucchma, tad-igha brhi,
there is another thing we ask, come, please tell this,
ettvatagga nu? vadanti heke,
do some of the wise say this much is the highest,
yakkhassa suddhi idha paitse,
for purification of the spirit here,
udhu aam-pi vadanti etto?
or do they say that is something else?
Ettvataggam-pi vadanti heke,
Some of the wise do say this much is the highest, [6]
yakkhassa suddhi idha paitse,
for purification of the spirit here,
tesa paneke samaya vadanti
and some of them, known as skilful, say this is the penetration [7]
anupdisese kusal vadn.
in which there is no attachment remaining.
Ete ca atv upanissit ti,
Having understood these are dependent,
atv mun nissaye so vimas,
having understood dependence, the enquiring sage,
atv vimutto, na vivdam-eti,
understanding freedom, does not enter into dispute,
bhavbhavya na sameti dhro. ti
the wise one does not go from this life to that life.

Notes:

1. see the Anguttara Commentary to Mahpajpati Gotams story AA 1.14.5.1

2. Suttanipta 4.11

3. For the full story of that war see here


4. Explained in the Niddesa as meaning not perceiving normal perceptions, not
perceiving abnormal perceptions. However the reference is evidently to the state of
neither-perception-nor-non-perception (nevasa n sa ), especially as no pi

asa in the next line is defined as cessation (nirodha).


5. This refers to the four formless attainments (ar pasam patti), where form has

disappeared. Norman has misunderstood the commentary here.


6. For instance Rma, whose teaching the Bodhisatta studied with his son Uddaka, held

this as the highest, not knowing anything beyond.

7. Samaya here is evidently for abhisamaya, penetration.