Sn 4.11
Kalaha-vivada Sutta: Further Questions
translated from the Pali by
John D. Ireland
Alternate translation: Thanissaro
Alternate format: [ icon]

"From what arise contentions and disputes, lamentations and sorrows, along with selfishness and conceit, and arrogance along with slander? From where do these various things arise? Come tell me this."

"From being too endeared (to objects and persons) arise contentions and disputes, lamentations and sorrows along with avarice, selfishness and conceit, arrogance and slander. Contentions and disputes are linked with selfishness, and slander is born of contention."


"What are the sources of becoming endeared in the world? What are the sources of whatever passions prevail in the world, of longings and fulfillments that are man's goal (in life)?"

"Desires are the source of becoming endeared (to objects and persons) in the world, also of whatever passions prevail. These are the sources of longings and fulfillments that are man's goal (in life)."[1]


"Now what is the source of desire in the world? What is the cause of judgments[2] that arise; of anger, untruth, doubts and whatever other (similar) states that have been spoken of by the Recluse (i.e., the Buddha)?"

"It is pleasant, it is unpleasant," so people speak in the world; and based upon that arises desire. Having seen the appearing and disappearing of material things a man makes his judgments in the world.[3] Anger, untruth and doubts, these states arise merely because of the existence of this duality.[4] Let a doubter train himself by way of insight to understand these states as taught by the Recluse."


"What is the source of thinking things as pleasant or unpleasant? When what is absent are these states not present? What is the meaning of appearing and disappearing? Explain the source of it to me."

"The pleasant and the unpleasant have their source in sense-impression. When this sense-impression is absent, these states are not present. The idea of appearing and disappearing is produced from this, I say."


"What is the source of sense-impression? From what arises so much grasping? By the absence of what is there no selfish attachment? By the disappearance of what is sense-impression not experienced?"

"Sense-impression is dependent upon the mental and the material. Grasping has its source in wanting (something). What not being present there is no selfish attachment. By the disappearance of material objects sense-impression is not experienced."


"For whom does materiality disappear? How do pleasure and discomfort cease to be? Tell me how it ceases so that I may be satisfied in my mind that I have understood it."

"His perception is not the ordinary kind, nor is his perception abnormal;[5] he is not without perception nor is his perception (of materiality) suspended.[6] — to such an one immateriality ceases.[7] Perception is indeed the source of the world of multiplicity."


"What we asked, you have explained. We now ask another question. Tell us the answer to it. Do not some of the learned declare purification of the spirit[8] as the highest state to be attained? And do not others speak of something else as the highest?"[9]

"Some of the learned do declare purification of the spirit as the highest. But contrary to them some teach a doctrine of annihilation. Those clever ones declare this to be (final liberation) without basis of life's fuel remaining. Knowing that these (theorists) rely on (mere opinions for their statements) a sage investigates that upon which they rely. Having understood and being free (from theories) he will not dispute with anyone. The wise do not enter into any existence."


Man's longings, hopes and aspirations and their satisfaction are his refuge giving him an aim in life.
Judgments or evaluations of things motivated by craving for them or by opinions of them as being desirable or otherwise.
The "appearing" of the pleasant and the "disappearing" of the unpleasant is judged to be "good." The "appearance" of the unpleasant and the "disappearance" of the pleasant is judged to be "bad."
I.e., of the pleasant and the unpleasant.
He is neither insane nor mentally disturbed (Comy).
He has not attained the state of cessation of perception and feeling (sanna-vedayita nirodha) nor the immaterial absorptions (arupajjhana) (Comy). In the former perception completely ceases, but in the latter there is still the perception of an immaterial object.
According to the commentary what remains after these four negations is the state of one who has reached the highest of the fine-material absorptions (rupajjhana) and is in the process of attaining the first immaterial absorption. This answers the question "for whom does (the perception of) materiality disappear?" And as "pleasure and discomfort" have previously been stated to "have their source in sense-impression," in other words, the Perception of material objects, the second question is answered too.
The term "spirit" (yakkha) is equivalent here to "being" or "man."
An alternative rendering of this sentence could be: "Do not some of the learned declare (the immaterial attainments) as the highest state, as man's purification?"