Time-Comsuming and Timeless / Kālika and Akālika


revised on 2019-07-02


Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; 8th December 1960

[Sayadaw based this talk on Samiddhi Sutta, Devatā saṃyutta(SN 1. 20). Bhikkhu Samiddhi was handsome and lovely. A female earth-deity (bhumma devatā) who saw him in the light of early dawn fell in love with him and planned to seduce him. Samiddhi insisted that he would not abandon the monk's life for the sake of sensual enjoyment. He explained to her, “The Blessed One has stated that sensual pleasure are time-consuming, full of sufferings, full of despair, and the danger in them is still greater, while this Dhamma is directly visible, immediate (akāliko), inviting one to come and see, applicable, to be personally experience by the wise.” (The Dhamma is well expounded by the Blessed one + directly visible……experience by the wise, are the six attributes of the Dhamma) The deity did not understand what he said and asked for more explanation.

He could not answer and suggested her to ask the Buddha. Later the Buddha answered for her and she entered the stream at the end of the talk (became a sotāpanna). It did not mention what happened to Samiddhi. Here one of the interesting points was unwholesome intention turned into wholesome intention and leading to enlightenment by meeting a spiritual friend. Here Sayadaw used these two words, kālika (time-consuming) and akālika (timeless or immediate) to give this talk]

There are two kinds of kāla (time); kālika (time-consuming) and akālika (immediate). Kālika is about family and wealth. Akālika is about insight practice. Another way is working for defilement and killing the defilement. People are following kālika and enjoying in it will encounter great suffering, worry and anxiety. If you do akālika all these will end. (Sayadaw taught them how to use akālika before and then kālika) As an example, if you want to drink water. First contemplate impermanence of the wanting mind (desire) and then drink the water, etc… This is the right way to do things.

The Buddha gave this talk to Samiddhi (including the female deity). A deity came to Samiddhi and said to him. “Now you are in your youth and should indulge yourself in kālika (i.e., sensual pleasure) and do the akālika (spiritual practice) later.” Samiddhi answered to her, “I don’t know the time of my death, the type of illness for dying and the place where I have to leave my body. And then also I don’t know where I’ll take my rebirth after death. So I have to do the akālika before.” The deity asked him again and he couldn’t answer it.

So he suggested her to ask the Buddha. The Buddha said that people took kālika as importance was they were not clear about between concept and reality. They took the mind and body phenomena as me, mine, man and woman. So they suffered from it. Human beings end up in concepts or relative truth that they do all sorts of worldly things (having families, bringing up children etc…). If you don’t clear about concept and reality there will be no vipassanā contemplation.

Therefore find out the reality and contemplate impermanence. At the end of the teaching the deity entered the stream. If you condense the five khandhas only have the mind and body. Condense the mind and body again only impermanence. Impermanence is the truth of suffering. If you follow to the ending of dukkha it becomes akālika (timelessness, i.e., Nibbāna).


revised on 2019-07-02; cited from https://oba.org.tw/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=4036&p=35624#p35624 (posted on 2018-12-19)


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