What is the meaning of Akāliko?

Which you consider the best?

  1. The result (Nibbana) here and now immediately attained by the person
  2. Buddha’s teaching true in the past , present and the future
  3. Teaching is not to do with time, not subject to time
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I wanted to create a poll but did not work. Anyway just give your opinion on three options or more if you have.
The link to the discussion in Dhamma wheel.


Bhante @Akaliko I like to know your opinion on this.

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Am I allowed to say I vote for all 3?! :smiley:

On a personal level, I take akāliko to mean that the Dhamma is timeless (as this is the meaning as I first knew of and it still resonates in me), in that it is true now and always will be. But now having become better informed by scholarship I understand it to mean that it doesn’t take long to produce results, it is immediate.

Some people say that akāliko is synonymous with sanditthiko, in that it is always able to be experienced here and now.

Others define it as ‘without delay’ or as Bhante Sujato does, ‘immediately effective’, similar to what you’ve said above, but I’m not sure that it necessarily refers to the result of nibbana, but rather, to do with the immediate effectiveness of the Path itself, which helps directly, as soon as we contact it. However, I guess that the nibbana result would be the perfection of seeing/experiencing the Dhamma…

In any case, having many definitions in English is a substantial improvement on the usual ‘timeless’ which some scholars say is incorrect and quite limited in meaning.


I think the answer is explained in AN 3.53-55:


But AN35 say other wise.

“Master Gotama, they say that ‘extinguishment is realizable in this very life’.
“‘sandiṭṭhikaṃ nibbānaṃ sandiṭṭhikaṃ nibbānan’ti, bho gotama, vuccati.
In what way is extinguishment realizable in this very life, immediately effective, inviting inspection, relevant, so that sensible people can know it for themselves?”
Kittāvatā nu kho, bho gotama, sandiṭṭhikaṃ nibbānaṃ hoti akālikaṃ ehipassikaṃ opaneyyikaṃ paccattaṃ veditabbaṃ viññūhī”ti?

So what is your take?
Have you checked Sinhalease translation.

You have to choose one.
You can’t choose three names.

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60% are going for option 3 on your Dhammawheel poll, but the sample is still pretty small. I’ll be happy submit to whichever version of akāliko wins the poll. My fate shall hopefully be better than the infamous Boaty McboatFace.


None of the three options

Sorry, I cannot read Sinhalanese :sweat_smile:

So what is your definition?

Do not worry. All OK for you.
What is the difference between sandiṭṭhikaṃ nibbānaṃ and hoti akālikaṃ?


The suttas vote for SN35.70:

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The’re sequenced in a way generally reserved for synonyms, but each one sounds slightly different.

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So what is your choice out of above three as per OP?


“immediately effective” actually implies all three given that the suttas have been immediately effective as they are for 2500 years. I can’t choose. :pray:

You are a diplomat! Are you planning to be a moderator in Sutta Central?


:scream: noooooooooooooooooooo. I just want to be a bad boy!


I think akaliko means verifiable, ie in this life. This would be difficult for theistic religions as verification takes place after death and merging with enlightenment. I think this and the other dhamma adjectives might be unique to the Buddha’s dhamma. Thereby forming the formula for recitation.

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Don’t follow my foot steps.