5 Precepts

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Re: 5 Precepts

Postby mudra » Fri Oct 01, 2010 2:54 pm

narraboth wrote:
sangyey wrote:Is Pratimoskha (i.e., 5 precepts) categorized as Vinaya?

It seems that in the Tibetan tradition from what I can gather is these vows once taken from a preceptor are not normally undertaken again on a daily basis. I know that from my initial study of the Theravadin they normally are taken on a daily basis right after refuge in the three jewels I think sort of a way to act as a reminder or strengthener there of. I remember after looking at Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation and commentary of a part of the Abdhidharma he mentions in terms of karmic strength that when the precepts are undertaken formally (not sure if he means on a daily basis or not)they they have more of a power as opposed to someone who merely refrains from such acts. I wondering if it the case with the Mahayana as well that they might be undertaken on a daily basis.


Well, I think they just do it daily to strengthen it. Like we chant refuge and try to generate bodhicitta everyday. If you don't chant bodhicitta vow daily, that doesn't mean you will lose it.


Actually one of the precepts of the aspirational bodhicitta which also applies by default to the actual vows of engagement is to remember them on a daily basis, indeed it is the norm to take them in an abbreviated form on a daily basis.
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Re: 5 Precepts

Postby mudra » Fri Oct 01, 2010 3:02 pm

enjitsu wrote:The 5 Precepts which are often taken by Lay people are

1. No killing - This means that you can not kill anything which is Sentient, either directly or indirectly. This ties into the more advanced Pusa Precept of Vegetarianism at later stages.

2. No stealing - This means that you cannot take, or move something which is not freely given. The reason you cannot move something is that, if the person returns for their forgotten article, they will see it gone and experience mental anquish and give rise to the thought "The item has been stolen".

3. No Lying - This means that you cannot tell a Lie of any kind, even white lies. In the eyes of Buddha all lies are Black.

4. No Inappropriate sex - This is covered in greater detail in another post, but simply it means only 1 man + 1 women in marriage is allowable by laypeople. For monks no sex is allowed of any kind.

5. No intoxicants - This means not just No Alcohol, but includes other intoxicants such as Drugs. If one where to view this precept as only No Alcohol then that would mean that one could arrive to temple strung out on Cocaine. Obviously, that is not good.


Its actually a little more subtle than that, There are certain kinds of lies etc. but this needs to be clarified by a preceptor, and once you have taken the vows based on what the preceptor has told you etc you can research further.
In some systems, the pratimoksha vows are only discussed once you have taken them, having had simply a bare description and understanding beforehand, much the same as Tantric vows. It is only Bodhisattva vows which are discussed at length beforehand.
But then again different systems go about it differently.
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Re: 5 Precepts

Postby BFS » Fri Oct 01, 2010 3:36 pm

Link to a few more thoughts on lying and other destructive actions of speech that some might find helpful.

http://www.thubtenchodron.org/GradualPathToEnlightenment/LR_032_Karma_1Jun92.pdf
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Re: 5 Precepts

Postby narraboth » Fri Oct 01, 2010 5:24 pm

SonamZangpo wrote:
TMingyur wrote:
enjitsu wrote:4. No Inappropriate sex - ... but simply it means only 1 man + 1 women in marriage is allowable by laypeople.


Since this is the Vajrayana forum I would encourage to refer to the corresponding tibetan sources which state things a bit more elaborated and different and thus avoid misunderstandings that may be caused by this overly brief statement.


Kind regards


"The Fourth precept is not indulging in sexual misconduct. If we are married, this means having no sexual relations other than with our life partner. In general, the precept means not having relations with someone protected by the Dharma, someone protected by belonging to another, or someone immature or unprepared. Someone protected by the Dharma would be a person following the sojong or precepts for a day, or who is living up to certain precepts for several days, or a monk or nun who is following lifelong precepts. Someone belonging to another would in general be a married person. In marriage, each partner has promised to be faithful to the other, so that would be interfering with a faithful relationship. A person may be immature or unprepared because of age or because of some sickness that could be aggravated by a sexual relationship. This also refers to the use of force; for example, certain kings might use their power to force a woman to surrender to their wishes whether she is willing or not."

-Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche, Dharma Paths


well, this quote doesn't fit the original claim.
Talking about marriage, it's legal for same sex now in many countries. Please qoute where Buddha said it has to be one man and one woman?
Actually in ancient time, having sex with your second or third wife would not be considered as misconduct. The term used was 'not to have sex with other men's women' (pretty male central yeah?)
There was even no the idea of wedding in ancient Tibet. In Terma it's explianed: in India, women who are not in marriage are considered to be under their fathers' protection, so you shouldn't do sex with them. However it's not said about Tibetan or other countries' people. Especially nowadays, adult women don't need to ask their fathers before having sex.
Actually one Chinese translated text even says, it's not misconduct if a man has sex with a hooker, as long as he pays.

What I am trying to say is just: sexual moral is changing with time and place. what's not changing is the basic principle of vows, not the fixed rules. When I asked Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche about this, he told me: just keep one principle: don't harm others. that's all. I tried to ask more details, he refused to answer, just keep saying 'don't harm others, that's all.'
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Re: 5 Precepts

Postby SonamZangpo » Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:33 pm

narraboth wrote:well, this quote doesn't fit the original claim.
Talking about marriage, it's legal for same sex now in many countries. Please qoute where Buddha said it has to be one man and one woman?
Actually in ancient time, having sex with your second or third wife would not be considered as misconduct. The term used was 'not to have sex with other men's women' (pretty male central yeah?)
There was even no the idea of wedding in ancient Tibet. In Terma it's explianed: in India, women who are not in marriage are considered to be under their fathers' protection, so you shouldn't do sex with them. However it's not said about Tibetan or other countries' people. Especially nowadays, adult women don't need to ask their fathers before having sex.
Actually one Chinese translated text even says, it's not misconduct if a man has sex with a hooker, as long as he pays.

What I am trying to say is just: sexual moral is changing with time and place. what's not changing is the basic principle of vows, not the fixed rules. When I asked Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche about this, he told me: just keep one principle: don't harm others. that's all. I tried to ask more details, he refused to answer, just keep saying 'don't harm others, that's all.'



What you are listing here are samsaric delusions. You are listing loopholes and ways to enable yourself to have sex in many situations. However, you must recount the intention of the vow, and how it applies to today's society's and cultures. In the end any sexual conduct is merely giving into attachment of bodily pleasure, and distracts away from the Dharma and the path of Enlightenment. Even in Vajrayana, you have to ask whoever you are taking the vow from what they intend for it to mean. The language of how it is phrased doesn't matter, because you are taking the vow in how the guru transmits it to you.

I myself have struggled with the wording of this vow, and tried to see my way around it, and how I could still have sex under this or that circumstance, but... Thinking in that way would be along the same lines as trying to think of a way to kill despite taking the no kill vow, or a way to take intoxicants even when having taken the no intoxicants vow. Trying to look for loopholes in which you can practice samsaric behavior will not benefit you in any way. Coming to this realization, I have found when I go to take the vows, I will also take the celibacy vow. Being rid of the distraction of sex, and all the effort put into seeking out someone to do it and such, really frees the mind to focus more on practice.

Feel free to indulge in such way and find loopholes. I will find compassion in myself for you. However, when you are on your deathbed, and are not sure where you will take rebirth... will it be worth it?
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Re: 5 Precepts

Postby mudra » Sun Oct 03, 2010 12:56 am

In the lay vows of an upasaka or upasika, it is very clearly spelled out that you can have the option of celibacy or not.

As to those who opt to not be celibate, it is also clearly spelled out what is acceptable and what is not, according to which system you follow.

This is not a question of loopholes, this is simply a question of being able to maintain your vow (which, yes, you have chosen to take freely).

As far as thinking of ways around things, that is a separate issue. I am sure that there are those who have taken vows of celibacy who do their own fair share of squirming.

And yes, compassion is a good thing.
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Re: 5 Precepts

Postby BFS » Sun Oct 03, 2010 1:12 am

mudra wrote:

And yes, compassion is a good thing.

:bow:
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Re: 5 Precepts

Postby ground » Sun Oct 03, 2010 6:23 am

narraboth wrote:When I asked Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche about this, he told me: just keep one principle: don't harm others. that's all.

Sorry, but I cannot agree to this wording of yours. Looking at the precepts of ethical conduct the "not harming others" is not the only principle but the other equally valid principle is the principle of renunciation.
However if you do not have the capacity for renunciation or for developing it then you should at least avoid harming others.

SonamZangpo wrote:Trying to look for loopholes in which you can practice samsaric behavior will not benefit you in any way.

I concur. It will not only not benefit you but actually it will harm you and thus delay your progression towards attaining the capacity to benefit others.

SonamZangpo wrote:Being rid of the distraction of sex, and all the effort put into seeking out someone to do it and such, really frees the mind to focus more on practice.

That is very true and I admire everybody who is sufficiently steadfast to put an end to this kind of distraction and who's pure mind makes her/him experience the happiness based on such virtuous conduct.


Kind regards
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Re: 5 Precepts

Postby heart » Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:20 am

TMingyur wrote:
narraboth wrote:When I asked Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche about this, he told me: just keep one principle: don't harm others. that's all.

Sorry, but I cannot agree to this wording of yours. Looking at the precepts of ethical conduct the "not harming others" is not the only principle but the other equally valid principle is the principle of renunciation.
However if you do not have the capacity for renunciation or for developing it then you should at least avoid harming others.


TMingyur, I think that if you interpret renunciation like that you soon end up starving to death. Only monks and nuns are supposed to renounce sex in that way. There are many varying traditional interpretations of of this particular vow and I think that Dzongsar Khyentse makes a very important point, not only when considering sex but in everything we do. Renunciation, the way I see it, is more connected to wisdom.

/magnus
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Re: 5 Precepts

Postby SonamZangpo » Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:49 am

heart wrote:
TMingyur wrote:
narraboth wrote:When I asked Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche about this, he told me: just keep one principle: don't harm others. that's all.

Sorry, but I cannot agree to this wording of yours. Looking at the precepts of ethical conduct the "not harming others" is not the only principle but the other equally valid principle is the principle of renunciation.
However if you do not have the capacity for renunciation or for developing it then you should at least avoid harming others.


TMingyur, I think that if you interpret renunciation like that you soon end up starving to death. Only monks and nuns are supposed to renounce sex in that way. There are many varying traditional interpretations of of this particular vow and I think that Dzongsar Khyentse makes a very important point, not only when considering sex but in everything we do. Renunciation, the way I see it, is more connected to wisdom.

/magnus




The idea of not harming others is to not build further negative karma. However, if you are constantly distracted by pleasurable things and attachments, then you won't be on a path to enlightenment. Granted, in some traditions like pureland the objective is not to attain enlightenment in this lifetime. However, I heard Buddha Shakyamuni said something like "Pursue Enlightenment as if your head was burning." Even if he didn't say this, it's a good lesson. One lifetime is what we get here, in a human realm with the Dharma. It has been taught that we could not enter this realm with these conditions unless we were disciplined in a past life. Similarly, the chance of being reborn here under the same circumstances are pretty slim.

Last I had checked, the goal of practicing Buddhism was to escape samsara (or, in the case of us who believe in Bodhicitta, to liberate all sentient beings THEN escape samsara), but it seems a lot of people who practice have the goal of just practicing enough to live a little more comfortably in samsara. Saying that renunciation is only for Monks or Nuns, well, it's not entirely true, and you don't plan doing it, then you should probably take up pureland. TMingyur has the proper view. I won't claim I do, since that would be prideful, but since he agrees with me, then... :spy:

Edit: I'm not trolling or harassing here, by the way. It may seem that way, but I'm speaking with concern and compassion. Vajrayana deals with some very powerful energy which can lead to some harm if one is not disciplined enough. There's even our own special hell. So while it may seem I am being stand-offish or abrasive, I swear it is only out of concern for the karmic energies people are dealing with.
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Re: 5 Precepts

Postby ground » Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:56 am

heart wrote:
TMingyur wrote:
narraboth wrote:When I asked Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche about this, he told me: just keep one principle: don't harm others. that's all.

Sorry, but I cannot agree to this wording of yours. Looking at the precepts of ethical conduct the "not harming others" is not the only principle but the other equally valid principle is the principle of renunciation.
However if you do not have the capacity for renunciation or for developing it then you should at least avoid harming others.


TMingyur, I think that if you interpret renunciation like that you soon end up starving to death.


Right renunciation has nothing to do with starving to death. Right renunciation means overcoming all obstacles.

You don't worry. I know how to rely on what kind of teachers and why in a given kind of context.
Please do not understand this to be offensive. It is just that nobody can rely on everybody that is called "teacher" by somebody. And to rely on opinions of fellow pracitioners - even if these are based on what they understood from a teacher - is no good advice imo.
Therefore everybody has to decide on whom to rely in a given kind of context.

Kind regards
Last edited by ground on Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 5 Precepts

Postby SonamZangpo » Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:22 am

TMingyur wrote:You don't worry. I know how to rely on what kind of teachers and why in a given kind of context.
Please do not understand this to be offensive. It is just that nobody can rely on everybody that is called "teacher" by somebody. Therefore everybody has to decide on whom to rely in a given kind of context.

Kind regards


Something to also take into account is that when receiving teachings from say, a Rinpoche or other highly attained person, they are speaking from a different perspective than yours. They will often, when teaching, saying things in a relative form in a way we can easily comprehend. However, relative is not absolute, and we cannot get enlightened by not harming alone.
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"It is more important to be kind than to be right."
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Re: 5 Precepts

Postby heart » Sun Oct 03, 2010 11:13 am

I didn't say that renunciation is only for monks and nuns, renunciation is equally important for all practitioners. I said that your way of interpreting renunciation is only for monks and nuns. If you interpret renunciation as abstinence, renunciation is impossible for laypeople. If your mind isn't pliable and open there is no chance in understanding the true nature of renunciation because it is actually closer to kindness, compassion and pure perception than it is rules and regulations. That seems to be something you guys forget in your righteousness.

/magnus
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Re: 5 Precepts

Postby SonamZangpo » Sun Oct 03, 2010 12:01 pm

heart wrote:I didn't say that renunciation is only for monks and nuns, renunciation is equally important for all practitioners. I said that your way of interpreting renunciation is only for monks and nuns. If you interpret renunciation as abstinence, renunciation is impossible for laypeople. If your mind isn't pliable and open there is no chance in understanding the true nature of renunciation because it is actually closer to kindness, compassion and pure perception than it is rules and regulations. That seems to be something you guys forget in your righteousness.

/magnus


Sorry for misreading that statement on renunciation. The pliability and open-ness of mind is important in understanding and realizing things, true, and in an absolute sense it is more important than discipline, since in realizing the true nature of things, one will move toward a more virtuous way of life naturally and effortlessly opposed to having to take vows and restrict one's normal actions...

However, in a relative sense, the discipline is essential, and should be central at first before open-ness and understanding is attempted. This is because in discipline, we are training ourselves out of negative actions of body and speech. In due time of cutting off such things, the mind aspect of the action behind the negative deeds will cease as well, as long as it is accompanied by practice. Added to this, are various forms of mental disciplines and training to purify one's thoughts, reactions, and so fourth, and to quickly let go or snuff out negative thoughts. These disciplines are enacted by the rules and regulations that you believe are the cause of my forgetfulness. However, understanding things truly and realizing things truly can only be done so fully with a tamed mind and ego. If we do not use these disciplines which are basic and are the foundation for other things, and try to skip right to the end of understanding, realization, and pure perception, most of what we gain will be twisted and used against our pursuit of enlightenment by our ego.

So, in reply... No, I did not forget, but a friendly reminder is always appreciated. :)
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"It is more important to be kind than to be right."
(I acknowledge I do not follow the quote above this, that is why it is there! so I will be reminded every time I post! :) )
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Re: 5 Precepts

Postby ground » Sun Oct 03, 2010 2:10 pm

heart wrote:If you interpret renunciation as abstinence, renunciation is impossible for laypeople.


I do not agree at all. If that were the case laypeople could not practice at all and would continuously fall prey to ordinary habits.

And as a general remark as to voicing views: Instead of discouragement I prefer encouragement.

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Re: 5 Precepts

Postby heart » Sun Oct 03, 2010 5:00 pm

SonamZangpo wrote:
heart wrote:I didn't say that renunciation is only for monks and nuns, renunciation is equally important for all practitioners. I said that your way of interpreting renunciation is only for monks and nuns. If you interpret renunciation as abstinence, renunciation is impossible for laypeople. If your mind isn't pliable and open there is no chance in understanding the true nature of renunciation because it is actually closer to kindness, compassion and pure perception than it is rules and regulations. That seems to be something you guys forget in your righteousness.

/magnus


Sorry for misreading that statement on renunciation. The pliability and open-ness of mind is important in understanding and realizing things, true, and in an absolute sense it is more important than discipline, since in realizing the true nature of things, one will move toward a more virtuous way of life naturally and effortlessly opposed to having to take vows and restrict one's normal actions...

However, in a relative sense, the discipline is essential, and should be central at first before open-ness and understanding is attempted. This is because in discipline, we are training ourselves out of negative actions of body and speech. In due time of cutting off such things, the mind aspect of the action behind the negative deeds will cease as well, as long as it is accompanied by practice. Added to this, are various forms of mental disciplines and training to purify one's thoughts, reactions, and so fourth, and to quickly let go or snuff out negative thoughts. These disciplines are enacted by the rules and regulations that you believe are the cause of my forgetfulness. However, understanding things truly and realizing things truly can only be done so fully with a tamed mind and ego. If we do not use these disciplines which are basic and are the foundation for other things, and try to skip right to the end of understanding, realization, and pure perception, most of what we gain will be twisted and used against our pursuit of enlightenment by our ego.

So, in reply... No, I did not forget, but a friendly reminder is always appreciated. :)


Discipline is essential, without it nothing would be achieved. But as discipline goes "don't hurt others" is a very good discipline. Could very well be the heart of this precept. Anyway, discipline for a Vajrayana practitioner should include pure perception from the beginning since it is a part of samaya. Saving it for last is not taking fruit as the path.

/magnus
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Re: 5 Precepts

Postby Dhondrub » Sun Oct 03, 2010 5:58 pm

This year Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse said that if you have a teacher who has discipline but no genuine loving kindness, you end up secretly masturbating and presenting yourself as the purest person outwardly.
Just saying :smile:
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Re: 5 Precepts

Postby ground » Sun Oct 03, 2010 7:30 pm

Don't forget wisdom.

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Re: 5 Precepts

Postby Pero » Sun Oct 03, 2010 7:32 pm

Dhondrub wrote:This year Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse said that if you have a teacher who has discipline but no genuine loving kindness, you end up secretly masturbating and presenting yourself as the purest person outwardly.
Just saying :smile:


Is there something wrong with masturbation or what?
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Re: 5 Precepts

Postby SonamZangpo » Sun Oct 03, 2010 7:36 pm

Pero wrote:
Dhondrub wrote:This year Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse said that if you have a teacher who has discipline but no genuine loving kindness, you end up secretly masturbating and presenting yourself as the purest person outwardly.
Just saying :smile:


Is there something wrong with masturbation or what?



Yes. I believe it was dalai lama who spoke on it. It was some master. Saying that masturbation, you have to think about someone, so you are essentially mentally raping them, unless you give them your explicit permission. Someone then asked about pornography, since the actors would have to be ok with it. The teacher then spoke on how many pornstars use their money for karmically negative deeds, so even endorsing pornography is wrong. The flip side of "free" porn would be that it is copyrighted material and hence is technically illegal.

My question for that teacher would be: What about animated pornography? What about when you do have explicit permission?

Not that I myself would be finding loopholes so I could do it, it just seems that the initial statement was so well thought out, I'd like to see a response to those queries.
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"It is more important to be kind than to be right."
(I acknowledge I do not follow the quote above this, that is why it is there! so I will be reminded every time I post! :) )
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