Why the Buddha banned booze.

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Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby mutsuk » Mon Jul 15, 2013 12:40 am

Nyala Pema Dudul's text states (p. 168) quoting another source which I don't have :
"Except for the mere substances of Secret Formulas, Padmasambhava
Did not take alcohol and there are numerous stories (in which he said its usage) is to be suppressed."
(gsang sngags rdzas tsam ma gtogs pad 'byung gis/ chang ma gnang zhing dgag bya lo rgyus mang/).
The first line refers to the amrita Shardza was talking about and in his perspective, this clearly implies that if one indulges in that instead of using "real" amrita", claiming one can transmute it, then one should be able to transmute the 5 meats, etc.

Pema Dudul adds later (still p. 168): "who would drink that poison if not a fool?" (smyon min dug su yis 'thung). So yes, once and for all, it is a poison.
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Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby Lhug-Pa » Mon Jul 15, 2013 1:01 am

Edit:

Should we even be discussing these things on open forums?
Last edited by Lhug-Pa on Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:00 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby Malcolm » Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:11 am

mutsuk wrote:So yes, once and for all, it is a poison.



Total and complete nonsense.
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Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby flavio81 » Mon Jul 15, 2013 5:35 am

Malcolm wrote:
mutsuk wrote:So yes, once and for all, it is a poison.



Total and complete nonsense.


Yes. Frankly, it does not make sense. One should try to understand the underlying fundamentals of the teaching being followed instead of going the easy way of taking any tibetan scripture -disregarding its context- to support one's extreme views. It is always important to take the context in consideration because we don't know which kind of disciples he was addressing; if they were of lower capacity, etc. Because a master will give teachings specific to disicples' capacity level.

Personally, i follow vajrayana, i have a vajra master, and he already has absolved any doubt i had regarding alcohol consumption. If one is in the vajrayana then one should do what the vajra master (a real, living master) instructs. Otherwise we're not following vajrayana. Mutsuk, if your vajra master has instructed not to take any sip of alcohol and to view it as "poison", then follow that advice. Just don't assume we all must follow the same advice.
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Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Jul 15, 2013 5:53 am

flavio81 wrote:Yes. Frankly, it does not make sense. One should try to understand the underlying fundamentals of the teaching being followed instead of going the easy way of taking any tibetan scripture -disregarding its context- to support one's extreme views.
Why do you consider that saying "one should refrain from alcohol" is an extreme view and yet consider that saying "one should drink alcohol" is a moderate view? Is it just an attempt to invalidate the point being made by "mutsuk"? An attempt based merely on your personal/cultural preferences?

Alcohol, from a scientific/medical point of view is a poison. In the wrong dose it directly damages the liver, kidneys, stomach and brain. Like many poisons (antibiotics, for example) it can be used as a medicine too. But like all medicines it should only be used if one is sick.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby Malcolm » Mon Jul 15, 2013 6:35 am

gregkavarnos wrote:
flavio81 wrote:Yes. Frankly, it does not make sense. One should try to understand the underlying fundamentals of the teaching being followed instead of going the easy way of taking any tibetan scripture -disregarding its context- to support one's extreme views.
Why do you consider that saying "one should refrain from alcohol" is an extreme view and yet consider that saying "one should drink alcohol" is a moderate view? Is it just an attempt to invalidate the point being made by "mutsuk"? An attempt based merely on your personal/cultural preferences?

Alcohol, from a scientific/medical point of view is a poison.


Not really, it is acetaldehyde that is the toxin produced by metabolizing ethanol, which is then further oxidized into harmless acetic acid by acetaldehyde dehydrogenase.

Thus if one drinks alcohol in moderation, there is no problem. It is only when one drinks in excess that alcohol is poisonous. But a glass or two of wine will not be harmful and has many benefits.

M
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Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby mutsuk » Mon Jul 15, 2013 6:55 am

Malcolm wrote:
mutsuk wrote:So yes, once and for all, it is a poison.



Total and complete nonsense.

Yeah sure, whatever Nyagla Pema Düdül, and Shardza Rinpoche wrote is total nonsense. Can you imagine that your opinion might be of little value compared to their teachings ?
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Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Jul 15, 2013 7:02 am

Malcolm wrote:Not really, it is acetaldehyde that is the toxin produced by metabolizing ethanol, which is then further oxidized into harmless acetic acid by acetaldehyde dehydrogenase.
Yes really. Alcohol kills cells directly by dehydrating them. That is why it is used as an antiseptic. Its metabolite is another, different, type of poison. Many people cannot (due to genetic factors) produce acetaldehyde dehydrogenase (ie cannot metabolise the major poisonous byproduct) and thus suffer double damage from alcohol consumption:
Some people of far-Eastern descent have a dominant mutation in their acetaldehyde dehydrogenase gene, making this enzyme less effective. A similar mutation is found in about 5-10% of blond-haired blue-eyed people of Northern European descent. In these people, acetaldehyde accumulates after drinking alcohol, leading to symptoms of acetaldehyde poisoning, including the characteristic flushing of the skin and increased heart and respiration rates. Other symptoms can include severe abdominal and urinary tract cramping, hot and cold flashes, profuse sweating, and profound malaise. Individuals with deficient acetaldehyde dehydrogenase activity are far less likely to become alcoholics, but seem to be at a greater risk of liver damage, alcohol-induced asthma, and contracting cancers of the oro-pharynx and esophagus due to acetaldehyde overexposure.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acetaldehyde_dehydrogenase

Thus if one drinks alcohol in moderation, there is no problem. It is only when one drinks in excess that alcohol is poisonous. But a glass or two of wine will not be harmful and has many benefits.
Not in all cases. For some people even a gulp of alcohol is harmful.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby mutsuk » Mon Jul 15, 2013 7:18 am

flavio81 wrote:Yes. Frankly, it does not make sense.

It does make sense. You have these texts on TBRC, you can read for yourself their actual meaning. Without willing to go ad hom because my post will be edited, you guys should take into account that your discourse sounds like that of "junkies defending their dope" and addicts ready to find positive usage of the poison they use on a daily basis. I am not saying you are like that, but your discourse gives, for practitioners on a Buddhist forum, a picture that is not in adequacy with the teachings of the Buddha.

One should try to understand the underlying fundamentals of the teaching being followed instead of going the easy way of taking any tibetan scripture -disregarding its context-

See below for your edification for whom the Nyagla text was written.

to support one's extreme views.

So now two masters who reached Rainbow Body are manifesting extreme views. Hey guys, I have not said anything about my drinking or not alcohol (I don't), I have forwarded the infos about how two enlightened masters consider this poison. Assume your limitations.

It is always important to take the context in consideration because we don't know which kind of disciples he was addressing;

Nyagla WROTE IT FOR HIMSELF ! If at his level he considered himself of lower capacity, then can you imagine what level the rest of us are, including alcohol users ?!? And of course writing this for himself is also a teaching for others, it does not imply that it is strictly for himself. The text belongs to a series of works that are actually aimed at everybody and not monks in particular as some may think. All these are on TBRC for anyone to check.
Other texts on the same subject were written for people who consider drinking a small glass of wine everyday is good for health, etc. This is nonsense forwarded by wine lobbys, etc. This poison is one of the cause of most cancers affecting people. Talking about "nonsense" and "extreme view" does not give weight to your arguments, they simply contradict the teachings of masters of Dzogchen having reached the ultimate fruit of Dzogchen. Pointing fingers at them by resorting to "nonsense", "extreme", etc. is pointing the fingers at enlightened masters ! You can show me whatever fingers you have in mind right now, I could not care less, but try to be honest for a while.

if they were of lower capacity, etc. Because a master will give teachings specific to disicples' capacity level.

Sure Nyala and Shardza were of lower capacity. When they reached Rainbow Body it was actually a mistake. Maybe they should have had a drink instead, right?

Otherwise we're not following vajrayana. Mutsuk, if your vajra master has instructed not to take any sip of alcohol and to view it as "poison", then follow that advice. Just don't assume we all must follow the same advice.

I don't assume you must follow that advice but I expect that addictions are not banalized on a buddhist forum for the sake of the addicts. Alcohol 's a drug.And a dangerous one. It kills life, it destroys the subtle anatomy of channels, etc. If you don't want to follow the teachings of enlightened masters such as those two, then pick up whatever dharma you think can help you and see if that works. Sooner or later you'll see that picking up is not a good choice. These two masters were among the best Dzogchen masters from recent times. This should ring a bell.
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Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby kirtu » Mon Jul 15, 2013 7:33 am

Dronma wrote:I'd expect that you could provide here some valid references about a book in English, or at least a link with some English text in the web, so everybody can study and understand.


Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen (1859-1935), one of the preeminent Bon lamas of the 20th century. He and several of his students attained rainbow body*. From a search, bios/namthar on Shardza are lacking. There is however this dissertation that may be helpful (haven't gone through it in detail though). Shardza is best known outside Bon as the author of the Kunzang Nyingtig, "Heart Drops of Dharmakaya", with commentary by Lopon Tenzin Namdak..

Kirt

*from Heartdrops of Dharmakaya, Appendix 1, An Eyewitness Account of a Rainbow Body, pgs.135, 137
One of Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen's main students was Tsewang Gyurme. He passed away between 1969 and 1970 in a Chinese jail...Four young monks went from Khyungpo to see him before he was arrested and they received all the teachings of Dzogchen from him ... They were with him for nine years. [Two of these monks named Tsewang Dechen Nyingpo and Tsupu Ozer definitely attained rainbow body (their bodies shrank to a small size) and were publicly cremated] Indeed both monks [another Bon monk and Lopon Tenzin Namdak] were in the village when Tsupu Ozer died, and witnessed many other strange manifestations, such as rainbows spreading along the ground even though there was a clear sky. This was even more surprising as Tsupu Ozer was not thought to be much of a practitioner because he drank chang!
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Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby mutsuk » Mon Jul 15, 2013 7:44 am

kirtu wrote:Tsupu Ozer was not thought to be much of a practitioner because he drank chang!

Ask Yongdzin Rinpoche or even JLA in which circumstances this happened. His case is documented in other works. He ate meat too and smoked tobacco. All this at one stage of his life.
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Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby Nighthawk » Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:20 am

Mutsuk, what is your view on Longchenpa speaking in favor of alcohol use? Was he also not someone who achieved the rainbow body? If all these masters were fully enlightened beings then why the obvious contradictions in their teachings on this matter? And how do you know for sure who's enlightened and who's not from beings who have lived centuries ago?
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Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby Karma Dorje » Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:37 am

gregkavarnos wrote:
flavio81 wrote:Yes. Frankly, it does not make sense. One should try to understand the underlying fundamentals of the teaching being followed instead of going the easy way of taking any tibetan scripture -disregarding its context- to support one's extreme views.
Why do you consider that saying "one should refrain from alcohol" is an extreme view and yet consider that saying "one should drink alcohol" is a moderate view? Is it just an attempt to invalidate the point being made by "mutsuk"? An attempt based merely on your personal/cultural preferences?

Alcohol, from a scientific/medical point of view is a poison. In the wrong dose it directly damages the liver, kidneys, stomach and brain. Like many poisons (antibiotics, for example) it can be used as a medicine too. But like all medicines it should only be used if one is sick.


The extreme view is to insist that there is only one way on this. Some masters say no alcohol, some say it is not a problem if one does not become intoxicated to the point of losing mindfulness. Some masters say no meat, some say that it is skillful and compassionate to eat meat. Insisting on a doctrinaire position is extreme, relying upon the specific instructions of one's teacher and having a kind and loving mind to those whose teachers have instructed differently is moderate.
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Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby mutsuk » Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:50 am

Nighthawk wrote:Mutsuk, what is your view on Longchenpa speaking in favor of alcohol use?

Not a good view. This is a single work contradicting all the others. It has no canonical sources, contrary to some of the others who quote canonical references.

Was he also not someone who achieved the rainbow body?

No.

If all these masters were fully enlightened beings then why the obvious contradictions in their teachings on this matter?

Some were enlightened during their lifetime, one was not.

And how do you know for sure who's enlightened and who's not from beings who have lived centuries ago?

I am not sure. I know that Shardza and Nyagla Pema Dudul did Rainbow Body, which is a sign of their having fully accomplished the Path of Dzogchen.
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Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby flavio81 » Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:26 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
flavio81 wrote:Yes. Frankly, it does not make sense. One should try to understand the underlying fundamentals of the teaching being followed instead of going the easy way of taking any tibetan scripture -disregarding its context- to support one's extreme views.
Why do you consider that saying "one should refrain from alcohol" is an extreme view and yet consider that saying "one should drink alcohol" is a moderate view? Is it just an attempt to invalidate the point being made by "mutsuk"? An attempt based merely on your personal/cultural preferences?


Hi Greg,

No, you are misunderstanding me, let me explain: I don't think saying "one should drink alcohol" is a moderate view and that "refraining from alcohol" is an extreme view. Not at all. With "extreme views" i mean Ramon1920's view as an example: "If you can't even give up alcohol, then you're not a serious Buddhist practicioner".

As Karma Dorje wrote:

Karma Dorje wrote:The extreme view is to insist that there is only one way on this. Some masters say no alcohol, some say it is not a problem if one does not become intoxicated to the point of losing mindfulness. Some masters say no meat, some say that it is skillful and compassionate to eat meat. Insisting on a doctrinaire position is extreme, relying upon the specific instructions of one's teacher and having a kind and loving mind to those whose teachers have instructed differently is moderate.


Whatever your master instructs to (i.e. "don't drink alcohol", "moderate consumption is OK", etc), it's the good view. The extreme view is to think one is the vajra master of other sangha forum members and judge them according to one's preferences and beliefs.
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Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby Dronma » Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:44 pm

kirtu wrote:*from Heartdrops of Dharmakaya, Appendix 1, An Eyewitness Account of a Rainbow Body, pgs.135, 137

One of Shardza Tashi Gyaltsen's main students was Tsewang Gyurme. He passed away between 1969 and 1970 in a Chinese jail...Four young monks went from Khyungpo to see him before he was arrested and they received all the teachings of Dzogchen from him ... They were with him for nine years. [Two of these monks named Tsewang Dechen Nyingpo and Tsupu Ozer definitely attained rainbow body (their bodies shrank to a small size) and were publicly cremated] Indeed both monks [another Bon monk and Lopon Tenzin Namdak] were in the village when Tsupu Ozer died, and witnessed many other strange manifestations, such as rainbows spreading along the ground even though there was a clear sky. This was even more surprising as Tsupu Ozer was not thought to be much of a practitioner because he drank chang!


Kirt, thank you for the valid references. I already have the book "Heart Drops of Dharmakaya" in my library, though I have not studied it yet.
So, we have here the evidence of the monk Tsupu Ozer who attained Rainbow body, although he was drinking a little chang! ;)

Mutsuk with all the respect, your position sounds fanatic to my ears.
Please, keep in mind that I am not fond of alcohol or other drugs.
And I am always trying to take good care of my samayas and my health.
For me the most important is the teachings and advice of my live masters. Not the books. Especially books in Tibetan, which is a language with a very different structure than any European language. The meanings are not always clear, very often are allegorical/symbolic, and the translation does not go word by word. That's why a qualified Tibetan Master is always required for clarifying the difficult points in those texts. These days I heard my Lama explaining that what he transmits as "no limitations", it is written word by word in Tibetan as "exist and not exist". This is an example.
Now, figure out what I'd be able to understand if I was reading by myself that Tibetan text.... :rolleye:

Moreover, Buddhadharma, Vajrayana and Dzogchen is a vast spectrum with MANY Enlightened Masters. Not only the 2 masters whom you present here.
So, please be careful, because sometimes it seems that you do not respect people who have karmic connection with other teachers than the ones you prefer.
"My view is as vast as the sky, but my actions are finer than flour"
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Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby Malcolm » Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:51 pm

gregkavarnos wrote: For some people even a gulp of alcohol is harmful.


For other people, even a single peanut is fatal.

M
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Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby Malcolm » Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:54 pm

mutsuk wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
mutsuk wrote:So yes, once and for all, it is a poison.



Total and complete nonsense.

Yeah sure, whatever Nyagla Pema Düdül, and Shardza Rinpoche wrote is total nonsense. Can you imagine that your opinion might be of little value compared to their teachings ?


I can imagine that their views on the subject are not definitive.


"World! Do not doubt beer!"
-- Virupa
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
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Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:04 pm

Malcolm wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote: For some people even a gulp of alcohol is harmful.


For other people, even a single peanut is fatal.

M
So what? I do not know of anybody that has died from peanut poisoning. I have a friend that suffers from the incapacity to metabolise alcohol. Nor do I know of anybody going on a weekend peanut binge. I personally know of two people that died due to the consequences of long term alcohol (over) consumption. I had another two friends go through detox programs and another one that detoxed on their own. I also personally know a couple of people that died in automobile and motorcycle accidents due to drink driving. I do not know of anybody that has crashed their car under the influence of peanuts. I know that after a couple of handfuls of peanuts I do not lose any awareness, I cannot say the same thing for what happens after a couple of beers. I guess that makes your example completely invalid then. Right?
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby Malcolm » Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:10 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote: For some people even a gulp of alcohol is harmful.


For other people, even a single peanut is fatal.

M
So what? I do not know of anybody that has died from peanut poisoning. I have a friend that suffers from the incapacity to metabolise alcohol. Nor do I know of anybody going on a weekend peanut binge. I personally know of two people that died due to the consequences of long term alcohol (over) consumption. I had another two friends go through detox programs and another one that detoxed on their own. I also personally know a couple of people that died in automobile and motorcycle accidents due to drink driving. I do not know of anybody that has crashed their car under the influence of peanuts. I know that after a couple of handfuls of peanuts I do not lose any awareness, I cannot say the same thing for what happens after a couple of beers. I guess that makes your example completely invalid then. Right?


No, greg. It does not. Everthing in the world can be either poison or amrita -- it depends on the method.
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