Why the Buddha banned booze.

No holds barred discussion on the Buddhadharma. Argue about rebirth, karma, commentarial interpretations etc. Be nice to each other.

Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:44 am

Huseng wrote:Everything is empty and of one flavour, including the mud and wine.
Padma von Samba said mind not mud. But hell, if you want to drink mud, go for it... :tongue:
"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
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Former staff member
 
Posts: 7873
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby Dechen Norbu » Tue Mar 27, 2012 2:02 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
dechen norbu wrote:Some people are like children. They can't take responsibility for themselves, so they need prohibitions about what they can and can not do.
Others are responsible and can act accordingly.
This is rather arrogant and overstated. Does a monk/nun that takes vows of celibacy have a reduced sense of responsibility for their sexual behaviour? Are they incapable of acting accordingly? Do they do it because they need to be controlled? Obviously not! People take precepts for a wide variety of reasons, not solely because of a lack of self control.
People should know that a drink is OK while getting wasted is not.
Not according to the Buddha it isn't. According to the Buddha a drink is not OK (and getting wasted definitely isn't).
drunk monk.jpg

:namaste:


Well, That's how I see vows. I know it's polemic and you don't have to agree. If you need to make a vow to avoid doing a negative action, it follows that you can't control your actions based on knowledge. That's not a good sign. If you don't do something because you made a vow, not out of the understanding that such actions will bring harm, you made yourself a puppet to written letter. This doesn't mean that vows are useless. It means they should at most bee seen as a temporary aid, not something definitive in themselves.
People can be celibate without making vows. I don't see the point, but if it's helpful for some practitioners, why not. Again, all you do with a vow you can do without it. If you need a vow to force you, well, I'd say it's not as good as doing what's right without the need for the vow. Again, you can disagree if you want. I don't make a point of being right. This is just how I see vows.
According to Buddha one should avoid intoxicants. The point of the vow is not becoming intoxicated because of the negative consequences this has. It's not that alcohol is harmful by itself. Paying more attention to the purpose of the rule than the letter of the rule, as I think it should be, I think alcohol only becomes an intoxicant when consumed in excessive quantities. Again, feel free to disagree.
User avatar
Dechen Norbu
 
Posts: 2798
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2011 6:50 pm

Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby LastLegend » Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:04 pm

Mud and wine are empty then why does shtt smell?
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)
User avatar
LastLegend
 
Posts: 1732
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:46 pm
Location: Washington DC

Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:11 pm

Because it's empty!
"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
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Former staff member
 
Posts: 7873
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby LastLegend » Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:22 pm

Also because you are not empty.
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)
User avatar
LastLegend
 
Posts: 1732
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:46 pm
Location: Washington DC

Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:26 pm

Oh indeed you are my dear LL, just not aware of it!
"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
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Former staff member
 
Posts: 7873
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby catmoon » Tue Mar 27, 2012 5:15 pm

I have emptied myself and... phoo what's that smell?
Sergeant Schultz knew everything there was to know.
User avatar
catmoon
Former staff member
 
Posts: 2916
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:20 am
Location: British Columbia

Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Mar 27, 2012 5:27 pm

catmoon wrote:I have emptied myself and... phoo what's that smell?
That my friend is eau de pratītyasamutpāda (eau de rten cing 'brel bar 'byung ba in Tibetan)!
"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
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Former staff member
 
Posts: 7873
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby catmoon » Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:33 am

In the current metaphor, it seems the correct thing to do is to cover the problem in kitty litter.


*rake rake rake*

*scrich scritch scritch*

*rake rake rake OW"

oh dear. I seem to have uncovered a Greek Buddhist. NOW what do I do?
Sergeant Schultz knew everything there was to know.
User avatar
catmoon
Former staff member
 
Posts: 2916
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:20 am
Location: British Columbia

Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:30 am

Quickly bury it before somebody else sees it and then build a highly profitable apartment block over it. That's what we do here in Greece whenever we stumble across a buried find of any significance. There's more than enough ancient rubble out there, no need to dig up more!
"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
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Former staff member
 
Posts: 7873
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby Dechen Norbu » Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:31 pm

:rolling:
User avatar
Dechen Norbu
 
Posts: 2798
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2011 6:50 pm

Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby padma norbu » Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:12 pm

Is there any form of Vajrayana where you are not expected to partake in a little alcohol for special ceremonies? Did Sakyamuni say to drink alcohol in this context ever? If not, then a drop or a glass full are both going against his teachings. I believe the teaching is against intoxication and the rule of abstinence created for his followers to protect them from succumbing to addiction and poor judgement.

I think the point of Vajrayana utilizing alcohol is to develop awareness at all times so that one does not lose control of his mind when drinking alcohol (since I think there are other situations which are potentially much more disorienting than alcohol; bardo of death comes to mind). Although, honestly, I have no real idea why they utilize alcohol and meat in Vajrayana... it seems also perhaps to break out of a limiting belief, to go beyond the concept of these as taboos.
"Use what seems like poison as medicine. We can use our personal suffering as the path to compassion for all beings." Pema Chodron
User avatar
padma norbu
 
Posts: 2000
Joined: Sun May 29, 2011 1:10 am

Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby TenzinDorje » Sun Apr 01, 2012 5:51 pm

quite a bit of stuff about sex and alcohol on DW, HA!

During teachings on Tsog this last fall, Lama Dawa said a Kapala full of alcohol is allowed each day for a Ngakpa. I am in my 50's and had very little alcohol until I met my Lama. Now I drink a little brandy chased by two beers a day sometime after practice.

Besides, my significant other enjoys us having a little alcohol followed by sex. Who am I to see her suffer? :rolling:
TenzinDorje
 
Posts: 133
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:11 pm

Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby Skydancer » Sun Apr 08, 2012 7:44 am

This is a very interesting discussion. I've read almost all posts and here are me 2 cents:
I'm still just a greenhorn when it comes to knowledge about Buddhism, but before I've become a Vajrayana Buddhist I had been practicing Hindu tantra seriously for 10 years. During that time I experimented with alcohol and cannabis in spiritual context. From my experience, drinking a little alcohol made meditation smoother. I think there is a difference between knowing your limit and getting drunk, but sometimes people equate 1 sip of alcohol with getting intoxicated. Mind-altering substances can be useful tools if you know how to wield them skillfully and don't abuse them. I do, however, believe that the precept of abstaining from intoxicating stuff is there for a good reason: most people don't posses sufficient self-control and tend to overdo and abuse these things.

Cheers! :cheers: :)
User avatar
Skydancer
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:02 am
Location: Slovenia

Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:05 am

TenzinDorje wrote:quite a bit of stuff about sex and alcohol on DW, HA!

During teachings on Tsog this last fall, Lama Dawa said a Kapala full of alcohol is allowed each day for a Ngakpa. I am in my 50's and had very little alcohol until I met my Lama. Now I drink a little brandy chased by two beers a day sometime after practice.

Besides, my significant other enjoys us having a little alcohol followed by sex. Who am I to see her suffer? :rolling:

"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
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Former staff member
 
Posts: 7873
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby Indrajala » Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:44 am

padma norbu wrote:If not, then a drop or a glass full are both going against his teachings. I believe the teaching is against intoxication and the rule of abstinence created for his followers to protect them from succumbing to addiction and poor judgement.


You need to reread the original post of mine at the top of this thread.

It was not a "teaching" against alcohol consumption, but merely a rule laid down due to an incident involving a certain monk becoming heavily intoxicated and passing out as a result. Prior to this clearly the disciples were permitted to consume alcohol and they indeed did without the Buddha raising an objection. Moreover, this might be considered a minor rule that the Buddha gave permission to abandon. The problem is that Venerable Ananda failed to ask which rules were the minor ones and as a result during the assembly convened to finalize the Vinaya all the rules were kept.

There is a difference between a rule that was brought about due to the poor conduct of a member of the sangha and a teaching encouraging one to abstain from something. In the case of teachings against sexual activity, this was stated in the context of meditation where abandonment of lust is a prerequisite for mastery of the jhāna/dhyāna. Alcohol in itself like food is only a problem if desire for it becomes a hindrance.

That being said, I believe it is best to abstain from alcohol, but those individuals who do partake in alcohol during meals or for leisure should not be so harshly condemned as has been the case historically and even in present times.
Flower Ornament Depository (Blog)
Indrajāla's Contemplations (Blog)
Exploring Classical Chinese (Blog)
Dharma Depository (Site)

"Hui gives me no assistance. There is nothing that I say in which he does not delight." -Confucius
User avatar
Indrajala
Former staff member
 
Posts: 5553
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: India

Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby LightSeed » Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:45 pm

I'd like to politely add my thoughts on this....prefacing with the fact that I'm really still learning.

I read this precept and thought "No alcohol? Sure. No problem." I rarely drink as it is anyway.

I do drink occasionally though. I came home one day a week ago and went to have a drink and as I was pouring it, my mind wandered to this precept. "Why not have a drink? I'm technically not a buddhist, what does it matter?". Then I realized that for me, it's not about whether or not the alcohol was bad, but why I might want it in the first place. I questioned why I wanted the drink, and thought "Well, I've had a hard day at work, I deserve it." Ignoring the "I deserve it" for now, I then thought, well, why did I have a hard day at work "I got into an argument with a co-worker" and why does that still bother me "Because I don't like it when my judgement is questioned, or I don't like feeling like I have to prove myself."

Suddenly I didn't really need the drink any more, what I needed was to consider my internal ego problems. The alcohol wasn't the problem, the reasoning behind the alcohol was the problem. Anyway, that's not to say that this is anyone's solution but mine, or that anyone (including me) couldn't have a drink with dinner if they wanted, it's just my thoughts. :)
"Monks, a statement endowed with five factors is well-spoken, not ill-spoken. It is blameless & unfaulted by knowledgeable people. Which five?

"It is spoken at the right time. It is spoken in truth. It is spoken affectionately. It is spoken beneficially. It is spoken with a mind of good-will."

— AN 5.198
User avatar
LightSeed
 
Posts: 47
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2012 11:59 pm

Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby Malcolm » Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:51 pm

TenzinDorje wrote:During teachings on Tsog this last fall, Lama Dawa said a Kapala full of alcohol is allowed each day for a Ngakpa.:


Depends on how strong it is. A Kapala full of chang is quite weak. A Kapala full of Bacardi 151 would knock most people out.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://atikosha.org
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
Malcolm
 
Posts: 10152
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby Will » Thu Apr 19, 2012 2:52 pm

Buddha, in the Brahma Net Sutra, also taught against selling and drinking alcohol. Here is his teaching on minor precept #2:

2. On Consuming Alcoholic Beverages

A disciple of the Buddha should not intentionally consume alcoholic beverages, as they are the source of countless offenses. If he but offers a glass of wine to another person, his retribution will be to have no hands for five hundred lifetimes. How could he then consume liquor himself! Indeed, a Bodhisattva should not encourage any person or any other sentient being to consume alcohol, much less take any alcoholic beverages himself. A disciple should not drink any alcoholic beverages whatsoever. If instead, he deliberately does so or encourages others to do so, he commits a secondary offense.


Selling is a major violation because it affects others, while drinking befogs only one's own mind.
Revealing one essence: this means the inherently pure, complete, luminous essence, which is pure of its own nature. -- Fa-tsang
User avatar
Will
 
Posts: 1728
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:21 am

Re: Why the Buddha banned booze.

Postby flavio81 » Mon Jul 08, 2013 9:32 pm

Dechen Norbu wrote:Well, That's how I see vows. I know it's polemic and you don't have to agree. If you need to make a vow to avoid doing a negative action, it follows that you can't control your actions based on knowledge. That's not a good sign. If you don't do something because you made a vow, not out of the understanding that such actions will bring harm, you made yourself a puppet to written letter. This doesn't mean that vows are useless. It means they should at most bee seen as a temporary aid, not something definitive in themselves.


Your position is somewhat extreme, but I agree for the most part. I understood that such kind of vows help people of lesser capacity to protect themselves from doing harm to themselves or to other people. It does not mean that ALL buddhists should do the same.
User avatar
flavio81
 
Posts: 164
Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2013 5:25 am
Location: Lima, Peru

PreviousNext

Return to Open Dharma

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: yorkieman and 8 guests

>