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Can a Buddhist drink alcohol in moderation? - Page 2 - Dhamma Wheel

Can a Buddhist drink alcohol in moderation?

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
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bodom
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Re: Can a Buddhist drink alcohol in moderation?

Postby bodom » Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:03 am

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

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bodom
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Re: Can a Buddhist drink alcohol in moderation?

Postby bodom » Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:06 am

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

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Dan74
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Re: Can a Buddhist drink alcohol in moderation?

Postby Dan74 » Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:15 am

Good quotes, and yes "all arahats..."
_/|\_

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bodom
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Re: Can a Buddhist drink alcohol in moderation?

Postby bodom » Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:22 am

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

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Dan74
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Re: Can a Buddhist drink alcohol in moderation?

Postby Dan74 » Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:31 am

I meant your last quote, bodom.
Last edited by Dan74 on Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
_/|\_

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Re: Can a Buddhist drink alcohol in moderation?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:41 am

In the light of the OP:

"Can a Buddhist drink alcohol in moderation?"

The particularly wording and phrasing of the question will once again prompt me to make a statement that I'm becoming more and more accustomed to each and early time I talk about Buddhist ethics.

Buddhist ethics are not a form of "legal" system, wherein some actions are sanctioned and others punished, a kind of "may" or "may not".
They are normative statements about skillful actions leading to the goal.

One "can" do whatever one likes, quite frankly. (But that's not really the question, or the point, is it?)
However, one who has wisdom will do their best to uphold those normative forms of behavior, because they see the results both ways.
Yet, if they are unable to, the only recourse is to the results of this karma, and not some legal system of what they "may" or "may not" do (with possible subsequent reward or punishment).
My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: .

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retrofuturist
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Re: Can a Buddhist drink alcohol in moderation?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:47 am

Well said, bhante.

:anjali:

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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bodom
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Re: Can a Buddhist drink alcohol in moderation?

Postby bodom » Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:48 am

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

Sylvester
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Re: Can a Buddhist drink alcohol in moderation?

Postby Sylvester » Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:54 am


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Dan74
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Re: Can a Buddhist drink alcohol in moderation?

Postby Dan74 » Thu Oct 14, 2010 3:05 am

_/|\_

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bodom
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Re: Can a Buddhist drink alcohol in moderation?

Postby bodom » Thu Oct 14, 2010 3:15 am

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

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ground
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Re: Can a Buddhist drink alcohol in moderation?

Postby ground » Thu Oct 14, 2010 4:33 am


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Hanzze
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Re: Can a Buddhist drink alcohol in moderation?

Postby Hanzze » Thu Oct 14, 2010 5:51 am

Once there lived in Benares a rich man by the name of Cullasetthi. He was widely known in Benares for his wisdom; he was also a renowned astrologer. One day, it happened that while he was passing along the highway, he came by chance to see a rat apparently dead, lying on the road. He began to muse on the object with interest that from the opportune time he reckoned, it would not be strange to predict the amassing of a great wealth only if the right and fortunate man were to take immediate possession of the dead rat, and dispose of it at the first opportunity.

Little was it known to the astrologer that his fortuitous remark on the tale of the dead rat would have caught the ears of a poor man, Cullantevasika. Pondering that he would have nothing to lose in the bargain, he quietly picked up the dead rat and went on his way.

Not long later, Cullantevasika saw a man looking for some food to feed his hungry cat. It came in handy to be rid of his priceless possession for a few paltry coppers, which would give the poor Cullantevasika the confidence to eke out his miserable existence. He thought it over in his mind the idea to make his little means earn what it possibly could. He spent ail that he had on a few pieces of candy and from the fresh water he could obtain, he offered it for sale as plain sweetened drinks to the florists. For his trouble, he was given a few handfuls of flowers which he sold in the market place and with the proceeds, he bought more candy to turn into a bigger supply of drinks for his customers, the florists. This time they offered him the rest of the unplucked flowers. It enriched him by a few extra coppers, which gave him the security to stand on his own feet and to make him work harder for his living.

One day a heavy storm came and in its fury, trees were uprooted and branches blown all over the park. But, to Cullantevasika, it meant for him a day in the park to clear and tidy up the place clean off the litter of broken branches, dead trunks and fallen leaves. They were given to him as payment for his labour and he sold them as firewood. Again, he went back to his business of candy drinks, which he made a quick sale to the weary travellers outside the city gates. A band of five hundred grass cutters were making their way to the city and at the gate they rested themselves and Cullantevasika was able to supply them with his candy water to quench their thirst. In this way, he managed to have the friendship of the grass-cutters who responded to his cheerful disposition and the friendly manner he conducted his small and humble trade.

Nevertheless, Cullantevasika was on the move for any likely chance to change over to a new trade when it came to him one day that he received news of some merchants sending five hundred horses to the city for sale. He at once thought of his friends the grass-cutters and proceeded immediately on his plan that they all supply him one thousand bundles of grass to be twice their usual bulk on each bundle. On the following day, the merchants and that five hundred horses arrived in the city and they went about in search of fodder for their horses, but none could be found except in the store kept by Cullantevasika. They bought all the stock from him for one thousand coins.

Again, the water labourers brought him the news that a big merchant boat was due to arrive in the port. He bought the best cart in the city and dressed himself up as a rich merchant. Upon the boat’s arrival, he approached the owner of the vessel and offered him an expensive ring in order to solicit his help to use his influence to induce all the merchants to deal with him. As a result all the other merchants who came later failed to secure any business. He acted in the capacity as their agent and the profits he earned rose steadily to the sum of two hundred thousand coins.

Cullantevasika became a rich man and his thought went back to the incident on the highway when he realised the truth of Cullasetthi’s prediction. He paid a courteous visit to Cullasetthi and offered him a gift of one hundred thousand coins with an explanation that he wished to repay him (Cullasetthi) as an appreciation for his good fortune, following the advice on the prediction about the dead rat. And here again, his good fortune served him sell; Cullasetthi seeing his unselfish nature offered him the hand of his (Cullasetthi’s) daughter. They lived happily and on the death of Cullasetthi he inherited all his wealth as well as the high office of treasurer to the king.

So we turn our thoughts, on the conclusion of this story, that work should be performed in a manner clean and free from any intention to jeopardise the living of others, and without inciting a loss or harm. This undertaking alone is noble and unselfish.
Just that! *smile*


BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Nate sante baram sokham _()_

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Re: Can a Buddhist drink alcohol in moderation?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Thu Oct 14, 2010 6:33 am

My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: .

Sylvester
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Re: Can a Buddhist drink alcohol in moderation?

Postby Sylvester » Thu Oct 14, 2010 7:20 am

Thanks Bhante, for sharing your thoughts.

Of course, the suicides of Ven Channa and Ven Vakkali will pose a conundrum for a consolidated virtues+consequentialism model, if one is to assume that those kamma were not impelled by either patigha (as a mula kamma at the grosser level) or patighanusaya (at the subtler level).

Might this be grounds enough for particularism to creep in, just a wee a bit, into Buddhist ethics?

I think your example about the 5th Precept brings to the fore one of those contentions over how much "control" one must have over one's reactions or actions, before the ethical dimensions can come to play. The possibility of intention (sancetana) playing out unconsciously (eg Bhumija Sutta SN 12.25) and the 3 basic anusayas as inevitable (almost!) responses of putthujanas to all the "bodily" feelings seem to suggest that the traditional understanding of ethics and kamma cannot turn on "control" alone.

How do either virtues ethics or consequential ethics relate to this?

:anjali:

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Re: Can a Buddhist drink alcohol in moderation?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Thu Oct 14, 2010 12:33 pm

Particularism is an easy escape route! :tongue:

But then the evil art of philology will demand an explanation, and heaven and hell shall be overturned in it's quest to find the answer to the question:
Is the Buddha messing us around, or has somebody been doing some hanky panky, cooking the books?
My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: .

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Re: Can a Buddhist drink alcohol in moderation?

Postby Sanghamitta » Thu Oct 14, 2010 12:54 pm

The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

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Re: Can a Buddhist drink alcohol in moderation?

Postby Ytrog » Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:47 pm

If you wish to get better and the doctor prescribes medicines you wouldn't ask whether to taken them or not. Same with this: the precepts are (part of the) medicines against dhukka, so if you want to get rid of that disease (dhukka) you have to take your pills/keep the precepts. In the end it's your choice though.

I think the entirety of Buddhist ethics is essentially based on this principle.

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Re: Can a Buddhist drink alcohol in moderation?

Postby mettafuture » Thu Oct 14, 2010 4:23 pm


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Re: Can a Buddhist drink alcohol in moderation?

Postby Sanghamitta » Thu Oct 14, 2010 4:37 pm

If by moderation we mean the occasional glass of wine..or a beer on a hot day. I think so..yes. But not everyone agrees...
I think we have to decide for ourselves what enhances or threatens or is neutral in terms of our mindfulness. And that minfulness is the essence of the precept. Its not that certain things are taboo in general terms. Although for a given individual they might be. It is to some degree an individual issue.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.


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