Possibly the greatest thing in the world that makes my blood boil and my mind to become enraged in Cultural Marxist and SJW offendedness, anger and uncontrollable rage is seeing individuals drinking tea, water or anything else while giving a lecture; be it a secular lecture or dhamma talk.

To see someone set up their drink glass or other drinking receptacle simply to give a 30 minute lecture then start to slurp and gulp during the lecture sets my mind on fire as my mind forms the view this is the height of rudeness to the audience and arrogance, elitism and an utter total lack of discipline and self control on behalf of the speaker.

As I write this question, my mind is, right now, in this moment, spontaneously born (opapātikā) into Sīlabbata-Parāmāsa-Hell.

When Bhikkhu Buddhadasa was alive and a very old man, often on the verge of death, I observed him giving dhamma talks for 90 minutes to 2 hours and he never drink anything. During one series of talks over a number days, when it was reputed his death was imminent, he occasionally lost consciousness (when the translator was speaking) and had to be woken up (and he would continue to the dhamma talk right where he left off).

Anyway, after taking a breath or two to calm down, my question is, does the Vinaya forbid drinking while giving or listening to dhamma talks?

For example, I recall the Vinaya says things like listeners of dhamma talks should not wear hats, etc.


  • Good question. I have seen Bhikkhu Bodhi was giving lectures but he reaches the glass of water but does not drink. However, it is not a bad thing to leave a glass of water as I heard some people can die from thirst.
    – SarathW
    Commented Nov 26, 2020 at 20:49
  • 1
    You may not believe it but i used to give dhamma talks. I sat in meditation posture generally with closed eyes and rarely looked at the audience. Back to topic! Thanks Commented Nov 26, 2020 at 22:28
  • Wow! Perhaps I can listen to your Dhamma talk one day. I hope we are not going to have an argument -)
    – SarathW
    Commented Nov 27, 2020 at 10:26
  • Sorry but it wasn't me. Never been a monk. Regards Commented Nov 28, 2020 at 5:27

4 Answers 4


Other then the aversive unfounded preoccupation here: it's actually one duty for monks to arrange drinking water for all participate at their gatherings.

  • Where does this come from? Vinaya?
    – ruben2020
    Commented Dec 15, 2020 at 3:19

Unable to search the Vinaya with ease, I searched the suttas.

The suttas indicate that Dhamma talks following alms meals should be received respectfully. By implication, the immediate needs of the talking monk will all have been satisfied by the prior offering of food and water. Therefore it would normally be rare to need water immediately after a meal with drink.

However, dry throats do arise as a medical condition (e.g allergies or throat cancer), and speaking does dry out the throat.

SN35.133:5.1: Then the brahmin lady served and satisfied Udāyī with her own hands with a variety of delicious foods. When Udāyī had eaten and washed his hand and bowl, she took off her shoes, sat on a low seat, uncovered her head, and said to him, “Sir, when what exists do the perfected ones declare that there is pleasure and pain? When what doesn’t exist do the perfected ones not declare that there is pleasure and pain?”

Regarding boiling, the suttas also mention:

SN46.55:16.1: Suppose there is a bowl of water that is not heated by a fire, boiling and bubbling. A person with good eyesight checking their own reflection would truly know it and see it. In the same way, when your heart is not overcome and mired in ill will … Even hymns that are long-unpracticed spring to mind, let alone those that are practiced.

  • i marked this down. the quotes appear to have not relevance to the question and appear to be discursive. also, the remark about "throat cancer" sounded very imaginary Commented Nov 28, 2020 at 12:03
  • Not imaginary. I converse regularly with a monastic who cannot speak at length without having coughing fits eased by drinking tea. Cancer was definitely involved. I see absolutely no offense in that practice of drinking while speaking of the Dhamma.
    – OyaMist
    Commented Nov 28, 2020 at 13:28
  • there are lots of sick monastics that never developed samadhi thus superior health Commented Nov 28, 2020 at 19:36

sekhiya 51

"na surusurukārakaṃ bhuñjissāmīti sikkhā karaṇīyā."

Not to make noise (slurp) when absorbing a liquid.


OP wrote:

I recall the Vinaya says things like listeners of dhamma talks should not wear hats, etc.

I think you got it reversed, the Vinaya does not apply to lay people. The rules apply to Bhikkhus only. The right way would be, Bhikkhus shall not teach the Dhamma to people wearing hats, holding a weapons, laying down etc., most with the exception of illness.

So far, I could not find anything in the Vinaya about drinking water while teaching. And besides, rules for drinking water is not tight since the Buddha must have known how important it is for the body and the brain to stay hydrated.


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