39

The Mahayana perspective on social and ecological ethics is based on the high ideals of symbiosis, harmony, and cooperation. In the old times there were wandering monks who did not work and lived on alms - in return they shared the nectar of Dharma. They were no parasites. And if some of them were, Buddha encouraged the householders to be selective in ...


35

No, it does not. In order to steal, something has to be misappropriated from the original owner. Copying is not theft, even according to modern jurisprudence; copyright is an artificial "right" granted to the "owner" of a specific intellectual activity to prevent the "copying" of the product of said intellectual activity. "...


31

Very much not the case, so long as you don't engage in a No true Scotsman fallacy and say that they aren't really Buddhists unless they are also vegetarian. In some traditions it is common for a begging monk to eat whatever is put in their offering bowl, mixing it together first (see the interview with Achaan Chaa in Living Dharma). For laypeople the ...


27

In order to understand this issue, we have to understand morality according to Buddhism. In Theravada Buddhism, morality is completely based on the effect that an act has on the mind of the actor. Hence, eating meat need not be karmically negative, yet killing Hitler to "save" others from suffering need be, since it requires defilement to take the life of ...


25

The literal meaing there is avoiding fermented drink that causes heedlessness. Surā-meraya-majja-pamāda-ṭṭhānā veramaṇī sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi I undertake the precept to avoid [that big long word] Big long word happily rendered as "beer-cider-carelessness-intoxication-condition" by Kare. This is talking specifically about fermented things like beer,...


25

Argumentation is a tricky thing; it's easy to skip a step and before you realize it, you've got an argument whose premises don't actually necessitate their conclusion. Premise: The whole point (in general) of keeping the [third] precept is to make good kamma both in mind and body. Premise: Masturbation alters the mind state and creates bad mind-made kamma....


20

Causes of False Speech The root causes of false speech are greed, hatred and delusion. Greed is the root cause when false speech is used to obtain material gain or status for oneself or someone dear to oneself. Hatred is the root cause when false speech is used to cause loss and bring harm and suffering to others. Delusion is the root cause when it is ...


18

In MN 41 (and elsewhere), the Buddha describes sexual misconduct as follows: He is given over to misconduct in sexual desires: he has intercourse with such (women) as are protected by the mother, father, (mother and father), brother, sister, relatives, as have a husband, as entail a penalty, and also with those that are garlanded in token of betrothal. (...


18

Did I break my 5th precept? In order to break the 5th precept, the following four factors need to be present and fulfilled: Mada-niyam -- intoxicants. Patu-kamyata-cittam -- the desire to drink. Tajjo vayamo -- the effort is made. Pitappa-vesanam -- the intoxicants being drunk passing the throat. Very importantly is the second factor, i.e....


16

This is one of those questions that is complicated by that in the United States the conversation around abortion looks and feels very different than it does from other countries in the world. It is also made complex by the interaction of the ideology and the "situation on the ground," where things are usually quite complicated. To quote Karma ...


15

The five precepts are an absolute entry-level teaching that is designed to help the practitioner master basic discipline of self-control and self-reflection. Abstaining from killing, stealing etc. implies basic ability to watch one's mind for harmful thoughts and emotions, and to prevent them from getting acted out. In light of the above, the no-killing ...


14

This is a great question, certainly understandable. I don't think it's right to say that prayer as an activity goes against the Buddha's teaching; certainly prayer that stems from desire is unwholesome, but prayer that stems from kindness and purity of mind, in the sense of being an expression of one's attitude towards all beings, as: Sukhino vā khemino ...


14

Among my own school (Nyingma from Tibetan Buddhism), encouraging vegetarianism is a relatively recent trend, mostly grounded on the teachings of Patrul Rinpoche, who lived in the 19th century and was a vegetarian. Still, the main reason for encouraging his students to become vegetarians was mostly because he was often horrified at how teachers and self-...


14

If someone is attacking you to kill you should you defend yourself? ... I think yes, you may. Our religion has never stopped us from doing that. Would it be ethical to kill an intruder coming into your home? you may stop an intruder forcefully. Our religion has never stopped us from doing that. But for me, being Buddhist, the answer will not end ...


14

From Mahayana perspective, illegally downloading e.g. a movie is definitely a breach of precepts, for three reasons: because this entails acting out of desire for pleasure, because this upsets, not gladdens, the minds of whoever conceive themselves as the owners, and because this involves the parasitic attitude of getting something for nothing. Firstly, ...


13

The five precepts are an entry-level practice that is designed to help practitioner master basic discipline of self-reflection and self-control. Abstaining from killing, stealing etc. implies basic ability to watch one's mind for harmful thoughts and emotions, and to prevent them from getting acted out. In light of the above, the no-killing rule should not ...


12

In Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism, the 5th precept is interpreted mostly as 'do not get intoxicated by alcohol and drugs' for non-ordained practitioners, meaning that it's up to you to know how much you can drink without affecting your mind. Ordained monks are still supposed to take the literal interpretation of the 5th precept and fully abstain from alcohol and ...


10

It's not justifiable even if the killing is for self or others protection. If killing of an animal fulfills below five conditions it will give bad results (akusla karma vipaka) There should be a living being Knowing that its a living being Intention of killing Act to kill Animal is killed by the act Note: Even If someone kills an animal which is ...


10

Masturbation is unwholesome just like getting angry is unwholesome. Getting angry is not recommended, but it is not against a precept. I think there is confusion with abrahmacariya precept taken with 8 and 10 precepts. This precept replaces the third sexual misconduct precept of regular followers and requires complete celibacy. Abstinence from sensual ...


10

There are many different views on the 5th precept. I'll sum up the 3 main views that I've encountered most: 1. Theravada In this article Bikkhu Bodhi explains that The taking of intoxicants is defined as the volition leading to the bodily act of ingesting distilled or fermented intoxicants.[10] It can be committed only by one's own person (not by ...


10

Is celibacy intrinsic to Buddhism? The answer depends as follows: As a householder, no, celibacy is not required. It is only required to abstain from improper sexual conduct. And what is improper sexual conduct? He gets sexually involved with those who are protected by their mothers, their fathers, their brothers, their sisters, their relatives, or ...


10

Where does one draw the line for which forms of life are ok to destroy, and which ones are not? That (i.e. "which forms of life?") might be not the right question. If you're describing the situation based on a premise of violence versus non-violence, then another way to look at it might be aggression versus non-aggression, and/or aggression versus ...


9

In Mahayana Buddhism one takes a Bodhisattva Vow which in essence means that one practises in order to liberate all the sentient beings as their well-being is more important than one's own. Thus, if asked for help, those who took the vow will try to offer some sort of help. I took the vow and renew it at least once a year. When people ask me for prayers, I ...


9

A more literal interpretation is, for example, from Bhikkhu Bodhi "The fifth precept reads: Suramerayamajjapamadatthana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami, "I undertake the training rule to abstain from fermented and distilled intoxicants which are the basis for heedlessness." Coffee & tea, not being fermented or distilled intoxicants wouldn't break the ...


9

In order to answer this sort of question, you have to be clear on what the precepts are and what they are not. They are a set of intentional statements of will to keep a finite set of basic moral precepts. They are not an all-encompassing treatise on morality. So, the fourth precept, as Sankha Kulathantille says in his answer, relates to a specific type of ...


9

The meaning of third precept is that one's actions must never be motivated by desire of sensual pleasure. The Pali text for third precept says: Kāmesumicchācāra veramaṇī sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi. veramaṇī sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi is a standard phrase that means "I undertake the training rule to abstain from ..." The key therefore is Kāmesumicchācāra, or, ...


9

There is no simple answer, since it will always depend on the context. However, in most cases, it would go agains the first precept: to abstain from killing. However, there could be situations where the act is interpreted in different contexts. Thich Nhat Hanh once wrote (a few years after the incident in the picture): The Vietnamese monk, by burning ...


9

Yes. Buddhists can and sometimes even should defend themselves and people around them. However, consider the following: If you do it out of anger, you will suffer from the results of this anger. The key is to use violence without any negative feelings but out of active compassion (see the next point) If you are aware that the attacker wants to kill not only ...


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