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Csillag

Lying or not lying ?

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Tashi delek, :hello:

 

I am trying my best not to lie at all, but sometimes I am not sure if I should not better lie in certain situations.

The talk here is about dealing with people who are hating Buddhism.

 

For example: At present I live at my mothers flat , as long as I do not find my own flat.

She hates Buddhism very much, she listend to teachings like that of h.H Dalai Lama and other Rinpoches but still she hates Buddhism.I cannot change her mind, even thought I tried.

:((

 

Now whenever I go to a buddhist meating or to a teaching she freaks little bit out, and if I am traveling in another city or another country because of buddhism she calls the part of my family or friends who are not Buddhist , saying how terrible Buddhism is, saying that I am fanatic because I am traveling to other places because of religion. And other bad things. People who do not know me well, when they hear my mother talking, start to think that I am a bad or crazy person being in a sect, that buddhism is terrible. It leaded already to that the parents of my friends were warning my friends/ their children to stay away from me. ''oo''

(The situation was almost same before I lived at her flat, when she heared that I am flying to India , or pay money for being in a sommercamp, retreat etc )

 

Problem is that all the time she asks me : "where do you go, to whom and why". I have to answer otherwise she is going mad. Sometimes I think it is better to lie with the danger that she will find out the truth of what I am doing.

Then there is at least the possibility that she will not develop each time immense hatred against buddhism and lamas.

 

I would like to take the 5 lay vows, which include not to lie.

But such situations as mentioned above are making me very unsure if I could be able to hold these precepts or not.

 

What do you think ? Would this be a situation where it is better to lie, even then when one would hold the precept of not lying ?

 

With all my best wishes

Csillag

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Tashi Delek,

What do you think ? Would this be a situation where it is better to lie, even then when one would hold the precept of not lying ?

I do think we shall not lie. We can be diplomat, not telling the full truth or diverting the discussion somewhere else, but not to lie.

 

All the best, Gelong T. Shenphen

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Tashi delek, !:!

 

Thank you very much for your answer.

 

I do think we shall not lie. We can be diplomat, not telling the full truth or diverting the discussion somewhere else, but not to lie.

 

I try to do this, but sometimes it is not possible, for instance people ask you "direct questions" where the answer can be just yes or no, and to say maybe would drive them crazy, not leaving you in peace as long you are not answering.....

Now when someone holds the lay vows additionally with the bodhisattva vows , when one knows that the full truth could cause damage to a person , if one would lie in such a situation not with a selfish motivation, would this cause bad karma for me?

 

I heared that when we take the vow of not lying, it means not to lie because of our realization,experiences, while "not to lie in general " is considered more as kind of secondary vow, same like it is with the bodhisattva vow: there are the root downfalls and the branch transgressions.

 

Is this true? With all my best wishes

Csillag

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Excerpt from Dakini teachings by Padmasambhava

 

"... there are four types of verbal non-virtues.

 

Telling lies

 

The essence of the first, telling lies, is to verbally state that something untrue is true.

When divided, there are the following kinds.

 

1. There are lies that neither benefit nor harm, such as the lies of an old, senile man.

2. There are lies that do benefit or harm, such as benefiting one person while harming another.

3. The "lie of having supreme human qualities" means that you claim to possess qualities in your stream of being such as higher perceptions, when you do not.

Tsogyal, do not utter a lot of thoughtless words.

As before, the act of telling lies is consumated by means of the four completing aspects, and again there are three types of results.

1. Result of ripening is that you fall into the lower realms.

2. The dominant result is that even if you are reborn as a human, your voice will hold no power.

3. The result corresponding to the cause is that in future lives you will again delight in telling lies.

Tsogyal, if you give up these acts you will obtain the opposite of their results, so abandoning them is of great importance."

 

The other three verbal non-virtues are: divisive talk, idle gossip and harsh words.

 

Regards :)

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Tashi delek :hello:

 

"... there are four types of verbal non-virtues.

Tsogyal, if you give up these acts you will obtain the opposite of their results, so abandoning them is of great importance."

 

Thank you very much for the passage.

It is clear for me that lying is bad at all. But I am asking here because of certain specific situations, where lying would propably provide more benefit for a person and the same time it would not cause harm to another person.

 

I found in the Internet the Bodhisattva secondary vows, and I am wondering if the situation with my mother would call "sometimes "for lying if there is no alternative like saying half truth,being diplomatic. She is accumulating heavy negativity with her hatred towards buddhism and lamas, and by talking to others negatively about it.This hatred get focused when I am about to go to a teaching and she comes to know about it.

 

Once I heared an advice, that it is better just then to commit those negative actions like lying if oneself is clearsighted.

But do we need to be clearsighted for all situations, some are so evident that also normal people can see where a specific situation leads.......? :crunch:

 

It is said if the motivation is really genuine bodhicitta and one tryed to analyze the situation as best as one could ( so one reacts not blindly )then there is no fault in doing so, instead it results in accumulation of merit.

For example I would be willing to kill a massmurder or somebody who repeadetly kills and sexually abuses small children and is not willing to change.It would benefit him, not accumulating more negative karma and I would save others.

 

With all my best wishes

Csillag

 

I have this from the Internet ( by Alexander Berzin )

 

 

4.Not committing a destructive action when love and compassion call for it

 

Occasionally, certain extreme situations arise in which the welfare of others is seriously jeopardized and there is no alternative left to prevent a tragedy other than committing one of the seven destructive physical or verbal actions.

These seven are taking a life, taking what has not been given to us, indulging in inappropriate sexual behavior, lying, speaking divisively, using harsh and cruel language, or chattering meaninglessly.

 

If we commit such an action without any disturbing emotion at the time, such as anger, desire, or naivety about cause and effect, but are motivated only by the wish to prevent others' suffering - being totally willing to accept on ourselves whatever negative consequences may come, even hellish pain - we do not damage our far-reaching ethical self-discipline. In fact, we build up a tremendous amount of positive force that speeds us on our spiritual paths.

 

Refusing to commit these destructive actions when necessity demands is at fault, however, only if we have taken and keep purely bodhisattva vows. Our reticence to exchange our happiness for the welfare of others hampers our perfection of the ethical self-discipline to help others always.

 

There is no fault if we have only superficial compassion and do not keep bodhisattva vows or train in the conduct outlined by them. We realize that since our compassion is weak and unstable, the resulting suffering we would experience from our destructive actions might easily cause us to begrudge bodhisattva conduct. We might even give up the path of working to help others.

Like the injunction that bodhisattvas on lower stages of development only damage themselves and their abilities to help others if they attempt practices of bodhisattvas on higher stages - such as feeding their flesh to a hungry tigress - it is better for us to remain cautious and hold back.

 

Since there may be confusion about what circumstances call for such bodhisattva action, let us look at examples taken from the commentary literature. Please keep in mind that these are last resort actions when all other means fail to alleviate or prevent others' suffering.

 

As a budding bodhisattva, we are willing to take the life of someone about to commit a mass murder.

 

We have no hesitation in confiscating medicines intended for relief efforts in a war-torn country that someone has taken to sell on the black market, or taking away a charity's funds from an administrator who is squandering or mismanaging them.

 

We are willing, if male, to with another's wife - or with an unmarried woman whose parents forbid it, or with any other inappropriate partner - when the woman has the strong wish to develop bodhichitta but is overwhelmed with desire for sex with us and who, if she were to die not having had sex with us, would carry the grudge as an instinct into future lives.

As a result, she would be extremely hostile toward bodhisattvas and the bodhisattva path.

Bodhisattvas' willingness to engage in inappropriate when all else fails to help prevent someone from developing an extremely negative attitude toward the spiritual path of altruism raises an important point for married couples on the bodhisattva path to consider.

 

Sometimes a couple becomes involved in Dharma and one of them, for instance the woman, wishing to be celibate, stops ual relations with her husband when he is not of the same mind. He still has attachment to sex and takes her decision as a personal rejection. Sometimes the wife's fanaticism and lack of sensitivity drives her husband to blame his frustration and unhappiness on the Dharma. He leaves the marriage and turns his back on Buddhism with bitter resentment. If there is no other way to avoid his hostile reaction toward the spiritual path and the woman is keeping bodhisattva vows, she would do well to evaluate her compassion to determine if it is strong enough to allow her to have occasional sex with her husband without serious harm to her ability to help others. This is very relevant in terms of the tantric vows concerning chaste behavior.

 

As budding bodhisattvas, we are willing to lie when it saves others' lives or prevents others from being tortured and maimed.

 

We have no hesitation to speak divisively to separate our children from a wrong crowd of friends - or disciples from misleading teachers - who are exerting negative influences on them and encouraging harmful attitudes and behavior.

 

We do not refrain from using harsh language to rouse our children from negative ways, like not doing their homework, when they will not listen to reason.

 

And when others, interested in Buddhism, are totally addicted to chattering, drinking, partying, singing, dancing, or telling off-color jokes or stories of violence, we are willing to join in if refusal would make these persons feel that bodhisattvas, and Buddhists in general, never have fun and that the spiritual path is not for them.

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Tashi Delek,

 

Yes, sometimes it's hard to understand how to behave better...

I think some people could blackmail us by showing us some inadequate behavior or emotions. Their real intention is to attract our attention to them by all means. I think that sometimes the best way is not to "be catched" on this, but to keep our principles and vows instead.

By not lying we could reach Buddhahood quicker and therefore to help more beings :)

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Tashi Delek,

 

For example I would be willing to kill a massmurder or somebody who repeadetly kills and sexually abuses small children and is not willing to change.It would benefit him, not accumulating more negative karma and I would save others.

As I understand, to really know that one actually helps others by killing the murderer, one should have a special insight derived from realizing Emptiness, seeing the past-present-future of the victims. Some people's karmas are ripe to die in an accident or by being murdered; they inevitably will suffer from their negative causes from the past, as crazy as it may sound. The enlightened motive of Bodhicitta does not suffice (aspiring or Realized), one should actually *know* without doubt.

And if we take a look at the 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva, a Bodhisattva will not kill.

 

13

Even if you have done nothing wrong at all

And someone still tries to take your head off,

Spurred by compassion,

Take all his or her evil into you -- this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

 

8

The suffering in the lower realms is really hard to endure.

The Sage says it is the result of destructive actions.

For that reason, even if your life is at risk,

Don't engage in destructive actions -- this is the practice of a bodhisattva.

 

The eight stanza can be understood as: those not yet Liberated should be extremely mindful of every non-virtuous action they do, and should avoid it, even at the cost of their own life.

 

In my humble opinion, until both Wisdom and Compassion are Realized, one should not (at least for one's own sake) hurt a fly, let alone a human being, it does not matter how cruel or bestial he or she appears to be.

 

And the same goes for lying, I feel, it should be completely avoided. Honesty seems to be the basis for respect, humility and compassion.

 

Regards

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I agree here. If you look at people and they lye to you, how would you feel? And to continue, who do people like most - a person who is honest, one who won't hurt them.

 

From basic stand we can say that you should tell your mother where you're going. You are her daughter - she must accept as who you are. And even if she doesn't, you are who you are - DON'T LET ANYONE CHANGE THAT!

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Hi to everybody,

 

Situation is that my mother suffers because of paranoid schizophrenia. She is at peace when she doesn't know that i meet with buddhists because she thinks that buddhist are stealing her daughter away. Because of her paranoïa; she needs to know everything exactly; I have no possibility to use alternatives or saying half truth;

She is just creating more and more negative karma, and I feel so sorry for her, i do not want that she is keeping on doing like this, maybe i could prevent this by not saying the whole truth, saying, no mother I am just meating friends, not who are buddhists ( as she always asks if they are buddhist or not ).

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Dear Csillag,

 

Here are some thoughts:

In case if you REALLY feel that you are the person who can stop collecting the bad karma for your mother, I mean, that you feel the responsibility for her - may be you should stop for sometime your meetings with your Buddhist friends?

Let's suppose that Dharma is the practice of morality, meditation and wisdom. Telling lies - isn't Buddhist practice, meeting with friends(even if they are Buddhists) - also isn't Buddhist practice. But not telling lies - is exactly Dharma practice. Who hinders you meditate at home, read Dharma texts and books, communicate with Buddhists at this forum :) and practise morality by not telling lies and helping your mother, making her mind peaceful?

 

But if you think that meeting with Buddhists, listening Teachings, going to retreats are more useful because you can progress on your Path and therefore you will help more beings, if you think that your mother collects a lot of bad karma and it's not in your hands to prevent her from that(because it's only her karma and even Buddha can't prevent her from that) - may be better to become tough in your position and in spite of the reaction of your mother - practice morality by not telling lies?

 

I think it's very easy to lie, but telling truth is really hard sometimes. But who promised an easy path? :))

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Guest lodreu

Tashi Delek,

 

Usually we should try to hinder as less as possible our ability to get in contact with Dharma, because of the projections and difficulties of others, regarding what they would like us to be.

At the same time certain reasonnings become very difficult with people having any type of prononced mental sickness.

Making them feel secure in that case is almost impossible as they will get disturbed by anything which doesn't go along with their obsessions. And they usually have strong ones.

 

For what is possible to do, it is good to have the thinking on how to help their situation. When it is possible to reassure them it is good to do so. In some cases if I understand well the problem, it is not difficult for your mother to accept that you can go out, for some times, only she doesn't accept you going to see Buddhist people.

I guess it is possible to tell her a part of what you will do, the beginning, the end of your time out, for exemple and just forget the middle part.

You can tell her you go to one place she wouldn't mind, effectively go there and then join any teaching or practice. It might save her some stress.

 

For events which will require a longer stay out, or in another place it will not be so easy, maybe even impossible to bring any mental comfort to her. In that case explaining with details where you will go, how, with whom, where you will stay, etc... might help your mother. In that case she might feel less disturbed by a clear expressed idea coming from you, than by any fantasies she will create in her mind. Also sometimes calling her from a quiet place when arrived might help them, although she might sound the opposite on the phone, she will little by little have the ability to create a new routine for your movements and get less frightened as she will have more the feeling to have some control over them.

 

With my best wishes,

Lodreu.

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Tashi delek, :hello:

I would like to thank all of you for your kind advices, trying to help me. It really helped me. :% But there are still some questions open

 

You can tell her you go to one place she wouldn't mind, effectively go there and then join any teaching or practice. It might save her some stress.

 

Especially this is a wonderful advice, it is something new I never tried,( although I tried already so many things ) I have the feeling that it will work with her in this way.

concerning long distances, I already started to act like that before some time, and that functioned quite well, although I am sad that she has those resentiments concerning Buddhism. That is why I thought to ly.

 

I thought I can lie in such a situation , because there is also the bodhisattva vow, which is as well a vow and above the lay vow. I really felt helpless in finding other solutions as I already tried other things with her, therefore I thought I should apply bodhisattva vow, and lie.

 

But then Lodreu you told me personally that one is just then allowed to break the lay vow because of Bodhicitta, when one has this superknowledge to see how an action will result for the future and how it will affect all others beings involved in the action.

I understand this, it is clear. It makes sense to me, and this inspires me to meditate more, to work work more on myself, for to manifest this ability.

 

But then I think of the teachings a Rinpoche gave to some people, that we should not lie, but of course when we see a men running for his life and we then getting asked by his possible future murderer, " Tell me which way the guy was running!", of course we can lie in such a situation, because if we do not, the men will propably kill that men! :(= And by saving another ones life we are accumulating merit even if we had to lie.

 

This is an example for what I meant by "evident situations "

Should I accept the danger that someone will be killed by not lying just because I have lay vow of not killing and because I am not 100% clearsighted? Is then not the bodhisattva vow to be used?

 

Is not or motivation playing there the greater role?

 

Supposed someone would break ones lay vow out of Bodhiciita motivation, but not being clearsighted. Unfortuaently the decision was wrong, and not the hoped result came about.

Would this qualify then as breaking of ones lay vow or it would just lead to some negative karma, as the motivation was bodhicitta ? :crunch:

 

With all my best wishes

Csillag

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