Why telling lie is so bad?

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SarathW
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Why telling lie is so bad?

Post by SarathW » Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:44 pm

I think generally we all lie to some extent.
Politicians, sales people, business people name a few.
Some times we lie to the employer when we need to take a day off.
Then there is so called white lies.

But according to Buddha they all bad.
Why?


This king’s bull-elephant has thrown away his life, there is nothing to be done now for the king’s bull-elephant.’ Even so, Rāhula, of anyone for whom there is no shame at intentional lying, of him I say that there is no evil he cannot do. Wherefore, for you, Rāhula, ‘I will not speak a lie, even for fun’, this is how you must train yourself, Rāhula.>

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Sam Vara
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Re: Why telling lie is so bad?

Post by Sam Vara » Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:51 pm

I like this account by Bhikkhu Bodhi. If we give up on truth, truth will give up on us.
It is said that in the course of his long training for enlightenment over many lives, a bodhisatta can break all the moral precepts except the pledge to speak the truth. The reason for this is very profound, and reveals that the commitment to truth has a significance transcending the domain of ethics and even mental purification, taking us to the domains of knowledge and being. Truthful speech provides, in the sphere of interpersonal communication, a parallel to wisdom in the sphere of private understanding. The two are respectively the outward and inward modalities of the same commitment to what is real. Wisdom consists in the realization of truth, and truth (sacca) is not just a verbal proposition but the nature of things as they are. To realize truth our whole being has to be brought into accord with actuality, with things as they are, which requires that in communications with others we respect things as they are by speaking the truth. Truthful speech establishes a correspondence between our own inner being and the real nature of phenomena, allowing wisdom to rise up and fathom their real nature. Thus, much more than an ethical principle, devotion to truthful speech is a matter of taking our stand on reality rather than illusion, on the truth grasped by wisdom rather than the fantasies woven by desire.
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befriend
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Re: Why telling lie is so bad?

Post by befriend » Fri Dec 15, 2017 12:01 am

Dhamma practice is about putting all your effort to understand the truth of life always trying to see the truth of matters is what sets you free from misery. Lying is like creating a Mara it runs way outside the direction of the path.
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DooDoot
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Re: Why telling lie is so bad?

Post by DooDoot » Fri Dec 15, 2017 12:54 am

SarathW wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:44 pm
I think generally we all lie to some extent.
Maybe not, at least not all of us. However, what do you think about forcefully insisting to another person that a certain idea is 'Right View' when you personally have no evidence for the reality of that idea, apart from religious faith. Do you think this is lying? Do you think faith religions, such as Christianity, Islam & Sinhalese Buddhism, nurture honesty in their followers or possibly nurture the opposite?

SarathW
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Re: Why telling lie is so bad?

Post by SarathW » Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:00 am

I am mainly concern about things like white lies.
Lies there is no great harm.
Something like telling a small child that Santa will come through the Chimini.
Last edited by SarathW on Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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DooDoot
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Re: Why telling lie is so bad?

Post by DooDoot » Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:12 am

SarathW wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:00 am
I am mainly concern about things like white lies.
Lies there is no great harm.
Something like telling a small child that Santa will come through the Chimini.
So the tendency (anusaya) to lie & accept lies will not distort the capacity of a child, including into adulthood, to discern what is logical, coherent, true & real. For example, I saw a version of this speech yesterday, where Trump said the USA does not worship govt but worships god and then next spoke of continuing to build the US military. Are not all the people in this video conditioned in the habit of lying or distorting reality, including the religious meaning of 'god'?


SarathW
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Re: Why telling lie is so bad?

Post by SarathW » Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:53 am

So the tendency (anusaya) to lie & accept lies will not distort the capacity of a child, including into adulthood, to discern what is logical, coherent, true & real.
But we tell stories to a child.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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DooDoot
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Re: Why telling lie is so bad?

Post by DooDoot » Fri Dec 15, 2017 2:03 am

SarathW wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:53 am
But we tell stories to a child.
I don't tell stories to children. In the suttas, the Buddha didn't tell stories to Rahula.

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Nicolas
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Re: Why telling lie is so bad?

Post by Nicolas » Fri Dec 15, 2017 2:04 am

SarathW wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:53 am
But we tell stories to a child.
Stories are not advertised as truth, but as fiction. Santa (for instance) is advertised as truth, which is deceitful.

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Re: Why telling lie is so bad?

Post by SarathW » Fri Dec 15, 2017 2:23 am

Nicolas wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 2:04 am
SarathW wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:53 am
But we tell stories to a child.
Stories are not advertised as truth, but as fiction. Santa (for instance) is advertised as truth, which is deceitful.
Aren't fictions lies?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Nicolas
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Re: Why telling lie is so bad?

Post by Nicolas » Fri Dec 15, 2017 3:26 am

SarathW wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 2:23 am
Aren't fictions lies?
No, because fictions do not claim to be true. They are fabrications, but not lies per se.

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Re: Why telling lie is so bad?

Post by pegembara » Fri Dec 15, 2017 5:01 am

A what if scenario.

Some armed men come to your home asking if you have seen any refugees hiding nearby. You are indeed aware of their presence in the nearby jungle and you know what is going to happen if you answer truthfully.

Which is worse? Telling a lie or speaking the truth.

The 4th precept isn't a commandment but an undertaking to try our best.
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

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Nicolas
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Re: Why telling lie is so bad?

Post by Nicolas » Fri Dec 15, 2017 5:07 am

pegembara wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 5:01 am
Some armed men come to your home asking if you have seen any refugees hiding nearby. You are indeed aware of their presence in the nearby jungle and you know what is going to happen if you answer truthfully.

Which is worse? Telling a lie or speaking the truth.
Silence is an option here.

SarathW
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Re: Why telling lie is so bad?

Post by SarathW » Fri Dec 15, 2017 6:05 am

Bandits will not take silence for an answer.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Why telling lie is so bad?

Post by Dhammanando » Fri Dec 15, 2017 6:39 am

SarathW wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 2:23 am
Aren't fictions lies?
In the commentaries one piece of fiction, the Rāmayāna's story of the kidnapping of Sitā by Rāvaṇa, is used as the stock example of frivolous speech, not false speech.

Mahasi Sayadaw, when expounding frivolous speech in his talks on the Sallekha Sutta cites this commentarial definition and then — just to be sure that his audience understands what it means — he proceeds to tell the whole story of the kidnapping!
:lol:

At the end the sayadaw concludes:
Mahasi wrote:People are instructed to accept all these as facts and hear the story again and again. Everyone who recites or hears it sincerely is assured of liberation from all evil kamma and passage to higher abodes after death [...] The believer who recites and hears this story is also guaranteed a heavenly life after death. In fact, to those who are not orthodox Hindus and intelligent, it is obvious that these stories are myths and fabrications. If we regard these stories as real events, the belief will impede spiritual progress and cause much harm. To encourage the belief in such stories will, therefore, lead to lower worlds and lack of credibility in case of rebirth in the human world.

According to the commentaries, listening to frivolous stories is kammically harmful only if one believes them. Again Visuddhimagga and other commentaries say that the yogī can overcome interest in frivolous talk only at the Arahatta stage. Therefore, we assume that interest in ordinary frivolous talk like one of the thirty kinds of it that do not lead to the nether worlds still lingers at the lower stages of the holy Path.

The kammic results of abstinence from frivolous talk is, of course, the opposite of the evils that beset one who indulges in it. One who avoids frivolous talk goes to higher abodes after death and if reborn as a human being, he is highly esteemed and trusted by other people.

SarathW
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Re: Why telling lie is so bad?

Post by SarathW » Fri Dec 15, 2017 7:26 am

Dhammanando wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 6:39 am
SarathW wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 2:23 am
Aren't fictions lies?
In the commentaries one piece of fiction, the Rāmayāna's story of the kidnapping of Sitā by Rāvaṇa, is used as the stock example of frivolous speech, not false speech.

Mahasi Sayadaw, when expounding frivolous speech in his talks on the Sallekha Sutta cites this commentarial definition and then — just to be sure that his audience understands what it means — he proceeds to tell the whole story of the kidnapping!
:lol:

At the end the sayadaw concludes:
Mahasi wrote:People are instructed to accept all these as facts and hear the story again and again. Everyone who recites or hears it sincerely is assured of liberation from all evil kamma and passage to higher abodes after death [...] The believer who recites and hears this story is also guaranteed a heavenly life after death. In fact, to those who are not orthodox Hindus and intelligent, it is obvious that these stories are myths and fabrications. If we regard these stories as real events, the belief will impede spiritual progress and cause much harm. To encourage the belief in such stories will, therefore, lead to lower worlds and lack of credibility in case of rebirth in the human world.

According to the commentaries, listening to frivolous stories is kammically harmful only if one believes them. Again Visuddhimagga and other commentaries say that the yogī can overcome interest in frivolous talk only at the Arahatta stage. Therefore, we assume that interest in ordinary frivolous talk like one of the thirty kinds of it that do not lead to the nether worlds still lingers at the lower stages of the holy Path.

The kammic results of abstinence from frivolous talk is, of course, the opposite of the evils that beset one who indulges in it. One who avoids frivolous talk goes to higher abodes after death and if reborn as a human being, he is highly esteemed and trusted by other people.
Thank you, Bhante then what about the Jataka stories?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Why telling lie is so bad?

Post by binocular » Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:54 am

From personal experience, I say that a lie of any magnitude gets me into some sort of trouble; and that this trouble is, as a rule, greater than the one I was initially trying to avoid by lying.

Maybe I'm just a bad liar, but I never got away with a lie, no matter how small.

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Re: Why telling lie is so bad?

Post by DCM » Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:15 pm

When my 4 and 8 year old child asks me again if Santa is real, should I tell them the truth. This is a serious question, as my wife and family would look upon me as cruel as it would definitely destroy their excitement. It would have been different if I were Buddhist and practising the 8 fold path before their birth for sure.

I am trying my best to practice Right Speech recently, but seeing the amount of lies I tell is disheartening. I did not think I told so may, as they seemed harmless to me before. Even in my job I can see I lie at times, and I'm looking to change livelihood as a result. Most western companies encourage lying due to greed and corruption these days it is hard to find somewhere you aren't encouraged to lie.

I should qualify this as I am honest for example when I was given too much change at a foreign exchange desk I returned and gave the worker the money back, but by practising Right Speech it has made me see the smaller lies I tell, which I would like to eradicat.

Even close family members will lie to get better deals with contracts or try and get off paying debts or bills, I am becoming very dissalussioned with Samsara. I have a long, long way to go to perfect Right Speech and at the moment it is difficult to see how I can change things around.
Last edited by DCM on Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Nicolas
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Re: Why telling lie is so bad?

Post by Nicolas » Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:21 pm

Nicolas wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 5:07 am
pegembara wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 5:01 am
Some armed men come to your home asking if you have seen any refugees hiding nearby. You are indeed aware of their presence in the nearby jungle and you know what is going to happen if you answer truthfully.

Which is worse? Telling a lie or speaking the truth.
Silence is an option here.
SarathW wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 6:05 am
Bandits will not take silence for an answer.

It doesn't matter what the bandits take or don't take for an answer. Silence is still an option.
See the below:
Cunda Sutta wrote: Thus he doesn’t consciously tell a lie for his own sake, for the sake of another, or for the sake of any reward.
Uposatha Sutta (Ud 5.5) wrote: Just as the ocean is stable and does not overstep its tideline; in the same way my disciples do not—even for the sake of their lives—overstep the training rules I have formulated for them.
Abhayarājakumāra Sutta (MN 58) wrote: [1] In the case of words that the Tathāgata knows to be unfactual, untrue, unbeneficial [or: not connected with the goal], unendearing & disagreeable to others, he does not say them.
[2] In the case of words that the Tathāgata knows to be factual, true, unbeneficial, unendearing & disagreeable to others, he does not say them.
[3] In the case of words that the Tathāgata knows to be factual, true, beneficial, but unendearing & disagreeable to others, he has a sense of the proper time for saying them.
[4] In the case of words that the Tathāgata knows to be unfactual, untrue, unbeneficial, but endearing & agreeable to others, he does not say them.
[5] In the case of words that the Tathāgata knows to be factual, true, unbeneficial, but endearing & agreeable to others, he does not say them.
[6] In the case of words that the Tathāgata knows to be factual, true, beneficial, and endearing & agreeable to others, he has a sense of the proper time for saying them. Why is that? Because the Tathāgata has sympathy for living beings.

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seeker242
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Re: Why telling lie is so bad?

Post by seeker242 » Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:44 pm

Nicolas wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:21 pm

It doesn't matter what the bandits take or don't take for an answer. Silence is still an option.
And if the bandits will kill you if you don't answer them, what then?

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