Buddha acknowledges that lay people can not keep the precepts to the same level as a monk!

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SarathW
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Buddha acknowledges that lay people can not keep the precepts to the same level as a monk!

Post by SarathW » Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:36 am

Buddha acknowledges that lay people can not keep the precepts to the same level as a monk!
The first time I read the following Sutta thanks to Bhante Sujato's translation.

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“Of the five things that the brahmins prescribe for making merit and succeeding in the skillful, where do you usually find them: among laypeople or renunciates?” “Mostly among renunciates, and less so among lay people. For a lay person has many requirements, duties, issues, and undertakings, and they can’t always tell the truth, practice austerities, be celibate, do lots of recitation, or be very generous. But a renunciate has few requirements, duties, issues, and undertakings, and they can always tell the truth, practice austerities, be celibate, do lots of recitation, and be very generous. Of the five things that the brahmins prescribe for making merit and succeeding in the skillful, I usually find them among renunciates, and less so among laypeople.”

https://suttacentral.net/mn99/en/sujato
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

SarathW
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Re: Buddha acknowledges that lay people can not keep the precepts to the same level as a monk!

Post by SarathW » Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:48 am

Another important point in this sutta is that you cane experience rapture through five sensual pleasures.
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What do you think, student? Which would have better flames, color, and radiance: a fire that depends on grass and logs as fuel, or one that does not?” “If it were possible for a fire to burn without depending on grass and logs as fuel, that would have better flames, color, and radiance.” “But it isn’t possible, except by psychic power. Rapture that depends on the five kinds of sensual stimulation is like a fire that depends on grass and logs as fuel. Rapture that’s apart from sensual pleasures and unskillful qualities is like a fire that doesn’t depend on grass and logs as fuel.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

SarathW
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Re: Buddha acknowledges that lay people can not keep the precepts to the same level as a monk!

Post by SarathW » Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:52 am

These days, brahmins continue to sing and chant it. They continue chanting what was chanted and teaching what was taught. Did even they say: ‘We declare the result of these five things after realizing it with our own insight’?” “No, Master Gotama.”
I think above is applicable to a lot of Buddhist monks as well.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

thang
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Re: Buddha acknowledges that lay people can not keep the precepts to the same level as a monk!

Post by thang » Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:48 pm

SarathW wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:36 am
Buddha acknowledges that lay people can not keep the precepts to the same level as a monk!
===========
“For a lay person has many requirements, duties, issues, and undertakings, and they can’t always tell the truth, practice austerities, be celibate, do lots of recitation, or be very generous.”
https://suttacentral.net/mn99/en/sujato
Subha says above and the Blessed one has not reconfirmed it but seems like acknowledged it.
I guess it is about vast majority of lay people or in a general sense (excluding lay Ariyas).
What do you think regarding 'very strict non-Ariya lay followers' ?
(Not sure whether this is a definite truth that can be applied to them also.)
SarathW wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:48 am
Another important point in this sutta is that you can experience rapture through five sensual pleasures.
========
“Rapture that depends on the five kinds of sensual stimulation is like a fire that depends on grass and logs as fuel. Rapture that’s apart from sensual pleasures and unskillful qualities is like a fire that doesn’t depend on grass and logs as fuel.
Is this rapture a kusala or akusala ? Is it allowed?
Using this paragraph, can we conclude that a lay person is allowed (by Dhamma) to experience rapture through five sensual pleasures?
We know many practitioners are dying to hear such a news.
SarathW wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:52 am
These days, brahmins continue to sing and chant it. They continue chanting what was chanted and teaching what was taught. Did even they say: ‘We declare the result of these five things after realizing it with our own insight’?” “No, Master Gotama.”
I think above is applicable to a lot of Buddhist monks as well.
Although many Buddhist monks can't say ‘We declare the results of these after realizing it with our own insight’,
They may say ‘We declare the results of these after having learnt it from the teacher-lineage which goes up to the Buddha who realized it with his own insight’.
Or ‘We declare the results of these after having learnt it from Suttas which have been preached by the Buddha who realized it with his own insight’.
"Bhikkhus, whatever the Tathāgata speaks, _ all that is just so and NOT otherwise."

SarathW
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Re: Buddha acknowledges that lay people can not keep the precepts to the same level as a monk!

Post by SarathW » Wed Mar 06, 2019 10:53 am

:goodpost: Thang
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

thepea
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Re: Buddha acknowledges that lay people can not keep the precepts to the same level as a monk!

Post by thepea » Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:40 am

The title of this thread is incorrect, monks should be changed to renuncient. When mahasi and Goenka students are on course they live the life as a monk or nun, but are renuncients living and practicing as Buddha suggested for a period of time. They can keep the precepts to the highest standard in this environment equal to a monk or nun. Although after completion of course they choose to and return to lay responsibilities. What is important to note is that it is only possible to make progress on the path while observing precepts at the highest physical and mental level.

budo
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Re: Buddha acknowledges that lay people can not keep the precepts to the same level as a monk!

Post by budo » Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:47 am

This is a good thread. Yes,the more you are exposed to difficult people the more likely you can break the precepts and the patimokkha, hence the power of seclusion and dwelling alone.

Therefore, if a lay person leads a simple life, has a simple secluded job (like say a gardener working alone), then he can maintain the rules pretty easily. If a lay peson is a manager or a ceo of a business and he has to deal with many people then yes it is easier for them to lose their cool.

It's good to make a list of training rules for lay people, as one third of the suttas in the 5 nikayas are about lay people.

Laurens
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Re: Buddha acknowledges that lay people can not keep the precepts to the same level as a monk!

Post by Laurens » Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:48 pm

I think this is important to bear in mind.

Precept doesn't mean absolute rule, it's a general rule that applies in most contexts. It is conceivable for instance that the precept against lying might come into conflict with the precept not to harm another being. The classic example is the person hiding Jews being approached by the Gestapo.

There are situations in lay life when the precepts are broken, either due to conflicts like the above, or moments of heedlessness. It's good to acknowledge this, without making an excuse out of it.

Try to keep the precepts, but forgive yourself and reaffirm your commitment to them if you break them.
"If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

budo
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Re: Buddha acknowledges that lay people can not keep the precepts to the same level as a monk!

Post by budo » Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:54 pm

Laurens wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:48 pm
I think this is important to bear in mind.

Precept doesn't mean absolute rule, it's a general rule that applies in most contexts. It is conceivable for instance that the precept against lying might come into conflict with the precept not to harm another being. The classic example is the person hiding Jews being approached by the Gestapo.

There are situations in lay life when the precepts are broken, either due to conflicts like the above, or moments of heedlessness. It's good to acknowledge this, without making an excuse out of it.

Try to keep the precepts, but forgive yourself and reaffirm your commitment to them if you break them.
The Buddha said even a stream-winner and non-returner commit offenses, but still have perfect virtue:
"There is the case where a monk is wholly accomplished in virtue, moderately accomplished in concentration, and moderately accomplished in discernment. With reference to the lesser and minor training rules, he falls into offenses and rehabilitates himself. Why is that? Because I have not declared that to be a disqualification in these circumstances. But as for the training rules that are basic to the holy life and proper to the holy life, he is one of permanent virtue, one of steadfast virtue. Having undertaken them, he trains in reference to the training rules.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

The key note is rehabilitation, because the purpose of the virtue training is to attain jhanas, if one does not have good virtue their mind cannot settle into jhanas.

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seeker242
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Re: Buddha acknowledges that lay people can not keep the precepts to the same level as a monk!

Post by seeker242 » Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:58 pm

Buddha is not acknowledging that lay people can not keep the precepts to the same level as a monk. "usually find them among renunciates, and less so among laypeople.” simply means it's usually harder for laypeople to keep.

It does not mean that if you are a layperson then you cannot keep them to same level as monk.

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