Humour - wrong speach?

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
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Nwad
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Humour - wrong speach?

Post by Nwad » Tue Sep 03, 2019 6:24 am

Hello friends :anjali:

What are your thoughts about Humour?

Do you think it's a harsh speach because if it's not involve oneself its often involves some others being's behaviour that make us laugh.
Or can we say that humour is a distraction/iddle chatter ?
Or all depends on one's motivation while joking? It is may be good to considering if a joke is based on grasping or freedom?

Nonetheless some of great masters have really good sens of humour like Luang Por Chah etc. 🙃

What do you think about humour from Sila perspective?

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Sam Vara
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Re: Humour - wrong speach?

Post by Sam Vara » Tue Sep 03, 2019 6:45 am

I think it depends on the motivation behind the humour. There is no kammically significant category of utterance called "humour". If we intend to wound or humiliate then that's clearly unwholesome. If we intend to demonstrate our wit or acceptability, then that's probably not good either, but not as serious.

But as you acknowledge, it can be put to good use. Defusing conflict, putting people at their ease, and encouraging people to be reflective, for example.

I think it should be treated with caution, though - it's dangerous. It is subtly addictive and one can rarely predict the consequences of humourous speech.

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Humour - wrong speech?

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue Sep 03, 2019 6:52 am

It is very often wrong speech. It can obviously be lying, harsh speech, or slander. At the very least, it is likely to be idle chatter, but it does depend on the intention.

See the Talaputa Sutta.

The Buddha used humour to make a point about Dhamma. For example, using the wrong meditation method is like pulling a cow by the horn to get milk, or praying to get into heaven is like praying to get the far side of the Ganges to come over to this side.

Satire can be a powerful tool to ridicule wicked practices: How to Beat Your Wife
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Aloka
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Re: Humour - wrong speach?

Post by Aloka » Tue Sep 03, 2019 7:05 am

What a sad world it would be if nobody ever laughed or smiled! Humour can help people to relax and lighten up.
I've seen Buddhist teachers from two different traditions using humour in their talks and it really helped to get the message across of whatever they were teaching, as well as relax the people who were listening.

Here's an article from Tricycle magazine:

(En)lighten Up! Uncovering the Buddha’s Wit

Pali translator and Thai forest monk Thanissaro Bhikkhu discusses Shakyamuni’s dry humor.

By Matthew Gindin

https://tricycle.org/trikedaily/buddhas-wit/
and here's a Thanissaro Bhikkhu quote from the article:
I’ve found that if a student can’t laugh at him or herself, that student’s practice is going to crash.
:anjali:

sunnat
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Re: Humour - wrong speach?

Post by sunnat » Wed Sep 04, 2019 12:07 am

Ruṇṇa Sutta
Lamentation
Thus have I heard:
Once the Exalted One was dwelling near Sāvatthī.
There the Exalted One addressed the monks, saying:
"Monks."
"Yes, lord," they replied, and the Exalted One said:
"This, monks, is reckoned to be lamentation in the discipline of the Ariyan, namely, singing.
This is reckoned as causing madness in the discipline of the Ariyan, namely, dancing.
This is reckoned as childishness in the discipline of the Ariyan, namely, immoderate laughter that displays the teeth.
Wherefore, monks, away with the bridge that leads to singing and dancing!
Enough for you, if you are pleased righteously to smile just to show your pleasure."

Restrain the senses, be aware of reaction. Reactions are kamma. At the same time an open mind, which is a happy mind, is good.

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Aloka
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Re: Humour - wrong speach?

Post by Aloka » Wed Sep 04, 2019 10:55 am

sunnat wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 12:07 am
Ruṇṇa Sutta
Lamentation
Thus have I heard:
Once the Exalted One was dwelling near Sāvatthī.
There the Exalted One addressed the monks, saying:
"Monks."
"Yes, lord," they replied, and the Exalted One said:
"This, monks, is reckoned to be lamentation in the discipline of the Ariyan, namely, singing.
This is reckoned as causing madness in t, namely, dancing.
This is reckoned as childishness in the discipline of the Ariyan, namely, immoderate laughter that displays the teeth.
Wherefore, monks, away with the bridge that leads to singing and dancing!
Enough for you, if you are pleased righteously to smile just to show your pleasure."

Restrain the senses, be aware of reaction. Reactions are kamma. At the same time an open mind, which is a happy mind, is good.

It's worth noting that the Buddha was advising monks in your quote, and not lay people.


:anjali:

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seeker242
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Re: Humour - wrong speach?

Post by seeker242 » Wed Sep 04, 2019 11:21 am

Nwad wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 6:24 am
Do you think it's a harsh speach because if it's not involve oneself its often involves some others being's behaviour that make us laugh.
Depends on the particular situation.
Or can we say that humour is a distraction/iddle chatter ?
Depends on the particular situation.
Or all depends on one's motivation while joking? It is may be good to considering if a joke is based on grasping or freedom?
Depends on the particular situation.
What do you think about humour from Sila perspective?
Depends on the particular situation. :D

sunnat
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Re: Humour - wrong speach?

Post by sunnat » Wed Sep 04, 2019 11:34 am

The Buddha addresses monks in very many suttas. In this one as in other suttas he tells the monks about the disciplines of the Ariyans. For serious lay people it's worthwhile to keep in mind this, and other, advice. Rather consider why this advice is given.

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salayatananirodha
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Re: Humour - wrong speech?

Post by salayatananirodha » Wed Sep 04, 2019 1:40 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 6:52 am
It is very often wrong speech. It can obviously be lying, harsh speech, or slander. At the very least, it is likely to be idle chatter, but it does depend on the intention.

See the Talaputa Sutta.

The Buddha used humour to make a point about Dhamma. For example, using the wrong meditation method is like pulling a cow by the horn to get milk, or praying to get into heaven is like praying to get the far side of the Ganges to come over to this side.
bhante, i question whether these were supposed to be humorous
16. 'In what has the world originated?' — so said the Yakkha Hemavata, — 'with what is the world intimate? by what is the world afflicted, after having grasped at what?' (167)

17. 'In six the world has originated, O Hemavata,' — so said Bhagavat, — 'with six it is intimate, by six the world is afflicted, after having grasped at six.' (168)

- Hemavatasutta


links:
https://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/index.htm
http://thaiforestwisdom.org/canonical-texts/
http://seeingthroughthenet.net/wp-conte ... _Heart.pdf
https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html

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salayatananirodha
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Re: Humour - wrong speech?

Post by salayatananirodha » Wed Sep 04, 2019 1:46 pm

Satire can be a powerful tool to ridicule wicked practices: How to Beat Your Wife
even so, this seems like dishonesty; several people in the comments say they didn't immediately know it's satire
16. 'In what has the world originated?' — so said the Yakkha Hemavata, — 'with what is the world intimate? by what is the world afflicted, after having grasped at what?' (167)

17. 'In six the world has originated, O Hemavata,' — so said Bhagavat, — 'with six it is intimate, by six the world is afflicted, after having grasped at six.' (168)

- Hemavatasutta


links:
https://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/index.htm
http://thaiforestwisdom.org/canonical-texts/
http://seeingthroughthenet.net/wp-conte ... _Heart.pdf
https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html

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Sam Vara
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Re: Humour - wrong speech?

Post by Sam Vara » Wed Sep 04, 2019 4:27 pm

salayatananirodha wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 1:46 pm
Satire can be a powerful tool to ridicule wicked practices: How to Beat Your Wife
even so, this seems like dishonesty; several people in the comments say they didn't immediately know it's satire
It wouldn't be dishonesty unless the person making the video had the intention to misrepresent or deceive. The intention was satirical rather than dishonest, and the responses of the audience are not relevant in that respect.

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Humour - wrong speech?

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Sep 04, 2019 4:36 pm

salayatananirodha wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 1:46 pm
Satire can be a powerful tool to ridicule wicked practices: How to Beat Your Wife
even so, this seems like dishonesty; several people in the comments say they didn't immediately know it's satire
Sarchasm = the enormous gap between those who get it and those who do not.
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salayatananirodha
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Re: Humour - wrong speech?

Post by salayatananirodha » Thu Sep 05, 2019 6:11 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 4:27 pm
salayatananirodha wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 1:46 pm
Satire can be a powerful tool to ridicule wicked practices: How to Beat Your Wife
even so, this seems like dishonesty; several people in the comments say they didn't immediately know it's satire
It wouldn't be dishonesty unless the person making the video had the intention to misrepresent or deceive. The intention was satirical rather than dishonest, and the responses of the audience are not relevant in that respect.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.061.than.html wrote:"Rahula, it's like a royal elephant: immense, pedigreed, accustomed to battles, its tusks like chariot poles. Having gone into battle, it uses its forefeet & hindfeet, its forequarters & hindquarters, its head & ears & tusks & tail, but keeps protecting its trunk. The elephant trainer notices that and thinks, 'This royal elephant has not given up its life to the king.' But when the royal elephant... having gone into battle, uses its forefeet & hindfeet, its forequarters & hindquarters, its head & ears & tusks & tail & his trunk, the trainer notices that and thinks, 'This royal elephant has given up its life to the king. There is nothing it will not do.'

"In the same way, Rahula, when anyone feels no shame in telling a deliberate lie, there is no evil, I tell you, he will not do. Thus, Rahula, you should train yourself, 'I will not tell a deliberate lie even in jest.'
you may be right, it's still not clear enough that this is satire, it's not a theater but the intention is what matters
does not make it an effective form of speech! good speech should not incite confusion but clarity
16. 'In what has the world originated?' — so said the Yakkha Hemavata, — 'with what is the world intimate? by what is the world afflicted, after having grasped at what?' (167)

17. 'In six the world has originated, O Hemavata,' — so said Bhagavat, — 'with six it is intimate, by six the world is afflicted, after having grasped at six.' (168)

- Hemavatasutta


links:
https://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/index.htm
http://thaiforestwisdom.org/canonical-texts/
http://seeingthroughthenet.net/wp-conte ... _Heart.pdf
https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html

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salayatananirodha
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Re: Humour - wrong speech?

Post by salayatananirodha » Thu Sep 05, 2019 6:16 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 4:36 pm
salayatananirodha wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 1:46 pm
Satire can be a powerful tool to ridicule wicked practices: How to Beat Your Wife
even so, this seems like dishonesty; several people in the comments say they didn't immediately know it's satire
Sarchasm = the enormous gap between those who get it and those who do not.
bhante, there doesn't have to be anything to get. how about people who are simply stupid? or people who might be unmindful due to some trauma, or some autistic people who dont understand common social cues. what if one simply said what ever it is they meant to say rather than the opposite? if it's for a laugh, it's for a compounded experience, subject to decay. addiction to laughter and jokes is no different than addiction to any kind of drug, except that it relies on wrong speech.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.058.than.html wrote:Now at that time a baby boy was lying face-up on the prince's lap. So the Blessed One said to the prince, "What do you think, prince: If this young boy, through your own negligence or that of the nurse, were to take a stick or a piece of gravel into its mouth, what would you do?"

"I would take it out, lord. If I couldn't get it out right away, then holding its head in my left hand and crooking a finger of my right, I would take it out, even if it meant drawing blood. Why is that? Because I have sympathy for the young boy."

"In the same way, prince:

[1] In the case of words that the Tathagata 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 Tathagata knows to be factual, true, unbeneficial, unendearing & disagreeable to others, he does not say them.

[3] In the case of words that the Tathagata 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 Tathagata knows to be unfactual, untrue, unbeneficial, but endearing & agreeable to others, he does not say them.

[5] In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, unbeneficial, but endearing & agreeable to others, he does not say them.

[6] In the case of words that the Tathagata 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 Tathagata has sympathy for living beings."
16. 'In what has the world originated?' — so said the Yakkha Hemavata, — 'with what is the world intimate? by what is the world afflicted, after having grasped at what?' (167)

17. 'In six the world has originated, O Hemavata,' — so said Bhagavat, — 'with six it is intimate, by six the world is afflicted, after having grasped at six.' (168)

- Hemavatasutta


links:
https://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/index.htm
http://thaiforestwisdom.org/canonical-texts/
http://seeingthroughthenet.net/wp-conte ... _Heart.pdf
https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Humour - wrong speach?

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Sep 05, 2019 7:57 pm

The Buddha said:

“Having slain mother and father and two warrior kings,
and having destroyed a country together with its chancellor,
a Saint goes ungrieving .” (Dhammapada verse 294)

“Having slain mother and father and two brahmin kings,
and having destroyed the perilous path,
a Saint goes ungrieving.” (Dhammapada verse 295)

Was he lying, or was there a different intention behind his (apparently) false speech?
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