Is it okay to read buddhist text while i am using the toilet, having a smoke?

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
Strive4Karuna
Posts: 175
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2012 9:38 am

Is it okay to read buddhist text while i am using the toilet, having a smoke?

Post by Strive4Karuna » Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:35 am

Ive been reminded by a few Mahayana layfolk to treat the dhamma with respect and as such only leave Buddhist text in clean places. Such as, no putting any Buddhist book behind the toilet etc. I do not know whether they are just expressing their opinion or it is a real rule in Mahayana Buddhism. Does such a thing exist in Theravada Buddhism? Leaving a text in a clean place is something i do agree with, to show respect to the Buddhas teaching.

I want to know whether it is okay if i read the dhamma on my smartphone while using the toilet or having a ciggarette while reading the dhamma? Any rules against that? I know ciggarette is a bad habit that breaches the 5th precept.
Last edited by Strive4Karuna on Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:05 am, edited 2 times in total.

SarathW
Posts: 9414
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Is it okay to read buddhist text while i am using the toilet, having a smoke?

Post by SarathW » Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:20 am

"Furthermore, when going forward & returning, he makes himself fully alert; when looking toward & looking away... when bending & extending his limbs... when carrying his outer cloak, his upper robe & his bowl... when eating, drinking, chewing, & savoring... when urinating & defecating... when walking, standing, sitting, falling asleep, waking up, talking, & remaining silent, he makes himself fully alert.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 19930
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: Is it okay to read buddhist text while i am using the toilet, having a smoke?

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:50 am

Greetings,
Strive4Karuna wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:35 am
I want to know whether it is okay if i read the dhamma on my smartphone while using the toilet or having a ciggarette while reading the dhamma? Any rules against that?
The suttas were transmitted orally as opposed to being written down. As such, I'm not aware of any pre-emptive provisions for how the written Buddhavacana should be treated. If there are provisions within Theravada about such matters, they would not come from the Buddha himself.
Strive4Karuna wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:35 am
I know ciggarette is a bad habit that breaches the 5th precept.
Not to veer too far off topic, but assuming it's a tobacco cigarette, then it's not a violation of the precept.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

Strive4Karuna
Posts: 175
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2012 9:38 am

Re: Is it okay to read buddhist text while i am using the toilet, having a smoke?

Post by Strive4Karuna » Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:56 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:50 am
Greetings,
Strive4Karuna wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:35 am
I want to know whether it is okay if i read the dhamma on my smartphone while using the toilet or having a ciggarette while reading the dhamma? Any rules against that?
The suttas were transmitted orally as opposed to being written down. As such, I'm not aware of any pre-emptive provisions for how the written Buddhavacana should be treated. If there are provisions within Theravada about such matters, they would not come from the Buddha himself.
Strive4Karuna wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:35 am
I know ciggarette is a bad habit that breaches the 5th precept.
Not to veer too far off topic, but assuming it's a tobacco cigarette, then it's not a violation of the precept.

Metta,
Paul. :)
Paul, i had no idea tobacco is not a breach of the precept. Best Regards. Thank you for sharing!
Last edited by Strive4Karuna on Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

Strive4Karuna
Posts: 175
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2012 9:38 am

Re: Is it okay to read buddhist text while i am using the toilet, having a smoke?

Post by Strive4Karuna » Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:00 am

I would like to add, as to how i heard about the "no text in dirty places rule", it was from some Mahayana layfolk. Not sure if it an actual rule in Mahayana Buddhism or just their personal opinion on how the text should be treated.

Strive4Karuna
Posts: 175
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2012 9:38 am

Re: Is it okay to read buddhist text while i am using the toilet, having a smoke?

Post by Strive4Karuna » Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:01 am

SarathW wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:20 am
"Furthermore, when going forward & returning, he makes himself fully alert; when looking toward & looking away... when bending & extending his limbs... when carrying his outer cloak, his upper robe & his bowl... when eating, drinking, chewing, & savoring... when urinating & defecating... when walking, standing, sitting, falling asleep, waking up, talking, & remaining silent, he makes himself fully alert.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
Sarath, thank you!

User avatar
rightviewftw
Posts: 1415
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:50 pm

Re: Is it okay to read buddhist text while i am using the toilet, having a smoke?

Post by rightviewftw » Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:15 am

It is ok but you should realize that you are probably in a restless state with a lot of craving for sensuality if u do those things.

User avatar
pilgrim
Posts: 1507
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 2:56 pm

Re: Is it okay to read buddhist text while i am using the toilet, having a smoke?

Post by pilgrim » Wed Feb 14, 2018 5:20 am

Strive4Karuna wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:00 am
I would like to add, as to how i heard about the "no text in dirty places rule", it was from some Mahayana layfolk. Not sure if it an actual rule in Mahayana Buddhism or just their personal opinion on how the text should be treated.
There is an apocryphal Mahayana sutra believed to be written in China called the Sutra of Cause and Effect which warns against disrespecting sutras such as putting them on the floor.

User avatar
Sam Vara
Posts: 3855
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm
Location: Sussex, U.K.

Re: Is it okay to read buddhist text while i am using the toilet, having a smoke?

Post by Sam Vara » Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:42 am

Friends of mine said that Tibetan Buddhists they once practiced with (at Bodh Gaya) were meticulous about not putting the sheet of paper with the text for chanting on the floor, and were mildly shocked when our friends did it. Our local monastery doesn't worry about treating texts etc. with particular respect in this way, but they are of course mindful about putting things neatly in their place, as an aid to developing mindfulness.

The man in the couple referred to earlier was for many years a monk in Ajahn Chah's tradition, and his partner teases him about his reluctance to save time in the mornings by shaving or brushing his teeth while going to the toilet. He was trained for many years to fully focus on one thing at a time. When he uses the toilet, he uses the toilet, and when he reads, he reads.

Dinsdale
Posts: 5695
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am
Location: Andromeda looks nice

Re: Is it okay to read buddhist text while i am using the toilet, having a smoke?

Post by Dinsdale » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:31 am

Strive4Karuna wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:35 am
Ive been reminded by a few Mahayana layfolk to treat the dhamma with respect and as such only leave Buddhist text in clean places.
I don't leave Buddhist texts in the bathroom, but have been know to take them there. ;)
Buddha save me from new-agers!

User avatar
Sam Vara
Posts: 3855
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm
Location: Sussex, U.K.

Re: Is it okay to read buddhist text while i am using the toilet, having a smoke?

Post by Sam Vara » Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:34 am

Dinsdale wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:31 am
Strive4Karuna wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:35 am
Ive been reminded by a few Mahayana layfolk to treat the dhamma with respect and as such only leave Buddhist text in clean places.
I don't leave Buddhist texts in the bathroom, but have been know to take them there. ;)
Surely you are not, erm, disposing of them there, Dinsdale? Please tell us you are carrying them out again with you... :o

Dinsdale
Posts: 5695
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:32 am
Location: Andromeda looks nice

Re: Is it okay to read buddhist text while i am using the toilet, having a smoke?

Post by Dinsdale » Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:58 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:34 am
Dinsdale wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:31 am
Strive4Karuna wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:35 am
Ive been reminded by a few Mahayana layfolk to treat the dhamma with respect and as such only leave Buddhist text in clean places.
I don't leave Buddhist texts in the bathroom, but have been know to take them there. ;)
Surely you are not, erm, disposing of them there, Dinsdale? Please tell us you are carrying them out again with you... :o
Don't worry, I'm not that poor. :tongue:
Buddha save me from new-agers!

User avatar
No_Mind
Posts: 1903
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 4:12 pm
Location: India

Re: Is it okay to read buddhist text while i am using the toilet, having a smoke?

Post by No_Mind » Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:58 am

I do not know if there is any rule as such .. but reading in toilet is not very respectful.

Also .. speaking from my personal point of view ..

It would not be at level of my feet .. such as I am sitting cross legged on bed and scriptures are open besides me (same goes for sitting on floor) .. exception being if I am reading it before going to sleep while lying down and I am flat on the bed with the book besides me at night (though this should not happen ideally)

Also no sex unless it is shut away in a cupboard or placed on a shelf ..

Preferably no sex with a sutta or scripture in the room (or Buddha statue or pic in the room)

No looking at porn with -- same as above .. also make sure no suttas are open while watching porn on laptop .. or there is no desktop wall paper of Buddha

If it falls to the ground then to touch it to the head and heart .. to indicate it is valuable to the head and heart

and no printing out random Dhamma pdfs .. because they may be not cared for and gather dust ..

But that is just me ..

:namaste:
I know one thing: that I know nothing

User avatar
Zom
Posts: 2065
Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 6:38 pm
Location: Russia, Saint-Petersburg
Contact:

Re: Is it okay to read buddhist text while i am using the toilet, having a smoke?

Post by Zom » Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:29 pm

Ive been reminded by a few Mahayana layfolk to treat the dhamma with respect and as such only leave Buddhist text in clean places. Such as, no putting any Buddhist book behind the toilet etc. I do not know whether they are just expressing their opinion or it is a real rule in Mahayana Buddhism. Does such a thing exist in Theravada Buddhism?
Yes. Buddha said monks should not give Dhamma talks to lay people who sit on a high seat, wear a headdress, hold an umbrella, etc. (all this was considered as disrespect). Here: https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .wlsh.html

Caodemarte
Posts: 831
Joined: Fri May 01, 2015 3:21 pm

Re: Is it okay to read buddhist text while i am using the toilet, having a smoke?

Post by Caodemarte » Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:25 pm

Different sects have different rules and customs. In terms of general culture, books were traditionally treated with respect as conveyors of learning (and were also expensive). If you have used a tradional Asian squat toilet you will understand why bringing a book in is a good way to lose it :thinking:

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests