Re: [Pali] Digest Number 1301: Non-disputing the 5th precept.]
- Dear Yahoo group,
Regarding the meaning of suuramerayamajjapamaada.thaana: I agree with
Ole Pind's explanation. It is to be note however, that majja is related
to pamaada. Both are derived from the root mad: makes drunk,
intoxicates, makes careless, etc. So the primary meaning of majja is not
simply `alcohol', but ``intoxicant'' (for the lack of a better word in
English). So I would rather translate: One abstains from the cause of
carelessness, ie, intoxicants such as suraa and meraya. Majja would also
include other intoxicant such as Marihuana, etc.
In the Paatimokkha and Suttavibhan.ga of the Vinaya one finds a related
rule which clearly indicates that the offence is in the drinking, not
the drinking until one becomes drunk. It is not possible to give a
literal translation of sura and merajja as the difference lies with the
ingredients rather than the strength.
Below is a copy of an analysis I made earlier. Read it in CSX+ font.
Suràmerayapàne pàcittiyaü: In drinking alcoholic drink made of grain
[-products] or fruit [and/or flower products], [there is a case]
suràmerayapàne: in drinking alcoholic drink made of grains or (alcoholic
drink made of) fruits, Nyanamoli: wines and spirits, Horner: fermented
liquor and spirits; loc. sg. nt. genitive tappurisa cpd. containing a
disjunctive dvanda cpd. = suràmeraya: alcoholic drink made of grains or
alcoholic drink made of fruits; disjunctive dvanda cpd. = surà: mild or
strong alcoholic drink made out of grains and/or grain-products: e.g.,
beer, whiskey. See the Padabhàjana on this rule in Vin IV 110: ``Surà
nàma piññhasurà påvasurà odanasurà kiõõapakkhittà sambhàrasaüyuttà. '' :
``Surà is surà made of flour, ... cakes, ... boiled rice, into which
yeast has been thrown, (or) a combination of ingredients.''. Cf VvA 73
+ meraya: mild or strong alcoholic drink made out of flowers, fruits, or
honey: e.g., wine, rum. ``Merayo nàma pupphàsavo phalàsavo madhvàsavo
guëàsavo sambhàrasaüyutto.'' : ``Meraya is flower extract, fruit
extract, honey extract, sugar extract or a combination of ingredients.''
(Sàratthadãpanã-ñãkà (Myanmar III 79):
``Harãtakã-sàsapàdi-nànà-sambhàrehi saüyojità sambhàra-saüyuttà. ...
Harãtakà-malaka-kañuka-bhaõóàdi-nànà-sambhàrànaü raso ciraparivàsito
The Padabhàjana indicates that in Pali the distinction in names is due
to the difference in ingredients, rather than the alcoholic strength or
the process by which the drink is made as it is in the English language,
therefore it is not possible to give a satisfactory translation with a
single word. Cf BD II 385.
+ pàna: drinking; action-noun der. fr. pivati (√pà + a).
I hope that this is of use.
Dear Yong Peng,
I thought that it would be of use to share some thoughts I had while
reading your message about the 5th precept, in particular the last part.
I am not sure what you exactly mean by the statement ``we are all aware
that the most heinous crimes in history are being committed by sober
men, not under the effect of alcohol or whatever''. Do you mean that
heinous crimes _can_ be committed by sober men or that the most heinous
crimes arenecessarily committed by sober men? I suppose you mean the
former. However, in this case these ``sober'' men are psychopaths and
not really ``sober'' in the sense of being in reality. If I remember
correctly, most prisoners in the US are in prison because of drug
related offences. Having seen the devasting effects of ``social
drinking'' on close relatives and friends, etc, and having myself, as a
layman, experienced the silly and dangerous things one does after
drinking, I think that this precept is definitely tackling a very
important social issue and very much ``in this world'' rather than out
O.K. not everybody does very stupid things after having had a beer or
two, however, in the case that there is some dangerous or urgent issue
coming up which requires sharp awareness at the time after one has had a
beer or two, the split second decrease in reaction-speed and the lesser
clariry of awareness due to the effect of alcohol might cause one not so
save one's own or another's life. (This is an implication of
pamaadathaana: ``cause for negligence''. I completely agree with Ole
Pind's explanation of the term. Cf the use of .thaana in ``.thaanaso
hetuso'') So many car accidents and other accidents are caused by people
who have had a few social drinks.
That ``Buddhists tend to highlight and emphasise the fifth precept as
though alcohol is the root of all evil'' is new to me because the Buddha
stated that ignorance (avijjà) is the root-cause of all evil. In terms
of drug-use: It is this Avijjà that causes one to drink and want to
escape reality. This escape can be from the unpleasant and confronting
situation of having to face a situation where one is in a company of
drinkers who encourage one to join them. I understand that for most lay
Buddhists trying to undertake the 5 precepts it is very confronting not
to drink in a social situation where people are drinking and that it
requires a lot of strength and patience, however, if one is able to do
so then one will gain a lot of mental strength and clarity and one will
also be a good example to others. The more people face reality and don't
drink in socialsituations, the more acceptable it will become not to
drink and those who would before not have been strong enough to face a
situation not to drink among other drinkers can then do so.
It is true that the precepts are not the goal of the Buddhist teachings,
but they are essential means of getting to the goal. See for example the
Rathavinita-sutta in the Majjhima-nikàya where the simile of the
relay-chariot is given to examplify the function of virtue and the other
factors of the path to nibbana.
To me it appears to be a contradiction to say that one does not dispute
with the 5th precept although one is a social drinker as there must be
some internal dispute and rejection of the precept if one drinks while
accepting the validity of the 5th precept. From your further thoughts on
this matter it appears to me that there is some internal dispute.
My excuses in the likely case that I misunderstood you. You might belong
to a different school of Buddhism than the one I practice, but I believe
that it is still useful to comment.
``I do not dispute with the fifth precept, although I am a social
drinker. However, I like to point out an interesting phenomenon. We
all are aware that the most heinous crimes in history are committed
by sober men, not under the effect of alcohol or whatever. Yet,
Buddhists tend to highlight and emphasise the fifth precept as though
alcohol is the root of all evil. To me, it seems to be too "out of
the world", and it makes me wonder if that is why it takes so long
for Buddhists to be socially engaging, i.e. to really know the real
issues to tackle. Or, if that's an excuse for Buddhists not to face
real socal issues, especially if it means confrontation with others.
I think the Buddha's teachings is far beyond even the five precepts.''
- --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, "rjkjp1" <rjkjp1@y...> wrote:
> Dear Venerable Sujato,
> Welcome back to the list, hope you had a profitable vassa.
> I agree with much of your message below as I think the technique
> orientation of some of these meditation courses is something new,
> and hence questionable, in Theravada. Haven:t read the article yet
> but if you want to continue the discussion let me know and i will
> study them and give my opinion.
> with respect
> --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, "Bhante Sujato" <sujato@g...> wrote:
> > Hi> technique, i never tell them to change it, unless it seems
> > harmful. There was one woman on a retreat i was teaching who had
> > been doing Goenka technique for many years, and felt like her
> > emotions had just been bleached dry. She was desparate, and on
> > verge of giving up meditation altogether, so i encouraged her toall
> > some metta to try to juice her heart up again.
> > But normally I just try to support whatever practice they are
> > Only if they ask will i discuss the controversial issues around
> > meditation, as these hardly help the actual problem.
> > I hope no-one feels offended, but i really feel like i've said
> > have to say on this issue, and will try to avoid geting drawn
> > further discussions, particularly as i will be very busy in thedays
> > upcoming period. (I'm off to Singapore and Malaysia in a few
> > and will catch up with Piya, Ven Kumara and other Pali groupies).`Meditative attainments, Hindu, Jhana, I, me, mine'
> > in Dhamma
> > bhante Sujato
Re reading it, I acknowledge a further gratitude to
Ajahn BrahmaVamso, whose enlightened comments on the
The path helped much.
Connected to that, and further the discussion about
`(Panna natti) ajhayato'. (DhammaPada 372)
My former thought was that it is
Connected to `ajja'- `breaking-up, analyses: which was a wrong
`>the root of jhaayati to burn
is jhaa. The corresponding Sanskrit root is k.saa. In
Middle Indic languages k.s becomes jh. This explains
the Paali root jhaa and the verb jhaayati. Since
Sanskrit dhy becomes jh in Paali, the root jhaa to
meditate from Sanskrit dhyaa, and the root jhaa to
burn have become indistinguishable.
>(Quote: thanks to Dr.Pind.)taking the word root `jha' as `meditation',
Of a more general `practice' than Samantha only, also in order to
avoid The partiality on the question of Vipassana/Samatha.
"Monks, these are the four developments of concentration. Which
four? There is the development of concentration that, when developed
& pursued, leads to a pleasant abiding in the here & now. There is
the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued,
leads to the attainment of knowledge & vision. There is the
development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads
to mindfulness & alertness. There is the development of
concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the ending of
"And what is the development of concentration that, when developed &
pursued, leads to a pleasant abiding in the here & now? There is the
case where a monk quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from
unskillful qualities enters & remains in the first jhana:'...
(angutara nikaya. samadhisutta)
but an opposing view, suggesting the importance of Jhanaa
is the Sandaka Sutta (m.n.)
Where habits (Sila Bhikkhu Bodhi translation)
Are removed by general observation of morality Sila
(Here, and at the scheme of the `limbs of enlightenment'
Sila is represented by Viriya or Vayamo, effort.).
Intentions are removed by Sama Samadhi only:
Unwholesome intentions by the practice of the First Jhana,
Wholesome intentions by the practice of the second Jhana.
The science and practice of Samatha is not recommended to those with
a sluggish,And slowest mind set.
And investigation of phenomena is not for the emotional, too quick,
(The discourse on fire, Aggi Sutta, Bhojjanga Samyuta)
The practice, the life of the good and the intelligent than is
balancing the deep formative, psychological conditioning we, and the
world, in response, have.
The middle way, as the Blessed one declares, that leads to
understanding, to dispassion, to wisdom, to light, to freedom.
Possibly, the Blessed one early, original teaching were
Of a Samatha nature as influenced by the Indian context.
Still, there are arahats who are `released by wisdom' only,
As they do not `experience with their bodies' the blissful states.
(Since the AruupaJhanas are associated with the mind only (4th
And `can be known by purified mind-consciousness released from the
(MahaVeddalaSutta. M.N. 43).
They cannot constitute the discriminative advantage of the `one
released in both ways'
It seems that the Blessed one made his teachings open as to enable
the benefits to the greater audience.
include, correct,' bring to light', elucidate and show the full way
The path to enlightenment, as distinctly.
Accrediting also the earthly needs of the pottujjajana,
An added benefit of the samatha practice is the need to be
protected from defilements,
to illuminate the way of the monk, a `professional', a `swan' who
easily, gracefully surpasses the `crow' of a mundane bound
I had come to the teaching from a yoga background,
Jnana was a breed of yoga, and Samadhi the highest goal
There was an emphasis on the `now' the present ability to experience
The psycho analytical logical process somewhat disregarded,
And belief was everything.
Often, in retrospective, the Sivananda yoga school seemed like a
very good way of life.
but in the wild east, tags seems to matter much,
Almost a punishable offence
the yoga people I knew were really caring, helpfull people, I do
wonder sometimes weather as a yoga teacher wasn't I doing better for
It seems sometimes hard to believe the deep long term implications
that intentions and right understanding can have.
Also do some traveling soon, the wandering jubu India is a dream
but I need a kapakaro, A care taker there, so Thailand probably,
where a monk can go with no money
Bangkok is Wat Sanghathan ; Ajahn Katapunno's simple and power full
Are on the net, highly recommended.
Love to all.
If anyone contemplate ordination,
I suggest doing so as soon as possible,
The road is long; there is much to do,
A chance is as rare as obtaining a human life.