Is this considered heinous kamma?

Hi all,

It’s normal to ask questions to monks. Sometimes we consult about practice, daily life, lay people problems, just to get a little bit of perspective. People, including monks can have different views, sometimes you just need to ask another people only to get a clearer or better perspective.

The information you received can be right or wrong. If a monk accidentally knows you ask the same question to another monk and that causes him uneasy with another monk, not to mention misinformation or mistreatment you received earlier, whatever the reason is, am I creating disharmony between them, am I creating the one of the 5 heinous kamma (creating schism in sangha)? Thanks all!

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How would you view your behaviour regarding the asking of questions among your friends or relatives? Purposely divisive? or genuinely seeking others’ perspective on your question?

Recently I have been told that monks should technically be more tolerant, more understanding, forgiving and resilient than lay people - that this is because of their comittment to active and mindful practise of the Dhamma.

With these things in mind you are in the best position to answer your own question :slight_smile:


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It may be helpful to consider the distinctions between honesty and transparency as well. Honesty is telling the truth; transparency is informing another of relevant information, at a time when relevancy rises. It is not usually necessary, appropriate or possible that every person knows everything one knows. But doing one’s best that they know what they need to know, to make decisions, to act as their best possible, is a good achievable target.

So trust your monks, let them know what is relevant when it is relevant, and be comfortable with that. Let them too be comfortable with that, perhaps because of transparency in practicing transparency!

With metta

edit: i will add, as far as i know, transparency is not particularly a Buddhist concept, or from any other faith. I think it originated or has most traction as a business concept (and sometimes legal obligation)! But i have found it helpful.

edit2: (sorry; but otherwise it might worry me): in my experience, honesty and transparency are not a choice, not either/or; but function in harmony. One does not lie, as a training exercise and matter of sila; one is transparent, volunteering or not volunteering information, as appropriate (or not), while maintaining honesty.

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In action this would take the form of informing the 2nd monk, of whom you ask the question, that you have asked other people this question and that you are interested in their view on the matter :-). This way there is transparency about your seeking various peoples input.

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I think the answer to this specific question is absolutely not. Schism is something very specific and in practice hard to accomplish. Some even feel it can only be done by members of the sangha.

Divisive speech is unwholesome, but not one of the 5 heavy. kammas you reference.