Rationale for Relative Ranking of four types

Eating for a monk is also not blameless, i feel. He/she is just outsourcing the harming, the killing, all those difficult things that must be done to fertilize the ground, to grow food, to fight against all kinds of vermin, harvesting which comes with a lot of harming and killing of living beings etc.

Not only eating meat, but even grains, potatoes, rice or whatever. This growing of food is not so innocent. Is eating then innocent?

It may be comforting to think: but at least I did not do the harming, killing etc.

Personally i cannot think so. I feel is unethical thinking. If one eats food and one knows that there was poison, harming, killing, one must also be so brave and honest to admit that this eating is not some blameless eating.

In this sense i wonder…what is really being ethical?

Devas can manifest food for us. Our rebellion against the Holy Devas leads society into the downfall of killing. Monks begging for food is a removal from the system of society of killing; and it’s the system that Buddha set up because He wanted us to live some vestige of the Holy Life until one is brought to the culmination of the success of Nibbana.

Hi @Malunkyaputta, it could be noted that even in the context/circumstance that Venerable Bodhi describes, motivation matters. There is a difference between a police officer, heart filled with hatred and malice towards the shooter, killing him and taking his life and a police officer with a mind not filled with malice, but rather full of compassion for the harm that would further befall, killing the shooter and and taking his life. FWIW, I think Venerable Bodhi would agree with this; at least that is my hypothesis. :pray:

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Regarding the Nazis officer and Jews paradox, I would like to bring up this short story below, if you are familiar with the vinaya, you will recognize it:

They approached him and said, “Sir, have you seen a woman by any chance?”

“But, young men, why look for a woman?”

They told him what had happened.

“What do you think is better for you: that you search for a woman, or that you search for yourselves?”

“It’s better that we search for ourselves.”

“Well then, sit down, and I’ll give you a teaching.”

Saying, “Yes, Sir,” they bowed to the Buddha and sat down.

The Buddha then gave them a progressive talk

In this spirit, a noble discipline can also tell the Nazis officer like this: “But, officer, why look for a Jew?” and then “What do you think is better for you: that you search for a Jew, or that you search for yourselves?” and then “Well then, sit down, and I’ll give you a teaching.” and then “The noble discipline then gave the officer a progressive talk”

Another approach when such a progressive talk is not possible (that means the noble discipline does not have the ability to teach or the Nazis officer has too much dust in his eyes), a noble disciple can enter samadhi and leaves the Jews and the Nazis to their own kamma.

So, as @Dogen and @NgXinZhao and many other people have said in this thread, lying is not an option because a noble discipline does not have the ability to lie. He simply can not lie. Just like a crippled person who got his legs and arms cut off, a noble discipline has lost forever the ability to lie.


As my teacher would say, if you train your mind like this, then this is likely the mind that will result. :pray:

Lying is not a verbatim speech thing. Don’t equate truthtelling to what people use as supposed fact-telling babble.

If you think you letting Jews die is leaving them to their kamma, you’re actually the one inflicting kamma upon yourself. Just a thought.

All Blessings.

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Hi Green, I think this post has several interesting points that are worthy of discussion – but probably belong in a new thread. I’d reply, but don’t want to go too off-topic in this thread. :pray:

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Not sure. I think he is clearly talking about exceptions …

Yes, I believe he is. :pray:

Sometimes it’s okay to do what is ordinarily unallowed if the Transcendental mind requires, and sometimes one must not do what is ordinarily allowed if the Transcendental mind requires. This is called not being boggled down by rules and rituals, and doing the right thing. Right View and Right Action is also essential.

Ah, the transcendental mind. What was again the Sutta that referred to this? :wink:

Many Suttas refer to experience that Transcend ordinary experiences, such as living the Holy Life in order to attain Nibbana. What don’t you understand? :grin:


Incidentally, this Sutta features in the very introductory class to Buddhism by the Ven. Bodhi (starting at 15:12).

In short, this seems to be an advice to householders. Practicing for one’s sake means keeping the 5 silas and make an effort to end greed, hatred and delusion.

It would seem that somebody who only incited this practice in others but did not practice themelves is inferieror to somebody who does practice it.

So true.

I think AN4.233 is helpful here.
Depending on one’s intention various shades of dark and bright kamma are generated.
So instead of absolutes, until full awakening, we can choose what appears to be best (generally, less dukkha and/or more towards enlightenment), in any situation.
The intention behind the choice and action affects whether the vipāka will be darker, grey-er, or brighter.

As beings not yet awakened we live and act in a world of greys, kammically speaking.

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We can understand that intentions arise in a mind that has a certain peespective, view or understanding of the other person, a situation, etc. Buddha teaches that these are decisive for vipaka. AN1.314. When that view is wrong, and intentions are good, the results are…" unlikable, undesirable, disagreeable, harmful, and suffering".

Because intentions arise in a mind with a certain understanding that understanding is most important.

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I agree. The clearer one’s Right View is, the more skillful the intentions will be – until full Awakening when no further kamma is generated.

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Yes, but does this mean a Buddha has never plans, intentions?

Since nāma-rūpa, which includes intention, is still present, there will be processes we call intention and plans – but these will not be identified with or attached to in any way.
So no kamma is created.

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Apparently some of us believe that the Arahat must more or less be helped over the road because he has lost all sense of Self. Surely this idea is misleading?

Does the Arahat still hold Dukkha and impermanence in contempt or has he become indifferent?


I’m not sure I’m understanding your points here.

Because the senses are still intact and intentions remain, awakened ones clearly don’t walk into walls.:blush:

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