Let me tell you, Bhāradvāja, there are five things that may turn out in two different ways in the here and now. The five are faith, approval, oral tradition, a priori reasoning, and rationalization. A doctrine held as an item of faith may turn out to be empty, hollow and false. Another doctrine, not held as an item of faith, may yet turn out to be factual, true, and without mistakes. So, too, with doctrines accepted because of someone or other’s approval, a doctrine received through oral tradition, a doctrine worked out through pure reason, and a doctrine arrived at through rationalization. Any such doctrine may turn out to be empty, hollow and false. Contrariwise, doctrines opposed to those and held for entirely different reasons may still turn out to be factual, true, and without mistake. Given all that, it’s not proper for a wise man who wishes to preserve truth to state, as a definite conclusion, ‘Only this is true; all other doctrines are false.’”
“But Master Gotama, how then is it possible to preserve truth?”
“If a person has faith, Bhāradvāja, he preserves truth when he states, ‘My faith is thus….’ But he does not yet state, as a definite conclusion, ‘Only this is true; anything else is false.’ That’s how a person of faith can preserve truth. But it not yet a way to the discovery of truth.
“Similarly, a person who holds a view because of the approval of others, because of oral tradition, because of logical reasoning or rationalization, if he states, ‘I rationalize things in this way…’, then he preserves truth, and he does not go so far as to state, ‘Only this is true; all else is false.’ So he can preserve truth. But there is not yet a way to discovery of truth.”
Guy wrote:Hi Anna,
I think it is useful for me to say something like "this is my opinion" or "this works for me" or "this has been my experience" if I am unsure about whether or not my advice is going to be useful for someone else. But this is just my opinion.
Annapurna wrote:I was wondering about 'giving advice'.
What if we mean totally well, and the other one follows our advice, but this advice turns out not to be not so good after all?
How dangerous is giving advice, how responsible are we for the result and do we accumulate bad or good kamma, depending on the result?
What do you think, and what did the Buddha say about this, if anything?
I've come as far as 'good intentions', on my own, but is there more to consider?
Thanks and metta,
Guy wrote:I think it is useful for me to say something like "this is my opinion" or "this works for me" or "this has been my experience" if I am unsure about whether or not my advice is going to be useful for someone else. But this is just my opinion.
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