Does smoking violate fifth precept?

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Re: Does smoking violate fifth precept?

Postby gogota » Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:51 am

SarathW wrote:Does smoking violate fifth precept?
Are monk allowed to smoke. Please refer attached article.

http://www.fsnewsletter.amaravati.org/html/38/38.htm

Is it possible a person who attain Sotapanna will smoke?


my father in law and mother in law are heavy smoker.

My father in law got a stroke in May last year, after that , whole body cannot move. His organ damage one by one. Last November, he died of hunger because all his organ failed. He beg for mercy from God every night.

My mother in law was confirmed with lung cancer last year July. Last week, the cancer has spread to the bone and attack the nerve. The kind of suffering she get nobody can imagine. REALLY REALLY PAINFUL. Many committed suicide at this stage.

Continue to smoke if you want to know how hell looks like.

Tan
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Re: Does smoking violate fifth precept?

Postby equilibrium » Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:09 am

SarathW
The two smokers are equal and both have the potential to attain Nirvana.
Even though the first smoker wants to stop now and change course.....this does not mean the second smoker will not do so at a later date.
Healthy life isn't Nirvana is it?
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Re: Does smoking violate fifth precept?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:09 pm

The more I learn about nicotine, the more inclined I am to say that it does violate the fifth precept. Whatever, its clearly not compatible with the path to the cessation of craving. If you are addicted to nicotine, you won't regret getting free from that craving.

We Love Cigarettes (BBC Horizon).
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Re: Does smoking violate fifth precept?

Postby gogota » Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:33 pm

These are some of the thing that will happened to a smoker :

1) Heart attack
This is the most merciful dead, but not everyone. Some got serious brain damage and became vege all of their life

2) stroke
My father in law got it, take seven months for him to die. Very very horrible. Just can't imagine the horror of the dying process

3) Lung failure
Need oxygen therapy to survive. Just lying on the bed and breath using machine. Worse than dead

4) Lung cancer
The worst of all. When a pain reach a level no longer sustainable by a human, the doctor will give morphine or sleeping pill. Many commit suicide at late stage. Too painful.

5) Live a long life.
Very very few have this chance. All my relatives and friends who smoke are 6 feet under.

Stop smoking = stop suffering

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Re: Does smoking violate fifth precept?

Postby SarathW » Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:38 am

Bhante Pesala
I hole heatedly agree with you. I wrote my article about two years ago.
Then I was under the impression that Sotapanna will not strictly follow the five precepts.
However after joining this forum, I have a better understanding of this.
So it is impossible for me to imagine that Sotapanna person will have any addictions.
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Re: Does smoking violate fifth precept?

Postby pilgrim » Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:55 am

Just for interest sake, I understand that smoking for medicinal purposes is allowed in the vinaya. I can't cite the reference though. Maybe someone with more interest in the subject may be inclined to dig it up.
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Re: Does smoking violate fifth precept?

Postby Jerrod Lopes » Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:06 am

Of course smoking when the vinaya was created is a whole lot different today. The tobacco in many regions that produce it is treated with chemical fertilizers and pesticides that were not available in the Buddha's time. Undoubtedly this changes from place to place, but I know in the US that tobacco, especially for cigarettes, is loaded with added chemicals not naturally found in the tobacco leaf itself. I thought that could be pertinent.
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Re: Does smoking violate fifth precept?

Postby pilgrim » Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:20 am

Smoking is practised in a large number of cultures, even tribal ones. In modern and westernised cultures, smoking was considered socially acceptable until maybe a couple of decades ago when its adverse health effects became widely known. Smoking is bad for health, but it is not inherently morally bad so I don't think it violates the 5th Precept. The fifth precept prohibits the use of intoxicants - stuff that clouds the mind to the point that one easily breaks the first four. I think the question is not whether smoking violates the fifth precept but what one smokes that breaks the fifth precept.
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Re: Does smoking violate fifth precept?

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:13 am

pilgrim wrote:Just for interest sake, I understand that smoking for medicinal purposes is allowed in the vinaya. I can't cite the reference though. Maybe someone with more interest in the subject may be inclined to dig it up.

this was brought up in another thread.
viewtopic.php?f=42&t=13494
and in the Dhammawiki
http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?title=Cannabis
it is in the Mahavagga though smoking tobbaco would be referred to in this thread. which didn't come to be used or known for the purpose until the Americas were discovered.
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Re: Does smoking violate fifth precept?

Postby bradford » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:46 pm

It might be a punctuation question (in paraphrase)

refrain from using drugs which lead to heedlessness, or
refrain from using drugs, which lead to heedlessness.

I prefer the former, which permits a stimulant like coffee or tea,
and perhaps even entheogens, as these do not conduce to pamada or heedlessness.

I spoze dying from lung cancer could distract one from the work.
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Re: Does smoking violate fifth precept?

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:53 pm

bradford wrote:It might be a punctuation question (in paraphrase)

refrain from using drugs which lead to heedlessness, or
refrain from using drugs, which lead to heedlessness.

I prefer the former, which permits a stimulant like coffee or tea,
and perhaps even entheogens, as these do not conduce to pamada or heedlessness.

I spoze dying from lung cancer could distract one from the work.

the rule actually refers to alcoholic drinks, not any drug, but they would be covered if they lead to heedlesness.
and this actually points to what is meant by heedlessness in the rule. caffeine would not fall under the rule as it does not cause us to be week minded and do things we wouldn't normally do.
but death is our constant companion.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Does smoking violate fifth precept?

Postby Jerrod Lopes » Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:26 am

During the Buddha's time and in the region in which he taught, soma was used extensively in the Vedic traditions. It is believed by historians and religious scholars that soma was the plant and the drink both which were very likely ephedra or something very much like it. It was known as a cause for many "heedless" behaviors. The Buddha most certainly would have known about this, especially if he were actually a prince as a lot of the stories say. He would have had occasion to use the drug during rituals being of the ruling caste. Undoubtedly he meant alcohol when he created this precept, but surely he would have included soma as well.
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Re: Does smoking violate fifth precept?

Postby suttametta » Thu Jan 23, 2014 1:27 pm

Jerrod Lopes wrote:During the Buddha's time and in the region in which he taught, soma was used extensively in the Vedic traditions. It is believed by historians and religious scholars that soma was the plant and the drink both which were very likely ephedra or something very much like it. It was known as a cause for many "heedless" behaviors. The Buddha most certainly would have known about this, especially if he were actually a prince as a lot of the stories say. He would have had occasion to use the drug during rituals being of the ruling caste. Undoubtedly he meant alcohol when he created this precept, but surely he would have included soma as well.


By the time of Buddha the Vedas were already about 1000 years old. The recipe for soma was already lost to history and it was only legend.
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Re: Does smoking violate fifth precept?

Postby lyndon taylor » Thu Jan 23, 2014 3:42 pm

Indians drink a strong hot drink made from hashish, I assume this would have been considered an intoxicating drink by the 5th precept.

On the topic of tobacco, I think the 5th precept no more covers tobacco than it covers tea or coffee, neither has the potential to cause intoxication or heedlessness IMHO, however tobacco can be considered to break the first precept, no killing of yourself, much more so than tea or coffee would apply to the first precept. The first precept could also apply to unhealthy eating, like excess sugar or fat in the diet.

And yes the previous poster is correct, tobacco only grew in the Americas prior to the white man, also marijuana or hemp never grew in North America prior to the white man. So the Buddha couldn't have smoked tobacco, and the American Indians couldn't have been smoking pot!!
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Re: Does smoking violate fifth precept?

Postby culaavuso » Thu Jan 23, 2014 4:18 pm

lyndon taylor wrote:however tobacco can be considered to break the first precept, no killing of yourself, much more so than tea or coffee would apply to the first precept. The first precept could also apply to unhealthy eating, like excess sugar or fat in the diet.


By this reasoning, birth is killing because it will certainly lead to death in the end. Labeling any action that fails to maximize longevity as "killing" trivializes the first precept. The intention to kill is a key component of what constitutes "killing". Refraining from taking life is a matter of intention. Unintentional killing of countless tiny organisms is unavoidable as part of life. To completely stop killing anything at all intentionally or unintentionally would require a complete cessation of all physical activity including any eating or drinking. Even arahants still walk, eat, and drink, which are activities that will result in unintentional killing. Avoiding unhealthy consumption is a matter of restraint for bringing an end to craving, but it is not covered by the first precept.

AN 6.63
AN 6.63: Nibbedhika Sutta wrote:"Intention, I tell you, is kamma. Intending, one does kamma by way of body, speech, & intellect.


SN 42.8 seems informative on this topic.
SN 42.8: Sankha Sutta wrote:"There's the case, headman, where a certain teacher holds this doctrine, holds this view: 'All those who take life are destined for a state of deprivation, are destined for hell. All those who steal... All those who indulge in illicit sex... All those who tell lies are destined for a state of deprivation, are destined for hell.' A disciple has faith in that teacher, and the thought occurs to him, 'Our teacher holds this doctrine, holds this view: "All those who take life are destined for a state of deprivation, are destined for hell." There are living beings that I have killed. I, too, am destined for a state of deprivation, am destined for hell.' He fastens onto that view. If he doesn't abandon that doctrine, doesn't abandon that state of mind, doesn't relinquish that view, then as if he were to be carried off, he would thus be placed in hell.


SN 42.8: Sankha Sutta wrote:"[The thought occurs to him,] 'Our teacher holds this doctrine, holds this view: 'All those who steal... All those who indulge in illicit sex... All those who tell lies are destined for a state of deprivation, are destined for hell.' There are lies that I have told. I, too, am destined for a state of deprivation, am destined for hell.' He fastens onto that view. If he doesn't abandon that doctrine, doesn't abandon that state of mind, doesn't relinquish that view, then as if he were to be carried off, he would thus be placed in hell.

"There is the case, headman, where a Tathagata appears in the world, worthy and rightly self-awakened, consummate in clear knowing & conduct, well-gone, a knower of the cosmos, unexcelled trainer of those to be tamed, teacher of human & divine beings, awakened, blessed. He, in various ways, criticizes & censures the taking of life, and says, 'Abstain from taking life.' He criticizes & censures stealing, and says, 'Abstain from stealing.' He criticizes & censures indulging in illicit sex, and says, 'Abstain from indulging in illicit sex.' He criticizes & censures the telling of lies, and says, 'Abstain from the telling of lies.'

"A disciple has faith in that teacher and reflects: 'The Blessed One in a variety of ways criticizes & censures the taking of life, and says, "Abstain from taking life." There are living beings that I have killed, to a greater or lesser extent. That was not right. That was not good. But if I become remorseful for that reason, that evil deed of mine will not be undone.' So, reflecting thus, he abandons right then the taking of life, and in the future refrains from taking life. This is how there comes to be the abandoning of that evil deed. This is how there comes to be the transcending of that evil deed.
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Re: Does smoking violate fifth precept?

Postby binocular » Thu Jan 23, 2014 5:01 pm

culaavuso wrote:By this reasoning, birth is killing because it will certainly lead to death in the end. Labeling any action that fails to maximize longevity as "killing" trivializes the first precept.

Agreed. However:

The intention to kill is a key component of what constitutes "killing". Refraining from taking life is a matter of intention.

The thing is that some people who smoke, take drugs, overeat, overspend etc. in fact have the desire to kill themselves, it's just that they are too afraid to do it all in one act, so they do it little by little.
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Re: Does smoking violate fifth precept?

Postby Babadhari » Thu Jan 23, 2014 5:12 pm

binocular wrote:
The thing is that some people who smoke, take drugs, overeat, overspend etc. in fact have the desire to kill themselves, it's just that they are too afraid to do it all in one act, so they do it little by little.


i dont see how you can state that someone overspending or overeating have desire to kill themselves.....

they have ignorance, craving, desire yes but desire to kill themselves slowly but surely is a wrong assumption on your part binocular
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Re: Does smoking violate fifth precept?

Postby binocular » Thu Jan 23, 2014 5:19 pm

kitztack wrote:i dont see how you can state that someone overspending or overeating have desire to kill themselves.....

Because you seem to think I am imputing on them, imposing on them to have this desire, and that I do this imposition by interpreting their external actions in a particular way.

they have ignorance, craving, desire yes but desire to kill themselves slowly but surely is a wrong assumption on your part binocular

I am making no such assumption.

First of all, I said -
The thing is that some people who smoke, take drugs, overeat, overspend etc. in fact have the desire to kill themselves, it's just that they are too afraid to do it all in one act, so they do it little by little.

Note the "some."

Secondly, I can attest that it is possible to smoke, overeat, overspend etc. with the desire to kill oneself, and to do it in installments. I've had it.

Surely not all people who smoke, overeat, overspend etc. do so with the desire to kill themselves, but some do. Go to an AA meeting and listen to the people there a bit, and you'll probably have the opportunity to hear it yourself.
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Re: Does smoking violate fifth precept?

Postby Babadhari » Thu Jan 23, 2014 5:25 pm

my apologies binocular i did not see the 'some' in your statement.
i attend NA meetings and can agree with your point.
Aflame with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion.
Aflame, with birth, aging & death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs ......

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Re: Does smoking violate fifth precept?

Postby binocular » Thu Jan 23, 2014 6:03 pm

kitztack wrote:my apologies binocular i did not see the 'some' in your statement.

Okay.

i attend NA meetings and can agree with your point.

Perhaps this desire to kill oneself in installments is more of a modern problem. The fast consumerist pace seems to be conducive to it. Things get chopped up in little bits, a little here, a little there.
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