so let's say a buddha is sitting outside of a house and hears a bunch of people inside talking and he knows for a fact that they are all innocent and good people. then a group of people arrive outside the house with swords and tell him they are looking for those people and will kill them when they find them. they ask him if the people are inside.
if he says nothing they will look for themselves and kill the people inside.
if he says "yes" obviously they would go inside and kill the people.
if he says "no" the people will believe him and move on and so the people within will be safe, however he would be lying which is something a buddha/arahant cannot do. so what would he do in this situation?
i suppose one could say that since he had many powers he could simply transport the people elsewhere or something or would have had the foresight to do something about it before it happened?
if so then forget him and let's just say it's an arahant with no supernormal powers. what would he do?
EDIT: i'm talking about the definition of an arahant from the pali canon in which an arahant cannot lie.
"It is impossible for a monk whose mental fermentations are ended to tell a conscious lie."
"Sutava Sutta: To Sutavan" (AN 9.7), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight, 4 July 2010, . Retrieved on 28 January 2013.
Last edited by alan...
on Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:44 am, edited 2 times in total.