The 6th, 7th and 8th precept. Why?

A forum for beginners and members of other Buddhist traditions to ask questions about Theravāda (The Way of the Elders). Responses require moderator approval before they are visible.

The 6th, 7th and 8th precept. Why?

Postby charlotte » Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:31 am

I'm really confused about these three precepts and I can't see how they're relevant to the practise of moral discipline. What's wrong about eating at a certain time, decorating yourself, singing, and laying on a high bed. I can't see how that hurts anybody else. I'm sure there is a good reason for these precepts, but I don't know them.
"By depending upon this boat like human form,
we can cross the great ocean of suffering.
Since such a vessel will be hard to find again,
there no time to sleep, you fool!"
Shantideva- Guide to the Bodhisattava's way of life
charlotte
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:11 am
Location: Australia

Re: The 6th, 7th and 8th precept. Why?

Postby cooran » Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:49 am

Hello Charlotte,

8 precepts are usually observed by lay people on important Buddhist days or during a retreat.

This thread may be helpful.
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=86

With metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
User avatar
cooran
 
Posts: 7702
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: The 6th, 7th and 8th precept. Why?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:37 am

It is a refinement of morality for the sake of developing concentration, which is the basis for developing insight.

The Uposatha Observance.

What is the harm in eating at the wrong time, decorating yourself, singing, or lying on a luxurious bed?
  1. Eating without restraint leads to all kinds of health issues. This even affects monks who generally eat only one or at most two meals a day.
  2. Decorating the body by using perfumes, cosmetics, and jewellery may lead to the increase of lust and/or vanity.
  3. Singing or playing music, or listening to them increases heedlessness and sensual attachment. In the Noble One's discipline, singing is likened to lamentation.
  4. Lying on luxurious beds, or sitting in luxurious seats is liable to lead to increase of laziness and sensual attachment.
AIM WebsitePāli FontsIn This Very LifeBuddhist ChroniclesSoftware (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)
User avatar
Bhikkhu Pesala
 
Posts: 2054
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:17 pm

Re: The 6th, 7th and 8th precept. Why?

Postby James the Giant » Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:44 am

The luxurious beds precept is an important one for me when on retreat;
I prefer to get rid of the mattress and instead use a hiking sleeping-mat.
Otherwise I am tempted to sleep late, and also have a nice afternoon snooze.
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11
User avatar
James the Giant
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2009 6:41 am

Re: The 6th, 7th and 8th precept. Why?

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Wed Apr 24, 2013 3:32 pm

As others have said, the precepts here are mostly related to making sure that the mediator has a clear and unimpeded mind. I find that meditation is, for most, far easier when one eats little and avoids things that distract the mind; music,singing, dancing, and other things are not immoral, but they can stir up the mind and keep it from growing calm.

Unless you're on a retreat, or plan to really devote yourself to meditation, it is not necessary to take these precepts. Only the five precepts are necessary for a lay person. However, if you are interested in deepening your concentration, it may be worth checking out.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
User avatar
LonesomeYogurt
 
Posts: 900
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:24 pm
Location: America

Re: The 6th, 7th and 8th precept. Why?

Postby charlotte » Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:23 am

Thanks everyone, that helps clear things up a bit, but I'm still a bit :shrug: about the 6th precept, why was it made a precept?
"By depending upon this boat like human form,
we can cross the great ocean of suffering.
Since such a vessel will be hard to find again,
there no time to sleep, you fool!"
Shantideva- Guide to the Bodhisattava's way of life
charlotte
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:11 am
Location: Australia

Re: The 6th, 7th and 8th precept. Why?

Postby Ben » Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:51 am

Charlotte,

Go back to the first line in Venerable Pesala's post above and that is the explanation as to why there are an additional three precepts to be observed on uposotha days and during retreats.
The following document may be of benefit for you.
Uposatha Sila: The Eight-Precept Observance
compiled and written by Somdet Phra Buddhaghosacariya (Ñanavara Thera)
translated from the Thai by Bhikkhu Kantasilo

kind regards,

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 16223
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: The 6th, 7th and 8th precept. Why?

Postby Hickersonia » Thu Apr 25, 2013 2:13 pm

charlotte wrote:Thanks everyone, that helps clear things up a bit, but I'm still a bit :shrug: about the 6th precept, why was it made a precept?

I tend to use the 6th precept as a reminder of how much harm beings do in their nearly constant search for food for themselves and their families. I think that any time I am refraining from food I am hopefully helping to save beings that would have otherwise been destroyed (by accident or not) as a result of the demand created by my additional consumption.

If nothing else, I have noted a distinct improvement in my level of focus on things, particularly at work, if I don't eat after noon, and contrary to what I had expected I'm no more tired when I get home either way. LOL
Hickersonia
http://hickersonia.wordpress.com/


"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of
throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned."
User avatar
Hickersonia
 
Posts: 260
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:40 pm
Location: Cincinnati, OH

Re: The 6th, 7th and 8th precept. Why?

Postby Virgo » Fri Apr 26, 2013 3:16 am

I offer that it is because this is a "Dhamma & Discipline", to quote the Buddha, and not just a Dhamma or teaching. Any bodily crookedness, any verbal crookedness, and any mental crookedness, we must abandon as part of this.

Kevin
Virgo
 
Posts: 1209
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 10:52 pm


Return to Discovering Theravāda

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests