Questions about Eight Precepts (attha-sila)

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Training of Sila, the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).

Questions about Eight Precepts (attha-sila)

Postby faraway » Wed Sep 18, 2013 3:11 am

Hi all,

I have some questions about Eight Precepts (attha-sila).

1.
4. Musavada veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
I undertake the precept to refrain from incorrect speech.


I thought Musavada means lying, why in the translation it become incorrect speech which also includes: divisive speech, abusive speech, & idle chatter? Especially the abusive speech (e.g., scolding, rude speech) since it doesn't has equal meaning with lying.

I checked in this online pali-english dictionary:
musāvāda : [m.] lying.



2.
6. Vikalabhojana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
I undertake the precept to refrain from eating at the forbidden time (i.e., after noon).


If someone observe the Eight Precepts, does it mean he/she can only eat once between sunrise and noon?
There is other article that said you can eat many times as long it's still between sunrise and noon. Which is the correct one?

Is drinking and chewing gum permissible after noon?


3.
8. Uccasayana-mahasayana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
I undertake the precept to refrain from lying on a high or luxurious sleeping place.


How high it means?

Does this include refraining of lying on a mattress that put on the floor?

What is the correct practice for this precept? Should the observer lay only on naked floor without pillow or any cushions? (I had tried it and wow my tailbone hurt :tongue:, but it's a good experience though).

Is sleeping on plaited mat permissible?

What about the pillow or any cushions? Is it permissible too?

Please help explaining this precept, this is the most confusing part.


Thanks in advance,
:anjali:
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Re: Questions about Eight Precepts (attha-sila)

Postby santa100 » Wed Sep 18, 2013 3:24 pm

faraway wrote:I thought Musavada means lying, why in the translation it become incorrect speech which also includes: divisive speech, abusive speech, & idle chatter? Especially the abusive speech (e.g., scolding, rude speech) since it doesn't has equal meaning with lying.


From Ven. Bodhi's AN 8.41 ( http://palicanon.org/index.php/sutta-pi ... v-uposatha ):
As long as they live the arahants abandon and abstain from false speech; they speak truth, adhere to truth; they are trustworthy and reliable, no deceivers of the world. Today, for this night and day, I too shall abandon and abstain from false speech; [250] I shall speak truth, adhere to truth; I shall be trustworthy and reliable, no deceiver of the world. I shall imitate the arahants in this respect and the uposatha will be observed by me.’ This is the fourth factor it possesses


From the highlighted section, abstaining from false speech includes not only "speaking truth" (not lying), but also "trustworthy, reliable, and not deceiving", which pretty much the opposite to divisive, abusive speech, and idle chatter.

Further details about the eating rule and bed rule are also mentioned from the link above..
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Re: Questions about Eight Precepts (attha-sila)

Postby SarathW » Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:07 am

Hi Faraway
Your question re:
==========
8. Uccasayana-mahasayana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
I undertake the precept to refrain from lying on a high or luxurious sleeping place.
============

How high it means?

Does this include refraining of lying on a mattress that put on the floor?

What is the correct practice for this precept? Should the observer lay only on naked floor without pillow or any cushions? (I had tried it and wow my tailbone hurt , but it's a good experience though).

Is sleeping on plaited mat permissible?

What about the pillow or any cushions? Is it permissible too?
============

My answer:
this this is how I see it.

The objective of this precept is three folds.
a) Elimination of attachment to sensual pleasure. (comfortable beds etc)
b) Keep your mind alert (When you are too comfortable you may go to sleep and not easy to contemplate on stress – Dukkaha)
c) Most important part is to eliminate pride (Mana - tenth fetter) Can you imagine a king, queen or president of a state sitting on the floor. Only a humble person can do it.

If you keep above in your mind you will find the answers to your questions.
:meditate:
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Re: Questions about Eight Precepts (attha-sila)

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:21 am

Hi faraway,

I have some questions about Eight Precepts (attha-sila).

1.
4. Musavada veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
I undertake the precept to refrain from incorrect speech.


I thought Musavada means lying, why in the translation it become incorrect speech which also includes: divisive speech, abusive speech, & idle chatter? Especially the abusive speech (e.g., scolding, rude speech) since it doesn't has equal meaning with lying.

I checked in this online pali-english dictionary:
musāvāda : [m.] lying.

The breakdown of the word is
Musā - falsehood; lie.
Vādā - theory; saying; creed controversy.
incorrect speech is accurate but may point to the wide variety of incorrect (i.e. non-factual) things we may say. Or the translator sees other forms of wrong speech needing consideration.

2.
6. Vikalabhojana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
I undertake the precept to refrain from eating at the forbidden time (i.e., after noon).


If someone observe the Eight Precepts, does it mean he/she can only eat once between sunrise and noon?
There is other article that said you can eat many times as long it's still between sunrise and noon. Which is the correct one?

Is drinking and chewing gum permissible after noon?

Drinking water is allowable, as is some juices. the rule of thumb is if the fruit is no larger than your fist then it is allowable. but that for a lay person is up to personal choice.

Chewing gum I think would be allowable as it is not a food stuff, nor used in that way. However this too world be a personal choice (too my mind at-least).

3.
8. Uccasayana-mahasayana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
I undertake the precept to refrain from lying on a high or luxurious sleeping place.


How high it means?

Does this include refraining of lying on a mattress that put on the floor?

What is the correct practice for this precept? Should the observer lay only on naked floor without pillow or any cushions? (I had tried it and wow my tailbone hurt :tongue:, but it's a good experience though).

Is sleeping on plaited mat permissible?

What about the pillow or any cushions? Is it permissible too?

Please help explaining this precept, this is the most confusing part.

I opt as a general rule to go with chair legs, if the legs are no higher than a chair (i.e. I could sit in the egyption posture) then it should be allowable. anything shorter is good. the tllest measurement I have seen is 65cm which to my mind is far too tall, and opt instead to judge it by my ability to sit upright on the base with feet flat on the floor and knee bent at about a 90' angle.
This rule is only deals with the leg height, not including the mattress, and anything else you do not need to worry about as a lay person. some do opt to sleep on the floor, but this is not practicable for all due to medical conditions, and others just have a mattress on the floor or use a futon.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"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: Questions about Eight Precepts (attha-sila)

Postby gavesako » Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:40 pm

There seems to be some misunderstanding about the "musavada" precept, as if this word was also meant to include the other three: divisive speech, abusive speech, & idle chatter. However, the precepts are only supposed to cover the strongest courses of action where a clear yes/no decision has to be made. So lying or uttering falsehood is a definite "no" for a practising Buddhist. The other courses of verbal action are also unwholesome, but often it takes more refined kind of attention to deal with them. See "Ten Unwholesome Courses of Action" (akusala kammapatha):

http://www.budsas.org/ebud/word-of-buddha/wob4nt06.htm
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: Questions about Eight Precepts (attha-sila)

Postby faraway » Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:28 pm

Thank you all for the answers :anjali:

I believe musavada means lying, but I guess there is nothing loss for anyone to aim for higher training by refraining from all incorrect speech.

In my just few days of training, sleeping on floor made me wake up earlier at the morning - things that I hardly do all this time without alarm - although sometimes I woke up at the midnight too because of my ass-bone got hurt :tongue: when laying flat.

I'm skinny and underweight, would it be alright for my body to only eat once a day? I'm afraid my body will become more like a skeleton :tongue:
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