giving someone alcohol - breach of sila?

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

giving someone alcohol - breach of sila?

Postby Stephen K » Mon Nov 23, 2009 5:41 pm

As per the title. Business in alcoholic drinks is a breach of right livelihood, but what if someone asks me to fetch a beer from the fridge?
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Re: giving someone alcohol - breach of sila?

Postby Laurens » Mon Nov 23, 2009 5:44 pm

Personally I wouldn't have thought so, you aren't making profit from it and anyway if you didn't they would just go get one for themselves and most likely be extremely irritated at your refusal :lol:
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Re: giving someone alcohol - breach of sila?

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Nov 23, 2009 6:33 pm

why would you have beer in your fridge?
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Re: giving someone alcohol - breach of sila?

Postby Stephen K » Mon Nov 23, 2009 6:37 pm

Manapa wrote:why would you have beer in your fridge?

It's not my fridge. ;)
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Re: giving someone alcohol - breach of sila?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Nov 23, 2009 7:11 pm

In the time of the Buddha a woman was married to a hunter. She used to fetch his weapons and traps every morning he went hunting. She prepared the meat he brought back for their meals. She was a Stream-winner. The Buddha said that she was blameless as she was simply obeying her husband.

So the question is are you under any social obligation to fetch the beer?
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Re: giving someone alcohol - breach of sila?

Postby Stephen K » Mon Nov 23, 2009 7:20 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:In the time of the Buddha a woman was married to a hunter. She used to fetch his weapons and traps every morning he went hunting. She prepared the meat he brought back for their meals. She was a Stream-winner. The Buddha said that she was blameless as she was simply obeying her husband.

So the question is are you under any social obligation to fetch the beer?

Hello Bhante.

Thanks for the story.

I don't fully understand your question though. What is meant by 'social obligation'? I can refuse to fetch the beer if I want to.
:anjali:
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Re: giving someone alcohol - breach of sila?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Nov 23, 2009 7:41 pm

Well, if it was your father asking you to bring him a beer, then you have a social obligation to your father. To refuse his request would be a breach of sīla in itself.
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Re: giving someone alcohol - breach of sila?

Postby Stephen K » Mon Nov 23, 2009 7:43 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Well, if it was your father asking you to bring him a beer, then you have a social obligation to your father. To refuse his request would be a breach of sīla in itself.

Oh I understand now. What if it's my mother's partner, not exactly my 'father'?
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Re: giving someone alcohol - breach of sila?

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Mon Nov 23, 2009 7:52 pm

Bhante,

So is there no circumstance where disobeying one's parents is kusala kamma?

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Re: giving someone alcohol - breach of sila?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:05 pm

Khalil Bodhi wrote:BSo is there no circumstance where disobeying one's parents is kusala kamma?

Yes, of course. If they ask for your help to commit suicide, or to kill someone else.
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Re: giving someone alcohol - breach of sila?

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:13 pm

Bhante,

Thank you for your reply. I guess I don't understand how the differentiation is made. If your parents ask you to lie for them to the government and you refuse, is that akusala? If they ask you to steal? I just don't understand the difference and want to be clear about how to maintain pure sila especially since I'm going to be spending Thanksgiving in the company of my parents. Thank you. :anjali:

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Re: giving someone alcohol - breach of sila?

Postby Ben » Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:40 pm

Hi Mike
I always err on the side of caution with regards to sila. Sila is the foundation of the path and without sila there can be no sammasamadhi and no panna.
Don't break the sila yourself, don't encourage others to break their sila, and don't speak in praise of other people's sila-breaking behaviour.
kind regards

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Re: giving someone alcohol - breach of sila?

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:47 pm

Hi Ben,

Excellent reply! Yes, I definitely agree but Venerable's reply to Stefan got me worried that even in doing my best I may be unintentionally committing akusala kamma. This is especially relevant as all of my family are drinkers and there's sure to be all manner of unskillful conduct afoot when we get together for the holidays this week. I'll just work on guarding my own sila as best as I know how. Metta.

Mike
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Re: giving someone alcohol - breach of sila?

Postby JeffR » Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:53 pm

There are times when a choice must be made as to which action will be the least harmful.
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Re: giving someone alcohol - breach of sila?

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Mon Nov 23, 2009 9:04 pm

Hi Jeff,

Precisely. I'm trying to figure out the best course of action to maintain my sila and protect others from their own akusala kamma as much as I can. Metta.

Mike
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
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Re: giving someone alcohol - breach of sila?

Postby acinteyyo » Mon Nov 23, 2009 10:00 pm

Khalil Bodhi wrote:Yes, I definitely agree but Venerable's reply to Stefan got me worried that even in doing my best I may be unintentionally committing akusala kamma.

Hi Mike,

you can not commit akusala kamma (unwholesome action) unintentionally.
Anguttara VI,vi,9
Cetanāham bhikkhave kammam vadāmi; cetayitvā kammam karoti kāyena vācāya manasā.
Action, monks, I say is intention; intending, one does action by body, by speech, by mind.

Action (kamma) is intention (cetanā). When there is no intention there is no kamma.
Khalil Bodhi wrote:I'll just work on guarding my own sila as best as I know how

What else can you do? Don't worry, doing your best is enough.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Pubbe cāhaṃ bhikkhave, etarahi ca dukkhañceva paññāpemi, dukkhassa ca nirodhaṃ. (M.22)
Both formerly, monks, and now, it is just suffering that I make known and the ending of suffering.
Pathabyā ekarajjena, saggassa gamanena vā sabbalokādhipaccena, sotāpattiphalaṃ varaṃ. (Dhp 178)
Sole dominion over the earth, going to heaven or lordship over all worlds: the fruit of stream-entry excels them.

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Re: giving someone alcohol - breach of sila?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue Nov 24, 2009 11:01 am

acinteyyo wrote:you can not commit akusala kamma (unwholesome action) unintentionally.

I wonder if using the wrong word unintentionally is unwholesome kamma? :juggling:

Presumably, Mike meant "unknowingly." In which case, one can easily commit unwholesome kamma — that is one may do something, believing it to be wholesome or at least blameless, while it is, in fact, unwholesome, e.g. mercy-killing, etc.

Some people are too scrupulous, and worry about nothing, but it is good to reflect on one's actions, before, during, and after doing them, to consider whether they were skilful or not.
Mahāsi Sayādaw wrote:We now come to the subject of vinaya kukkucca. Doubt may arise concerning certain matters relevant to the rules of discipline (vinaya). Sceptical doubt arises as to whether it is right or wrong, proper or improper, regarding one’s own actions, or the use of requisites. When such doubt occurs, it will not yet reach the stage of committing an offence. This kind of doubt is relevant to the rule of discipline. It is therefore regarded as an attribute that all monks should possess. Yet some monks pay no heed to any such doubt that might occur. In the absence of any such doubt or hesitation, they may give do a misdeed that amounts to contravening the rules of discipline. These monks will not have purity of mind or morality. Without reflecting on the propriety or impropriety of any such acts, they may do anything they like regardless of the rules of discipline laid down for monks.
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Re: giving someone alcohol - breach of sila?

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Tue Nov 24, 2009 11:13 am

Bhante,

That was exactly my concern. I would appreciate any advice you may have about further sharpening my discernment in regard to sila. Thank you again. :anjali:

Mike :anjali:
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-Dhp. 183

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Re: giving someone alcohol - breach of sila?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue Nov 24, 2009 4:57 pm

I cannot think of any better advice that the Ambalatthika Rāhulovāda Sutta
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Re: giving someone alcohol - breach of sila?

Postby vitellius » Wed Nov 25, 2009 2:35 am

I avoid giving alcohol, - just not to support intoxication of others.
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