'drink and drugs that cause carelessness'

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
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DooDoot
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Re: 'drink and drugs that cause carelessness'

Post by DooDoot »

pitithefool wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 1:56 am What about the other precepts, too? DD, you've argued that it's OK to kill parasites. Would it be ok to drink if it would be considered more harmful not to?

And what about psychedelic drugs? Soma was probably a psychedelic drug, and I think it's safe to say that they can be used as a medicine to great effect.

What about Cannabis? No doubt that would have been used in the Buddha's time. Do we have any evidence that the Buddha knew about cannabis? If so, why was alcohol singled out?
It appears the above doesn't understand the precepts therefore the questions are non-sequitur.
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Re: 'drink and drugs that cause carelessness'

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DooDoot wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 1:57 am It appears the above doesn't understand the precepts therefore the questions are non-sequitur.
Well help me understand then DD! :D
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Re: 'drink and drugs that cause carelessness'

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pitithefool wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 1:56 am What about Cannabis? No doubt that would have been used in the Buddha's time. Do we have any evidence that the Buddha knew about cannabis? If so, why was alcohol singled out?
https://suttacentral.net/pli-tv-kd6/en/horner-brahmali wrote:“I allow, monks (the use of) hemp-water.”
bhaṅga is cannabis sativa according to what i've read
16. 'In what has the world originated?' — so said the Yakkha Hemavata, — 'with what is the world intimate? by what is the world afflicted, after having grasped at what?' (167)

17. 'In six the world has originated, O Hemavata,' — so said Bhagavat, — 'with six it is intimate, by six the world is afflicted, after having grasped at six.' (168)

- Hemavatasutta


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Re: 'drink and drugs that cause carelessness'

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salayatananirodha wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 2:40 am
pitithefool wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 1:56 am What about Cannabis? No doubt that would have been used in the Buddha's time. Do we have any evidence that the Buddha knew about cannabis? If so, why was alcohol singled out?
https://suttacentral.net/pli-tv-kd6/en/horner-brahmali wrote:“I allow, monks (the use of) hemp-water.”
bhaṅga is cannabis sativa according to what i've read
Hemp water? Weird, so it was definitely used as a medicine in certain circumstances (rheumatism in this case). And was given after the sweating treatment and before the water-vat. Really interesting?

I wonder what specifically it was used for, like as an analgesic or what?
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Re: 'drink and drugs that cause carelessness'

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oh, i dont know. maybe it has anti-inflammatory properties that treat the source of the pain too
16. 'In what has the world originated?' — so said the Yakkha Hemavata, — 'with what is the world intimate? by what is the world afflicted, after having grasped at what?' (167)

17. 'In six the world has originated, O Hemavata,' — so said Bhagavat, — 'with six it is intimate, by six the world is afflicted, after having grasped at six.' (168)

- Hemavatasutta


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Re: 'drink and drugs that cause carelessness'

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salayatananirodha wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 2:50 am oh, i dont know. maybe it has anti-inflammatory properties that treat the source of the pain too
Interesting. I'm not aware of anyone smoking it in the canon though. I knew about it being used in like ayurveda and whatnot for a very long time.

I think this is probably drifting off topic.

What do you think, are there situations in which it would be OK to drink alcohol?
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Re: 'drink and drugs that cause carelessness'

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yeah, i'm not aware either, but it appears to be a prevalent thing, and it would be odd for no one at all to know you could get high off it.
the buddha of course knew a great many things so i don't think this would have been a revelation to him.
basically, there would have been lots of drugs available because drugs are basically everywhere.

mikenz66 said he might sip on a drink to be polite. i would be more likely just to tell someone i dont drink but if he's not getting tipsy at all i dont fault him for it. people drink wine at night because they believe it is good for their heart. if they dont get tipsy then im not sure i would fault them either, altho i disagree with that claim. if someones not getting tipsy or impaired or in any way less mindful then i dont see the violation. not totally sure how this bears on the original topic tho.
my argument is that not all drug behavior is a basis of negligence, even if it might be out of sensual desire (but idk)
16. 'In what has the world originated?' — so said the Yakkha Hemavata, — 'with what is the world intimate? by what is the world afflicted, after having grasped at what?' (167)

17. 'In six the world has originated, O Hemavata,' — so said Bhagavat, — 'with six it is intimate, by six the world is afflicted, after having grasped at six.' (168)

- Hemavatasutta


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Re: 'drink and drugs that cause carelessness'

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One of the more interesting arguments that I've heard about this is centered around whether it's blameworthy to drink alcohol.

What's really interesting is that in the West, alcohol is our de facto official drug of choice. That being said, in the West, there are very few people that would actually consider it blameworthy to have a drink as a social lubricant.

What more people do consider blameworthy is drinking to the point of heedlessness, or belligerence.

I'm not a moral relativist by any means, but if we ask ourselves out of context (i.e. forget abouot Buddhism an the 5 precepts for this hypothetical question), is drinking blameworthy? or under what circumstances is it blameworthy? Westerners would probably arrive at something like:

Drinking as a social lubricant for the sake of making wholesome relationships closer and fostering interpersonal harmony is not blameworthy unless one drinks too much and becomes heedless.

Drinking "to have fun" is blameworthy if one drinks an excessive amount or engages in heedless activity as a result.

Drinking until one is blackout drunk is blameworthy

Drinking habitually is blameworthy, especially if it leads to the neglect of one's responsibilities is also blameworthy

As you can see, the common factor here is whether or not the drink causes heedlessness. If not, Westerners generally don't blame. If so, they generally will, but this depends on a person's views.

The question is though, does this line up with the Pali 5th precept? If not, and we take an absolutist "you must never drink" type view, it does seem imaginable that you could (as a layperson) find yourself in a situation where it is arguably better to break the precept than not. I could imagine family gatherings as one occasion, or meetings with bosses or coworkers. Those sort of situations in Western culture can mean tat it's very disrespectful to not drink or can actively prevent gains to a layperson.

But, this isn't something I tend to dwell on too much and I'm sure there's lots of reason that the above isn't true. Just my two cents :D
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Re: 'drink and drugs that cause carelessness'

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DooDoot wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 1:57 am
I could really use DD's input on this one. Nothing gives me doubt more than conversations like this :tongue:
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Re: 'drink and drugs that cause carelessness'

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pitithefool wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 3:29 am The question is though, does this line up with the Pali 5th precept? If not, and we take an absolutist "you must never drink" type view, it does seem imaginable that you could (as a layperson) find yourself in a situation where it is arguably better to break the precept than not. I could imagine family gatherings as one occasion, or meetings with bosses or coworkers. Those sort of situations in Western culture can mean tat it's very disrespectful to not drink or can actively prevent gains to a layperson.

But, this isn't something I tend to dwell on too much and I'm sure there's lots of reason that the above isn't true. Just my two cents :D
i dont think this specific argument is right because keeping the precepts is described exclusively in terms of benefiting the practitioner
there can be social pressure around breaking other precepts but its harmful to break those too
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/ud/ud.5.05.irel.html wrote:(2) "Just as the great ocean is stable and does not exceed the limits of the tide-line, so also my disciples do not transgress a training rule laid down by me for disciples even for the sake of their lives. This is the second wonderful and marvellous quality in this Dhamma and Discipline...
i think social lubrication is not an acceptable reason to drink and that that entails getting at least a bit tipsy. Kare (from that 2009 thread) said in another thread he would drink literally one drink and not get drunk: viewtopic.php?p=37052#p37052
Screen Shot 2021-04-11 at 10.45.39 PM.png
for some reason, i've wanted to have one shot of sake one time, but even that might not be appropriate for me since i used to indulge in drink often and i identified with it.

but im not fixed too hard to these views hopefully and i admit this has never been crystal clear to me. also had someone i knew die who was both a very knowledgeable ariya or ariya-to-be and also a serious drug user. never drank tho
as a die-hard buddhist im definitely not content digesting what others tell me is true without rigorous examination
16. 'In what has the world originated?' — so said the Yakkha Hemavata, — 'with what is the world intimate? by what is the world afflicted, after having grasped at what?' (167)

17. 'In six the world has originated, O Hemavata,' — so said Bhagavat, — 'with six it is intimate, by six the world is afflicted, after having grasped at six.' (168)

- Hemavatasutta


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Re: 'drink and drugs that cause carelessness'

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how appropriate is it for one interested in the truth to avoid things that are ultimately not harmful in the interest of avoiding harm? can you be excessively cautious
16. 'In what has the world originated?' — so said the Yakkha Hemavata, — 'with what is the world intimate? by what is the world afflicted, after having grasped at what?' (167)

17. 'In six the world has originated, O Hemavata,' — so said Bhagavat, — 'with six it is intimate, by six the world is afflicted, after having grasped at six.' (168)

- Hemavatasutta


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https://seeingthroughthenet.net/books/
http://buddhadust.net/backmatter/indexe ... ta_toc.htm
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Re: 'drink and drugs that cause carelessness'

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salayatananirodha wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 3:55 am
i dont think this specific argument is right because keeping the precepts is described exclusively in terms of benefiting the practitioner
there can be social pressure around breaking other precepts but its harmful to break those too
What exactly do you mean? I'm not sure I follow...
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/ud/ud.5.05.irel.html wrote:(2) "Just as the great ocean is stable and does not exceed the limits of the tide-line, so also my disciples do not transgress a training rule laid down by me for disciples even for the sake of their lives. This is the second wonderful and marvellous quality in this Dhamma and Discipline...
My eyebrows go up reading that. It really sounds that at the very least, that's how we should think about drinking.
i think social lubrication is not an acceptable reason to drink and that that entails getting at least a bit tipsy. Kare (from that 2009 thread) said in another thread he would drink literally one drink and not get drunk: viewtopic.php?p=37052#p37052Screen Shot 2021-04-11 at 10.45.39 PM.png
for some reason, i've wanted to have one shot of sake one time, but even that might not be appropriate for me since i used to indulge in drink often and i identified with it.

but im not fixed too hard to these views hopefully and i admit this has never been crystal clear to me. also had someone i knew die who was both a very knowledgeable ariya or ariya-to-be and also a serious drug user. never drank tho
as a die-hard buddhist im definitely not content digesting what others tell me is true without rigorous examination
I agree with you here. I think the problem with this comes when trying to discern whether something is harmful or not. Sometimes we can't tell whether it is or not. I can't give blanket rules for hardly anything in life other than "do not cause harm to yourself or others". That provides a pretty clean basis for morality in general, but this specific instance, and many others I can't really tell unless I'm confronted with it and even then, I'll probably make lots of mistakes. It seems reasonable that the interpretation "don't become heedless from drinking" stands but that is not the widely accepted interpretation and I couldn't recommend it.

I think the most sane thing to do given this, to avoid doubt, to avoid heedlessness and give the mind the right conditions to meditate, it's probably best to just abstain from alcohol altogether. But hey, I don't know anything!
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Re: 'drink and drugs that cause carelessness'

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salayatananirodha wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 11:56 pm there was a forum member on here who i thought made a good argument: viewtopic.php?p=37437#p37437
in summary, it's the negligence from the intoxicants that is to be abstained from rather than the substances themselves.
This was my reply to that poster (Kåre Lie) when he presented his view in another thread. I'm afraid the Pali words are in Velthuis rather than Unicode,

aa = ā
ii = ī
uu= ū
And the retroflex consonants are pre-dotted rather than under-dotted.
Dhammanando wrote: Sun Nov 08, 2009 5:17 am
Adam: I’ve heard two interpretations of the precept of “abstaining from alcohol.” Basically: “Don’t drink at all.” and the other interpretation of “drink, but don’t get drunk.”
I’m just curious what the texts say,
“suraamerayamajjapamaada.t.thaanaa verama.nii sikkhaapada.m samaadiyaami.”

We have had one proposed translation of this from Kåre: “I undertake the training precept of abstaining from the condition of intoxication and carelessness caused by beer and cider (or, alcoholic drinks),” which he then interprets as enjoining moderation, or abstention from intoxication, rather than abstention from alcohol itself.

I disagree with both Kåre’s translation of the precept and his interpretation of it. Let me start by taking up his challenge to supply a grammatically plausible parsing and translation that would support the abstinence interpretation.

To do so I will use Nyanamoli’s rendering from his translation of the Majjhima Nikaaya, which I’m satisfied conveys the precept’s meaning faithfully:

“I undertake the rule of training to abstain from liquor, wine, and intoxicants, which are the basis of negligence.”

I don’t know how Nyanamoli himself arrived at this rendering, but I would do so like this:

1. First I would divide the compound ‘suraamerayamajjapamaada.t.thaanaa’ into two sub-compounds: ‘suraamerayamajja’ and ‘pamaada.t.thaanaa’. I take the relationship between these two halves to be an appositional one, wherein ‘pamaada.t.thaanaa’ states in brief what is to be abstained from, while ‘suraamerayamajja’ specifies it in detail. In English the relationship between the two halves will be indicated by some phrase such as ‘namely’, ‘that is to say’, ‘consisting in’ or (as Nyanamoli renders it) ‘which is/are’.

2. I agree with Kåre that ‘suraa’ and ‘meraya’ denote two kinds of alcoholic drink. In the commentaries suraa is said to be of five kinds: “flour liquor, cake liquor, rice liquor, liquor containing yeast, and liquor mixed with condiments.” And ‘meraya’ is likewise given as five kinds: “flower wine, fruit wine, sugar wine, honey wine, and that mixed with condiments.” Some modern scholars have arrived at other definitions based upon a survey of the use of these terms in the broader Indian context. But both approaches issue in the same general conclusion, namely, that taken together ‘suraa’ and ‘meraya’ encompass all alcoholic substances intended to be drunk for the pleasure of intoxication, while excluding alcohol intended for other purposes, for example as a paint-thinner or an ingredient in medicine.

3. Coming to ‘majja’, I see three plausible construals:
3.a. As an adjective qualifying both ‘suraa’ and ‘meraya’: “intoxicating liquors and intoxicating wines.”
3.b. As a noun used appositively with ‘suraa’ and ‘meraya’: “liquors that are intoxicants and wines that are intoxicants.”
3.c. As the third noun in an enumerative compound: “liquors and wines and substances that intoxicate.”

4. I take pamaada.t.thaanaa to be a genitive dependent-determinative compound in the ablative case: “from the basis/cause of negligence/heedlessness.”

5. I have no disagreement with Kåre regarding the remaining words in the precept.

6. And so on this parsing fairly literal translations might go:

A. “I undertake the rule of training [that is] abstinence from the basis of negligence, [consisting in] intoxicating liquors and intoxicating wines.”
B. “I undertake the rule of training [that is] abstinence from the basis of negligence, [consisting in] liquors that are intoxicants and wines that are intoxicants.”
C. “I undertake the rule of training [that is] abstinence from the basis of negligence, [consisting in] liquors, wines and intoxicants.”

Nyanamoli’s translation is then simply a more idiomatic rendering of C.

Translated in this way, clearly the precept is to be interpreted as involving abstinence from alcohol itself, and not the state of intoxication and negligence to which alcohol leads.

And so we have two grammatically feasible parsings of the precept, mine and Kåre’s, which issue in conflicting interpretations. That being so, clearly grammatical analysis by itself is not adequate to demonstrate the precept’s meaning. At best we can use it to rule out some of the more far-fetched proposals (e.g., Roshi Kennett’s interpretation that it means abstaining from selling alcohol).

Are there any other grounds for determining its meaning?

For those who trust the commentaries there can be no doubt at all that complete abstinence is enjoined, for in the commentarial view the consumption of even small amounts of alcohol is described as “involving blame” (savajja).

Likewise, for abhidhammikas there can be no doubt that complete abstinence is enjoined, for in the Abhidhamma the aaramma.na of the fifth precept is stated to be a ruupa dhamma. Alcoholic drinks are ruupa dhammas; intoxication and negligence are naama dhammas; therefore the object abstained from is alcoholic drinks, not intoxication and negligence.

For Sutta-only Theravaadins I suppose the matter might be a doubtworthy one, for I’m not aware of any Sutta passages that provide unambiguous support to either the abstinence or the moderation interpretation.
and how we should reconcile this with cultural and geographical norms.
I would say that the proper course is to evaluate these norms in the light of Dhamma, rejecting whatever in them is akusala and keeping in mind that the Dhamma goes against the stream.
Correct me if I’m wrong but the buddha only established this training rule after one of his followers was rewarded by villagers with alcohol for defeating a powerful naga, correct?
It’s true that this is the circumstance that led to the Buddha laying down the prohibition against alcohol for bhikkhus. However, as with any Vinaya training rule, its purpose is not to be limited to merely that of preventing the recurrence of the particular scenario that led to its being established. And in any case, this doesn’t have any bearing on the fifth precept for householders, which was expounded by the Buddha in a variety of ways and contexts.
Now, what logic is being used by the more northern monks who practice drinking?
Among some Tibetan Buddhists the logic goes something like this:

1. All kammically akusala actions are included in the list of ten unwholesome courses of action (akusala kammapa.tha): taking life, taking what is not given, misconduct in sense-pleasures, false speech, divisive speech, harsh speech, frivolous speech, covetousness, malice, and wrong view.
2. The consumption of alcohol is not included in the list of ten akusala kammapa.thas.
3. Therefore consuming alcohol is not in itself kammically akusala. (from 1 & 2)

But...

4. Since consuming alcohol was discommended by the Buddha, it must in some sense be blameworthy.
5. An act may be blameworthy either because it leads to akusala kammapa.thas or because it is itself an akusala kammapa.tha, or both.
6. Since consuming alcohol is not itself an akusala kammapa.tha, it must be blameworthy because (and only because) it leads to akusala kammapa.thas. (from 3 & 5).

But...

7. Not all consumption of alcohol is sufficient to give rise to the akusala kammapa.thas.
8. Therefore the fifth precept enjoins only abstention from consuming excessive alcohol, i.e., alcohol in such a quantity that the akusala kammapa.thas may reasonably be expected to result.

The Tibetan argument wouldn’t have been accepted by the Theravadin commentators, although they would have differed over the precise grounds for rejecting it. Buddhaghosa and Dhammapaala would have accepted points 1-6, but rejected 7-8, since it was their view that even the minutest quantity of alcohol leads at least to mental akusala. Buddhadatta and Sumangalasaami would have rejected premise 2, since it was their view that consuming alcohol is included in the akusala kammapa.thas under misconduct in sense-pleasures.

viewtopic.php?p=37595#p37595
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Re: 'drink and drugs that cause carelessness'

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https://www.nku.edu/~kenneyr/Buddhism/l ... s%20factor.

Object. Alcohol means any alcoholic beverage made from grain, yeast, or any combination of ingredients. Examples would include whiskey, beer, vodka, and gin. Fermented liquor means any alcoholic beverage made from flowers, fruits, honey, sugar, or any combination of ingredients. Examples here would include wine, mead, and rum. Together, the two terms are meant to cover all kinds of alcoholic beverages.

There is some controversy as to what other substances would be included in this factor in line with the Great Standards. Since the Canon repeatedly criticizes alcohol on the grounds that it destroys one's sense of shame, weakens one's discernment, and can put one into a stupor -- as happened to Ven. Sagata -- it seems reasonable to extend this rule to other intoxicants, narcotics, and hallucinogens as well. Thus things like marijuana, hashish, heroin, cocaine, and LSD would fulfill this factor. Coffee, tea, tobacco, and betel do not have this effect, though, so there is no reason to include them here.

Items that look, smell, and taste like alcohol but are non-alcoholic also do not come under this rule. Thus, for example, carbonated apple juice that resembles champagne would not fulfill this factor.

Perception is not a mitigating factor under this rule. A bhikkhu drinking champagne that he thinks to be carbonated apple juice would fall under this factor, regardless of his ignorance.

Effort. The Vibhanga defines drinking as taking even as little as the tip of a blade of grass. Thus taking a small glass of wine, even though it might not be enough to make one drunk, would be more than enough to fulfill this factor.

According to the Commentary, the number of offenses involved in taking an alcoholic drink is determined by the number of separate sips. As for intoxicants taken by means other than sipping, each separate effort would count as an offense.

Non-offenses. The Vibhanga states that there is no offense in taking alcohol "mixed in broth, meat, or oil." The Commentary interprets the first two items as referring to sauces, stews, and meat dishes to which alcoholic beverages, such as wine, are added for flavoring before they are cooked. Since the alcohol would evaporate during the cooking, it would have no intoxicating effect. Foods containing unevaporated alcohol -- such as rum babas -- would not be included under this allowance.

As for alcohol mixed in oil, this refers to a medicine used in the Buddha's time for afflictions of the "wind element." The Mahavagga (VI.14.1) allows this medicine for use only as long as the taste, color, and smell of the alcohol are not perceptible. From this point, the Vinaya Mukha argues that morphine and other narcotics used as pain killers are allowable as well.

In addition, the Vibhanga states that there is no offense in taking alcohol in molasses and embric myrobalan -- none of the texts explain what this means -- or in taking fermented medicines that are non-alcoholic, but whose color, taste, or smell is like alcohol.
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Re: 'drink and drugs that cause carelessness'

Post by salayatananirodha »

pitithefool wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 4:13 am
salayatananirodha wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 3:55 am
i dont think this specific argument is right because keeping the precepts is described exclusively in terms of benefiting the practitioner
there can be social pressure around breaking other precepts but its harmful to break those too
What exactly do you mean? I'm not sure I follow...
1) there is never a situation where breaking any of the five precepts is preferable to keeping them
2) social pressure to break the fifth precept is insufficient as it is for social pressure to break the other four
I think the most sane thing to do given this, to avoid doubt, to avoid heedlessness and give the mind the right conditions to meditate, it's probably best to just abstain from alcohol altogether. But hey, I don't know anything!
this is what ive done for years, but is it enough?
16. 'In what has the world originated?' — so said the Yakkha Hemavata, — 'with what is the world intimate? by what is the world afflicted, after having grasped at what?' (167)

17. 'In six the world has originated, O Hemavata,' — so said Bhagavat, — 'with six it is intimate, by six the world is afflicted, after having grasped at six.' (168)

- Hemavatasutta


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https://www.facebook.com/noblebuddhadhamma/
https://seeingthroughthenet.net/books/
http://buddhadust.net/backmatter/indexe ... ta_toc.htm
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