DHARMA IN EVERYDAY LIFE
- BLESSINGS DO NOT LIE
By Nhat Quan
Lying is one
of the five precepts of lay Buddhists. For lay people, the
Buddha advised to keep the five precepts that are:
1- Do not
2- Do not
3- Do not
4- Don't lie
5- Do not
drink alcohol and use intoxicating substances.
barriers to prevent bad deeds of the body (deeds), mouth
(speech), and mind (thoughts). The five precepts are the
five strongholds that prevent you from going down the evil
path, the five barriers that prevent you from falling into
the abyss of sin, and the good retribution in the future.
The five precepts not only lead you straight on the way to
liberation from the cycle of birth and death, and freedom
from suffering, but also bring order, happiness, and peace
to your family, country, and society. Of the five precepts,
the fourth precept is not to lie, which has four areas.
1. Do not
Not lying is
always being honest, and telling the truth. The Buddha
taught you, never to lie even for your own benefit, or
someone else's, or for any benefit. You should avoid
profanity. Do not say untruthful things, whether to say no
or not to say yes. Do not slander or harm anyone. Especially
those who study the Way, if you lie that you have attained
Sainthood, or have attained Buddhahood in order to be
admired and worshiped by others, you will be guilty of the
great deceitful speech and fall into the three evil paths.
2. Don't say
offend with harsh words, skewering, cursing, arrogant
speech, harsh criticism, or rudeness. Words are a powerful
tool that can be used for good or for evil. So you should
speak gentle, kind words that are all virtuous,
compassionate, and beneficial to all sentient beings, and
everyone who hears them will be happy and respectful.
3- Do not
embroider more or less
evil language with malice. Do not say double-edged words,
hit two heads, or make two people who are close friends
become hateful, and hate each other. Therefore, you must not
say sarcastic words, add or subtract, or say sarcastic words
that make the listener sad and give rise to wrong thoughts.
You must not induce others to say bad things. You do not
mediate animosity between the two sides of hatred, the
hatred of the two sides to fight. When you see other people
saying such bad things, you must dissuade them not to say
4- Don't say
Do not talk
frivolous, meaningless, or dully as they disturb the peace
of you and others. Talking behind someone's back is evil,
regardless of whether what you say about that person is true
seeing the cruel retributions of lying karma, in the Sutra
of Great Means of Buddha's Gratitude, the Buddha told
- People are
born in the world, and disaster is born in the mouth, so it
is better to protect the mouth than strong fire. Because
strong fire can burn only this one life, but as said evil
will burn for innumerable kalpas. Fire burns only houses and
worldly possessions, but evil speech burns up the seven
possessions of the Saint. Therefore, Ananda, harm is born
from the mouth of living beings, and the tongue is indeed a
sharp hammer to strike at oneself, a disaster for
Avatamsaka Sutra, the Buddha taught:
You should give up lying, and always speak the truth, the
word is sure, and even in a dream, you should not lie.
- Don't talk
nonsense. You must keep your word. Speech must be truthful,
timely, in accordance with the Dharma, and beneficial to
oneself and others.
be timely, that is, it must be appropriate to the situation
when speaking. This requires you to know who you are talking
to. What situation are they in and what level of awareness
do they have? Otherwise, even if the words are true, they
will become meaningless. Therefore, the Buddha instructed
the monks to know:
- Speak like
the Dharma, be silent like the Dharma
many more teachings of the Buddha about not telling lies, as
in Ekottarikagama the Buddha explained the 5 elements of a
good speech in which it is stated that it is necessary, to
tell the truth:
- A wise
person who speaks a word must be based on the truth, without
fallacies, without deception, and must speak words that
bring benefit. Words must have a purpose and meaning, even
if it is true, but it is not intended to benefit anyone, it
is just nonsense, useless.
Madhyamagama Sutta, number 58, the Buddha replied to the
speech the Tathagata knows is not true, does not correspond
to the purpose, and which makes others dislike, the
Tathagata does not say it.
In the Agama
Sutra, the Buddha again taught:
- Mind and
mouth are no different.
mind thinks, the mouth says. When the mouth often speaks
well, the mind should think well. That way, you will be at
peace, and you will be a true cultivator. On the contrary,
if the mind thinks one thing, the mouth says another, the
mouth speaks this way, the mind is not like that, regardless
of appearance, it is a liar and a fake.
And in the
Fourteen Commandments of the Buddha, content of this text is
considered by many to have been extracted from ideas in the
Buddhist scriptures. In the second commandment it says:
greatest ignorance in life is a lie.
people think that lying to deceive is not harmful. In fact,
that lie is still harmful, because it makes you used to that
bad habit, and makes people around you not believe in your
words anymore, even though sometimes you tell the truth. In
the Avatamsaka Sutta the Buddha taught:
You should give up meaningless words, often guarding your
own words. Speaking must know the time, speaking must be in
accordance with the law. Words that are not only beneficial
to people, even if they are joking, but you also should not
In the Last
Teaching Sutra, the Buddha also taught:
- Don't care
about the world. Do not spread rumors.
worldly affairs, often stories, true and false self, do not
know right and wrong, dispute more than lose, are often
groundless, not authentic, unreliable, difficult to verify,
and may damage the reputation of others. All of these things
make people's minds restless, and wavering, only harmful,
not helpful! You do not need, to waste time, in vain, to
correct rumors, which are completely false. If circumstances
are not required, clarify. There are also many other forms
of lying, such as:
- Lie by
silence: Sometimes you are asked a question and silence also
implies an answer. If your silence reflects a falsehood, it
is a lie. For example, a police officer, investigating a
crime scene, asked the crowd standing around if anyone had
seen anything. If anyone witnessed the murder but kept
silent and said nothing, that silence was considered a lie.
- Lying in
body language: Sometimes a shrug or frown can be
misinterpreted as I don't know. But if you really know, your
shrug is a lie. Language can also be expressed by the body,
for example, when you raise your thumb, it's cheering, but
if you raise your middle finger, it's cursed by, etc.
accusations and perjury: are two other forms of lies that
the Buddha advised his disciples to avoid because they would
cause disaster to the speaker himself as well as those
promises: The Buddha classifies people who are clever or
make empty promises just to gain their own benefits as a
form of lying. Or you have the ability to help others, but
you give enough reasons to refuse, which is also a lie.
Pretending: Pretending to give false information about
qualifications, abilities, achievements, and virtues or
exaggerate spiritual attainments in order to gain benefits
that they themselves do not deserve to inherit. This
impersonation is also a form of lying.
In fact, not
lying is not limited to telling the truth, but also needs
using slander to divide, or cause discord between one person
and another, on the contrary, seek to bring harmony and
understanding between people.
using rude words to humiliate others, on the contrary, speak
elegant, gentle, and polite words to comfort, encourage or
useless gossip, must speak at the right time, reasonable and
there are also cases where the truth needs to be kept secret
because telling it can harm others. Such is the practice of
loving-kindness. Lying, only in the case of saving suffering
and danger to people and animals, is not a crime. The
Venerable Ones teach:
- Except for
the case for the benefit of people and goods, you do not
have the heart, to tell the truth, so that the person is
harmed or suffering. Because of your kindness to save the
savior, you will not commit a crime.
is when the Buddha told Mrs. Gotami that her dead child
would be brought back to life. But in order to cure the
baby, the Buddha told her to find and bring back a handful
of mustard seeds from a family where no one had died. The
Buddha used this untruth with good intention to delay
speaking the truth. This method helped Mrs. Gotami gradually
come to her senses and accept the death of her child.
Lies for the
sake of means, but do not let the means detract from the
original principle of truth. Talk about the cause and effect
of truth. If you tell the truth, you will be rewarded for
studying well and understanding the principles; understand
the truth. And the liar will suffer the karma of not
learning, and not understanding morality. When you
understand morality, your wisdom will turn into the power of
life, helping you to avoid wrong actions, and get rid of bad
karma later. The power of life is decisive action. For when
you know all too well which is wrong; Which is right in the
hairline, seeing the cause and effect should definitely not
do. Therefore, a Saint who lives truthfully and does not lie
for many kalpas should be blessed with intelligence, wisdom,
morality, and enlightenment of the Dharma. When you look at
life, look at the mind of a saint, and you will see that
they are as beautiful as a shining jewel. If you are lucky
enough to meet and bow to that Saint, it will be a great
happiness in your life.
truthful speech is one of the ten good deeds that
practitioners not only benefit themselves but also
contribute to building a virtuous society. To be orderly,
society needs certain conditions, including mutual trust
because everyone is honest. The following passage describes
an honest person:
- Here a
good man renounces falsehood, abstains from false speech,
and speaks the truth. Whether in a proper meeting place, in
the midst of a crowd, in a private home with relatives, in
an office, or as a witness at a court... Thus, you will not
be for yourself, not for anyone another, nor for a material
gain that intentionally misrepresents the truth.
also cases when you speak honestly and politely but still
touch the pride of others, making them unhappy. However,
sometimes it is necessary, to tell the truth, even if it
hurts, but it is beneficial. For a doctor who wants to treat
a patient's wound, sometimes it is impossible not to cause
the patient a little pain, because if the wound is not
touched, it cannot be treated.
passage, the Buddha describes the words of a wise man with
at the right time:
As you have
seen above, sometimes a sincere word that is not said at the
right time turns out to be useless or annoys others. A wise
person must be tactful to apply your words in the right
place at the right time.
accordance with the truth:
A wise man
who speaks a word must be based on the truth, without
fallacies, without deceit.
have a purpose and meaning to them, even if it is true
speech but has no purpose to benefit anyone, it is also
bullshit and useless.
ethical speech, which means it must be reasonable, and in
accordance with the Dharma.
5- In line
The value of
a word depends on its moral character. If a word has all the
above four elements but is not in accordance with the law or
morality, it is still dangerous. Therefore, good speech must
be both useful and honest, that is, it must be ethical as
know that not telling lies has so many blessings, sometimes
life is not as smooth as you think. Therefore, if someone
still cheats to defame, the Buddhist attitude when being
defamed and slandered should be:
be patient means you despise the slander and curses that are
common in the world. Even people of high morals and purity
can be criticized, denigrated, slandered, etc. The Buddha
himself was once vilified and slandered. Remember that in
this world, no one can avoid being reprimanded, or
criticized, and it is difficult to avoid the mouth of the
world. In the future and in the present, there has not been
a person who has been criticized by everyone or praised by
of being criticized, getting angry is extremely harmful,
because when angry, you are no longer calm enough to control
your behavior and language. When anger arises, it has the
potential to destroy merit and peace of mind.
- Give up
anger, then defilements will not come to you.
- Thank your
enemies, for they are your most important teachers. They
train you to cope with suffering and develop patience,
tolerance, and compassion. They do not wait for any
Before the 8
winds in the storms of life, in the midst of the ups and
downs of the world, it makes people's hearts wobble.
- Success or
- Win or
- Praise or
taught Buddhists should always keep their mind calm and
equanimous by practicing equanimity, they will be as solid
as a big rock standing in the sky.
Buddha taught in the Dhammapala-jataka:
happiness, in suffering, in ups and downs, you must keep
your mind like the earth. Just like on the ground you can
throw anything, whether sour or sweet, clean or dirty, the
earth is still calm. The land is neither angry nor loving.
Understanding like that, being able to practice like that,
is the method of practice, practicing equanimity, one of the
Four Immeasurable Minds of Buddhism, including Compassion,
kindness, Joy, and Equanimity.
does not need to justify:
The tenth of
the Ten Things of Mindfulness teaches that:
- Grief does
not need to be excused, because the excuse is human and you
have not released it. Let's take unhappiness as the gateway
excuse is that the cause and effect have not been consumed,
the hatred increases even more. Because people in their
previous lives created little blessings and many karmas, in
this life they encounter many unjust things. So there's no
need to complain. Just actively cultivate the mind to
nurture character, try to do more merit, try not to sow
resentment, don't spread rumors, don't slander, don't cause
suffering to others, even if it's an enemy of yours, so does
the person you don't like.
to endure like that, proves that you no longer accept that
you accept suffering, no longer accept people who create
suffering for you, that is, you have understood and
practiced the doctrine of no-self of Buddhism. In the
Buddhist doctrine of no self, nothing is I, so nothing is
mine. If so, unhappiness is the gateway to the path of
talk, don't pay attention
Buddha was about to enter Nirvana. Master Ananda knelt down
and asked the Buddha:
- How to
tame the wicked? When we meet bhikkhus, laypeople, and some
people with bad qualities, how should I deal with them?
very easy, you should use the method: Don't talk to them,
don't pay attention to them anymore
This means that when encountering people with evil nature,
in order to tame the wicked, you should ignore contact or
quarrel, and use concentration to let them turn if possible.
Meet these types of people, do not talk to them, keep quiet,
ignore them, and they will withdraw themselves.
Thus, precepts do not lie for the purpose of advising lay
Buddhists to be righteous, not to use words to benefit
themselves to harm others, or to terrorize others' spirits,
because it is untrue, wrong, or evil. You should only use
words to benefit yourself and others, whether that person is
a relative or an enemy. When you use lies to harm others,
your own mind will inevitably change, making your practice,
cultivating your mind, and nurturing your character, for so
long, become useless, but create verbal karma! If you are a
Buddhist, you need to keep this precept because Buddhism is
a religion of truth, so you must respect the truth. In order
to cultivate compassion, you must avoid deception. More
positively, you must speak the truth, know how to trust, and
say how to do it. Especially the kind words that please the
listeners are very necessary things to beautify life in this
mundane world because words have a very important influence
not only on the happiness of the people. individual, but
also can determine the safety of society, preserve
solidarity and keep society stable.
Words have an extremely important influence not only on the
happy life of each individual but also can determine the
safety of society. The words of a person of prestige, the
more cautious they must be. That is why the Buddha
introduced the precept of not lying to the Noble Eightfold
Path, the path leading to liberation and enlightenment.
To get rid of this, each person always needs to live
according to morality and social values. Speak right,
eliminate bad habits, and greed, and cut off malice. Only
then will you bring a peaceful life, peace of mind, and body
to you and those around you. According to the Ten Blessings
Sutra, you cannot lie about the eight blessings as follows:
1. Respected by the world.
2. Every word is right, loved by people and heaven.
3. The mouth is usually clean, and fragrant, like the
4- Often use gentle words, to comfort sentient beings.
5- Enjoy pleasure as you wish, and the three karmas are
6. Words are not sad, but also happy.
7- Respected words, obeyed by both human and heavenly
8. Supreme wisdom, no one more.
Thus, truthfully speaking it is best when a precept is
taught by the Buddha:
- Do not lie, it is very important for the life of a
cultivator. So you must always remember this teaching to
In short, speaking contrary to the truth to seek your own
gain or harming others is a lie. Due to greed, and malice,
events happen one way, you say another. Correcting
wrongdoing right, changing right into wrong, causing
everyone to suffer. You say that against morality, lose all
humanity, and not worthy of being a human. As a person who
has cultivated and studied, you should practice speaking in
an exemplary manner, knowing how to speak frankly, without
deceit. Not lying is keeping trust with people around. So
always remember that the karma of lying is a motive of
samsara, which you should not violate. On the contrary,
always say to yourself:
- Not telling lies is the ability to bring immense happiness
and blessings to yourself and to those around you.
Therefore, you must learn and practice how to be able to use
that tool to increase your happiness and blessings. Because
the goal of a cultivator is to create happiness, and the
center of practice is the apothecary of happiness. If you
really want to learn how to be happy, then you have to guard
your oral karma not lie.
If you have any recommendations,
please e-mail to: