Friend: What did Half Moon Bay area Dhammananda Newsletter’s article say about gambling and frequenting shows and entertainment?
by U Jotalankara
Extracts: 4th bad friend (out of 4 bad friends).
4. The fourth bad friend, who is a fellow-spendthrift or who de- bauches, also has four characteristiocs: (1) being a companion when indulging in strong drink, (2) being a companion when haunting the streets at unfitting times, (3) being a companion when frequenting shows and entertainments, and (4) being a companion when indulging in gambling.
Friend: What did the Buddhist Monk’s Discipline say about bhikkhus’ (monks’) “wrong resort”?
There are also several places to which it is not proper to take bhikkhus, such as the following, which are called the “wrong resort” for bhikkhus: namely crowded places or places of entertainment, theaters, concert halls, cinemas, stadiums, games-fields, exhibitions, fairs, casinos, nightclubs, brothels, army parades, and even fields of battle. It is common-sense that bhikkhus have no need for the various sorts of sense-stimulation provided by such places.
NOTE: “CROWDED PLACES” ARE INCLUDED IN “WRONG RESORT” AND IS AN IMPROPER PLACE FOR MONKS. SO ALSO ARE ENTERTAINMENT PLACES.
That means doing “Chient chient thare” by monks is totally wrong per monks’ rules. Those monks advocating “chient chient thare,” are they talking like true monks or like us, lay people?
Friend: The Azusa Temple’s lead monk had his assistant monk do the Nibban Zay’s raffle machine, all the time. Was it okay or appropriate with the Vinaya monk rules? Why didn’t the lead monk himself do it?
Friend: If he thought that it’s not appropriate with the monks’ rules, then why did he ask the assistant monk to do it?
Friend: I think it’s not a mark of a fair minded person.
(The Code of Discipline For Layman)
3 The Six Channels of Dissipation of Wealth.
i Indulgence in intoxication – six evil consequences
ii Wandering in streets at unseemly hours – six evil consequences
iii Frequenting theatrical shows – six evil consequences
iv Indulgence in gambling – six evil consequences
v Association with evil friends – six evil consequences
vi Habit of idleness – six evil consequences
Complied By The Ven. Sri S.V. Pandit P. Pemaratana Nayaka Thero
Chief Monk of Mahindarama (Sri Lanka) Buddhist Temple
No. 2, Jalan Kampar, 10460 Pulau Pinang.
Sigalovada Sutta which belongs to the Digha Nikaya, in Sutta Pitaka, is one of the most well-known discourses in the Buddhist World. It is also called GIHI-VINAYA-the Code of Disciplines for layman. This Sutta gives e clear picture of the domestic and social life of a layman. A layman must practise self-control, proper conduct, good manners and a sense of modesty as a preliminary step to be able to lead a happy, peaceful and progressive house-hold life.
In this connection, the instructions given by the Compassionate Buddha particularly for the welfare and happiness of the layman are to be found in various suttas. Among them, Maha Mangala Sutta, Parabhava Sutta Vyaggha-pajja Sutta, Dhammika Sutta and Sigalovada Sutta are well-known to the Buddhists. These discourses prove that the Buddha’s Teachings are not only for the welfare of the present world but also for the next world.
Some people used to criticise that the Buddha was not unduly concerned with the social life, economic progress, worldly happiness and material welfare of his lay disciples in the world. The Suttas mentioned above are shinning examples showing that such critiscism is entirely unwarranted. The Buddha had emphasized that without some degree of economic well-being, spiritual progress was extremely difficult. He realised that poverty led to various crimes such as theft and murder. He, therefore, asked his lay-disciples to earn money in a righteous way as much as possible without being lazy.
Once the Buddha explained to the millionaire, Anathapindika, his chief benefactor, that the four kinds of genuine satisfaction and material pleasure that could be enjoyed by a layman for leading a happy and peaceful family life were as follows:-
I Atthi Sukh –A sufficient income
If a layman has saved some money, accumulated some wealth and property in a righteous way, without indulging in any of the forbidden trades or professions he will be able to enjoy a genuine satisfaction in thinking of his own future security in life.
II Bhoga Sukha – Enjoyment of Wealth
This happiness can be enjoyed by layman, when he spends his money in profitable ways in looking after his parents, wife and children and doing meritorious deeds. The one who miserly hoards money will not be able to enjoy this worldly happiness.
III Anana Sukha – Freedom from debts
This happiness can also be enjoyed by a layman who is not indebted to anybody. If one is indebted to others owing to borrowing of money or other articles, he will have no peace, happiness or consolation in his mind until he himself gets rid of the debt.
IV Anavajja Sukha – Harmless Life.
This happiness can be enjoyed by a householder who leads a harmless life without doing any harm, danger, damage or causing misery to any of his fellow beings. If he has done any wrong or harm to anybody, he cannot enjoy any sort of satisfaction when he thinks of his own unwholesome deeds.
One day even at his death bed he, himself, will recollect and repent his wrongful actions and then there will be neither peace nor consolation in his mind. By this we can understand how much the Buddha was concerned about the material welfare of his lay disciples.
The Sigalovada Sutta is one of the outstanding discourses of the Buddha which emphasized social relations among various members of a society. It assures a perfect / harmony, solidarity and responsibility in a community by laying down obligations which a layman had to fulfil.
Although the Buddha had laid down this code of disciplines-for the layman two thousand five hundred years ago, they are still fresh and modern. These rules are applicable even today to any advanced and civilized human society, without distinction of cast, creed, colour; race or sex. If the rules are strictly followed, they will be beneficial to the creation of good citizens, men of integrity, the brotherhood of men and the kinship of all fellow-beings.