Sunday, November 23, 2008

Harsh Speech



http://www.flickr.com/photos/jaydubya/27774816/


Question: (unedited)
- I was just wondering if swearing goes against 'right speech'? I'm asking this question because i swear and I need to know if this is considered 'bad' in buddhism. If you could please answer my question, thanks.


My comment:

Hi, Thank you for asking me.

The beauty of the Buddha's teachings is that we can always use our common sense and human intelligence to analyze them. Now let us use our common sense to answer your question..... Well, you got the right answer immediately. Don't you?


It is always a very pleasant feeling when one hears polite and gentle words. It shows that the person is a noble and cultured human being.


Smile from justinchoo :-)


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Follow-up Question: (unedited)

well not to be rude or anything like that, but that doesn't really answer my question, im sorry, but at times my common sense isn't that great, thanks.


My comment:
Hi,

My apology for the indirect answer.


The direct answer is this. There are 10 unwholesome actions in our thoughts, our speech, and bodily actions. One of them is "harsh speech". Swearing can be considered harsh speech which is unwholesome. It is unwholesome because it hurts people's feelings and also creates aversion in one's mind. In other words, it is bad.


Please come back if you need elaboration.

11 comments:

Barry said...

Habitual swearing reflects and at the same cultivates unwholesomeness in our life. So we should be mindful of the habitual tendency to curse, just as we should be mindful of any habitual activity.

Mind-habits isolate us from the truth of life, as it is in each moment.

As Buddhist practitioners, we seek to live in the truth - to act the truth, to think the truth, to speak the truth, etc.

Sometimes, in order to speak the truth, a curse word might be needed - it might be that no other word would convey the truth. But such a use of swearing requires remarkable sensitivity to our own self-deceptions. In this case, swearing might not be "harsh speech" but compassionate speech.

This is my current view...

Barry

Justin Choo said...

Hi Barry,

I hope you are right and I am vindicated, for being a lousy Buddhist I also swear (mostly in private, mentally and in speech)!!

Thank you, my friend.

dr hsu said...

I have never uttered a four letter word in my whole life, but that does not mean that I do not have angry feeling or feeling upset against others, which if you are enlightened, you will not do.

Even if I do not swear, having anger towards another person is also not very buddhist, and that is why I am still such earthly beings, relegated to the wheel of birth and death.

A smile to a stranger makes that person happy as well as lift your own mood too. We all know that but how often we really do that?

I used to be a Toastmasters member, and usually we would tell uplifting story to motivate each others to do good.

But at then end of the day, it is whether we can practice what we preach that is really what is important.And I must admit that I still get upset when people scold me without any reason, and that is why, Justin, I got a bit upset when monster insinuated all those things that were not me in your other blog.

In hindsight, I should have just disregarded it. This also means that I am far from getting rid of "selfness", and very very far away , lights years perhaps, from enlightenment


The wheel of reincarnation would still awaits me for many generations to come.

A true Malaysian said...

Swearing is just a 'symbolic' gesture that one agrees to commit.

For example, a judge, a MP, a Adun, a doctor takes oath (ie swearing) before committing a position of responsibility.

In hindsight, are these swearing have any significance if follow up actions are way out of what one swore?

It is good thought that put into actions that count, not just thought without action.

Out of anger, as Dr. Hsu said, may cause us to 'curse' someone, but this should be alright if not convert into action that really hurt someone. After all, we are just 'human'.

By the way, Buddha never swear, right? That is why, Buddhism never tell people to swear. Am I right here, Justin?

Justin Choo said...

Dr Hsu,

I can't believe it! You never use four letter word in your whole life!!?? You are one Enlightened being!! I am proven wrong again, for I never believe that in this world there is such a person who never uses "four" letter word or its equivalent.

Justin Choo said...

A True Malaysian,

The Buddha was a fully enlightened person. He was beyond the dictates of worldly affairs.

A true Malaysian said...

Justin,

It is hard for us to appreciate the state of 'enlightenment' until one reaches that state oneself.

I perceive 'enlightenment' as something 'very pure' and of course Buddha was beyond the dictates of worldly affairs.

Even God, if He indeed exists, is not able to unite this world, what more about our enlightened being, Buddha?

CYC said...

I am dumb founded when Dr Hsu admittedly said that he has never used 4 letter words in his whole life. You have my highest respect, Doc.

May i apologise for those agitating words when commenting on your blog. However, i realise now that you are not suitable to be a politician. Just be yourself and walk the journey of life leading to higher realm of existence. Need to share your metta a little since i have accumulated none i presume.

Thanks to Justin for your kind effort to bridge the (had) known and know-not in this blog to learn the universal truth irrespective of religion, race and gender. May you be well and happy always.

The world with less hatred, more love and understanding will definitely be a heaven for those who seek to get rid of attachment.

dr hsu said...

CYC, that is why I am not a politician. I am a socio political worker , happened to join a party to try to voice out my ideals.

Whether the party I chose was the right one, I really do not know. I leave it to my karma... But i believe that its ideology is not wrong.

I am just a simple man, maybe with a little bit of analytical power. (romerz has more). Maybe with a little ideals.. (Justin has higher ideals), and maybe with a little fire in me (monster has more) . This strange creature is now sitting in a meeting with politicans and arguing his head out against about why UMNO is beyond salvation and that there must be change , including change of government, to save the future of Malaysia.

anyway, I should not talk politics in this sacred blog which is so pure and enlighteneing. I apologise for polluting this blog with some political talks above.. Sorry, Justin..

Keep up your great work of explaining Truth to un-enlightened souls like me.

dr hsu said...

CYC, that is why I am not a politician. I am a socio political worker , happened to join a party to try to voice out my ideals.

Whether the party I chose was the right one, I really do not know. I leave it to my karma... But i believe that its ideology is not wrong.

I am just a simple man, maybe with a little bit of analytical power. (romerz has more). Maybe with a little ideals.. (Justin has higher ideals), and maybe with a little fire in me (monster has more) . This strange creature is now sitting in a meeting with politicans and arguing his head out against about why UMNO is beyond salvation and that there must be change , including change of government, to save the future of Malaysia.

anyway, I should not talk politics in this sacred blog which is so pure and enlighteneing. I apologise for polluting this blog with some political talks above.. Sorry, Justin..

Keep up your great work of explaining Truth to un-enlightened souls like me.

Justin Choo said...

Dr Hsu,

Your comments are relevent here. We need a stable and peaceful country to cultivate our spiritual values. Without a peaceful atmosphere, all else fail.

Just to digress abit about your mother's advice "to know one's limitations". Maybe those days when you were young while your mum was rambling away you just disappeared somewhere without listening to her more important advice...

"and don't ever underestimate your potentials and abilities,my son. I know you are here to do bigger things than the other ordinary people. You are not an ordinary average person, so it won't be fair or even befitting to behave like an ordinary person.

All of us have our various roles to play. If you are a gifted and talented person, then it's your responsibility and duty to use your special gifts to serve the people. One day you will find that many of your friends will urge you to do more for the country and people. Then you must take up the challenge and not fade into obliviant just to enjoy your live in some outback and laidback country. Remember that my son...."

I think you should seriously heed your mother's advice above. I am sure she would have said that to you.


By the way Dr I wonder whether you have read my email sent to you a few days ago about the Flickr photos?

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