THE TEN PRECEPTS OF VIRTUES OF SAMANERA - Thong Hue
[As a disciple of the Sakyamuni Buddha and the Venerable Elder Thich Thong Lac, the translator sees that this book is of utmost importance for anyone who has set one’s mind on the path of practice to seek liberation. Therefore, though with limited first-hand experience in practice as well as limited linguistic ability, the translator has made an effort to translate this book from Vietnamese into English. The translator would like to wholeheartedly thank all the kind-hearted and enthusiastic friends for their great supports during the translation of this book. Though we have made every effort for the translation, there are always chances for further correction and this translation is still open for further improvement. Therefore, all of you are most welcomed to send us your constructive comments and recommendations.]
In the six years of utmost austerity in the Himalayas, the Sakyamuni Buddha kept the precepts so strictly that no one could do it better than him. Thanks to this, his mind completely let go of desire and evilness and became unshakeable. Therefore, when returning to the Four Noble Concentrations within successive 49 days tirelessly, he completed the Four Concentrations, carried out the Three Insights and attained the Holy fruit of Arhat. Such a human being, though with flesh and bone like other people, is the extraordinary one.
INTRODUCTION CULTURE OF TEN PRECEPTS OF VIRTUES OF SAMANERA
1. The first precept is not to kill = the Holy virtue of love and compassion for life.
2. The second precept is not to be greedy and steal = the Holy virtue of letting go.
3. The third precept is not to have sexual desire = the Holy virtue of purity.
4. The fourth precept is not to tell lie = the Holy virtue of being honest.
5. The fifth precept is not to drink alcohol = the Holy virtue of being sober.
6. The sixth precept is not to make up = the Holy virtue of being natural.
7. The seventh precept is not to sing or listen to singing = the Holy virtue of being quiet in dwelling alone.
8. The eighth precept is not to lie on large and elevated bed = the Holy virtue of being poor but unsullied.
9. The ninth precept is not to eat more than one meal per day = the Holy virtue of letting go of desire.
10. The tenth precept is not to possess money and valuables = the Holy virtue of letting go of craving.
1 [translator] A śrāmaṇera (Sanskrit) or sāmaṇera (Pali) is a novice male monastic in Buddhist context. Srāmaṇerī / śrāmaṇerikā (Sanskrit) or sāmaṇerī (Pali) is a female novice. In this book, the word “samanera” is used to refer to both genders.
2 [translator] “…the Buddha or ‘Awakened One’… was Siddhattha Gotama (Sanskrit: Siddhārtha Gautama), Sakyamuni, the sage of the Sakya people’…. lived and flourished during the fifth century BCE in eastern India and died some time around 400 BCE”. Source: Sayings of the Buddha, New translations by Rupert Gethin from the Pali Nikayas, Oxford World’s Classic, Oxford University Press, 2008.
“The Culture of Tradition of Holy Conducts - volume 1” is a book introducing the virtues and conducts of a person leaving home to enter monkhood since childhood as well as of a person in old age entering the path of practice following Buddhism. The first thing is the requirement (Precept of prohibition) that they have to learn, practice and train themselves to live and perform properly in line with the virtues and conducts to be a Holy Samanera1. If they do not agree to live in accordance with these Holy virtues and conducts, they are not accepted to become the leaving-home disciples of the Buddha2. As such the Buddha taught: “Anyone wishing to follow my Method has to live in solitude for 4 months, if one can live in line with the standard virtues and conducts of a monk/nun, I will accept the person as my disciple, I do not force or induce anyone to follow my Method, as the practice is for your own benefits, not for mine”. These precepts are the moral culture of humanity, they are not exclusive for Buddhist monks/nuns, they are the common assets of all mankind. It is because they are the moral foundation which is based on causality law, having human beings as its core, and helping people to live without creating sufferings for themselves, for others and for all living beings. So as a human being, one should study, gain knowledge, train oneself and accordingly become a worthy human being, a disciple of the Buddha, and later on will deserve to hold the torch of the right method of Buddhism spreading the light to others. In case of not being able to keep these ten precepts of Holy virtues and conducts, please kindly do not leave home to enter monkhood, do not follow Buddhism, because if you do so, it is merely useless, it is a waste of a life time, you would not benefit either yourself or others, but rather commit more sins and defame Buddhism. Because leaving home to enter monkhood but failing to live in accordance with these precepts of Holy virtues and conducts, you have unintentionally not fulfilled the duty of a monk/nun disciple of the Buddha, it means that you have defamed Buddhism as above mentioned, that you have killed Buddhism, and that you have buried Buddhism under the dirty mud...
Dear all! Do you know this?....
Do you see this?....
The lay followers even go to pagodas to Observe the Eight Precepts in a day and night to keep the eight Holy virtues and conducts of a monk/nun. So if you who have entered monkhood to become a Samanera do not live in accordance with the Holy conducts of a Samanera, what do you think? Do you feel ashamed? Do you see the Buddhist lay followers keep the eight precepts? Dear the honorables! Dear all the male and female lay followers of Buddhism!
Dear all! At present, the honorables including Bhikkhus, Bhadantas, Venerables, Most Venerables do not live in line with the ten Holy precepts of a Samanera, do the honorables feel ashamed? Do you feel that you do not deserve to be a monk/nun in the hierarchy of Bhadantas, Venerables, Most Venerables?
Dear all! As a Samanera, how could you violate, break and crumble the precepts of Holy virtues of Buddhism? You have made people disrespect Buddhism, defame Buddhism…do you know that? The teaching of the Buddha in the old days was: “If my laws and precepts are maintained, Buddhism is maintained, if my laws and precepts are lost, Buddhism is lost”, so who have made the laws and precepts lost? How can you have the heart to crumble, break and violate the precepts, disrespect the precepts, trample on these precepts of Holy virtues and conducts??? Whether Buddhism is maintained or lost depends on whether the monks/nuns keep the precepts or not. Thanks to your strict following of the precepts, your Holy demeanor is shown in daily life and makes the Buddhist lay followers and all people have the feeling of esteem, honor and respect. Only the Holy demeanor of the precepts can help you to let go of desire and evilness, as precept is the method of anasrava . Do you know this? You should take belief in the teachings of the Buddha and strictly follow the precepts, then your mind of anasrava will be in operation in daily life, as such, your life of practice following Buddhism will not be wasted at all. “Precepts give birth to Concentration” was taught by the Buddha in the old days, anyone who goes against this teaching is Duratama Mara4 which undermines Buddhism, making Buddhism to degenerate, burying Buddhism under the impure mud, uprooting Buddhism... Do you understand?
 [translator] Anasrava (Sanskrit) means the state without any suffering i.e. the state without craving, anger and ignorance. It is also the state of Nibbana.
 [translator] Demons of the sixth heaven (Duratama Mara or Mara-papiman).
Going against the above teaching of the Buddha brings you no benefit, rather it makes you commit more sins because you run after worldly sensual pleasure by pursuing fame and wealth in the name of Buddhism. Do you understand? As a result, you have unintentionally made your conceit formidable and considerable. You have no idea that the larger the pagodas and the bigger the Buddha statues are, the larger the debt owed to the faithful donors and supporters is, and thus the suffering karma placed on your shoulders is increased. Do you know this? When the karma has been accumulated in considerable amount, you would not be able to avoid but have to pay it and become an example for people to look at. As we have learned from the past to the present the examples of our Patriarchs who died after prolonged suffering from serious illness... Do you see this? Precept is the prerequisite in the path of practice for liberation of Buddhism. Please learn this by heart, it is the conduct of letting go of desire and evilness, it helps your mind to become pure and have a great inner power (The Seven Factors of Enlightenment) to carry out concentrations and the Three Insights. If you do not live in line with these ten precepts of virtues of Holy Samanera, please kindly return the kasaya (monk’s robe) to the pagoda, don’t continue to wear it as it is such a pity for Buddhism! Don’t use the Buddhist kasaya to pursue fame and wealth. It’s such a pity! Please cherish Buddhism, don’t kill it. As if it died, this world would be empty, we would lose a wonderful moral foundation which is based on the causality law and having human as its core, the wondeful moral foundation that people have been longing for ; losing it, human beings would live in endless suffering; evilness would spread out everywhere; the catastrophe of genocide would be inevitable. Please make a stop. Don’t violate, crumble, break or disrespect the precepts…Precepts will make your mind and body become pure. Precepts will help you to let go of desire and evilness, make your heart unshakeable in the face of evilness and feelings. Precepts will help you to enter the right concentrations, master your life and death, put an end to reincarnation, and escape the suffering circle of cause-and-effect… The above ardent and loving calls with true love coming from the heart of a person who has been living completely in accordance with the laws and precepts of virtues and conducts, has mastered his life and death and thus raised his voice to call people like a mother calls her beloved children, do you believe? If you don’t, it doesn’t matter, if you do, it will benefit you on your path of practice toward true happiness. With all respects, The Venerable Elder Thich Thong Lac
Dear all! These Ten Precepts of Virtues of Samanera are the ten Holy virtues and conducts which are not exclusive for the Holy monks, Holy nuns and Holy lay followers, these ten Holy virtues are taught for all mankind including the four groups of the Buddha’s disciples i.e.:
1. Monks (bhikkhus)
2. Nuns (bhikkhunis)
3. Male lay followers (upasakas)
4. Female lay followers (upasikas)
As such, the Buddha has taught that on monthly basis, the upasakas and upasikas should spend some days for Observing the Eight Precepts. Observing the Eight Precepts means the lay followers practice nine Holy conducts of the Ten Precepts of Virtues of Samanera. It is obvious that these Ten Virtues of Samanera are not only for Monks and Nuns, all Buddhist lay followers should seriously keep these precepts like the monks/nuns. Any lay follower who lives completely in accordance with these Precepts of Holy Virtues is respectfully considered as one letting go of desire and evilness. People letting go of desire and evilness are those entering the line of the Holy (enter the Holy stream), and so they are called the Holy disciples of the Buddha. The lay followers following completely these Ten Virtues of Samanera are considered the Holy lay followers. Even if one is a lay follower but strictly keeps these Ten Precepts of Virtues of Samanera and makes progress in the practice of the methods of Right mindfulness, Right concentrations, the person will easily attain the fruit of Arhat. The Mahayana people forbid the lay followers to read and study this pratimoksa5 of Holy Virtues because they are afraid that the lay followers will have knowledge to criticize and give comments on their breaking, violating and crumbling of the precepts etc. The Mahayana people forbid the lay followers to read and study this patimokkha  of Holy Virtues because they are afraid that the lay followers will have knowledge to criticize and give comments on their running after the joy of five worldly desires, on their going against the Buddhist guideline of “let go of the possessions for decent poverty, disregard the physical body for better attention to the practice for liberation”. The Ten Precepts of Virtues of Samanera are the steady and fundamental foundation for people who wish to accomplish the path of Buddhism not to be afraid of losing their way in miscreance and heresy; for people who wish to build for themselves a house of liberation not to be afraid of rainstorms and thunderstorms etc. The Ten Precepts of Virtues of Samanera are the steady and fundamental foundation of morality which is based on the causality law, having human as its core: teaching people to live without creating sufferings for themselves, for others and for all living beings. Therefore, not only the four groups of disciples of the Buddha but also all human beings regardless of religion should read and learn these precepts.
 [translator] The patimokkha (Sanskrit: prātimokṣa) is a list of rules governing the behaviour of Buddhist monks and nuns.
This Ten Precepts of Virtues of Samanera is a book providing moral teachings for people to become Human, become Holy, as such, all people can read, study and practice these virtues and conducts. These virtues and conducts help people to have a life of good health, peace, joy, happiness and long life.
With all respects,
The Venerable Elder Thich Thong Lac
CULTURE OF THE TEN PRECEPTS OF VIRTUES OF SAMANERA
FIRST PRECEPT OF VIRTUE OF SAMANERA: NOT TO KILL
Not to kill is the “HOLY VIRTUE OF HAVING LOVE AND COMPASSION FOR LIFE”. Both monks/nuns and lay followers need to learn to understand and live in accordance with this virtue and conduct.
The “HOLY VIRTUE OF HAVING LOVE AND COMPASSION FOR LIFE” means the love of life of all living beings on this planet.
Only human beings can carry out the “HOLY VIRTUE OF HAVING LOVE AND COMPASSION FOR LIFE”. Therefore, Buddhism was born to teach human beings so that we can establish a spirit of cherishing life. And thanks to the spirit of cherishing life, human beings can live without creating sufferings for themselves, for others and for all living beings, and transform the life on this planet to one of peace and happiness for all beings.
The planet on which we are living is a planet of numerous combinations of causing conditions to live and give rise to other lives. There are innumerable combinations of causing conditions and thus innumerable arising causes. Birth and death are nature of this planet. A living planet is a planet which has plenty of causing conditions combined to create a new life. To create a new life means the combination of causing conditions that creates a new species of animal or vegetation.
Therefore, all beings are created not by a CREATOR but through the COMBINATION OF CAUSING CONDITIONS.
We and all beings come into existence out of the combination of causing conditions, and so we need to cherish others, cherish all beings, as only with love and compassion can we protect the life of all beings and ourselves. If we heartlessly destroy the life of other beings, it means we destroy our own life.
Why do we call our planet a living planet?
In the universe, there are many solar systems, in each solar system, there are many planets, and most of them are dead planets as there is no life on them. In the universal space, there are fewer living planets compared with dead ones.
Living planet is a place where living environment is suitable for beings to be born, sprout, live and grow. Starting with the moss, plant to bacterium, insect and animal, and finally human appears. Human is the high-grade and most intelligent amongst animals.
Thanks to its intelligence, human is considered as the lord of all beings.
Animals living on this planet kill and eat each other without mercy. Human is also a kind of animal and thus has the savage nature of animals to kill and eat meat. Though humans consider themselves civilized, the ferocious nature is still in them.
As mentioned above, human beings are of high grade thanks to their intelligence and vivid sentiment, with which there are people who have escaped the cruel nature of animals, honoring the love for life of all beings. It is the Sakyamuni Buddha who has established for humanity a moral foundation which is based on the cause-and-effect law and focuses on human development; and called on all beings to live with the virtue of cherishing life (the mind of love and compassion) and true love for each other.
There is an order in terms of love and compassion towards life of all beings:
1. Level 1: Human beings love human beings
2. Level 2: Human beings love other animals
3. Level 3: Human beings love plants and vegetation.
The “LOVE AND COMPASSION FOR LIFE” combines all three levels. The love for life originates from the heart (mind) of love, compassion, joy, and let-go. In Buddhism, such mind is called the FOUR IMMEASURABLE MINDS. It is a method to practice the “VIRTUE OF LOVE AND COMPASSION FOR LIFE”.
A person with the mind of love and compassion for life is the one who appreciates life of all beings. And such person is a Saint, as only a Saint could live such a life. Having no heart to kill and eat other beings means to move beyond the ferocious nature of animals; such an act could not be done by animals, only human beings can do that.
Therefore, a saint does not come from the sky or from beneath the earth but from mankind who has the heart of love for all beings’ life.
Only human beings know how to rectify their mind and body, to prevent and eliminate evilness, to perform goodness, to create no suffering for themselves, for others and for all beings. A person who knows how to do all these things is a Saint.
From the understanding of sufferings, we make effort to correct ourselves to perform no evilness, and only to carry out goodness – it is the practice to become true Human beings and from that to become true Saints.
Please have a look at people around us, it is so hard to find a human being who has the heart of love for all beings’ life, isn’t it?
This VIRTUE OF LOVE AND COMPASSION FOR LIFE OF HOLY SAMANERA is to define the mind of love, compassion, joy, and let-go of a Buddhist monk/nun. Regardless of age, one must live in accordance with this to be a Holy disciple of the Buddha.
Nevertheless, there are some people who dress like the Buddha and call themselves Holy disciples of the Buddha and followers of the Original Method of the Buddha but still eat meat in their daily life without any compassion towards the killing and sufferings of animals. They have tried to cover such enormous crime and lied to people, especially to the Buddhist followers, they say that “Before His pass-away, the Buddha ate meat of wild boar”. Such a crafty and cunning fabrication. Look at it and you see that there is no better lie, as by saying “the Buddha ate meat”, no one could condemn them.
Meanwhile, the Buddha taught us: “Inherit method, rather not to inherit food”. The first precept teaches “NOT TO KILL”. Despite these, they’ve dared to fabricate the story of the Buddha eating meat before passing away.
At that moment, a Bhikkhu coming from afar presented the Buddha with an event: “Sir, there were two of us on the way here. Thanks to drinking water with worms, I kept my life to come here to meet you, whereas my friend, due to his adherence to the principle of not drinking water with worms, died. What is your judgment in this regards?”
The Buddha said: “Such ignorance! Don’t you know that the other Bhikkhu thanks to his not drinking water with worms had met me before you reached here? And you, even though you are here, you never truly see me. Do you understand?” This teaching affirms that nowadays Buddhist monks/nuns could never see the Buddha because they have violated and broken the precepts.
Only by drinking water with worms, it is impossible to meet the Buddha; so the question to the monks is: “how can the monks who eat other beings’ meat practice and attain liberation?” Where is the Holy Virtue of Love and Compassion for Life in those who call themselves Holy Monks while eating other beings’ meat? Do these people know the Four Immeasurable Minds of Buddhism? Where are the Four Immeasurable Minds in them? Without fulfilling the Virtue of Love and Compassion for Life, they could not become Holy Monks, Holy Nuns. Do you agree?
If Holy Monks eat meat, what kind of “Holy” is that? You think and have the answer yourself.
Even a true lay follower of Buddhism would not eat meat, so what’s the point of reading through Buddhist canons while you – monks/nuns still eat meat? Can you be compared to these lay followers?
This PRECEPT OF VIRTUE OF LOVE AND COMPASSION FOR LIFE OF HOLY SAMANERA identifies amongst the four groups of Buddha’s disciples i.e.:
1. Male lay followers (upasakas)
2. Female lay followers (upasikas)
3. Monks (bhikkhus)
4. Nuns (bhikkhunis)
who are the Holy disciples of the Buddha and who are the Duratama Mara6 disguising as Buddha’s disciples? Through the PRECEPT OF VIRTUE OF LOVE AND COMPASSION FOR LIFE OF HOLY SAMANERA, we could distinguish the true Monks from the untrue.
 [translator] Demons of the sixth heaven (Duratama Mara or Mara-papiman)
Once we realize the true Monks, we - as the lay followers of the Buddha - should fully respect and support them for the everlasting existence of Buddhism. If they are untrue Monks, we should neither respect nor support them. If we give donation to these untrue Monks, as they live without the mind of love and compassion and eat other living beings’ meat, we will unintentionally lend a hand to Duratama Mara to destroy Buddhism, won’t we?
How can Buddha’s disciples eat other beings’ meat? If so, is Buddhism worth being the path of Love and Compassion? Is it worth being the moral foundation which is based on the causality law, having human beings as its core and helping people to live without giving sorrows to self and others? Is it worth being the Path of Wisdom? If it is a path of wisdom, why is there consumption of meat without sense of goodness and evilness? If it is a path of wisdom, how can there be indulgence in the craving of eating?
To hide the vulgar and ferocious nature following the worldly craving in eating, some monks/nuns say: “Eat meat without seeing, hearing, doubting”, and “before His pass-away, the Buddha ate meat of wild boar”. Such sayings are so guilty that their negative effect would last for innumerable lives. As a result, nowadays monks/nuns could not attain the Arhat fruit; it is due to the effect of not keeping the Holy conduct of love and compassion for life. Though there are monks who don’t eat meat, they don’t have the heart of love for life as they don’t practice the Four Immeasurable Minds.
To slander the Buddha eating meat to hide their crime is a cunning and deceitful act of people under the cloak of Buddhism. It’s the act of breaking the virtues and conducts of Holy Monks of Buddhism, subject to Parajikas7 sentence, falling into hell and being beheaded.
The heart of love for all life is a Holy Samanera Virtue of the Buddhist monks and nuns. Regardless of being a monk, nun or lay follower, one should live completely in accordance with this virtue; otherwise, the debt of life would be so heavy in many lives.
Any monk/nun that goes against this Precept of Holy Virtue of Love and Compassion for Life is the monk/nun of evil who feeds one’s body with flesh,
 [translator] The first section of the Vinaya Pitaka containing rules of expulsion from the order for unpardonable sins bone and blood of other beings - How can such person be called Holy Monk, Holy Nun of the Buddha!?
In the Eight Noble Paths, do you know what Right Livelihood is?
Is sustaining one’s life with flesh, bone and blood of other beings Right Livelihood?
How can one live with Right Livelihood heartlessly eat meat of other beings? Is sustaining one’s life in such a way Right Livelihood?
When one sustains his life without creating sufferings for other beings, it is right livelihood. People talk and preach about Right Livelihood but they don’t live in accordance with Right Livelihood.
Without Right Livelihood, it is no point in becoming Buddha’s disciple, isn’t it? Better not to follow Buddhism, but once following Buddhism, one should live exactly in accordance with the Buddha’s teachings. Living not in accordance with the Buddha’s teaching is to defame Buddhism.
Therefore, one sustaining one’s life with wrong livelihood could not be called a disciple of the Buddha. There is no benefit to become a Buddha’s disciple while going against the truth of Buddhism (The Truth of the Way Leading to the Cessation of Suffering). Is this true?
The Eight Noble Paths are the eight ways to teach us a life of right conducts, which are virtues and conducts for one to become true Human, true Saint.
The Precept of Holy Virtue of Love and Compassion for Life is the noble cherishing treatment towards all beings that everyone has to learn and practice, not only for Buddha’s disciples.
In order to protect the life of all species on this planet, we have to try our best to correct ourselves, to live completely with the Holy Love and Compassion for Life. As the precept of virtue of Holy Love and Compassion for Life is noble acts, people should live accordingly to spread out love to all beings. Every species wishes to live, none wants to die. Is this true?
Nowadays in this world, there are millions of Buddhist followers, however it is as if they were blind, dumb and deaf…They are lending their hands to kill living beings, to prepare food from animals’ meat to offer the monks. Is this right?
So where is the precept of not killing for the lay follower having taken the Three Refuges and observing the Five Precepts? After having taken the Three Refuges and observed the Five Precepts, they could still heartlessly kill living beings to cook food for Monks. Do you think this is right?
Buddhist lay followers have taken the Three Refuges and observed the Five Precepts but commit such an extremely serious crime. Do you know what you are doing? You are harming the monks! Due to eating food made from animals’ meat, no monk has attained the fruit of Arhat. Who is to blame for the monks not having attained the fruit of Arhat??!! The Monks or the Buddhist lay followers?
The act of killing living beings to cook food to offer the Monks is the act of defaming Buddhism, of going against the principle teaching of “Love and Compassion” of the Buddha.
“Not to perform evilness,
Only to carry out goodness”.
“Prevent and eliminate evilness,
To start and increase goodness”.
So when you kill other beings to cook food to offer the monks, is it goodness? Is it to start and increase goodness? Do you know that you go against the principle teachings of the Buddha?
As we have above mentioned, Buddhist lay followers are just like the blind, the deaf, the dumb following the guidance of the monks who enjoy eating animals’ meat without sense of guilty.
In Jivaka Sutta, the Buddha taught that a lay follower who killed living beings to cook food and offered it to the monks had five non-merits i.e. five sins. This is due to the lack of thorough understanding of the right Buddhist teachings while only listening, knowing and understanding the interpretation of monks: “Eating without seeing, hearing, and doubt or one while eating meat but thinking of it as cabbage equals to eating cabbage…”. These are words of lie to deceive Buddhist lay followers. The monks even deceive you more with arguments so that they could swallow animal meat: “Even Buddha ate meat….eating meat, fish but think of it as cabbage means to eat cabbage, despite your persistence, once in the stomach all food is the same”.
Dear Buddhist lay followers! Where is the precept of Holy Samanera Virtue of Love and Compassion for Life that monks can heartlessly chew and swallow meat of living beings? Monks are Holy Bhikkhus, while Holy Samaneras don’t violate this precept, how can Holy Bhikkhus violate this precept? However, devotees have eyes but it is as if they were blind, have ears but as if they were deaf, have mind but as if they were silly, don’t they?
In summary, in order to become a Holy Monk, Holy Nun, Holy Samanera of the Buddha, one has to strictly follow the precept of Holy virtue of love and compassion for life, even strictly following this precept is not enough, one must also practice the Four Immeasurable Minds: love, compassion, joy, and let-go. Thanks to sufficient practice of the Four Immeasurable Minds, one could live completely with love for all beings. Such way of living can manifest the Holy Virtue of Love and Compassion for Life; do not follow Tuệ Trung Thượng Sỹ, Mad monk Ji Gong, Living Buddha of Golden Mountain and Zen monk Fenyang ShanZhao etc. who shamelessly ate meat of living beings and drank alcohol like worldly people, we could not have any more comment on such cases, as they are Saints of heresy while we are on the standpoint of Buddhism.
SECOND PRECEPT OF VIRTUE OF SAMANERA: NOT TO BE GREEDY AND STEAL
Not to be greedy and steal is the HOLY VIRTUE OF LETTING GO. All monks, nuns and lay followers need to learn to understand and live in accordance with this virtue.
A person who has the virtue of letting go does not accumulate or be greedy for material, property and fortune. One could create wealth and fortune by his own hands but should not let property and fortune give you sorrows and should live a simple life away from materials. People with the virtue of letting-go often see that worldly materials create “LIFE”8. Life means all things surrounding us and creating a life of sufferings. The more properties one has, the more sufferings one has. It is, isn’t it?
 Life (Vietnamese: Sanh y) means materials used to support human’s life.
Therefore, the more materials one has, the more one loses the virtue and conduct of letting go and thus becomes greedy, easy to get into stealing, crafty, deceiving, cruel etc.
Therefore, a person leaving home to follow Buddhist practice should “shave one’s hair and beard, putting on the kasaya9 (abandoned cloth), living without family and houses, having little desire and being satisfied with basic material condition, having only 3 pieces of clothing and an alms-bowl, with the mind which is as white as the seashell and as open as the space”. This is a life of liberation, a life without being attached to worldly materials of the Holy Monks and Holy Nuns. Such monks/nuns are called the Holy disciples of the Buddha and respectfully considered as those of Holy Virtue of Letting go.
The life of a Holy Monk and Holy Nun should be as the above teaching of the Buddha to deserve being His disciple. Otherwise, the person is not a disciple of the Buddha, but rather an imposter. There is no Holy virtue and Holy conduct of letting go in Buddhist monks/nuns who live in huge and luxurious pagodas with expensive clothes, with abundant worldly materials, with cars, fridges, televisions etc.
 Kasaya: is the robe of Buddhist monks/nuns made out of low-quality and coarse texture (scraps of fabric, cloth used to wrap corpses).
A monk/nun who does not live completely in accordance with this precept of Holy virtue of letting go still has the mind of craving. When one’s mind of craving still exists, skillful robbing and subtle stealing also still exist in him/her.
A Buddhist monk/nun seeking liberation has to live completely in line with this Holy conduct, by living in line with the Holy conduct, one’s mind could let go of desire and evilness, otherwise the person would fall into the wrong path of practice, suppressing one’s mind, not following the right method of the Buddha.
“Let go of possessions for decent poverty, disregard the physical body for better attention to the practice for liberation” is the teaching of the Holy Virtue of Letting go for the Holy Monks and Holy Nuns. In order to attain the mind of liberation, one has to stay away from worldly materials, living completely in accordance with the virtue of letting go like the Buddha, the Holy Monks and Holy Nuns in the time of the Buddha. Only by living with such Holy virtue and conduct, could we feel the true state of anasrava10 in our mind. Otherwise, we
 [translator] Anasava (Anasrava: Sanskrit) means the state without any suffering i.e. the state without craving, anger and ignorance. It is also the state of Nibbana.
could never taste it. The taste of anasrava is so wonderful, it is impossible to describe with words or symbols for someone who has never tasted it to appreciate it.
People with the mind of letting-go and staying away from worldly materials are those having the mind of liberation; people with the mind of letting-go and staying away from worldly materials are those following the right method of the Buddha and living in accordance with the Holy conducts of Holy Monks and Nuns.
The Holy conduct of letting go means to stay away from worldly materials, and only Buddhism has such monks and nuns. As Buddhist method teaches “let go of desire, let go of evilness” so the Holy virtue of letting go is a very necessary conduct for the Buddhist monks and nuns. If one doesn’t live strictly with the right demeanor of Holy virtue of letting-go, one could never eliminate the mind of craving and stealing in oneself. If one cannot eliminate the mind of craving, then one’s practice following Buddhism not only wastes one’s effort but also defames Buddhism. The monks/nuns who still accumulate lots of worldly materials are those with greedy mind. By looking at the possession of monks/nuns, we will know if their mind is free or not yet free from craving. Summer retreat once per year is to limit one’s activities and protect one’s six organs  of sense to focus one’s mind and body on the practice of liberation. However, nowadays Buddhist monks/nuns are no longer like that! Monks/nuns joining three months of Summer retreat are to share the money and materials offered by the Buddhist lay followers. After the retreat, the Monks receive their share of cash and materials, some people even carry their share in big bags.
 [translator] Six organs of sense include eye, ear, nose, mouth, body and mind.
Dear all! Can such monks/nuns joining Summer retreat practice letting go? Where is the Holy Virtue of Letting go when they have decided to follow the Ten Precepts of Samanera? Where is the Holy Virtue of Letting go of Samanera that they used to study and practice? Have they forgotten it all?
In the life of practice, thanks to the Holy Virtue of letting go, a disciple of the Buddha will no longer have the mind of craving & stealing, no longer be interested in money and worldly materials, his/her mind is very pure and as white as the seashell.
In this world, if everyone lives in accordance with the virtue of letting go, people could sleep without having to lock the door, without worrying about theft; there would be no cheating, deception, inaccurate weighing and measuring etc.; there would be no one who appropriates the fruit of other’s labour, or snatching; and there would be no bribery etc.
The Virtue of Letting go helps people who lose their properties not to be saddened or who have many properties would not be attached. Those who are not attached to the worldly materials and properties are living in accordance with the Holy Virtue of letting go and have a life of stability, peace and happiness…no sorrow, no suffering etc. related to materials.
The Virtue of letting go doesn’t mean the negativity of refusing to work. In the opposite, people with the virtue of letting go work harder than anyone else. Why do they work so much?
They work hard to live their life, to support others. To live a good life without craving is the virtue of letting go in hard working. Working hard and staying away from greed, theft, cheating, deception means the Holy virtue of letting go. Working hard to make properties without being attached to materials and money earned is a good act. Creating wealth to help others and the act of helping others are the virtue of let-go.
Therefore, the virtue of letting go always goes hand-in-hand with the virtue of hard working. One having the virtue of letting go and the virtue of hard working deserves to be one without greed or theft, one who is Holy Monk, Holy Nun, and Holy lay follower of the Buddha.
Such person knows how to live to cultivate the virtue of letting go so that one’s mind is not attached to materials, money, valuables…, so that one’s mind stays in peace, bliss and carefreeness, so that one’s mind stays away from greed, selfishness, narrow-mindedness, so that one’s mind stays away from craving, theft, deception…, while one lives in line with the virtue of hard working. Thanks to living with the virtue of hard working, one would not live on society and not become a burden to others.
Here, you should understand Buddhism says that life is suffering but does not tell you to evade life. To say that life is suffering means to acknowledge the truth that life is suffering. Knowing that life is truly suffering is to overcome it, rather not to be pessimistic to evade life. To mention that life is suffering means to point out the truth of a human life, rather not to abandon life, to run away (negative, pessimistic, keep away from everyone’s life).
Here, saying that life is suffering is for us together to practice to live with right conducts and virtues of a true human being, to love each other, to share with each other, to give up one’s interest to others, to contribute and work hard to help to lessen or eliminate the sufferings of life; rather not to know the sufferings of life to abandon life, to look for a more joyous, more peaceful and happier world... as in the texts of heresy, of Mahayana or other teachings that build up the world of gods, heaven, the Land of Ultimate Bliss, Nibbana etc. to avoid sufferings of this world; to dream of an illusive world of joy and bliss. Live in accordance with the Mahayana and other religions is impractical as one could never live on the salvation of others. If we always create sufferings to ourselves and to others, who can save us? Is that right?
Due to the dissemination of pessimistic, negative, passive thoughts, nowadays there are some pessimistic and negative people who are fed up with this world and look for another world of Gods, world of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Land of Ultimate Bliss, the world of Return to Origin, the world of Monogenesis, the world of Nibbana. Those people are full of craving, running after desire, fame and wealth, looking for more pleasures in other worlds.
People with such yearning do not cultivate the virtue of letting go. They are discontented with this world of human because they could not achieve the pleasures, fame and wealth, not because of their letting go.
One who lives to cultivate the virtue of letting go does not mean to be discontented with life in negativity and pessimism, instead, they are making a better life, contributing to make this world become one of Heaven, Utmost Happiness. If people live with the Holy Virtue of Letting go, the world would no longer have people who are deceiving, stealing, robbing.
One who lives with the right demeanor of the Holy Virtue of Letting go knows clearly that all things of this world are ephemeral, there is nothing permanent, eternal, there is no world of eternity, this is merely our imagination. All happenings are due to the combination and departure of the causing conditions. And therefore, human beings need to protect and rebuild the world that they have, to make it better, brighter, with sufficient morality in life.
Therefore, one cultivates the virtue of letting go but also works hard for oneself, for others, so that our presence is useful for ourselves and for others, this is not the evasion or abandoning of life as wrongly thought by some people regarding Buddhism.
The Holy virtue of letting go helps us to live a life of purity, without deception and greed, without stealing, a life of peace and being at rest. Please remember that deception and theft here not only include the act of taking without permission but also other acts of deception and craft such as:
r A worker going on go-slow strike also means theft.
r A teacher reading newspaper in class while giving work to pupils also means theft.
r A doctor receiving gifts from patients also means theft.
r A policeman receiving bribery to let vehicles carrying tax-evaded commodities into the city also means theft.
In summary, the Holy virtue of letting go conquers the mind of craving and theft, helping body and mind not be attached to worldly materials, allowing the mind to be in peace, bliss and care-freeness.
One who wishes to live with the Holy virtue of letting go has to constantly look into the truth that all things are impermanent, egoless, out of the combination of causing conditions and of suffering nature.
In this worldly life, when a monk, nun or lay follower live completely according to the Holy Virtue of Letting go, the world would be Heaven, Land of Utmost Happiness and how happy human’s life would be.
THIRD PRECEPT OF VIRTUE OF SAMANERA: NOT TO HAVE SEXUAL DESIRE
Not to have sexual desire is the HOLY VIRTUE OF PURITY. The monks/nuns and lay followers need to learn, to understand and live in accordance with this virtue.
People without sexual desire manifest that their mind and body are pure. If people still have sexual desire, their mind and body cannot be pure. When their mind and body are not pure, they are polluted with sexual desire. If one still has sexual desire, how can one be called the Holy Monk, Holy Nun and Holy lay follower? Is this right?
We understand that: sexuality is the nature of existence of all animals and plants. Therefore from the tiniest animals to the most intelligent one like human beings, none could escape the power of sexual desire. In Buddhism, sexuality is an impure and filthy path, full of sufferings and it is a road to endless rebirth.
Even people of high education e.g. scholars, great scientists etc. could not escape sexual activities. However, a Holy Monk, Holy Nun and Holy lay follower of the Buddha have to overcome the power of sexual desire to deserve being the Holy disciples of the Buddha. Otherwise, if someone who has left home, having shaved hair and beard, putting on kasaya but still has sex lust is Duratama Mara in Buddhism, is one of heresy under the cloak of Buddhism. Therefore, Buddhist disciples never have sexual desire, otherwise they are not disciples of the Buddha. Please pay attention to this.
If one wishes to become a Buddhist monk/nun i.e. to make one’s mind and body pure, clean, without pollution, one has to eliminate the sexual desire. Such wish is also the aim for one’s mind and body to be able to enter the concentrations, to master one’s life and death and open the wisdom of the Three Insights, to attain the Holy fruit of Arhat, to deserve being a Holy disciple of the Buddha.
If the sexual desire still exists in someone, one’s mind and body could not be pure. Without pure mind and body, how can one be called Holy? Is this right?
Therefore, the Precept of Virtue of Purity of Holy Samanera is also an indication if a person is a Buddhist monk/nun or one of heresy i.e. whether or not sexual desire has been eliminated in one’s mind. Also with this virtue, we can distinguish someone who can enter concentration from someone who cannot. Holy Monk or Evil Monk could also be identified based on this virtue. As such, nowadays there are some people in the form of Buddhist monks but living like worldly people with wives and children, living like a temporal person, how can such people keep the Precept of Virtue of Purity of Holy Samanera? Is this true? This is a waste of a life time, or such people only take advantage of Buddhism to gain fame and wealth out of the sweat and tears of the faithful Buddhist devotees.
Monks and nuns live together, joke, play, give people of other gender a lift, eat at the same table, live in the same pagoda etc. such image is the degradation of Buddhism, and it is so heartbreaking!
The Buddha has taught: “…should not meet, should not look at, should not talk to, have to contemplate as mother, elder sister, younger sister, have contemplation on impure body, have contemplation on white bones etc.”
If one wishes to escape the cycle of life and death, the path of sexual desire must be put to an end. That’s the reason why there is precept of not having sexual desire in Buddhism to help one’s mind and body to become pure and help one to deserve being a Holy disciple of the Buddha.
From this precept of Holy virtue of purity, the Original canons of Buddhism do not mention the marriage ceremony, as marriage ceremony has already existed in the custom and tradition of each people in the world.
To get married is to continue the path of life-deathrebirth. Therefore, people following Buddhist practice have to completely get rid of sexual desire to attain the aim of mastering life, aging, sickness, death and putting a full stop to rebirth. Nonetheless, there are pagodas organizing wedding ceremony or even hosting such event in the pagoda, such pagodas do not serve the meaning of helping people to liberate from life sufferings. Is this true?
Dear all! A Holy person could no longer have sexual desire, one having sexual desire could not be called Holy as we have above mentioned.
A Holy person is one who has gone beyond the worldly life i.e. escaped the nature of sexuality of animals. Sex lust of a human being is not different from that of animals. Is this true?
As a Holy person, one’s mind and body are totally pure and clean, one who is no longer engaged in sexual love between male and female is truly Holy. If one wishes to become Holy but keeping fostering the mind of sex lust, such person could not become Holy.
A Buddhist monk/nun who could not keep one’s mind and body pure and keeps on violating this precept of Holy virtue of purity should not follow Buddhist practice. Why’s that?
Because one could not put an end to rebirth if one follows Buddhist practice but still has sexual desire as above mentioned. If sexual desire still exists, one’s mind and body could not become pure; if sexual desire still exists, one is still drowned in suffering; if sexual desire still exists, one still lives in dirty and impure mud; if sexual desire still exists, rebirth continues, as sexuality is the path leading to three ways of sufferings of a human life.
In Buddhism, sexual desire is the first to be eliminated. Without elimination of sexual desire, one could never be called Holy Monk or Holy Nun.
As such, the Precept of Holy Virtue of Purity helps people who follow Buddhism to become Holy people – Arahants who are totally free from all sufferings (i.e. free from all craving, anger, ignorance).
As provided in the precept of not having sexual desire, any monk/nun violating this precept is similar to a prisoner with death penalty. Such prisoner is subject to “Parajikas”  (being beheaded) and not by any other means.
 [translator] The first section of the Vinaya Pitaka containing rules of expulsion from the order for unpardonable sins.
Monks/nuns violating this precept in Buddhism are no longer respected by others and considered as those undermining Buddhism, they are called enemy of monks. They are considered as shavedhead lay follower, a chanting worker assisting in funerals for devotees. Even if they put on kasaya with high education, having high ranking in the hierarchy: Bhadantas, Venerables, Most Venerables etc. they are not more than a shavedhead lay follower.
We should understand that a Buddhist monk is a Holy Monk, even a new and young Samanera has to keep oneself in the discipline of this Precept of Holy Virtue of Purity. If anyone violates this virtue, you should consider them as Duratama Mara disguising in the form of Buddhism and killing Buddhism. Please stay away from them, don’t give them donation, otherwise you are lending a hand for Evil to exterminate Buddhism and subject to the consequence of falling into hell.
Therefore, as Holy Monk, Holy Nun disciples of the Buddha, monks/nuns have to strictly keep this virtue. If one is unable to keep this virtue, one should return the robe and go back to the life of lay followers, rather not to shave hair and beard, putting on kasaya but still joke, play, glance, have chatting that triggers affection with people of other gender, such actions are not good! You are on a wrong path of practice which is not Buddhism. The Buddha has taught: “as for people of other gender, should not meet, if meet, should not look at, if see, should not talk to…”.
Nowadays, Buddhist monks/nuns violate this precept a lot regardless of young or old age. There are even people of old age with high ranking in the hierarchy of Buddhism still violating this precepts, this makes Vietnamese Buddhism suffer tarnished reputation of “enemy of monks”.
In the hierarchy of Vietnamese Buddhism, there are Bhadantas, Venerables, Most Venerables with leading positions at provincial and Central levels of Buddhism but inconsiderately having wives and children, some even having not only one wife but three or four wives. They show a complete disregard for the followers, consider followers as being silly and ignorant without knowledge of Buddhism and so whatever they do or say, followers must listen to and accept to follow. Followers dare not speak up at their wrong doings or have no idea if they have right doings.
Nowadays, there are millions of Buddhist followers in the world, but it is as if they were only blind, dumb and deaf people. They are lending their hand for the monks to violate and crumble precepts to kill the true Buddhism and will soon replace it with a doctrine which is immoral, superstitious and deteriorates precepts.
The Holy Samanera Precept of Not Having Sexual Desire sets out the six places of violation i.e.:
1. Violation through the eye.
2. Violation through the ear.
3. Violation through the nose.
4. Violation through the mouth.
5. Violation through the body.
6. Violation through the mind.
r Violation through the eye: when one sees the images of naked bodies of people of other gender, one has the sexual desire; or when one sees others in scanty clothing and thus has sexual desire etc.
r Violation through the ear: when hearing the provocative words, one starts to have sexual desire. Or when hearing vulgar words, one starts to have sexual desire.
r Violation through the nose: when two persons of different genders hold and kiss each other, sexual desire starts...
r Violation through the mouth: when one speaks words of sexual desire, of vulgarness, of provocativeness and starts to have sexual desire.
r Violation through the body: When two persons of different genders hold hands, sit leaning on each other, hold each other or lie on the same bed and thus have sexual desire.
r Violation through the mind: When the mind starts to have thought of sexual desire, deeper thoughts of sexual desire, thought of people of other gender which gives rise to sexual desire.
People who still have the mind of sex lust could not be called Holy Monk, Holy Nun. If one wishes to practice to eliminate sexual desire, one should keep the following teachings of the Buddha:
1. Protecting the six organs of sense (dwelling alone with a quiet life).
2. Practice daily the methods of Right mindfulness concentration for being awake and aware.
3. Practice the 18 topics of Breath Mindfulness concentration.
4. Practice to deploy the knowledge for liberation so that the mind is free from thoughts of craving, anger and ignorance [in Vietnamese: “Định Vô Lậu”].
5. Practice the Four Places of Mindfulness.
6. Practice the Mindfulness of Body Performance.
7. Practice the Relaxing concentration.
In the Buddhist canons, the fruit of "streamentrant" (Sotāpanna ) which means to join the line of the Holy is often mentioned. It’s impossible for someone whose mind still has sexual desire to enter the Holy stream.
 [translator] sotāpanna (Pali) or srotāpanna (Sanskrit) literally means one who entered the stream.
As such, people who let go of desire and evilness are those who let go of sexual desire, only by letting go of sexual desire could people enter the Holy stream and are called stream entrant.
In summary, the Precept of Holy Virtue of Purity of Samanera of not having sexual desire is the virtue and conduct of purity and cleanliness of a Holy Monk, Holy Nun and Holy follower, it is not easy for an ordinary person to live with this Holy virtue. This Holy virtue is not just for monks/nuns but also for all people who wish to put an end to the circle of life-death-rebirth.
We should notice this: an ordinary human being is similar to other living beings and thus could not let go of the mind of sexual desire, regardless of how knowledgeable one is. However, a person following Buddhist practice has to break free from the sexual desire i.e. to go beyond the animal nature. Going beyond the animal nature means to be called Holy.
An ordinary human being is better than an animal because human beings have sexual conducts in line with the constant obligations of morality for being human, because there is hierarchy, and it is not acceptable that a father and his child or a mother and her child could get married etc. But being a Holy person as above mentioned, one has to surpass ordinary human beings and animals by no longer having sexual desire. Someone has raised a question:
Question: When human beings do not have sexual desire, how can human beings take births?
Answer: When human beings no longer have sexual desire, they have become Holy people. How can Holy people get rebirth through the path of sexuality? When people no longer have sexuality, they take birth through transformation. Taking rebirth through transformation is the pure and clean way exclusively for the Holy (this is not the metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly etc.).
Question: If human beings no longer have rebirth, where would they go?
Answer: Can you ask a person who would not take rebirth where one would be born to? The question does not make sense.
Question: A human being practices to eliminate sexual desire to become Holy. The Holy no longer experiences the circle of life-death-rebirth. So when leaving this mortal body, where does the Holy stay?
Answer: A Holy person both when alive and when leaving this body maintains in the state of letting go of desire and evilness. In the state of letting go of desire and evilness, one would not be subject to rebirth. It is “where” the Holy remains and stays, both when alive and when leaving the physical body. Therefore they neither come nor go.
Therefore, we confirm that the path of reincarnation is the path of “sexual desire”. Anyone with the mind of sexual desire is subject to the control of the law of life-death-rebirth. Anyone eliminating the sexual desire puts a full stop to rebirth. You yourselves should think independently, don’t be too hasty in believing us. As we do not force anyone to believe. As anyone indulging in worldly sensual pleasure suffers from the law of life-death-rebirth. Being controlled by the law of life-death-rebirth means to suffer. Is this true?
Anyone who keeps the Precept of Virtue of Purity of Holy Samanera is the sign of a Holy Monk to appear.
FOURTH PRECEPT OF VIRTUE OF SAMANERA: NOT TO TELL LIE
Not tell lie is the VIRTUE OF BEING HONEST. Both monks/nuns and lay followers need to learn, understand and live with this virtue to bring about benefits to oneself, to others and to both.
The Precept of Holy Samanera Virtue of not telling lie is the Holy Virtue of Being Honest. A person who does not tell lies is a Holy one, ordinary people could not avoid telling lies, even a white lie or a joke is still a lie which demolishes one’s credit. Not to tell lies is a very hard thing to do, therefore, as a human being, everyone tells lie, whether a little or a lot, harmful or harmless. To tell lies is the karma of the mouth , therefore, only human beings commit the sin of telling lies, animals do not commit this sin as they could not speak.
 [translator] Karma of the mouth is one of the three karmas. The other two are karma of the body and karma of the mind.
A person who does not tell lies is the one of high credit; people would pay such person great respect, trust and profound appreciation.
There are four parts of telling lies:
1. To lie
2. To say harsh speech
3. To say differently with different people on the same matter with a negative intention.
4. To tell cheatings
THERE ARE MANY FORMS OF TELLING LIES:
a- To praise someone who is not as good as the praise, this is to “tell lies”. Such a lie is a flattery to win the senior’s heart. To praise immoral activities of others as moral is “mendacious”.
b- To say that the Most Venerables who had died in suffering diseases entered into Nibbana is “mendacious” as they did not know how to enter into Nibbana.
c- To say wrongly about something is mendacious. The Diamond Sutta says: “Bodhisattvas having rescued all beings will become Buddhas” which means a person who practices to get rid of all thoughts will become a Buddha. Such teaching is mendacious, as when a person finishes all thoughts, his mind will fall into “Emptiness” instead of becoming a Buddha. Buddha actually means the mind which is uninfluenced  in front of evilness and feelings, rather than the mind without thoughts or without distinction or not staying anywhere etc.
 [translator] The state of perfect equanimity of the mind when it is free from greed, anger, ignorance, conceit, doubt.
d- In the Heart Sutta: “… practicing deeply with the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore…would discover that all of the five khandhas  are equally empty”. Such teaching is “a lie” as there has not been anyone who could see the five khandhas as empty. Aryasimha was killed because of this lie. In pagodas, days and nights with four periods, people recite and chant the Heart Sutta and we have not seen anyone truly go beyond sufferings, so this sutta is mendacious.
 [translator] Five skandhas (Sanskrit) or khandhas (Pāḷi) are five aggregates that constitute a human being. They are material form, feeling, imagination, operation, and wisdom.
e- If someone does not see or hear something but says that he or she does see or hear it, this is a lie.
f- If someone does see or hear something but says that he or she does not see or hear it, this is a lie.
g- To fabricate, to slander others means to tell lie.
h- Having doubt and telling things which are not true is a falsehood.
i- To sing the praise without adequate substance means to tell lie.
j- To add or cut details, to spread a rumour so that people will make fun of someone. This is telling lie.
k- To sing the praise of someone in the wrong way is to tell lie.
l- A person who does not live in accordance with the [Buddhist] laws and principles while adopting the appearance of a monk/nun to call one’s self as monk/nun, this is telling lie.
m- To backbite one person in front of other person and vice versa, this is telling lie.
n- To praise people in front of them and backbite at their back, this is telling lie.
o- To criticize others in the wrong way i.e. without adequate comprehension of others’ knowledge means to tell lie.
p- To criticize the Buddha’s laws and principles as out of date means to tell lie.
q- To criticize that an Arhat still has habit energy or still has dispute without having adequate understanding and knowledge of a person attaining Arhat fruition is telling lie.
r- To invent many Arahant fruitions as in the Mahayana canons: 1- Arahants with full enlightenment, 2- Arahants who are independently awakened, 3- Sound-hearer Arahant etc. This is mendacious, because the fruit of Arahant means to be totally free from all sufferings ; anyone who practices and attains the mind of being totally free from all sufferings is the one who attains the fruit of Arahant. There is no hierarchy in Arahant fruition; to invent the hierarchy for Arahant fruition is of mundane thought or worldly way of thinking. It is mendacious when a person who has not attained the Arahant status invents Arahant fruitions. Therefore, to praise or to defame, or to create division not in accordance with the truth are to tell lie.
 [translator] This means to be free from craving, anger, ignorance, ego and doubt.
s-To say something that others could not understand with their mind but with their imagination means to tell lie. For example, it is a lie saying that there exist souls of the dead, the Buddha-nature, the metaphysical world, it is imaginary and unreal.
t- Saying that there is self and soul in human beings is to tell lie. Previously, the Buddha taught: “If I say something that people understand and perceive with their mind, it means I don’t tell lie. If I say something that people have to understand it with their imagination, it means there is lie in my sayings”.
u- Saying that the Buddha-nature is the awareness outside the knowing of the mind, of the imagination and of the wisdom is to tell lie, as apart from the mentioned three knowings, there is no other knowing.
v- Saying that the metaphysical world exists i.e. souls of the dead exist is to tell lie, people say so without knowing that what they call souls are created by the aggregate of imagination of a living person.
w- Saying that there exist heavenly realm and Utmost Happiness realm means to tell lie as there is no such realms and they are created by the imagination of human beings.
x- Saying that human world is real is also a lie, as human world is the world of combination of causing conditions. Once there is combination, there is also departure, and so life and death are the combination and departure of causing conditions. There is nothing real as all is just combination and departure, saying that it is real is a lie. Why is that? As human world is the combination of causing conditions, there is no real-self. Saying that human world is real is to say from imagination, it is as illusive as in the heterodox texts.
y- Saying that human beings reincarnated from the Light-sound heaven to the human world is to tell lie, because with such saying, humans could only perceive it via imagination instead of the understanding of the mind.
As such, the Buddha taught: “If I say something that people understand and perceive with their mind, it means I don’t tell lie, otherwise, it means there is lie in my sayings”. Saying something that people don’t understand or understand ambiguously, without details and clarity is to tell lie.
A right Buddhist monk/nun never says anything that wriggles like an eel: “both exist and not exist” (form is emptiness, emptiness is form), such saying is a lie, a deception, a cheating. We would like to repeat the above: In the Heart Sutta: “...practicing deeply with the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore… would discover that all of the five khandhas are equally empty”. Such teaching is a lie, as for uncountable generations since the introduction of this saying, in pagodas, people have been reciting and chanting this on daily basis and have the five khandhas of the Monks become empty?
If the five khandhas are empty, why have the Monks still suffered from diseases?
If the five khandhas are empty, why are there huge pagodas with big statues? If the five khandhas are empty, why are the Monks still so greedy, angry and ignorant? Obviously, the saying is deceptive, is to tell lie to mislead people.
The Lotus Sutta says: “Even someone has committed a tremendous mountain of crime, [such crime would be erased] only by chanting a few lines of Lotus Sutta”. This teaching is a lie. Has there been anyone committed robbery, murder and thus been imprisoned and sentenced to death and just by chanting the Lotus Sutta such person can be released and freed from the death sentence?
The Holy Samanera Virtue of not telling lie is the Holy virtue related to the karma of the mouth, therefore, when we say something or expound the sutta or lecture on any canon, we have to say the meaning with our first-hand experience of practice in details and with clarity, this is not to tell lie; but if we teach something that we ourselves have not practiced and attained practical results, such teaching is a lie. When we teach and people accordingly practice and attain liberation practically, this is telling the truth; when we teach and people could not attain practical result, this is telling lie. The Buddha has affirmed: “My Dharma is not time consuming, you come to practice and see the result”. This is how the Buddha has asserted that his teaching is not a lie.
Therefore, the liberation comes together with the practice of the method, such method is not a lie. Therefore, the method to practice concentration of Buddhism is very clear: “prevent evilness, eliminate evilness”, this is a method leading to evident liberation. As when we prevent and eliminate evilness we clearly see the freedom in our heart.
People who know what evilness is but fail to prevent and eliminate it do not salvage themselves. Is this right? Those who prevent and eliminate evilness will finish their sufferings. Such is true method, no lie at all, as the method teaches that one will attain immediate result in proportion with the extent of one’s practice. Such teaching nurtures us to become human beings who do not tell lie. Such preachers are the keepers of the Holy Samanera Virtue of Honesty.
One who has attained the Arhat fruition gives lecture and teaches others to practice, such person does not tell lie.
People who have not practiced and attained the Arhat status but give lectures and teach others to practice are liars even though they teach in accordance with the meaning of the canons. Due to the lack of practical experience, their teachings fail to lead others to the result of liberation. As a result, it turns out to be a lie.
In the time of the Buddha, He did not allow people who had not attained full enlightenment to teach because without full enlightenment, they would kill people instead of rescuing them. You can see the present evidence, the number of Buddhist followers is huge but who has mastered the life, aging, sickness and death? Yet it costs people billions in constructing pagodas and Buddha statues and their energy and time to practice, but what is their result?
“My Dharma is not time consuming, you come to practice and see the result”. This teaching shows us that the method of the Buddha is very practical and in details. As the method gives immediate results, for example in a teaching of the Buddha: “My mind is greedy, I know my mind is greedy…”. Once we know our mind is greedy, we know that it is evilness; once we know it is evilness, we will quickly stop such greed, and we are liberated right there, aren’t we?
If you know your mind contains anger, you will immediately stop such anger, you will get liberation right there, in the opposite, if you don’t stop that anger, you suffer. Is that true?
The method of the Buddha is practical, isn’t it?
With practice, there would be no lie, wouldn’t there? Impractical methods are as such: To sit and suppress the mind so that there would not be any thought; chanting Buddha’s name so that there is no other thought than the Buddha’s name, chanting suttas to ask for things etc. Can these practices eliminate greed, anger, ignorance? Are they practical and in details as the Buddha’s teachings mentioned above? So to sit and suppress the mind so that there would not be any thought; chanting Buddha’s name so that there is no other thought than the Buddha’s name to have rebirth in Pure Land, chanting suttas to ask for Buddhas’ protection from accidents etc. are all lies, they are not true methods, simply deceit to cost people’s money and effort for nothing good.
The Precept of Holy Samanera Virtue of Honesty has confirmed that the majority of preachers nowadays are liars. They tell lies because they teach what they have not practiced (not fully enlightened). The Mahayana canons teach: “Follow the teachings, not follow the people”. This teaching covers the lies of preachers. Telling others to follow precepts while they themselves do not follow is to tell lie. Teaching others to attain Holy fruitions while the preacher has not attained Holy fruition is to tell lie.
In summary, when we have not completed our practice, we should be as quiet as a Saint. It is to tell lie to teach others without being fully enlightened; people should be aware of such counterfeit Sages. They are “fake” Boddhisattvas and only tell lies. The Holy Samanera Virtue of not telling lie is to identify people who strictly follow precepts. They are Holy Monks, Holy Nuns and Holy lay followers; they are true disciples of the Buddha. In the opposite, those who violate, break and crumb the precepts and often tell lies are Duratama Mara, disguising in Buddhist form to cheat people and uproot Buddhism.
FIFTH PRECEPT OF VIRTUE OF SAMANERA: NOT TO DRINK ALCOHOL
Not to drink alcohol is the HOLY VIRTUE OF BEING SOBER. Both monks/nuns and lay followers need to learn to properly understand and live in accordance with this virtue and conduct so as not to create sufferings for oneself, for others and for both.
A person who is considered as being sober should not let one’s body and mind contracted in worldly evilness such as: cigarettes, coffee, tea, heroin, opium and any kind of alcohols making people drunk, addicted, making their body ailing, their nerves tense, confused, making people crazy and insane etc. such things make people addicted and not able to quit.
In the life of human beings, there are so many worldly evils that make people’s mind and body attracted and addicted to:
Alcohol is a poisonous liquid, drinking it will stimulate the body and make people act as if they were crazy, walking with tottering steps, falling backward and forward, lying anywhere regardless clean or dirty, uttering gibberish, repeating a sentence for many times, and such things take away the feeling of respect from others.
People drinking alcohol are not wise, actually they are the most stupid.
- Firstly, they lose money in buying alcohol.
- Secondly, they unconsciously bring poison into their body. Alcohol brings diseases which are difficult to treat to the body and makes the mind doltish and not lucid.
- Thirdly, alcohol makes people become greedy in eating, in drinking, easy to get into fighting, insulting spouses, children and neighbors.
- Fourthly, a drunk person could disturb the neighborhood and public security.
A person’s value would deteriorate when he is drunk, let alone a Buddhist monk/nun, there is no good value or sense of liberation in a drunk Buddhist monk/nun, how can someone of liberation get drunk or get addicted? Is this right?
Once getting drunk and being excited, the drunk see themselves as the highest and above all others and thus using haughty words, exalting self and depreciating others, insulting others, shouting, abusing bad words, swearing etc.
A Buddhist monk is a Holy Monk, but if such person holds a glass of wine or a can of beer, then what sort of Buddhist disciple or what sort of Holy Monk of the Buddha is that?
Even with ordinary people drinking alcohol, others would see them as unwise, not perspicacious, and unkind toward themselves. Bringing poison into their body to hurt themselves is an action of crazy people or people who have lost their minds.
It is said that: the Immortals often drink alcohol (Immortal alcohol). Is this true?
Such saying is stemmed from the imagination of human beings regarding those who fully enjoy worldly pleasures without hard working (as happy as the Immortals). The Immortals are only in imagination, in fact, when a person leaves for practice in the forest, where can they have alcohol to drink? Who would make alcohol for them to drink? Such image of the immortal is only the imagination of human beings!
The Holy Virtue of Being Sober shows us that the Holy, the Immortal, the Buddha are sober, perspicacious. How can one be sober and perspicacious if he drinks alcohol?
If an Immortal drinks alcohol, he is not an Immortal but rather an ordinary person enjoying eating and drinking. An Immortal is one with pure mind and body, being wise and lucid and therefore would not take alcohol.
If a person is drowned in alcohol, he could not be called an Immortal but instead a Stupid. Only the stupid gets addicted and hurt their mind and body. There is no happiness for those drinking alcohol. Is this true? Such people hurt themselves, their spouses and children and parents. Alcohol is bitter and brings many suffering diseases etc.
People without right understanding consider Li Bai as an Immortal. The truth is Li Bai is a drunk poet. With alcohol, he could write poems, without alcohol, he could not write poems.
According to the teachings of the Buddha’s Suttas: there are five standards for a true human being and drinking is a standard for not deserving to be a true human being. A drinking person is not a true human being. Therefore, if one is called an Immortal, the person is more than an ordinary human being. A drinking person does not meet the standard of being a true human being, let alone of being an Immortal. Is this true?
Virtues and conducts are used for distinguishing the Holy, the Immortal, the Buddha from humans and animals. The standard of virtues and conducts clearly identifies who is animal, who is human, who is Holy, who is Immortal, and who is Buddha. The Precept of Holy Samanera Virtue of Being Sober certifies this.
And so in Buddhism, laws and principles are used to define and classify: how to be a true human, how to be a true Immortal, how to be a true Holy and how to be a true Buddha. It is easy to meet animal standard, but it is not easy to meet the standard of a true human being, therefore Confucius said: “It is difficult to be a human being”. It is thousand-fold difficult to be Holy, Immortal, and Buddha.
Such standard is set out by Buddhism via daily life conducts; it is cheating to call anyone who does not meet such standard as human, Holy, Immortal, Buddha.
And so, from the perspective of Buddhist standards, we could differentiate a true Human, Holy, Immortal, Buddha from the fake. No one can cheat us. Is this right?
The Ten Precepts of Virtues of Holy Samanera let us know clearly the true Buddhist monks/nuns and the fake ones in Buddhism.
Any Buddhist monk/nun violating even just one amongst the ten Holy Precepts of Samanera is not a Buddhist monk/nun but rather a Duratama Mara disguising in Buddhist form. They are pursuing fame, wealth, worldly sensual pleasure, huge pagodas and big statues etc. Buddhist followers should stay away from them.
We would like to repeat, there is no righteousness in someone who is considered as a Holy Monk of the Buddha but holds a glass of wine or a can of beer or smokes a cigarette. Is this right?
Nevertheless, one Most Venerable who is a teacher said that: “It is taught in Buddhism: drinking is allowed but you should not get drunk”. This is the teaching of evil, the precepts of Buddhism do not allow even lay followers to drink, let alone monks/nuns. However, this Most Venerable dares to give such teaching in front of a big crowd of Buddhist followers taking refuges in the Three Jewels and Five Precepts. Such a sadness!
The Buddha prohibits drinking alcohol as alcohol is an addictive substance which easily attracts people.
Apart from alcohol, we need to understand there are other addictive substances such as: cigarette, tea, coffee, drug etc. though the Buddha did not mention, we should know that these are poisonous substances that bring illness and diseases to our body and sufferings to us. As such, there would be no value of a Buddhist monk/nun, no value of a Holy Monk in someone smoking cigarette and fuming. Is this right?
A Holy Monk could not drown himself in these poisonous substances, because being drowned in them means there is no right demeanor of a Buddhist monk. The right demeanor of Buddhist monks/nuns does not allow them to inconsiderately live with such addictive substances.
A Holy Monk is the field of blessedness of all beings. If such symbol of field of blessedness smokes cigarette or drinks alcohol, then of whom is such field of blessedness?
It doesn’t matter if one is not a Buddhist Monk or Nun; however, if a person is a Monk or Nun, he or she needs to be in the right manner of a Buddhist disciple; otherwise, any violation would lead to defamation of the Dharma, of Buddhism and in such case who will be responsible for such crime?
So Buddhist Monks and Nuns breaking the precept at present will receive the sentence of falling into hell. Prior to the time of death, they will have to suffer from serious diseases, sudden grave illness with unlimited pains. Don’t say that this is karmic payoff or accumulation of karma. Monks and Nuns who are Holy should be able to make “transformation”, with transformation how could one have such suffering feelings? The saying of karmic payoff, karmic accumulation is only words of deception to cover up their sins.
A lay follower fully following the five precepts will know his or her date and time of death with slight disease and pass away peacefully without much sufferings. In the opposite, Monks and Nuns violating and breaking the precept and failing in all Holy demeanors and leading to depravation of Buddhism will suffer huge pains and great misery at the time of death. As such, there have been scenes of unspeakable suffering of the Most Venerables, the Venerables, the Bhadantas prior to their death.
The example of those Monks and Nuns violating the laws reminds others to avoid such path of failure.
Is there anything good in alcohol, cigarette etc. to be attracted to? Alcohol, cigarette, drug etc. are poisonous substances that everyone should stay away from. Someone still enjoying alcohol, cigarette, etc. should not leave home to become Monk, Nun.
Monks, Nuns are Holy disciples of the Buddha and therefore should abandon and stay away from alcohol, cigarette and other addictive substances to deserve being Monks, Nuns.
It does not matter if you are not a Buddha’s disciple; however, if you are, then you have to give up such easily attractive sensual pleasures.
Dear all Monks, Nuns, upasakas and upasikas! We need to respect the Holy Virtues and Conducts that the Buddha has taught us, no despising is allowed and strict discipline is required, no drinking of alcohol or smoking of cigarettes etc. at all.
We need to be wise and sober to conserve the Holy Virtue of Being Sober of Holy Monks, Holy Nuns and Holy lay followers of the Buddha to prevent and eliminate the evilness.
The Wisdom of Buddhism includes not only the tremendous knowledge but also the understanding of not creating sufferings for oneself, for others and for all beings.
A person who does not drink alcohol has the knowledge of not giving sorrows to oneself, to others and to both, this person is wise and lucid.
The Holy Virtue of Being Sober helps people no longer be blindly drowned in smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol.
SIXTH PRECEPT OF VIRTUE OF SAMANERA: NOT TO MAKE UP
Not to make up is the HOLY VIRTUE OF BEING NATURAL. Both monks/nuns and lay followers need to learn, understand and live in accordance with this virtue and conduct.
To be fond of beautifying is the nature of human beings regardless of gender; ladies in particular, even a very unattractive one, try to make up to become beautiful, that is why so many beauty salons have been developing.
The reason to make up is stemmed from one’s mind of desire which always wants people to pay attention to and to be infatuated with oneself. That’s the underlying cause in one’s mind and body to reveal its sexual desire i.e. sexuality, when the eyes see the appearance of people of other gender, sexual desire is triggered. Because of this, women often put on scanty clothes. In order to sexually attract others, women nowadays often wear scanty clothes to show their bodies like the Westerners, this is to trigger the sexual desire of people of other gender and of themselves. As the Buddha understood this deeply, he prohibited his disciples, especially the monks/nuns: “not to make up to improve the appearance”. Not to improve the appearance is to eliminate the sexual desire. In the Anguttara Nikaya, volume 1, page 9 of the Vietnamese Tripitaka, the Buddha has taught: “Bhikkhus, I know not any other single sight that seizes and exhausts the mind of a man as the sight of a woman…Bhikkhus, I know not any other single sight that seizes and exhausts the mind of a woman as the sight of a man…” . In Buddhism, the mind of sexual desire is one of the mind of desire, it is the path of life-death-rebirth; it is the path of sufferings; it is the cause of innumerable sufferings of human beings. Therefore, in the four truths of Buddhism, it is the second truth of “The Truth of the Origin of suffering” which means the place of accumulation of all sufferings, or in other words it is the cause that gives birth to all sufferings of a human life.
 [translator] source: The Five Nikayas, Discourses of the Buddha, An Anthology, Book One, published by the Department of Religious Affairs, Rangoon, Burma 1978
If one wishes to let go of the mind of sexual desire but keeps making up and beautifying, one could never let go of the mind of sexual desire.
When hair and beard have been shaved, the appearance is no longer attractive, nevertheless, there are Monks having shaved hair and beard but still embellishing with regular hair and beard shaving, sprucing themselves up with well-ironed clothing. Luxury means clothes must be made of imported texture of best quality, and well-tailored, not loose, not tight, mirror is used to check the appearance before going out... Such acts of making up and sprucing up mean to raise and enjoy the mind of sexual desire.
If a person still takes pleasure in sexual desire and thus keeps making up and beautifying, then the practice of such person is just a waste of effort and useless.
Buddhism is to train people to become Arhat Holy Monks, Holy Nuns and thus the precept of not making up is to help the mind to let go of desire and evilness. With letting go of desire and evilness, people could strictly keep and live in line with the Virtue and Conduct of Being Natural of Holy Samanera. Anyone who follows Buddhism but keeps making up and sprucing up is not Holy Monk, Holy Nun, Holy Samanera but rather an Evil in Buddhism disguising in Buddhist form to kill Buddhism. For this reason, no matter whether you are a Buddhist follower or not, when you see a monk wearing fine and luxurious clothes and sprucing up, you will know that such person is not a Buddhist monk but rather an Evil under the cloak of Buddhist monk.
In the old days, the Buddha collected the cloth used to wrap corpses or scraps of fabric to wash and make his clothing. Such clothing is called kasaya (robe of rags), but nowadays, the clothing of Buddhist monks/nuns is very luxurious and expensive, this is opposite to the guideline for Buddhist living of “Three pieces of clothing and one alms-bowl, having little desire and being satisfied with basic material conditions”. Three pieces of clothing and one alms-bowl mean the conduct of letting go of desire and evilness. If a monk/nun could not live with this Virtue and Conduct, the person would never attain liberation.
When a lay follower offers monks clothing made of fine and luxurious silk, such offering is wrong, it makes monks become rich Monks instead of poor and humble Monks.
To put on fine and luxurious clothing is a way of making up; and to make up is a violation of precept and failing to let go of desire and evilness; if one does not let go of desire and evilness, how can one be called Holy Monk, Holy Nun, Holy lay follower, disciple of the Buddha?
If one wishes to master life-death-rebirth but does not let go of making up, how can one put a full stop to life-death-rebirth?
With an aim to let go of the mind of desire and thus let go of making up, beautifying, Buddhist monks and nuns have to shave their hair and beard, putting on kasaya (clothing made of cheap and lowquality fabric, of cloth used to wrap corpses etc.), walking barefoot and without hat or anything to cover the head.
Buddhist monks/nuns should make their appearance plain so that it is easier for them to practice. It is also a method to let go of desire and evilness. Whereas making up is the method to foster the mind of desire and evilness.
In the past, as Ananda was too good-looking, his practice underwent struggles with people of other gender.
Having an attractive body means having the appearance which easily attracts affection and sexual desire and makes it hard for us to let go of the mind of desire.
There was a young Japanese woman going to a pagoda to enter nunhood, however the head of the pagoda refused to accept her and told her that: “You cannot practice”. - Why so? - Because you are too beautiful.
After having damaging her beauty, she returned to the pagoda to ask for acceptance and by that time, she was accepted.
The above story shows that beauty is an immense obstacle to our practice, therefore, we as Buddhist monks/nuns should not make up and have to strictly keep the precept of Holy Virtue of Being Natural.
Having determination to let go of the mind of desire, the above young woman had destroyed her beauty i.e. she had destroyed her mind of desire, thanks to this, she attained Zenism fruition on her way of practice following Buddhism.
In this regards, in accordance with nowadays Buddhist precepts as you know, the Buddhist monks/nuns always have to shave hair and beard and wear plain and cheap clothing. Such appearance is very necessary to let go of the mind of desire and evilness.
Not to make up is a Holy virtue of being natural to let go of the mind of desire that monks/nuns need to practice and make effort to strictly discipline themselves to perform this Holy conduct. Thanks to this, their practice would be more effective.
Dear fellow practicers of virtues and conducts! It’s up to you to strictly keep the Holy virtue of being natural to let go of the mind of desire. If you fully keep it in front of others as well as at their back, you yourselves know that you have let go of the mind of sexual desire. Letting go of sexual desire is very beneficial to you, it helps your mind and body become pure, thanks to this, you can easily practice concentration without being afraid of losing your way in wrong meditation.
If you could not fully keep this Virtue and conduct, your practice is useless and a waste of effort.
Each precept of Virtue and Conduct of Holy Samanera is the embodiment of liberation in Buddhism. Therefore, the more strictly one keeps the Ten Precepts of Virtues of Holy Samanera, the purer one’s mind and body are; the purer the mind and body are, the simpler the living is; the simpler the living is, the closer the liberation is. The liberation is attained thanks to the simple and natural living. As such, living a simple and natural life in front of other people as well as at their back is a specific indication of a person attaining enlightenment. Whether a person has attained enlightenment or not is revealed through these precepts of Holy virtues, rather not through sitting in meditation for 7 or 8 days or showing magic, spreading light, going through rocks, vanishing, transforming etc.
As for Holy conduct, though without making up and sprucing up, one has solemn and fine appearance in a simple and natural manner, this is truly the Holy Virtue and Conduct of Being Natural, this is truly the natural beauty of a Holy Monk, Holy Nun.
The Holy virtue of being natural to let go of desire is to help monks/nuns to have a nice, innocent, pure and natural appearance and manner. Thanks to the pure mind and body, there is no need of artificial make-up like worldly way.
Through the Holy Conduct and Virtue of being natural of a Buddhist monk we could see whether the person is a true Holy Monk or a fake Holy Monk.
A fake Holy Monk would spruce oneself up and wear fine and luxurious clothing, using splendid vehicles, such beauty is artificial, artificial beauty is the beauty of the mind of desire and evilness. Therefore, Buddhist precepts do not allow to make up to create artificial, unnatural beauty. There are two sins in creating artificial, unnatural beauty i.e.:
1. The sin of deceiving other people.
2. The sin of not being honest to oneself.
Deceiving people with good appearance and luxurious clothing is the influence of Brahmanism with the idea that people who practice should have portly appearance and be stately in fine and luxurious clothing, such people are considered as being enlightened. In Buddhism, we think that such portly appearance with luxurious clothing is not proper, because that is the image of sensual pleasures. In our opinion, the created image of the Buddha with 32 good marks and 80 good signs following the Brahmin canons to deceive people is a monstrous image, not of a human body.
Making up is a way to create unnatural beauty, it means not to be honest with oneself and with others. Therefore, the Precept of Holy Virtue of Being Natural so as not to make up is presented to help the Monks, Nuns live naturally with innocent beauty.
In summary, if a monk/nun still makes up, this means the person has not let go of desire and evilness. The important point is that once the mind of sexual desire has not been let go, it’s hard to see the path of enlightenment.
If one wishes to follow Buddhism but still makes up and beautifies, one could not follow Buddhist practice, this is an assertion for your notice.
If one wishes to practice to attain liberation following Buddhism, one has to accept and practice the Precept of Holy Virtue of Being Natural. By living properly without any violation, this Holy conduct will be clearly demonstrated in each of your demeanors.
A body of the Holy Virtue of Being Natural which has let go of all sexual desire is very pure. Only when the sexual desire is let go, could your mind and body become truly pure. Only when your body and mind become pure, could you enter the right concentration, if you try to enter concentration when your mind and body have not yet become pure, you would only get in wrong meditation. From this condition, the Buddha has taught us: “precepts give birth to concentration”. As such, a monk/nun who disrespects precepts could never practice and attain Buddhist liberation as it truly is.
Precept is a method to help the mind let go of desire and evilness, whereas wrong meditation is a method to suppress the mind and makes the mind unable to let go of desire and evilness. Therefore, if one does not strictly keep the precepts, one would never have the right demeanors, if one does not have the right demeanors but practices meditation, such meditation would never bring liberation.
Buddhism considers precepts as the first and foremost method of discipline for practice, this helps body and mind become pure with explicitly right demeanor, and people would all have absolute esteem and respect upon seeing such demeanor.
Heresy practice excludes the precepts and sees the state without thoughts as the mind and considers such mind as the Buddha nature (true nature). This, in turn, leads to suppression of the mind and makes practicers get stuck in imaginary meditation and unable to find their way for the practice to master life, aging, sickness and death. During that time, practicers are unconsciously lost in the labyrinth of imaginariness and think that what they have been experiencing are the phenomena of meditation. In the book “Thiền Quan Sách Tấn” (Encouragement of Zenism) the Patriarchs told the stories of their miserably hard practice. Thirty or forty years of practice were to attain imaginary states, such a waste of a life time of practice.
People following Buddhist practice need to learn this by heart: “Not to perform evilness, only carry out goodness”. This is the teaching of precepts of the Buddha.
People who violate the precepts are those who perform evilness, people who do not violate precepts are those who carry out goodness. People who live in goodness are those who live in Holy conduct.
SEVENTH PRECEPT OF VIRTUE OF SAMANERA: NOT TO SING AND LISTEN TO SINGING
Not to sing and listen to singing are the “HOLY VIRTUE OF BEING QUIET IN DWELLING ALONE”. The monks/nuns as well as the lay followers should learn to understand and live in accordance with this virtue and conduct to protect the eye, ear, nose, mouth, body and mind. Thanks to the protection of the eye, ear, nose, mouth, body and mind, evilness could not rise, and as a result, the mind becomes peaceful, blissful and carefree.
The singing generates the high, low and melodious sound that induces the seven emotions and six desires  in us to spring up and makes our spirit thrilling, going into ecstasy, feeling excited or sad after the melodious or plaintive sound of romantic love between man and woman. The strong and moving singing to urge marching steps makes the youth eager to embark on battles and fearless in battlefield.
 [translator] Seven emotions include gladness, anger, fondness, hate, sadness, pleasure, desire; and six desires are desires that come from the (1) eye, (2) ear, (3) nose, (4) mouth, (5) body and (6) mind.
The singing is both useful and harmful. The usefulness is when the country is invaded, the singing will encourage the youth to stand up to save the country, and the harmfulness is when it induces young men and women to fall in romantic love which brings about desperate sufferings and leads to useless death. Most of the singing rouses the sad images in the past, awakens the seven emotions and six desires in each person and makes the suffering life even more suffering. As the Buddha had foreseen such danger, he forbade the monks/nuns to sing or listen to singing.
The Buddhist monks/nuns who practice for liberation from life suffering should stay away from singing and listening to singing. Why?
As we have above mentioned: Buddhism sees that singing often triggers in us the feelings of sadness and longing. To go beyond the suffering, Buddhism does not allow monks/nuns to sing or listen to singing. This is the duty and obligation of each monk/nun disciple of the Buddha to realize it. It does not matter if one is not a monk/nun, but if one is a monk/nun, one has to clearly understand this duty and obligation. If a monk/nun still sings or listens to singing, the person has lost all the right demeanor of the Holy conduct of being quiet in dwelling alone, of a Buddhism monk/nun. This is also the deterioration of the sense of liberation of Buddhism. What’s the point of entering monkhood if a person keeps singing or listening to singing? The purpose of practice following Buddhism is to let go of desire and evilness. Singing or listening to singing means to foster the mind of desire, to remain in the worldly atmosphere of six desires and evilness.
Because singing or listening to singing means to awaken the seven emotions and six desires in our mind and body as above mentioned, there is no reason for a Buddhist monk/nun, who earnestly wishes to eliminate the seven emotions and six desires to attain liberation, to enjoy singing and listening to singing; if one lets the seven emotions and six desires revive, one could never practice to put an end to the mind of craving, anger and ignorance!
Listening to singing and singing mean to rouse the feelings of longing and sadness in the past, to recollect the past memory. The Buddha has taught: “Do not follow the past, do not have expectation for the future”. Singing and listening to singing means to look for sadness of the past and raise expectation for the future. And by doing so how can people practice to attain liberation from suffering? Singing songs, reciting and versing poems reflect the mental characteristic of desire of human beings. Because of this reason, Xi Chu Ba Wang Xiang Yu lost his battle due to the flute melody of Xiao He following the psychological warfare plan of Zhang Liang, such flute melody made the soldiers of Xi Chu Ba Wang miss their home, parents, wives and children and thus together run away. Is this right?
Let us listen to the verses and lyrics arousing the feelings of sadness and longing of the poet Huy Can: “Ripples of the long river arouse layer after layer of sadness The boat with paddles creates parallel water lines Without the boat the wharf is filled with melancholy. How many currents has the piece of wood been drifting through?”.
A Chinese poet Lu Thuat [Cui Hao] wrote: “Nhật mộ hương quan hà xứ thị. Yên ba giang thượng sử nhân sầu”  the above verses were translated by Tan Da: “At sunset one wonders where homeland is. The image of ripples and mist above the river makes the traveler feel sad”.
 [translator] the above verses are written in modern Vietnamese alphabet but follow ancient Chinese-Vietnamese pronunciation and in Chinese characters as: “日暮鄉關何處是 , 煙波江上使人愁”
Doan Thi Diem wrote: “The spring of clear water could not wash away the sadness. The fresh and green grass could not console the longing heart…”
The lyric in a song of Y Van is: “The heart of the mother is as overflowing and limitless as the Pacific ocean…”
The lyric in a song of Luu Huu Phuoc urged the educated youth to stand up to save the country: “Hey students! Stand up to requite the country. In consensus let’s go, go, go to open up the path. For the mountains and rivers inherited for thousands of years, don’t forget…”
Such literature, poem, verse, song make people grievous in longing and misery.
Longing is an evilness, it is a state of suffering. The literature, poem, verse, song arouse the feeling of longing of a child for the mother (The Heart of the Mother), of a wife longing for her husband fighting in faraway borderland (Lament of the Soldier's Wife), of the love for homeland (The Call for Students).
The literature, poem, verse, song trigger the love between man and woman (sexual desire), the love for parents (the fetter of love), the love for fatherland (the fetter of love).
All these kinds of love are within the boundary of the seven emotions and six desires. As we have known, human beings have been suffering miseries due to the seven emotions and six desires. Nonetheless, people often try to revive them to experience pains and sorrows.
Love in the boundary of the seven emotions and six desires is the love limited in personal emotion which often give sufferings to oneself and to others.
The distress of the seven emotions and six desires makes young men and women commit suicide in despair, children kill their fathers, father kill his children, mother kill her children, husband kill his wife, wife kill her husband, brothers kill each other etc.
Such distress urges us to sacrifice our lives without fear and not to acknowledge our moral obligation and duty towards ourselves and others etc.
Buddhism wishes to help human beings to attain liberation from sufferings and so ones need to escape the seven emotions and six desires. In Buddhism, the seven emotions and six desires are limited, mean, selfish love which should be replaced by an all-inclusive love. This all-inclusive love is the “mind of love, compassion, joy, and letgo”. The mind of love, compassion, joy and let-go is the unlimited love, and as such it never creates sufferings to oneself, to others and to all living beings. Thanks to this replacement we can escape the seven emotions and six desires.
If a person loves oneself, how can such person sing or listen to singing to trigger the feelings of sorrow and longing?
Without right understanding, worldly people think that singing can entertain or console them. The truth is that such entertainment or consolation makes the feeling more sorrowful, the mind more tired and tense.
Singing is only for people whose work is too tense for the brain to unwind.
If we love ourselves, we should not make ourselves suffer, shouldn’t we?
Singing and listening to singing are to create sufferings to ourselves, do you understand?
And so, in order not to create sufferings to yourselves, you should not sing or listen to singing. As listening to singing also wastes a lot of your time.
When one tries to relax and rest but forces the mind to listen to sound which makes one’s nerves tired, is this right?
How can one love oneself while keeps creating sufferings to oneself?
It’s not right to resort to singing to forget one’s sorrows, to relax and rest. It is a form of dodging and running away to restrain and suppress one’s mind.
We would like to present another example of relieving sorrow: a person suffered from huge distress resorts to alcohol to relieve sorrows, alcohol is a stimulating poisonous substance which makes the nerves excited and thus makes people talk as if they were crazy or lost their mind…Those drunken people could not realize that they are drunk, they feel that alcohol helps them to speak out their resentment and their distress to satisfy their resentful heart i.e. to relieve sorrows. They have no idea that their mind is deceiving them. They are drunk but they don’t know that they are drunk. The truth is they are drunk, their nerves are excited, they could not control themselves, they think that drinking alcohol could help them to forget their distress, but in fact they create more sorrows to themselves instead of relieving sorrows.
Dear all! Singing is similar to the above, it only entertains people who don’t know how to live for themselves. Singing and listening to singing mean to run after the surroundings of the seven emotions and six desires which are illusion and imaginariness related to events which have passed or have not come, instead of relief, they are topping up more sorrows in their hearts.
Singing means to arouse sadness, to take away the peace and silence of the mind, therefore the Buddha has forbidden his disciples: “not to sing and listen to singing”.
We should also acknowledge: the Buddha has long since not accepted a Holy Monk playing music, singing, versing or reciting in melodious voice to lead people’s mind to the realm of imaginariness.
The Sonadanda Sutta of the Long Discourses of the Nikaya  (Original) mentions five qualities of a Brahmin, i.e.:
 [translator] Sonadanda Sutta is a discourse amongst the collection of the long discourses of the Buddha (Digha Nikaya).
1. To be born with racial caste purity documented to seven generations of Brahmin.
2. To be a repeater (of the sacred words), knowing the mystic verses by heart, having mastered the Three Vedas, with the indices, the exegesis, the ritual etc.
3. To be handsome, have good appearance (32 good marks and 80 good signs).
4. To be wise.
5. To strictly keep the precepts [virtues].
The Buddha rejected the first three qualities and accepted the last two ones:
1. To be wise.
2. To strictly keep the precepts [virtues].
He did not accept the points of race, good appearance, using sacred words, and reciting, therefore His precepts do not allow monks/nuns to sing and listen to singing i.e. not allow reciting with melodious voice.
In Buddhism, only knowledge for liberation (wisdom) and precepts could help His disciples to attain liberation from all sufferings.
Today you Monks recite canons, saying magic words, repeating the name of the Buddha, we think that such performance is not the path of Buddhism but rather the work of Brahmins in the past as an exchange with devotees to earn their living, when the Brahmins are young they use the work of reciting and chanting to earn their living, when they become old, they follow full-time practice and no longer do this reciting work.
In the early days, the Buddha also left home and started his practice following Brahmanism, but he could not attain liberation with the teachings of this religion and therefore He had to create his own path. He accepted the part of Brahmin teachings that truly helped to bring practicers to liberation and rejected what did not bring about liberation in practice.
Amongst the five conditions to become a Brahmin, He only accepted two of them and rejected three as we have above mentioned. And so, we clearly see that the Buddha did not accept 32 good marks and 80 good signs, only the Mahayana people often sing the praise of 32 good marks and 80 good signs of the Buddha. Such is obviously Brahmanism in the name of Buddhism. Please think and see if this is right: “The Mahayana canons are the very canons of Brahmanism?”
The right profession in Buddhism is to beg for food (Right Livelihood), while the work of reciting canons, saying magic words, wishing for peace, requiem, worshipping death, seeing spirits off, worshipping stars, relieving bad luck, preparing vegetarian food to worship relatives in seven weeks since their deaths etc. are the wrong actions that the Buddha did not accept. The Sonadanda Sutta has presented the spirit of rejection of methods of reciting and chanting which are not only useless for life but also make devotees become superstitious and backward.
If a Holy Monk sits, reciting and chanting in melodious voice following the sound of the bells and wooden bells similar to singing, playing music, chanting verses, such demeanor could not be the Holy conduct of a Holy Monk.
A Holy Monk has to completely live with the conduct and virtue of being quiet. The conduct and virtue of being quiet present the right demeanor of a Holy Monk. The state of a quiet living is the life of a Holy Monk; in the opposite, what do you think of those reciting and chanting in melodious voice or listening to reciting, singing? Can the quiet mind remain? A Holy Monk means to fully live in the quiet state to deserve being called a Holy Monk.
The Holy Virtue of Being Quiet helps us to return to our inner self. To live and turn inward to look into our inner self are great virtue and conduct as they are the conduct and virtue that do not create suffering to oneself and to all others.
Because of this benefit, the Buddha has forbidden the Bhikkhus to sing and listen to singing.
Whether a Holy Monk sings or listens to singing regardless of genre of the songs or panegyrics, reciting canons, it is considered as singing. Thus in the the Fruits of the Ascetic Life Sutta and the Sonnadanda Sutta, the Buddha did not accept the ways of panegyrics or chanting the name of the Buddha in melodious voice.
Recently there have been monks/nuns and lay followers who do not have comprehensive understanding of Buddhism and follow Christianity to compose Buddhist music to encourage Monks/Nuns to practice. Such act is against the purpose of Buddhism. Buddhism accepts the quiet life in dwelling alone, as such, the Buddha regularly reminded Monks, Nuns to dwell alone like a onehorn rhinoceros.
Buddhism is the method of using self-power to save oneself out of the ocean of ignorance and sufferings of human life, and so the Holy virtue of being quiet is very necessary for the introspective life of a person practicing for liberation.
If a person follows Buddhism but fails to strictly live with this Holy conduct, it is hard for such person to master life, aging, sickness, death and put an end to rebirth.
When one keeps singing and listening to singings, it means one’s mind of worldly desire remains, the singing of oneself and of others is the food to foster the mind of desire. How can one let go of desire and evilness if one continues to raise the mind of desire?
If Buddhism also has panegyrics or reciting with melodious voice or chanting or singing, is it different from Brahmanism?
Without right understanding, people consider panegyrics or reciting with melodious voice as religious music. There is no such religious music in Buddhism, but rather the quiet living to return to inner self of peace, bliss and carefreeness.
The Holy Virtue of Being Quiet helps us to live with our inner self, thanks to it, we recognize each thought of goodness or evilness to eliminate evilness and develop goodness easily, without the conduct and virtue of being quiet, it’s difficult for us to realize the deceiving mind inside ourselves and thus hard to completely let go of desire and evilness.
The Holy Virtue of Being Quiet is a great Holy conduct and also a wonderful method of practice helping us to prevent and uproot the evilness. As such only Buddhism has the PRECEPT OF NOT SINGING AND LISTENING TO SINGING. This Holy conduct deserves to be the conduct of a Holy Monk.
In summary, Buddhist monks/nuns singing and listening to singing are not monks/nuns of Buddhism but rather of Brahmanism.
To make it clear, Buddhist monks/nuns singing and listening to singing (reciting, chanting, worshipping…) are not Holy Monks, Holy Nuns, Holy lay followers but rather Duratama Mara disguising in Buddhist form to undermine Buddhism. Buddhist followers should pay attention and stay away from these monks/nuns.
THE CONDUCT AND VIRTUE OF SAMANERA
The conduct and virtue of Samanera mean to use tree-root in place of bed, to use graveyard in place of accommodation. This is the practice of the conduct of detachment, letting go of desire and evilness.
EIGHTH PRECEPT OF VIRTUE OF SAMANERA: NOT TO LIE ON LARGE AND ELEVATED BED
Not to lie on large and elevated bed is the VIRTUE OF BEING POOR BUT UNSULLIED. Monks/nuns as well as the lay followers should learn to understand and live in line with the right virtue and conduct to deserve being the disciples of the Buddha.
To lie on large and elevated bed means not to be in accordance with the right demeanor and manner of a Buddhist monk/nun. Because lying on large and elevated bed made from rare wood means to be a rich monk/nun, which is against the conduct of being poor but unsullied of a Buddhist monk/nun.
A Buddhist monk lying on large and elevated bed often lacks of awareness while sleeping, easily tossing and turning, lying face downwards, lying face upwards, lying on one’s side, rolling in all directions etc. Dear all, is such sleeping in line with the Holy conduct of a Holy Monk?
What do you think? Do you accept a monk with such manner of sleeping?
A Buddhist monk lying on large, elevated and luxurious bed with fine blanket and thick mattress has violated the conduct of being poor but unsullied of a Holy Monk “Let go of possessions for decent poverty…”
The precept of not lying on large and elevated bed is the precept to keep the right demeanor while sleeping of a Holy Monk in accordance with the Holy conduct for practice to attain liberation.
The Holy conduct of being poor but unsullied of a Buddhist monk/nun is in line with the meaning of liberation of Buddhism, whoever leading an opposite way of living is not in line with this meaning.
In the old days, the Sakyamuni Buddha let go of the rich living with luxurious materials to accept the life of using tree-root in place of bed. This is such a great Holy conduct of being poor but unsullied to be free from worldly materials of the Buddha that we need to follow. How can we – Buddhist monks/nuns at present – forget this noble example of liberation and be indulged in large and elevated bed and thus let worldly people mock Buddhism? It’s such a heartbreak, isn’t it?
If one chooses to follow Buddhism, one should fulfill the moral obligation of Holy conduct of a Buddhist monk/nun, i.e. strictly keeps the precepts. It doesn’t matter if one does not leave home to join monkhood and practice, but if one does, one should not violate the precepts as it is such a huge shame! If you practice but violate precepts, you should return the kasaya to the pagoda, don’t let people mock Buddhism. It’s the duty and obligation of Buddhist monks/nuns.
Wandering Monks living on alms cannot carry large and elevated beds as their life is always on the move and keep on changing their places. The guideline of the Buddha as well as His example of conduct do not allow us – His disciples – to deny the conduct of being wandering monks living on alms.
Only life-abiding Monks living in one place have large and elevated beds. Thus all life-abiding Monks violate and break the precepts, not only this precepts but also many other precepts.
We confirm with certainty that the precepts of the Buddha have been broken mainly by the lifeabiding Monks.
The aim of Buddhism is to practice to let go of desire and evilness. Therefore, Buddhist precepts are the conducts of letting go of desire and evilness. The life-abiding Monks, due to their lack of knowledge, lack of comprehension of the aim of letting go of desire and evilness of Buddhism, constantly violate, break and crumble the precepts, therefore they, unintentionally or intentionally, go against the guideline of practice of Buddhism, and their mind always holds on to worldly materials. As such, they could not keep and live in accordance with the conduct of having little desire and being satisfied with basic material condition with three pieces of clothing and an alms-bowl, and so huge pagodas with big Buddha statues have been springing up like mushrooms after rain, costing tremendous money and possessions of faithful donors and supporters. We should have a look around the whole world, there has been indescribable pour of money and materials made out of tears and sweat of human beings into religion, however, what practical benefits that religion bring to them or is that just a dream, an illusive hope?
In order to have huge pagodas with big Buddha statues as well as to be able to live in wealth, fame and abundant materials, what would people do?
By all means to reach such target, they have to create the methods of charm, using magic words, magic, calling rain and wind, turn beans into soldiers…They also resort to the popular superstition, when the intellectual standards of people are not elevated, to create the method of worshipping, reciting, chanting, wishing for peace, requiem, wishing for wealth, fame, checking stars, drawing lots, checking the date of good lucks, bad lucks for house construction, for marriage etc.
By all means to reach such target, they create the metaphysical world with the sight of Utmost Happiness realm, Heaven, hell to deceive the gullible and naive people. Such is not enough, they even create the methods of imaginary meditation, meditation to enable the soul to move out of the body, meditation with the idea that when one sees one’s own nature one would become a Buddha etc.
From wrong method, violating precepts, losing the Holy conduct of being poor but unsullied to let go of desire and evilness, they have lost the ultimate path to liberation of Buddhism. From being practicers, they have become rich with huge pagodas with big Buddha statues and abundant materials similar to worldly people. Though in the form of practice, they could not find freedom in their mind and body; they could not find themselves liberated from the circle of secular pollution full of bitterness and sufferings.
The Precept of Holy Virtue of Being Poor But Unsullied has established a true monk/nun with complete sense of letting go of possessions for decent poverty and disregarding the physical body for better attention to the practice for liberation in Buddhism. Nevertheless Buddhist monks/nuns nowadays do not live in line with the precepts of virtues, precepts of conducts, constantly violating the pratimoksa  but they think that they are following the right method, that they are disciples of the Buddha, they have no idea that their way of living has identified that they are monks/nuns of heresy who follow worldly sensual joy…
 [translator] The Prātimokṣa (Sanskrit: prātimokṣa) is a list of rules governing the behaviour of Buddhist monks and nuns.
“Laws and precepts are the Teacher of all people. If the laws and precepts are maintained, Buddhism is maintained, if the laws and precepts are lost, Buddhism is lost”, this is the final testament of the Buddha. Nonetheless, today Buddhist monks/nuns violate, break and crumble the precepts and even consider those who keep the laws and precepts as out-of-date, such practice does not lead to enlightenment.
Do the Monks who even could not strictly keep the Holy conducts of Samanera deserve being the Teacher of the world of people?
The precepts help the monks/nuns to let go of desire and evilness to have the mind of peace, bliss and carefreeness. With the mind of peace, bliss and carefreeness, it is the state of letting go of desire and evilness, isn’t it?
As such each precept of the Buddha helps to deal with one aspect of letting go of our mind of desire.
The Precept of Virtue of Holy Samanera of not lying on large and elevated bed is to help the monks/nuns to leave worldly materials, let go of the mind of desire which enjoys comfort and luxury, let go of the mind of being rich, live with the mind of being poor but unsullied, live a simple life of having little desire and being satisfied with the basic material condition. A monk/nun in need of a bed still has attachment and thus cannot escape the house of life and death.
The mind and body of human beings are easy to be indulged and spoilt. When the monks/nuns are careless about indulgence, the person will be indulged. For example: we are used to the conduct of using tree-root instead of bed, and so we find it easy to sleep, but for those who are used to large and elevated bed, they would find it hard to use tree-root in place of bed to sleep.
If a person cannot cultivate this conduct of letting go of desire, one’s practice is only in vain and a waste of a life of practice.
The Precept of Virtue of Holy Samanera of not lying on large and elevated bed aims at allowing wandering Monks living on alms to be always on the move. The life which is always on the move is the life without attachment. Large and elevated bed is not a suitable item for the life of a wondering Monk living on alms.
This precept has an aim to help the Monks to break away from the living of life-abiding Monk. Only by breaking away from the living of life-abiding Monk, can one find the path of liberation.
Wandering Monks living on alms do not have huge pagodas with big Buddha statues, thanks to not having huge pagodas with big Buddha statues, their life is free and their mind is as white as the seashell and as open as the space, they are in such peace and contentness, one who has huge pagodas with big Buddha statues is not a wandering Monk living on alms. Not being a wandering Monk living on alms, one’s life could not be content and without obstacles.
Wandering Monks living on alms are those who are aware of the detachment, of letting go of desire and evilness, of seeking liberation from the secular realm full of bitterness.
The Precept of not lying on large and elevated bed sounds simple but contains complete sense of liberation of a Buddhist monk. If a Holy Monk lies on a large and elevated bed made from rare wood, there would not be any Holy conduct of a Holy Monk in such person. Is this right?
Monks/nuns lying on large, elevated bed with comfortable mattress and blanket would not have any Holy conduct, they are only ordinary people whose mind is still indulged in materials of sleeping and resting, who live like a king, a mandarin, a rich person etc.
The Precept of Holy Samanera Virtue of being poor but unsullied does not allow a monk/nun to violate, because if one violates this precept, how can one be considered as being poor but unsullied? One should not violate the precept of Holy conduct of being poor but unsullied, because if one violates it, there would be no longer any Holy conduct of being poor but unsullied.
In summary, the precept of virtue of Holy Samanera of being poor but unsullied helps the monks/nuns to be content, free and let go of desire regarding sleeping and resting and worldly materials that secular people could not do.
So, dear all Buddhist monks/nuns, from a young Samanera who has just started his practice to the Bhadantas, the Venerables, the Most Venerables, all should strictly keep this precept to deserve being disciples of the Buddha, to deserve the titles of Bhadanta, Venerable, Most Venerable; otherwise, you should return the kasaya to Buddhism, as Buddhism does not accept such monks/nuns. Such monks/nuns are those who undermine Buddhism, are Duratama Mara in Buddhism.
Please note this: “If the laws and precepts are maintained, Buddhism is maintained, if the laws and precepts are lost, Buddhism is lost”.
NINTH PRECEPT OF VIRTUE OF SAMANERA: NOT TO EAT MORE THAN ONE MEAL PER DAY
Not to eat more than one meal per day is the VIRTUE OF LETTING GO OF DESIRE . The monks/nuns as well as the lay followers should learn it.
 [translator] The translator uses the English word of “desire” for the Vietnamese word of “dục” (e.g. Virtue of Letting Go of Desire as in the 9th precept) and “craving” for “tham” (e.g. Virtue of Letting Go of Craving as in the 10th precept). Literally, “desire” means a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen, or a longing or craving as for something that brings satisfaction or enjoyment, and “craving” means a powerful or intense desire or longing for something. “Dục” is a Vietnamese word originated from Chinese and “tham” is a pure Vietnamese word, both have similar literal meaning as “desire” or “craving”. In worldly language, these words somewhat tend to be interchangeable. However, based on the first-hand practice experience, the translator is of the view that, there is an important and subtle difference between “dục” and “tham” even though they are two sides of a coin i.e. “dục” is inborn and inherently exists in one’s mind, and “tham” - from the cause of “dục” - is expressed via the intention and action to acquire, hold and own something. Therefore, in order to prevent “dục” (seed) from growing into “tham” (fruit) and to prevent “tham” from enriching “dục”, practicers have to protect their six organs of sense with the method of dwelling alone like a one-horn rhinoceros.
The Precept of Holy Virtue of Letting Go of Desire is very necessary for Buddhist monks/nuns, therefore the lay followers as well as the monks/nuns following Buddhism should whole-heartedly honor and respect this precept. This is the starting point for people to define whether a monk/nun is a true Buddhist monk/nun or not?
If a monk/nun violates this precept, such person is not a true Buddhist monk/nun. If a person does not violate this percept, such person is a true monk/nun of Buddhism.
Anyone who does not honor and respect this precept is a monk/nun of heresy.
Eating and drinking is to bring the four great elements  from outside to sustain the four great elements inside our body which is made out of the four great elements. But eating and drinking should be abstemious, without abstemiousness, too much eating (indigestion) brings sickness to the body, and so does too little eating. The eating should provide just enough nutrition to the body, not too much and not too little.
 [translator] earth, water, air (wind), fire (heat)
During His practice, the Buddha learnt a lesson from the experience! Too much eating brings excessive nutrition which arouses sexual desire in the body, causes drowsiness, prolonged and undesired sleeping in practice. Sexual desire, drowsiness, prolonged and undesired sleeping in practice are a type of desire of the mind. Therefore, people who eat too much will feel sleepy, lazy and have lust; but if they eat too little, the body will lack nutrition and thus becomes weak, easy to get sick and has many other issues.
The Buddha has experienced his living from the life of a king with too much eating to the life of austerity with too little eating, therefore He confirmed: eating one meal per day is enough for the body to live a good life.
Dear all! Based on our experience of practice, the monks/nuns work more than worldly people. Why is that?
In 24 hours the monks/nuns constantly work not only with their mind but also with their body, they may walk from 5 km to 10 km while the mind keeps working without having a break; with such work and only one meal per day, they are still well with little sickness.
Without right understanding, worldly people think that a lot of eating will keep them healthy, the more they eat, the more their body has to work, the more the body works, the more quickly they become old, their life span is shorten.
You should think about what we have just mentioned, don’t believe us immediately. When you believe, you should practice our teaching and experience to the fruit of it.
We should be aware that eating one meal per day takes a lot of effort. Before eating, you have to prepare and cook, while eating you have to chew, swallow, the stomach has to digest the food, after eating you have to clean up and wash the bowls and dishes.
With three meals per day, you will see that you would need one person in charge of the cooking and cleaning. Day after day, the eating takes a huge part in your daily activities.
When you eat a lot, your mind has more desire, due to having a lot of craving, you have harvested innumerable sufferings in your life. Do you know this?
As there’s a lot of activities required for eating, people following Buddhism only eat one meal per day. Thanks to that, their life is unoccupied, carefree and at ease. One meal per day allows you to have more time to sit and relax  in dwelling alone. When you feel a constant peace in dwelling alone, your body and mind would be so happy.
 [translator] to relax means to practice in natural manner i.e. without tension and suppression of both mind and body while dwelling alone i.e. to practice also means to live naturally.
The precept of Holy virtue of not eating more than one meal per day is to distinguish the true monks/nuns with the fake ones as we have above mentioned. For people who pretend to practice, their mind of craving will mainly be shown through eating more than one meal per day.
In this regards, this precept is to help the lay followers to easily notice if the Buddhist monks/nuns follow the precept in the right way or in the wrong way.
The right way means they eat only one meal per day. The wrong way means they eat more than one meal per day.
In this regards, how have the Buddhist monks been nowadays? You should obviously know. Via one precept of not eating more than one meal per day, you could clearly see the truth that nowadays Buddhist monks/nuns are those following sensual pleasure of eating, sleeping, wealth and fame instead of letting go of desire like the teachings of the Buddha. They are fake monks/nuns.
The precept of Holy Samanera Virtue of not eating more than one meal per day brings eight benefits to the monks/nuns:
1. First, they have more time for practicing.
2. Second, the mind lets go of desire in term of eating.
3. Third, the body would suffer little sickness.
4. Fourth, they will experience little drowsiness as well as prolonged and undesired sleeping during practice.
5. Fifth, they deserve to be Buddhist monks/nuns who have little desire and are satisfied with basic material condition
6. Sixth, such life surpasses the life of the lay followers.
7. Seventh, the body can rest with not many activities.
8. Eighth, they are admired and respected by the lay followers.
In order to enter from the First to Fourth concentrations and carry out the Three Insights, the monks/nuns have to eat one meal per day, otherwise, they could never enter these Noble concentrations and also could never carry out the Three Insights. As such, we see that eating one meal per day is truly important for your life of practice. Therefore, the Buddha taught: “Inherit method, rather not to inherit food”. We all know that: “We eat in order to live to practice and attain liberation from life, aging, sickness and death”. A person who has set one’s mind on practice should not eat more than one meal per day.
Buddhist monks/nuns are those who wish to turn the ordinary world into the world Utmost Happiness, of Heaven. As the world of Utmost Happiness and Heaven are the place for the mind of people being in peace, purity and carefreeness, rather not a place for eating, drinking, singing, playing etc. You should not think that: Utmost Happiness realm and Heaven are full of booths, shops for trading, eating, drinking, playing, singing. Because trading, eating, drinking, playing, singing are the life of worldly sensual pleasure, how can it be called Heaven or Utmost Happiness world? Is this right?
Therefore, right in this ordinary world, that we live with one meal per day is to prepare for ourselves a life in the world of Utmost Happiness and Heaven, or in other words, we will have turned the ordinary world into the world of Utmost Happiness and Heaven.
Therefore, let’s think deeply about this, with eating one meal per day, we feel our body and mind in peace, bliss and carefreeness. Is the state of peace, bliss and carefreeness of body and mind not the place of Heaven and Utmost Happiness?
There was a young man named Hue Can asking to join the monastery for practice. In some first days, he felt so enjoyable and said: “Oh! The life here is like the life of the Immortal in heaven, eating one meal per day, no working, be free all day, just sitting and relaxing, it is so wonderful”. But gradually, his mind of worldly life awoke, he felt lonely, bored, missing his father, mother, home, friends etc. and moreover, drowsiness, prolonged and undesired sleeping, and thought disorder also attacked him. And therefore, he could no longer endure and left the realm of the Immortal to return home to live the ordinary life with his parents.
Indeed, everyone wants to practice to have rebirth in the realm of Utmost Happiness, in the realm of Heaven, in the realm of Nibbana, to return to the true nature of self. However, when they are allowed to get there, they all run away.
In the ordinary world, people think that the worlds of Utmost Happiness and Heaven are similar to the ordinary world with lots of booths, shops for eating, drinking and singing all days and nights etc. Such thinking is not right, dear all!
In the world of Utmost Happiness and Heaven, there is no booth, shop for buying, selling, eating, drinking, and people there also don’t eat and drink like you! In such places, there is only the life of living alone in quietness, they don’t talk to each other, that’s why such places are called the world of Utmost Happiness and Heaven.
Do you know this? Living in such realms with the mind of ordinary world, you would definitely feel so lonely and bored! And certainly you would not be better than the young man Hue Can as mentioned.
People think that the realms of Utmost Happiness and Heaven are so enjoyable, fully equipped and have everything they want. Dear all! Such thinking is wrong, as in those realms, people have no desire and thus no one wants anything. They also have no desire in eating, sleeping, playing, singing, and as such it is quiet there. The people there don’t like eating, and so they also do not work like people in the ordinary world, they live in carefreeness, being unoccupied and at ease. Furthermore, they don’t talk to each other and often live on their own, and thus it is such a quiet place, there is no argument, no dispute, no fighting, no competition for materials like in the ordinary world.
In order to help us to enter such realm, the Buddha has equipped us the ten precepts of Holy Samanera. When we leave this body, we will immediately be there. If you wish to get rebirth in the world of Utmost Happiness, in Heaven, in Nibbana but right now you don’t practice to live the life of such realm, how can you live in it? Do you agree?
That you come to join and live in Chon Nhu monastery means you are practicing to live the life of Holy Arahant, of Bodhisattva, of Buddha, so that after leaving the ordinary world, you would be in those realms. However, after your coming, if you are not able to live here, you could not dream of being in those realms. Even if you were allow to stay there, in just a few days, you would also pack your bag and return to the ordinary world to live in worldly sufferings. If you don’t practice to eat one meal per day, to live alone in quietness, how can you integrate into those realms? As the Sakyamuni Buddha was well aware of this, He taught us to eat one meal per day and did not allow us to sing and listen to signing so that we have the opportunity to converge and integrate into the world of the Buddha, of Nibbana.
If you don’t prepare yourselves to get used to living in the world of the Bodhisattva, of the Buddha, we think that you can hardly integrate into any other lifestyle rather than the worldly life.
Therefore, the precept of not to eat more than one meal per day is a very important precept for you to integrate in the Divine lifestyle.
Eating one meal per day could only be performed by Bodhisattvas, Arhats, and Buddhas. Being unable to follow such life, one could not be called Holy Monk, Holy Nun or Holy lay follower.
Only when the Holy virtue to let go of desire and evilness with regard to eating is strictly kept and practiced, could the scramble and competition for wealth and fame be put to an end.
A person who eats only one meal per day is no longer interested in scramble and competition for fame and wealth. Is this right? Just because of eating, worldly people turn themselves into animals which only compete for eating and drinking to sustain their life.
The monks/nuns eating one meal per day are no longer interested in large pagodas, in huge Buddha statues, they only wish to live with a mind of peace, bliss and carefreeness.
Days after days, months after months, they live with a mind of peace and stability, nothing can influence their mind, even all painful and suffering feelings could not shake their mind.
The precept of not eating more than one meal per day sounds simple, but few can live with it and strictly keep it because their mind has not let go of desire and evilness, thus the indulgence of eating is still strong and thus makes people by all means try to scramble the precept with all ways of eating, e.g. they don’t eat but they drink milk or fruit juice, or lemon juice with sugar, powder dissolved in water. These are also the forms of eating more than one meal per day. And such acts can violate the Holy conduct to let go of desire.
In the path to practice to escape the cycle of life and death, the precept of conduct of not eating more than one meal per day is of great importance and very necessary for the monk/nun disciples of the Buddha.
As the Holy conduct of the disciples of the Buddha is the Holy conduct for liberation, we could not have the heart to violate it and let people disrespect Buddhism and make our mind unable to attain liberation.
For the Holy conduct of a Holy Monk, Holy Nun and Holy lay follower, we could not heartlessly eat more than one meal per day to lose the Holy conduct to let go of desire and evilness, otherwise, such is not a monk/nun with full sense of liberation of Buddhism.
If one could not strictly keep this Holy conduct, how can the person attain the Holy fruit in one’s practice? How can the Holy eat more than one meal per day?
The lay followers should give offerings to support and respect the Holy Monks, Holy Nuns who do not violate and break the precepts. The ten Precepts of Virtues of the Holy Samanera are very beneficial to oneself and to Buddhism.
Why is it so? Because a Holy Monk is one whose body and mind have let go of desire and evilness.
If you - Buddhist followers - have the chance to give donation to support those whose body and mind have let go of desire and evilness, one day you would also receive the fruit of such anasrava26 merit. However, if you give donation to support the Monks who violate the precept of not eating more than one meal per day, you would never have the chance to receive such anasrava merit. As for the monks/nuns violating the precept, they will become cows, bulls, servants, orderlies to serve you in their rebirth.
The Buddhist monks/nuns have to make effort to strictly keep the precept of Holy virtue of not eating more than one meal per day as it is a conduct to let go of desire of a Holy Monk, Holy Nun and Holy lay follower that ordinary people could not follow. Please notice this.
 [translator] Anasava (Pali) (Anasrava: Sanskrit) means the state without any suffering i.e. the state without craving, anger and ignorance. It is also the state of Nibbana.
TENTH PRECEPT OF VIRTUE OF SAMANERA: NOT TO POSSESS MONEY AND VALUABLES
Not to possess money and valuables is the VIRTUE OF LETTING GO OF CRAVING. The monks/nuns as well as the lay followers should learn to understand and live in accordance with this precept of virtue and conduct so as not to be a slave to money.
Why does Buddhism have the precept of not possessing money and valuables while other religions don’t?
Buddhism is the path to let go of desire and thus it has the precept of not possessing money and valuables while other religions do not let go of desire.
Not to possess money and valuables is a precept of Holy virtue and conduct to let go of craving of the monks/nuns. That a person still possesses money means one’s mind of craving remains, even though the person is consecrated Most Venerable, Venerable, Bhadanta, Monk, Nun and is admired and respected by many people, the person still has the mind of craving similar to all other ordinary people.
If one wishes to get rid of the mind of craving, anger and ignorance, one should not possess money, as with money possession, one could never leave the mind of craving, anger, ignorance, this is an assertion in Buddhism. If one still possesses money, one’s practice following Buddhism is a waste of effort, even with thousands of lives of practice, one could also hardly attain liberation.
You should not consider the craving of money as stealing, the craving is the desire for money, for fame, for wealth, the word “desire” means to enjoy. People enjoy money, fame, wealth…The mind that enjoys money, fame, wealth etc. means to take pleasure in ego. And so, though people often talk about egolessness, if they still possess money, they keep fostering ego, serving ego, being a slave to ego instead of being egoless.
The precept of not possessing money is the virtue and conduct to let go of craving and eliminate ego, if one strictly keeps this precept, one’s mind of craving will be eliminated and the ego will be exterminated.
For the purpose of liberation, we need to seriously keep the precept of not possessing money. Only Buddhism has this precept of virtue of letting go of craving to eliminate ego and help the mind to get rid of craving, anger, and ignorance, whereas all other religions do not have this precept as above mentioned.
In the past, from the richness of a king to the poverty of a beggar without even a penny, the Buddha had been unsettled by his ego. Finally He was determined to follow the life of egolessness and attained full enlightenment. If we do not follow His example and still have a penny left in our pocket, we may not be able to eliminate the ego and help the mind to get rid of craving, anger and ignorance. And such practice would never lead to mastering life and death and put an end to rebirth.
The precept of not possessing money will help us to easily eliminate the ego and help the mind to get rid of craving, anger and ignorance. In our time, only the monks/nuns living by begging for alms can keep this Holy conduct, but they are also very rare.
Not to possess money and valuables brings great benefits to our practice i.e.:
1. The mind is carefree, peaceful and blissful without having to worry about theft and robbery, the mind and body are not burdened with the construction of huge and luxurious pagodas. In the opposite, for the Mahayana people, due to their possession of money, their mind is not carefree, not peaceful and blissful and thus they generate many activities: constructing large pagodas with huge Buddha statues, creating beautiful landscape to attract visitors, this takes away the pure atmosphere of a place of practice and turns the place of practice into a tourist area of business and profits.
2. Having money, the mind of desire could easily arise, particularly the five sensual pleasures: appearance, fame, wealth, eating, sleeping. The mind can easily be seduced and become depraved by these five. The evidence that we have seen with our own eyes is that there is no Monk who does not fall into one of the above five.
3. Having money, one would be controlled by the money and wants to buy all types of things. For example: the food must be delicious with delicate dishes; accommodation must be fine with luxurious rooms; the bed must be large and elevated with comfortable blanket and mattress; all different types of vehicles for traveling; the accommodation is fully equipped with television, refrigerator, washing machine, air conditioner etc.
4. The clothing is no longer limited to three pieces of clothing with one alms-bowl, but rather of full wardrobe or trunk. The clothing is no longer a robe of rags but made of fine and imported texture etc.
People in the world have no idea that they are kept in slavery by money, money controls them as if they were its slaves, servants or – even worse – as if cows, bulls, horses etc. which are put on yoke, cart at shoulders and necks.
Being controlled by money means the mind of desire develops. When the mind of desire develops, a lot more sufferings increase.
When a person possesses no money, even if the mind of desire wants something, it has no means to realize it.
For example: a poor person has little money, therefore even if the person wants to build large houses, buy many land lots or vehicles etc. the person cannot realize such wants, but he keeps raising the hope and desire, and so the mind of desire keeps growing. In the opposite, Buddhist monks/nuns wish to escape the cycle of life and death, so they voluntarily do not possess money, so that when the mind of desire raises thoughts of want, they are able to prevent and eliminate it. If they possess money, it is very hard to conquer the mind of desire. Why so?
Because our mind is very tactful and shifty to deceive ourselves, it runs after desire and argues that: “I am doing Buddha’s work, for the interest of living beings, for the sake of Buddhism”, with such argument, they would take money to build large pagodas with huge Buddha statues to satisfy the mind which runs after worldly fame and wealth instead of guiding and leading people towards Buddhism, making Buddhism thriving. But the argument of doing Buddha’s work and saving living beings is to cover its desire for fame and wealth and it even provides further argument: “I do nothing for myself, how can people say that I run after the desire of fame and wealth?” Due to this argument, all scholar monks violate and break the precept of not possessing money; due to this argument, all scholar monks practice but never let go of the mind of desire and evilness and even with innumerable lives of practice, they can never master life, aging, sickness and death. It’s such a waste of a life of practice, due to the lack of insight, they have been deceived by their own mind and thus unconsciously run after fame and wealth. Poor them!
The precept of virtue of Holy Monk of not possessing money has specified for the Most Venerables that: they have failed in keeping their own Holy conduct and thus made themselves not deserve to be the Holy disciples of the Buddha, they have unintentionally turned themselves into destroyers of Buddhism (If the precepts are maintained, Buddhism is maintained, if the precepts are lost, Buddhism is lost), they have unconsciously turned themselves into Duratama Mara. Poor them!
Dear all! The purpose of leaving the worldly life to enter monkhood is to seek liberation from the cycle of life and death and also to become the Holy Monks, Holy Nuns deserving to be the disciples of the Buddha. Why do you possess money to violate the Holy precept of virtue, to disgrace Buddhism? Do you feel ashamed? Do you feel heartbreaking?
A person who does not possess money is considered as one living the life of Holy conduct to let go of desire. Living the life of Holy conduct to let go of desire means living the life of virtue and conduct of Holy Monks, Holy Nuns. Thanks to living the life of Holy conduct of not possessing money, it helps the mind and body to leave the contaminating influence of desire of worldly troubles.
Not to possess money is a method to prevent your body and mind from realizing their desire, as without money it’s impossible to follow desire. It’s also a great method of let go of desire and evilness. For a person who has set one’s mind on seeking the liberation, not to possess money is very effective for liberation.
As we all know the precept of not possessing money is to help us to easily let go of desire and evilness, having money triggers the mind of desire which is hard to conquer, as with money, it wants to buy all sorts of things.
We have seen the monks, due to possessing money, violating this precept and their life is similar to the life of the rich. And in the end, those monks do not attain liberation in their practice but become a slave to money, materials, fame and wealth of the world.
We speak from the standpoint of the ten precepts of virtues of Holy Samanera, please pay your attention and you would clearly see that even with just 10 precepts of Samanera, the Mahayana people including the Most Venerables, the Venerables, the Bhadantas, the Monks, the Nuns may not be able to live completely in accordance with them, or in other words, even just with one or two precepts amongst the 10 that they also may not be able to keep. Seeing their lifestyle which violates, breaks and crumbles the precepts, we feel so sad for nowadays Buddhism. Do you feel so!?
The monks following the expanded canons of Mahayana have turned Buddhism into a profession of superstition to easily deceive people. Despite the precept for monks/nuns: “A monk/nun should not possess money”, they have billions of money in their bank accounts. What else can we say, in this world, no one is richer than such monks.
Buddhism teaches: “let go of possessions for decent poverty”. But nowadays the monks following expanded canons teach: “let go of the decent poverty for possessions” to keep abreast of the times.
Through these 10 precepts, we remark that today monks/nuns no longer have the purpose of liberation in their practice, they only practice for fame i.e. study to obtain high degree, practice for wealth i.e. having lots of money and a huge number of disciples.
A monk/nun who keeps possessing money is not a Buddhist monk/nun. This Holy conduct to let go of craving has made this clear. If a monk/nun keeps violating these 10 precepts, the person is no longer in the path of practice for liberation.
In summary, in order to practice to attain liberation from the three poisons of craving, anger, ignorance, one has to strictly keep the precepts, and the precept of not possessing money is the most important one in the practice to let go of desire and evilness. Only by strictly following such precepts and practice could one look forward to mastering life, aging, sickness and death one day.
Though the precepts of the Buddha are hard to keep, for people with great will and determination, they will make difficult things become do-able, they will overcome all difficulties and perform a great work of Buddhism.
The precept of Holy Virtue and Conduct to let go of craving is very necessary for people who are earnest to seek the path of liberation, whoever strictly keeps the precept will let go of craving and eliminate evilness and thus successfully accomplish the ultimate path of liberation.
SUMMARY OF THE TEN PRECEPTS OF VIRTUE OF SAMANERA
The Ten Precepts of Virtue of Holy Samanera are the ten virtues and conducts for liberation of Buddhist monks/nuns. Any monk/nun strictly follows these 10 precepts will find liberation right in the current life, as they are the conducts to leave craving, to eliminate evilness, to exterminate the ego and to let go of the mind of craving, anger and ignorance; to make the mind peaceful, blissful and carefree; to help the monks/nuns to change the ordinary demeanor into the right demeanor of the Holy.
Regarding the first precept of Holy Virtue of Having Love and Compassion for Life, if anyone lives in accordance with it, the person would have a limitless love, such immense love will help the person to have a heart (mind) which has no resentment, hatred etc. for any being. The Holy Virtue of Having Love and Compassion for Life helps one’s mind constantly cherish the life of all living beings.
Since one’s heart started to cherish the life of all living beings, there has been a clear state of liberation in one’s mind, the state of being peaceful, blissful is constant in one’s mind. Thanks to that, forgiveness and love so as not to create sufferings for oneself, for others and for all living beings, regardless of being close to oneself or not, are shown regularly via the actions of the body, mouth and mind. Their actions are always full of love.
Such love helps us not to treat differently between people who are our relatives or close to us and those who are not. This very love helps us to transform the accidents, our sickness and sufferings; this very love helps us to transform the evilness surrounding us; it is this very love that helps us to overcome all evilness and evil karmas; this very love is the precept of not killing.
Dear all! If in this world everybody carries out such love, this ordinary world will become one of Heaven and Utmost Happiness. Is it so?
If we live fully with such love but without the virtue of letting go, such love would not be complete (the second precept of not being greedy and stealing).
The Holy Virtue of Letting go helps our mind not want to own any item or money of others; for assets which are not earned by ourselves, or assets which are not gained out of our own tears and sweat, or assets which are not obtained by our own work, by our own labour, we would definitely not take them.
The Holy Virtue of Letting go helps our mind not to be attached to worldly materials, fame, wealth or many other things.
The Holy Virtue of Having Love and Compassion for Life with the Holy Virtue of Letting go together create a vigorous mind power to fight off evilness, and help us to find a peaceful, blissful and carefree mind as it truly is. But if we wish to keep the above two Holy virtues completely and durably, we have to keep and live in accordance with the Holy Virtue and Conduct of Purity (the third precept of not having sexual desire).
If the Holy Virtue of Purity is not seriously kept, our mind of sexual desire can never put to a full stop. If the mind of sexual desire is not put to an end, it is a big obstacle in our body and mind, and therefore the mind could not be stabilized and in peace. Therefore, if we wish to completely live in line with the Holy Virtue of Having Love and Compassion for Life and the Holy Virtue of Letting go, we need to practice and live properly in line with the Holy Virtue of Purity, i.e. we need to have insight and contemplation of the law of cause and effect, 12 causes, the body of five aggregates, contemplation of white bones, contemplation of impure body, practice of 19 Breath Mindfulness Concentrations  and practice of Mindfulness of Body Performance; thanks to such contemplation and practice, we are able to completely keep this precept.
 [translator] in Vietnamese as “Định Niệm Hơi Thở” which means to stay focused in a topic while remembering the breath i.e. you don’t focus in the breath, instead you focus in a topic that you would like to develop and by remembering the breath it keeps your mind awake and effective.
The three virtues of having love and compassion for life, letting go and purity are not enough to fight off all hindrances in the body, feeling, mind and things, and thus we have to continue to carry out the Holy Virtue of Being Honest. The Holy Virtue of Being Honest is very hard to keep, only people with bravery and will don’t tell lies (the fourth precept of not telling lies).
If a Holy Monk, Holy Nun lacks honesty or tells lie, there would be no value of the Holy in such person, wouldn’t there?
If a monk/nun does not strictly keep the Virtue of Being Honest and tells lies, tells something wrong or not true, or teaches without first-hand experience that leads to no result of liberation in the practice of the followers, such person will lose credit and make others lose faith in them.
When the above four Holy Virtues have been completely kept, the Holy Virtue of Being Sober must also be strictly kept. If a Holy Monk gets drunk, walking with tottering steps and falling forward and backward, such person is not a Holy Monk. The value of being sober of a Holy Monk guarantees that: they don’t hold a glass of wine or smoke a cigarette (the fifth precept of not drinking alcohol).
If a Holy monk eats meat of living beings and drinks alcohol like Mad monk Ji Gong or Tuệ Trung Thượng Sỹ, there is no sense of a Holy Monk. The Holy Virtue of Having Love and Compassion for Life and the Holy Virtue of Being Sober have confirmed that these Monks are not Holy but the Duratama Mara disguising in Buddhism to undermine Buddhism and make an example for the following generations of monks to follow and thus lose the Holy conduct of Buddhism.
The above Holy virtues have clearly defined: “A Holy Monk has to live with right demeanors to be called Holy, rather not having some magic of illusion to be Holy”. Though a monk is called Holy Monk, with his actions of not being sober, indulging in alcohol, holding glasses of alcohol and drinking, the person cannot be called Holy Monk. Is it not so?
If the right demeanor of the above five Holy Virtues is not complete, a person is not considered as a Holy Monk of Buddhism, but rather an evil monk of heresy even if the person has full of magic and wizardry. Magic and wizardry are only to deceive people and do not bring good benefit to anyone.
Though the above five Holy Virtues are completely kept, the Holy Virtue of Being Natural is not strictly kept when one keeps sprucing up, beautifying, wearing rosary, wearing fine and luxurious clothing etc., having stately appearance in kasaya like a general, a great mandarin of king etc. (the sixth precept of not making up).
Such acts of sprucing up, making up, beautifying, being stately like a general are not the right demeanor of a Holy Monk.
A Holy Monk who keeps making up is not a Holy Monk in the strict sense of Buddhism.
A Holy Monk who keeps sprucing up has lost the noble sense of Holy Conduct of a Holy person.
Thirty two good marks and eighty good signs are the attachment to forms of Brahmanism which are not accepted by Buddhism. Let’s read the Sonadanda Sutta of the Long Discourses of the Vietnamese Tripitaka, we will see that the Buddha has rejected the points of good appearance and good marks and signs of a Brahmin.
A monk/nun who keeps making up and sprucing up is considered by Buddhism as evil monk/nun of heresy, such act is not the manner of a Buddhist monk.
The Buddha accepted the natural characteristics of each individual, when an individual practices following His method, he or she must not wrongly suppress those characteristics. As the existence of characteristics in each individual is the result of many previous lives, therefore, depending on the characteristics, each individual will accordingly conquer one’s mind to let go of desire and craving and eliminate evilness to make the mind completely pure and no longer be polluted by the six objects . Thanks to the mind which is no longer polluted by the six objects, the seven factors (limbs) of enlightenment appear, thanks to the appearance of the seven factors of enlightenment, we enter the four concentrations and carry out the Three Insights. That is the purpose of practice, rather not the good marks, handsome or beautiful looking.
 [translator] Six objects include sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, and thought.
It is not right to make up to have 32 good marks and 80 good signs for being enlightened! Amongst the disciples of the Buddha, Ananda was handsome and had good appearance, but when the Buddha was alive, he did not attain full enlightenment, did he? He was often disturbed by people of other gender that resulted in slow progress in his practice, even though he was very intelligent and had good memory.
This body is very impure, a human body is made out of the combination of the four great elements, and therefore it is very dirty, smelly, not precious or good looking at all. According to the legend of Mahayana, the body of the Buddha had 32 good marks and 80 good signs, but when the Buddha died, people burnt the body to ashes with some unburnt bones left, such unburnt bones are called sari (relics or remains) and very impure. Was there anything of 32 good marks and 80 good signs left after cremation? Did the golden tone of the Buddha’s skin remain?
Therefore the sixth precepts amongst the 10 Samanera precepts does not allow Samaneras to spruce up or make up because to spruce up or to make up means to foster the mind of sexual desire. The mind of sexual desire is the first to lead people to the path of life-death-rebirth, a person who gets rid of the mind of sexual desire is the person who puts an end of the path of life-death-rebirth. If the mind of sexual desire is not ended, it’s hard for the mind and body to become pure, if the mind and body are not pure, it’s hard to enter concentrations and carry out the Three Insights. Therefore when you – monks make up and wear nice and luxurious clothing with rosaries around the neck and wrist, being stately, having servants, it means you are raising the mind of sexual desire, making people of other gender fond of being close to you, giving cause for sexuality. The Buddha understood this so He said: “I know not any other single sight that seizes and exhausts the mind of a man as the sight of a woman, and vice versa…”
Therefore, making up and beautifying mean to have the intention to make people of other gender pay attention to oneself. For what? To foster the mind of sexual desire is to contribute to the endless path of life and death.
For the purpose of attaining liberation from the circle of life-death-rebirth, the Buddhist monks/nuns have to get rid of the mind of sexual desire. Anyone who practices but keeps making up and sprucing up should hand the practice clothing back to the pagodas and return to the ordinary world to live as a lay follower, it would be better and the person would not be indebted to the donors and supporters.
It is this precept to let you know if your foundation of practice is thorough or not, you should know yourself better than others.
The above six Holy Virtues are not enough to be accepted as a Holy Monk, Holy Nun disciple of the Buddha if you have not lived strictly in accordance with the Holy Virtue and Conduct of Being Quiet in dwelling alone. We see that the practice of reciting and chanting the canons following the sound of wooden goong and bells and drums do not bring any result of liberation from the cycle of life and death. Because reciting and chanting with high, low, melodious voice following the sound of wooden bell are similar to singing, in this regards, there is a famous musician in our country who has studied and considered this as Buddhist music. It’s true, we used to hear the monks who officiate (funeral) ceremony recite and chant similar to the singing of Vietnamese theatre following the sound of traditional string-musical instrument, drum, trumpet, flute etc. As such, the reciting and chanting rites in pagodas today are opposite to Buddhism, violating the precept of not singing or listening to singing of Buddhism (the seventh precept of not singing or listening to singing).
Because reciting, chanting or singing take away the quietness in the living environment of the Holy Monks, when a monk chants, recites or sings, the Holy Virtue of Being Quiet would be lost. Once the Holy Virtue of Being Quiet is lost, the life of a monk practicing for liberation has no meaning. Therefore, the precept of not singing or listening to singing is to protect the Holy Conduct of Dwelling Alone to accomplish the practice for liberation from lifedeath-rebirth. A Holy Monk has to live with the Holy conduct of being quiet in dwelling alone to deserve the full meaning of a Holy person. A Holy Monk cannot adopt the four periods of practice of Yu Lin Guo Shi [Guo Shi is the title of the most honored monk of the Qing Dynasty in China] to recite and chant with high, low and melodious voice following the sound of bell, wooden bell, drum, trumpet, string-musical instrument similar to singing. Living with such reciting and chanting is not different from actors and actresses of Vietnamese theatre or singers on the stage.
A Holy Monk who sings, recites, chants in all four practice periods following Mahayana does not deserve the meaning of Holy virtue of being quiet in dwelling alone. As such, the person is merely a reciting and chanting monk instead of a true monk seeking liberation. Chanting and reciting are the profession of superstition of a Brahmin to earn a living similar to any other worldly professions.
If a Buddhist monk does not live a quiet life of dwelling alone, it’s very difficult for the person to prevent the mind from being unrestrained and wandering. And the person is no longer on the path of practice to attain the fruit of Arhat. Therefore, a monk/nun has to consider the Holy virtue of being quiet in dwelling alone as an act which brings about the Holy life. The Holy life of quietness in dwelling alone is a key to successfully enter the concentrations and carry out the Three Insights. If anyone practices but does not live in line with this Holy virtue, one’s practice would only be in vain, regardless of numerous lives of practice one also could not enter concentrations and also could not carry out the Three Insights.
As such, the Holy Virtue of Being Quiet in Dwelling Alone is the most important holy conduct for the monk/nun seeking liberation.
Living with the above Holy Virtue of Being Quiet in Dwelling Alone is not enough, one also has to live in accordance with the Holy Conduct of Living with Little Desire.
A Holy Monk who lies on large and elevated bed made of fine and rare wood would lose all the meaning of liberation of a Holy Monk. A monk lying on large and elevated bed does not live with little desire, not in accordance with the right conduct of a Buddhist monk/nun (the eighth precept of not lying on large and elevated bed).
The Virtue of Having Little Desire and Being Satisfied with Basic Material Condition is very necessary to form the Holy conduct of a Holy Monk, of a wandering Monk living on alms.
The Buddha taught: “shave one’s hair and beard, putting on the kasaya, living without family and houses, having only 3 pieces of clothing and an alms-bowl, with the mind which is as white as the seashell and as open as the space”. Through this teaching we see that: “A Holy life must be with such utmost extend of having little desire and being satisfied with basic material condition for one to be called the Holy person of liberation, otherwise there is no liberation”. So, we see that the Mahayana monks/nuns have large pagodas with big Buddha statues and abundant worldly materials, does such life of practice form the conduct of having little desire and being satisfied with basic material conditions? Has such life of practice led to liberation?
Please pay attention to this. A Buddhist monk/nun having little desire and being satisfied with basic material condition uses tree-root instead of bed, one’s arm instead of pillow, sky instead of curtain, earth instead of mat; a person with such living deserves to be a Holy Monk, Holy Nun in Buddhism.
The above eight Holy virtues are not enough for a Holy Monk, Holy Nun disciple of the Buddha, one also has to live completely in line with the Holy virtue of letting go of desire.
A Holy Monk, Holy Nun eating many meals in a day: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even supper, does not at all deserve the meaning of a Holy Monk, Holy Nun letting go of desire. A Holy Monk, Holy Nun lives to let go of desire and thus only eats one meal per day which is sufficient to sustain the body made out of the four great elements, and always actively brings benefits to living beings via one’s example of Holy conduct, via one’s sincere teachings of moralities, one’s heartfelt advices and consolation to help people to overcome their sufferings, as such, eating one meal per day is truly worth the offerings of faithful donors and supporters; in the opposite, too much eating with three or four meals a day does not deserve the offerings. A monk/nun eating many meals per day is indebted to the faithful donors and supporters and has to pay the debt in this life and also in many following lives until the debt has been paid off (the ninth precept of not eating more than one meal per day).
The body made out of the four great elements is an impure, smelly and dirty mass, there is nothing fineor precious that we should find it important. Every day it has to receive the outside impure four great elements (food). There is nothing happy in swallowing such impure and stinking things for us to enjoy. People who enjoy food, enjoy eating are those of stupidity, of ignorance; food is impure and dirty and indulging in eating food is unacceptable and reprehensible. Their life has no meaning with only eating, sleeping, toileting and having sex, such life is totally in impurity. Their life is as if they were in a bag full of impure and dirty things. Poor them!
Human life is only for scrambling, trampling, competing, exterminating each other by all means due to eating, sleeping, toileting and sexuality…It is nonsense, no meaning at all.
Living to enjoy such impure and deplorable things, people are so content and proud when obtaining them. Obtaining them for what? For suffering. Is this true?
The Holy Virtue of Letting Go of Desire helps us to be free from sufferings though living in the life which is full of sufferings, helps us to end the cycle of life and death, helps us to master our life, aging, sickness and death and put an end to reincarnation. So eating once per day means we let go of desire, ignorance, anger and sexual desire clearly and specifically.
People living with one meal per day have little desire for sleeping and resting, often staying awake, sexual desire lessens in their body, anger recedes in their mind etc.
The Holy virtue of eating one meal per day helps our mind be peaceful in terms of eating, sleeping, sexual desire, resentment and all sickness in the body reduces clearly, this is different from the Mahayana people who have much craving and eat three or four meals per day and thus often argue that a lot of eating brings good health for practice whereas eating one meal per day is austere and could not practice to attain liberation. This is an anti-Buddhist argument, as in the old days both the Buddha and his disciples ate only one meal per day and attained full enlightenment.
Nowadays, due to the lack of right understanding of the Holy Conduct of Letting Go of Desire, people make argument following miscreance and heresy to indulge in eating, sleeping, worldly sensual joy, wealth, fame, therefore the monks following expanded canons often suffer sickness and diseases, having to see doctors, being hospitalized, taking medicine nonstop.
If you want to know clearly a Holy Monk disciple of the Buddha, you should look at their life. They live strictly in accordance with the ten precepts of Holy Virtues of Holy Samanera without any violation, particularly regarding eating one meal per day to sustain the body. With such lifestyle, their mind can let go of desire. Thanks to the mind letting go of desire, their right demeanor is shown in every activity of their life that everyone can notice, that is living strictly in line with the Holy conduct of a monk/nun of liberation. Thanks to this Holy conduct, no one can scorn and defame Buddhism.
At present Buddhism is scorned and defamed by people because of the Brahmins who are under the name of Buddhism, breaking the ten precepts of Holy Virtues of Holy Samanera, not even one left without being violated, they live without having love and compassion for all life, without letting-go, their body and mind are not pure, not honest, not sober, not with little desire, not simple, they do not live with quietness in dwelling alone, not let go of desire, not let go of greed. As they do not properly live the life of a Buddhist monk, they lose the Holy conduct and thus make people scorn, defame and disrespect Buddhism. In front of the monks, people join hands and bow down to them as if they respected them, but at the back of the monks, people disregard them. They call you– monks as bozos of this or that pagoda, do you know that?
The above nine precepts of Holy Virtues are not enough to be a Holy Samanera, if a monk completely keeps the above nine precepts but does not keep the tenth precept of not possessing money and valuables i.e. the person still possesses money and valuables, such person has not lived the life of three pieces of clothing and an alms-bowl of a Holy Samanera. If a Holy Monk has not let go of craving, still possesses money, has never worn a robe of rags (scraps of cheap and low-quality fabric), such person has not deserved to be a Holy Monk (the tenth precept of not possessing money and valuables).
If the life of a Holy Monk is not with letting go of craving, not with little desire and being satisfied with basic material condition, the person still possesses money, how can one’s mind be as white as a seashell, as open as the space?
Therefore, the Buddha has taught the tenth precept: “the monks/nuns are not allowed to possess money and valuables”. Not to possess money and valuables is the Holy conduct of letting go of craving. A monk/nun who can live such life deserves to be called the Venerable Elder Holy Monk, Holy Nun.
A Holy Monk, a Holy Nun who has escaped the life full of impurity and evilness is not a slave to money. If one considers oneself as not a slave to money but still possesses money, how can one escape the life which is full of impurity and evilness? Because if one still possesses money, one’s mind is still ruled over by money. If one’s mind is still being ruled over by money, such person is not yet to be a Holy Monk, Holy Nun. Therefore, for people who have just started to practice and possesses money, their mind is still being controlled by money, we wonder how they can prevent the mind from being unrestrained, wandering and running after careless thoughts.
If one could not strictly keep the Holy Conduct of Letting Go of Craving, it’s just a waste of time and effort and not beneficial to oneself.
If one wishes to enter the concentrations and carry out the Three Insights but one’s mind keeps being unrestrained, wandering and running after careless thoughts, how can one enter the concentrations and carry out Three Insights?
If one still possesses money, how can the mind let go of desire? Because money is an evilness, a huge hindrance for the path of practice for liberation of Buddhism.
If the mind is not being unrestrained, wandering and running after careless thoughts, the mind would be flexible and easy to use, only when the mind is flexible and easy to use, could one reach the ultimate and profundity of Buddhism.
In the old days, the Buddha taught: “I have attained the full enlightenment thanks to the mind not being unrestrained and wandering”.
Today, you Monks, Nuns keep holding and possessing money similar to the Mahayana monks, how can your mind not be unrestrained and wandering? If your mind is unrestrained and wandering, regardless of thousands of lives of practice you only waste your effort.
In Buddhism, a monk/nun possessing money has not deserved to be the Teacher of anyone. As the Holy conduct of letting go of craving has not been completed, such monk/nun is just as ordinary as many others. Apart from the kasaya with the shaved head and the repeated knowledge out of fabricated interpretation of people in the past i.e. bagasse of some expanded canons of the Mahayana and the texts of reciting and chanting rites of Yu Lin Guo Shi of the Qing Dynasty in China, their mind is only the mind of craving, anger and ignorance similar to many other people. They do not have the experience of practice for liberation to impart to us. Therefore they do not deserve to be teachers.
Dear all! When you have not escape the house of life and death i.e. your mind has not let go of craving and eliminated the evilness, you are still fond of money.
If you wish to leave the mind of craving, you have to seriously keep the precept of not possessing money. Why can’t the monks following expanded canons let go of the mind of craving?
Because they still possess money, if they still possess money, how can they let go of the mind of craving? Therefore, based on the commandment suttas of the Buddha, the Patriarchs created the precepts of prohibition to help the monks to let go of craving and eliminate the evilness. A person who is called a Holy Monk, Holy Nun but still possesses money does not deserve to be Holy. Is this right?
A Holy person with possession of money is a “fake” Holy, just an ordinary person who still enjoys living in this life i.e. the life full of impurity and evilness. To keep possessing money means you do not want to get out of the life ocean of impurity, dirtiness, bitterness and suffering. Most of the Mahayana people still enjoy swimming in the mundane sea, thus they cannot let go of money, big pagodas with huge statues of the Buddha.
In summary, Ten Precepts of Virtues of Holy Samanera must be strictly kept if a Buddhist monk/nun or lay follower wishes to practice to escape the circle of life-death-rebirth. They have to seriously keep these Holy conducts.
Regardless of being a monk/nun or lay follower, if the person strictly keep these 10 precepts of prohibition and completely live in accordance with the 10 holy conducts, we guarantee that the path to liberation is not long and such person will surely attain the fruit of being the master of one’s mind and body as one’s wish.
If anyone lives seriously according to these Ten Precepts of Virtues of Holy Samanera in front of as well as at the back of other people, such monk/nun is Holy Monk, Holy Nun in this world and needs no further practice. As for anyone who is monk/nun but does not live in line with these ten precepts of Holy Virtues, such person is just a type of Duratama Mara in Buddhism.
Just with these ten precepts, you – lay followers will accordingly choose for yourselves a Teacher as an example of Holy conduct, a Holy Monk, a Holy Nun who deserves your honor, offerings and respect, who is your example of detachment in your mind, an example for you to follow, and right there you will find the true ultimate path for yourselves.
Just with these ten precepts, you will rely on them and not be afraid of getting the wrong way, not be afraid of wrong practice and thus be misled in miscreance, be lost in realm of illusion and imaginary meditation etc.
Just with these ten precepts, you will accordingly comment who is Holy Monk, Holy Nun and who is Lord of Evilness disguising in Buddhism to deceive devotees.
Just with these ten precepts, whether Buddhism will become vigorous or become decay, you have well understood, no one can deceive you.
If there is any omission in what we have mentioned above, please kindly be understanding. As our wish is that Buddhist monks/nuns should truly be Buddhist monks/nuns, ordinary life should be ordinary life and life of practice should be life of practice, do not mix up them as such mix-up will lead to defamation of Buddhism.