Author Topic: Do we break our refuge vows if we make bitchy and sarcastic remarks?  (Read 25545 times)


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Resuscitating this thread reminds me of the song by Ronan Keating - When You Say Nothing At All. There is the line - "You say it best when you say nothing at all" - to me this can be very good advise. Of course some females have told me they find it offensive as it is like a "shut up" song.... This just shows me yet AGAIN, how people like to make things "hard and personal" for themselves...

Also brings me to my point about our topic - Bitchy and Sarcastic remarks... Personally I have been hurt by sarcasm and bitchyness, and I have hurt others with the same. I like what Thaimonk put up:

"To break a vow, the four factors must be present:

1. Intent
2. Action
3. completion
4. Rejoice

On the ordinary daily level, even if you do not have intent, but you are bitchy and sarcastic, if it hurts the other person, whether you break the vow or not, you collect negative karma, because the other person was hurt as you were not skillful. Also, if you speak softly and gently but your intent is to hurt or you just are careless resulting in another's cause of pain, that should be very bad also."

I would also like to add that we also need to take into consideration the power of listening… This we have control over the power of others hurtful speech. What do I mean by this? Well if someone decides to exercise their freedom of speech at the expense of their karma, we have the power of choice to walk away and be unaffected by these words. This is my personal practice if not it is not possible to survive people’s irresponsible words flying all over the place.

Last but not least, should one’s words affect you could it also be possible that there is some truth in the bitchy comment and sarcasm and we are ego-bruised and self-indulging? Something to think about….. Normally when I get offended or “hurt” it normally tells me that perhaps I need to look at what is really bothering me…

It is very interesting reading all these opinions of different contributors. The essence of it is that never do to others what you do not like others to do to you. Put aside motivation, tone of voice, choice of words, etc. We can all debate till the cows come home and still unable to achieve any conclusion. I have never heard of one bitchy and/or sarcastic remark that is nice. I mean, how can it be? The result: it hurts the recipient and you collect negative karma. When one breaks their refuge vows, one collects negative karma too. My point: the end result is the same. So better to refrain from it than to think of the consequences.


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It does not matter whether bitchy remarks fall under vows, we, as Buddhists (for that matter, all human beings!!) should be polite and be gentle with our speech.

We should always convey messages in a gentle manner; making bitchy remarks under whatever circumstances shows that we are not professional and had sub-standard upbringing! Nice words are more acceptable whilst bitchy remarks reflects badly on us.

We should abstained using bitchy remarks.
Down with the BAN!!!