Author Topic: Do we break our refuge vows if we make bitchy and sarcastic remarks?  (Read 25694 times)

WoselTenzin

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The refuge vows relating to speech is to abstain from:-

1. Divisive speech 
2  Lying
2. Hurtful speech
3. Idle Chatter

Most of us at some point or another have made some bitchy or sarcastic remarks to others and have also been at the receiving end of other people's sarcasm and bitchiness.  It can hurt when someone is sarcastic or bitchy to us.  I was just wondering if sarcastic and bitchy remarks fall under the category of hurtful speech that if we hold refuge vows, we need to abstain from it lest we break our vows.

Anybody has any idea?

 

triesa

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I believe we have one way or another experienced bitchy or sarcastic remarks from others and we know how we feel. Bottom line is that these type of remarks do hurt us and so it constitutes breaking our refuge vows, in my opinion.

But we can argue that the person who give this bitchy or scarcastic remarks are being direct and has a good motivation, nevertheless, unless the person is an enlightened being, or a very high lama, we will never be sure  whether the motivation is genuine or is really for a good purpose.

So in this case, it is best for us to refrain from bitchy and scarcastic remarks, as we are not the buddha/high lama and we simply can't behave as if we are one and think it will have the same results as if spoken from an enlightened mind.

Bottom line, treat or speak to others how we would like to be treated and spoken to.

Helena

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Haha...what a thread!

Ok, I am willing and ready to admit that sometimes my speech may be bitchy and sarcastic - especially when it is directed at troublesome models and ad agencies in my line of work.

But my Guru always advised me to tone down my speech regardless of what my own perception or feelings are. I do not have enough merits, wisdom and compassion to speak 'wrathfully' and hope that my wrath will help anyone.

I guess, it boils down to a simple question - does your speech heal or harm? Regardless of how it sounds - wrathful, bitchy or sweet - do they harm or heal the recipient?
Helena

Big Uncle

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Yes, this is interesting and rather amusing.

Of the four transgressions mentioned, bitchy and sarcastic remarks are usually those that fall under the hurtful speech category. However, I wouldn't say that all bitchy and hurtful remarks are a transgression. I often find that people who are direct, honest and forthright with their opinions do not usually harbor any base aims or ulterior motives. They usually speak their mind and only utter nasty remarks because they are provoked. Those that are polite and gentle with their speech, usually harbor malice or ill will. So, even gentle and polite speech can break vows as well because they are manipulative and perhaps divisive. I wouldn't worry too much about sarcastic remarks breaking vows unless it is deliberately meant to put that person down or to hurt that person.

WoselTenzin

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Yes, this is interesting and rather amusing.

Of the four transgressions mentioned, bitchy and sarcastic remarks are usually those that fall under the hurtful speech category. However, I wouldn't say that all bitchy and hurtful remarks are a transgression. I often find that people who are direct, honest and forthright with their opinions do not usually harbor any base aims or ulterior motives. They usually speak their mind and only utter nasty remarks because they are provoked. Those that are polite and gentle with their speech, usually harbor malice or ill will. So, even gentle and polite speech can break vows as well because they are manipulative and perhaps divisive. I wouldn't worry too much about sarcastic remarks breaking vows unless it is deliberately meant to put that person down or to hurt that person.



Thank you Big Uncle.  What you have just said definitely shed light on the matter.  I guess bitchy and sarcastic remarks per se may not necessarily be a transgression unless it is made with a negative motivation to hurt others or to put people down.

In fact, I know of some people who use their bitchiness and sarcasm in an amusing way to relay a certain message without being offensive and hurtful.  However, having said that to be able to do this we need to be skilful and have a good motivation.

Ultimately, the measure of whether or not our speech is skilful lies on whether it creates goodwill, harmony, heal and benefit others and ourselves.   




Positive Change

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When we make a decision to hurt someone I personally feel whichever way it comes out through our speech is breaking our vows. However if it is possible to make a bitchy or sarcastic remark with the motivation to better the person or make them aware of something deeper within themselves, I personally do not think it is harmful. However, having said that, we do not always know when or how to use our speech, hence this method could end in tears!

Tammy

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I am ALL against bitchiness and rudeness!

I have been brought up in a family where everyone (elderly, young ones, peers alike) are treated with respect.
No throwing of stuff across the table (if you do, you are showing anger and being absolutely rude), hand things over using BOTH hands, acknowledge EVERYONE when you enter and leave other people's house, greeting the elderly every morning and say good night before hitting the sack... etc etc.. This is basic manners!

One particular thing that I CANT STAND is when people frown when having a conversation, frowning makes a person look absolutely ugly and I think it is intended to make the other person feel small... I frown only if i feel absolutely disgusted...

There is, in my opinion, no reason (at all, really) to be bitchy or rude, being such a people drives people away from you. after all, who wants to see a winkled prune face all the time??

We should practise dharma in our live, lets start with being nice and put on a smiling/pleasant face and drop the bitchiness - before we could even think of saving/helping other sentient being!

 
Down with the BAN!!!

WoselTenzin

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Re: Do we break our refuge vows if we make bitchy and sarcastic remarks?
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2011, 06:31:01 AM »
I am ALL against bitchiness and rudeness!

I have been brought up in a family where everyone (elderly, young ones, peers alike) are treated with respect.
No throwing of stuff across the table (if you do, you are showing anger and being absolutely rude), hand things over using BOTH hands, acknowledge EVERYONE when you enter and leave other people's house, greeting the elderly every morning and say good night before hitting the sack... etc etc.. This is basic manners!
 

Dear Tammy, what you said reminded me so much about my late paternal grandmother.  That was how my cousins and I were brought up and she insisted on that. I miss her and appreciate what she has taught us very much.  Today my sisters and cousins are bringing up their children that way too.  She has passed away almost 2 decades ago but whenever my family get together, we still remember grandma said this or grandma said that.  Back then grandma's words was like a royal commandment.  I must say because of what she insisted we did, contributed very much to the closeness and good relationship among members of my family.  My grandmother may not have known much Dharma but she certainly knows how to instil good manners in the family.  That itself I belief is Dharma in practice because good manners creates harmony in the family.   

thaimonk

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Re: Do we break our refuge vows if we make bitchy and sarcastic remarks?
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2011, 06:48:52 AM »
When we make a decision to hurt someone I personally feel whichever way it comes out through our speech is breaking our vows. However if it is possible to make a bitchy or sarcastic remark with the motivation to better the person or make them aware of something deeper within themselves, I personally do not think it is harmful. However, having said that, we do not always know when or how to use our speech, hence this method could end in tears!

I like what Positive is saying overall.

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

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

If just being bitchy and sarcastic alone was to break one's vows then Pandit Tilopa would have broken his vows everyday he 'mistreated' Naropa for twelve years. Then Marpa who was not only bitchy, but extremely harsh with Milarepa. So each person and each environment requires different methods. Mahasiddha Drukpa Kunley thrived on sarcasm to get his point across even to great learned Geshes in Drepung, Gaden and Sera who he felt just spewed dried intellectual knowledge.

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 your just careless resulting in another's cause of pain, that should be very bad also.

Speaking nicely to cover the work we did not do or did not do well is intent to lie-very dangerous-then speaking nicely or not does not matter anymore. Typing, texting, emailing, speaking words to take the other person off guard so you can cover your lack of integrity, work, sneakiness are much heavier karmas breaking a combination of vows. You are deceiving. Speech is important but communication by speech is only 30% of communication in general.

So there are many other ways to break our vows although speech is very important and can play within various combinations of damaging others.





vajraD

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Good thread.
Yes, I belief we have broken our vow.
Sometimes bitchy words too the speaker is nothing but when it reach to the recepent ears is painfull/hurtful. In some sevier cases speech could kill a person mind or could also drown a person. It can be as worse as taking their life.

All of us are bitchy in some way or another but if possible reduces the act and refrain from it. If I don’t like how others treat me in that way, I should not do it to others too.


pgdharma

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Re: Do we break our refuge vows if we make bitchy and sarcastic remarks?
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2012, 10:30:00 AM »
Yes I believe bitchy and sarcastic remarks fall under hurtful speech. We do not like to receive bitchy or sarcastic remarks from others and likewise we shouldn't  do that to others too.

For lay people who do not have much dharma knowledge the consequences may turned out negative if that person cannot accept it. It may make the person less confident and low self esteem.

For dharma practitioners, if their lamas make bitchy/sarcastic remarks to them with the intention of helping them transform then it is acceptable. It is also a good practice of cutting away one's ego.

In general, it is best to refrain from harsh/bitchy/sarcastic speech to anyone. It is better to put a smile on someone's face with sincere speech than being bitchy.

Jessie Fong

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Re: Do we break our refuge vows if we make bitchy and sarcastic remarks?
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2012, 12:37:06 PM »
I agree with pgdharma that bitchy and sarcastic remarks are part of hurtful speech and thus constitutes breaking our vow.  Such remarks thrown at the other party with intent to hurt is thus considered breaking a vow.  But if it is out of habituation, is it breaking our vow? 

I still believe that whether we have dharma knowledge or not, it is still not acceptable to cast such remarks, although it is always easier said than done.  Thus we should always watch our speech, whether we have made a vow or not.

ilikeshugden

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Re: Do we break our refuge vows if we make bitchy and sarcastic remarks?
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2012, 01:55:36 PM »

 First, I will explain the concept of the refuge vows. The refuge vows are there to help you maintain a mind of refuge. That is what I believe. However, there are many benefits to keeping your vows. These are:
we become a pure Buddhist, we establish the foundation for taking all other vows and many others.
 
 To break a vow, the four factors must be present: intent, action, completion and rejoice. So, if you have completed all four then you really broke your vow. Also, 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. Also, if you speak softly and gently but your intent is to hurt or you are just careless resulting in another's cause of pain, that would be very bad also.

Also, sometimes when someone is bitchy to you, it might hurt but the intention is not to hurt but to help you become a better person. Then, you would have neither accumulated negative karma, nor have you broken your vows. But, of course, your speech must be skillful.

ratanasutra

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Re: Do we break our refuge vows if we make bitchy and sarcastic remarks?
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2012, 04:25:15 AM »
For sure that bitchy and sarcastic are create negative karma either it break vow or not as it hurt other.

If we are high lamas so bitchy and sarcastic can be one of skillful way to change people mind but if we are not and have so much of delusion, how can we ensure that our bitchy and sarcastic are from the good intention??

The best is to avoid to do it since we are not really fully awareness of our mind and actions.

 

Positive Change

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Re: Do we break our refuge vows if we make bitchy and sarcastic remarks?
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2012, 08:30:54 AM »
For sure that bitchy and sarcastic are create negative karma either it break vow or not as it hurt other.

If we are high lamas so bitchy and sarcastic can be one of skillful way to change people mind but if we are not and have so much of delusion, how can we ensure that our bitchy and sarcastic are from the good intention??

The best is to avoid to do it since we are not really fully awareness of our mind and actions.

Indeed Ratanasutra... the act of being bitchy or sarcastic in itself is not at fault here. What is crucial is the INTENT. Why we are bithcy or sarcastic! As I said in my earlier post, the motivation behind is important but alas we are not enlightened and we may not know what is good for another person especially using such wrathful methods.

So best to refrain from using a method that may harm if not used in a correct manner with the correct motivation! I liken it to the act of slapping. It is not the slapping that is harmful but really why one slaps and to whom one slaps.

For instance... a mother slapping a child for disobeying her and crossing the road without first letting her know or at least hold the mother's hand is done out of care and compassion but slapping a stranger just because we do not like what they are doing is another kettle of fish altogether!