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[Buddha]

Author Topic: [Q&A] Delayed speech as right speech (delay of skillful deeds)  (Read 600 times)

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Offline Johann

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Delayed speech as right speech (delay of skillful deeds)

Quote from: Gotamist on BSE
Delayed speech as right speech

I was once told a story by the abbott of a monastery about how the Buddha once decided to delay his speech and said it only when it was the right time. Paraphrasing, the story is like this -
Two tribes were going to war over the waters of a river and the Buddha wanted them to stop, but he knew that they were not in the right frame of mind to listen to him. So he kept quiet. After 3 days of fighting, when both sides were in pain from the fighting, the Buddha decided to give them advice at that moment, when they were primed to listen and they stopped the war immediately. Although he allowed many people to die in waiting for the right moment, he saved a great many more lives. If he had spoken right away and they'd rejected his advice, they might also not have listened to him afterwards either
.
The abbott then advised me to remember this story as a model. And I did. I liked it a lot too. This was many years ago. The problem is, I recently decided to look up the story and found this story in the Mahāvaṃsa, of imminent war between the Sakyans and the Koliyans over the waters of the Rohini river. A key difference here is that the Buddha did not wait until the fighting had started. He showed up at the site where the armies had gathered. Still a nice story of the Buddha stopping a war, but not an example of delaying speech for the appropriate moment even at some cost.

It's no longer possible for me to ask the abbott whether he meant this or another story or if he has a reference to another version of the same story which involved 3 days of battle. Instead, I'd like to ask the community about the main point:

1. Do you know of a canonical reference (from any flavor of Buddhism) where the Buddha or another prominent figure decided to delay a statement on account of timeliness and later said it with positive impact? To be clear, instances where the Buddha decided not to say something are numerous - I'm only looking for examples where he (or another person) did end up saying it later. Edit: Also, I know that the teaching on speaking at the appropriate time is quite clear - what I'm asking about is examples from the life of the ancients.

2. It would be particularly great if there are examples where the delay did come at a cost.


Venerable members of the Sangha,
walking in front Fellows in leading the holly life.

  _/\_  _/\_  _/\_

In Respect of the Triple Gems, Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha, in Respect of the Elders of the community  _/\_ , my person tries to answer this question. Please, may all knowledgeable Venerables and Dhammika, out of compassion, correct my person, if something is not correct and fill also graps, if something is missing.

Valued Upasaka, Upasika, Aramika(inis),
dear Readers and Visitors,

 *sgift*

- Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa

(This is a maybe modified and expanded answer of the "original" that can be found here .)



An article (link below), an essay and the story around the intention and means on right speech, might help to understand the "Demons of defilements" in regard of certain justifications good:

Right Speech is Not Always Gentle (by Sallie B. King) - about justifying wrongs

That same issue counts as well for speaking and not speaking. Skillful and unskillful delay. But since the untrained mind is not capable to trace the real intention, the Buddha did not gave much advices there and it's not even judgeable from outside if not capable to read others mind, why one might be silent and why speaking.

It's complex but also easy when keeping it simple. Precepts just as they are without justification.

Additions on question in discussion:

Gotamist: Thank you for the answer, Bhante, and highlighting your response that the Buddha did not get into specifics in some areas. Precepts as they are, without justification is a powerful practice indeed. Thanks also for the article on social justice. Thanissaro Bhikkhu makes some excellent points there, but I was unable to see the connection you were perhaps intending to draw between the approach to social justice and my question about examples of beneficial delay.


Gotamist, never ever delay! When ever wholesome mind (wfich is actually seldom) arises, act on it. That counts not only for bodily deeds, merits, but also for speech.

If not acted, a seldom chance is gone. As the Buddha told:

Delay a little and you have lost, something that will maybe never possible to do later.

- Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa -

One should make haste in doing good deeds; one should restrain one's mind from evil; for the mind of one who is slow in doing good tends to take delight in doing evil.

Dhp story

If you have not told what is right, you may feel remorse a life time. Having not done even a "Duty" you will have bad conscious later.

As told in a Sutta: What ever not done at the proper time, later one will have no chance to correct. So it's really not good to delay speech, if to speak is possible. If such is censured, that lies in the sphere of those oppress.

Like my person here, if made a promis, even mental, if it was something skillful or obligated, it will follow as long as not made "real". Once told, once fullfiled, one gains release.

So beware of the "Demons of defilemts" who tell you cheating "don't do this, don't do good, they/he/she will not like good, so its bad"

There is no need of shame in regard of doing skilfull deeds, even if the whole world would laugh or blame.

If the target receiver receives? That's his/her business, luck or demerit. No need for guessing, no need to "read mind" of others. You may be wrong and at least, one does deeds for one self as long as not free from all fetters.

Speaking as well not speaking can be unskilfull and actually most staying confronted silent is very unskillful.

In regard of promises, Gotamist may maybe like to listen: [Q&A] Is changing your mind same as lying? Breaking promises

If wishing a talk and extended answer on this matter, may you feel welcome to ask for .

There is also an explaining how to generally behave, which will help here in this regard as well, since Gotamist seems to have certain of the qualities inside him, he might enjoy to read: On general good behavior.

Anumodana!
This post and Content has come to be by Dhamma-Dana and so is given as it       Dhamma-Dana: Johann

Offline Johann

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[Q&A] Buddhism and Procrastination
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2017, 11:32:06 AM »
Since falling into the same range:

Quote from: Eggman on BSE
Buddhism and Procrastination

I have two simple questions.

1) What is the Buddhist view on procrastination, and its solution ?

2) What is the solution to a specific lack of motivation, e.g. school work ? Something not related to an overarching goal, or even linked with spiritual values. In other words, how does one prime oneself to do something

get a lot of support and nobody has an inherent duty to give that suppot. All is given by others. It's a matter gratidute at least to care about you duties timely.

To say "oh it's not of great value" is fine, but than one should also stop to receive for that paticula task. And it's for sure not so, that at times one does not work on "low" duties, one is actually practicing for the higher.

If not able to manage simply tasks which are given with generous exchange of all requisites for life-maintaines, even including certain sensual pleasure, if that lazy, if lacking that much on persistance, how would you like to be able to master the Dhamma?

Those high and noble aims require people with effort who master the hindrances. If not able to master them even on this level, being busy with doubt, sensuality, lazyness, ill will... all this "spiritual-monster-ego"-things, how to master anything?

It would be certainly good to get known the sacrifies need to be done, which are done, by one self and others, to get the value of that understood.

There is for sure no problem in living a live of a "beggar" but are you sure that you might receive enough to maintain a life for higher purpose? Would a live of required arosen persistance, effort and no wordily rewards at all be possible to be lived by one constantly giving improper attention to feelings, thought... what ever leads to be astray?

It's good to be very honest to one self and do not misuse high truth for low aims and leave a lane build on defilements cheating.

As for the case that one really takes on the "burdens" of a special beggar, is really willing, than there are always aims.

Don't become one in big debts, don't be or become a so called "(derogative) welfare parasite". It brings joy if free of debts. It is a "hopeless" way if just accumulating debts. So work where you are and what's you duty for now and even a little more.

Having, having enjoyed rightly gained wealth it not only a joy to share it but also to let go of it later, out of wisdom, without any remorse and not based on possible excusses.

See: "AN 4.62: Anana Sutta — Debtless " for more on that.

"(only skillful) labor makes free ", and only if done Voluntary.

So good to stop certain "ego-trip" and start to work at the actually state and place where one is, because:

- Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa -

"These two are fools. Which two? The one who takes up a burden that hasn't fallen to him, and the one who doesn't take up a burden that has. These two are fools. (AN 2.98 )

On procrastination and delay:

What ever is not done at proper time, what ever has not been made suddenly, one will later be very sad having not done this merits. What is gone, chances, are gone... just think of how less beings have that much "luck" you have and now, what do you do with that?

See also (especially the later part of the topic): Delayed deeds, above, first post.

"In the youth not managed whealth, in the age not renounced, such is indeed a wasted life", which does not mean that it's not even the best to renounce the fist part in the youth, if honestly. Today many accumulate debts by pseudo-renouncing and feeding on given in the youth and when older they have become really burdened slaves.

This post and Content has come to be by Dhamma-Dana and so is given as it       Dhamma-Dana: Johann

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