Well, Jewish ethics can be pretty harsh (see my post). But Buddhist Ethics are much more nice. “Right livelihood, Right Speech, Right conduct” — who can beat the sila? (also see my diagram) In the light of that Jewish stuff, the crusades and Islamic law, Buddhist Ethics make Western Buddhist feel a little snobish. But apparently, in Asia, Buddhist ethics are not taken very seriously. In Thailand, there are 227 rules in the Buddhist holy scriptures for monks to obey. But these rules are largely ignored. But heck, look at some from the list. Who could blame them!
- No dancing, cracking knuckles or wiggling fingers or toes. (Sekhiya 10:5-6)
- No laughing loudly (Sekhiya 10:11-12)
- I will not slurp when I eat (Sekhiya 10:51) = ouch, most for most of Asia
- I will not defecate or urinate while standing (Sekhiya 10:53)
- Tickling with the fingers is to be confessed (Pācittiya 52)
- The act of playing in the water is to be confessed. (Pācittiya 53)
- Should any bhikkhu bathe at intervals of less than half a month, except at the proper occasions, it is to be confessed. (Pācittiya 57)
- Intentional emission of semen, except while dreaming, entails initial and subsequent meetings of the Community.(Sanghādisesa 5:1)
“An Introduction to Buddhist Ethics” (2000) by Peter Harvey has sat on my shelf for a long while. In future posts I hope to quote some interesting facts of shed light naive views of nice Buddhist ethics.