Home » Features » The Buddha’s Analogies On The Danger Of Lying

The more one readily lies to hide one’s misgivings,
the more one readily creates more misgivings
beyond that of lying.

Stonepeace

Here is a summary of the first part
of the Ambalatthika-rahulovada Sutta
(Instructions to Rahula at Mango Stone),

which the Buddha taught to the seven year old Rahula,
who used to lie in jest,
after the latter helped to wash his feet.

 

Like the little water in the bowl,
this how little spirituality there is,
in one shameless of deliberate lying.
[One becomes spiritually weak.]

Like the little water in the bowl tossed away,
this is how [the already] little spirituality is tossed away,
by one shameless of deliberate lying.
[One becomes spiritually wasted.]

Like the bowl turned upside down,
this is how spirituality is turned upside down,
by one shameless of deliberate lying.
[One becomes spiritually stagnant.]

Like the bowl turned right side up,
this is how spirituality is empty
in one shameless of deliberate lying.
[One becomes spiritually hollow.]

Like a royal elephant,
not well-trained to use his body for battle,
but keeps protecting his trunk,
he is not ready to give up his life to protect the king.

Like a royal elephant,
well-trained to use his whole body for battle,
he is ready to give up his life to protect the king,
with nothing he will not do.

“Similarly, Rahula, when one is shameless of deliberate lying,
there is no evil, I tell you, one will not do.
Thus, Rahula, you should train yourself,
‘I will not deliberately lie, even in jest.”‘

The more one lies for non-serious matters,
the more one is likely to lie
for more serious matters.

Stonepeace

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