Can the rules (sila) ever be broken?

发布日期:2019-01-11   字体大小:   

Among the precepts in Patimokkha, apart from the four fundamentals of no killing, no stealing, no sexual conduct and no lying on spiritual attainment, all the rest should be maintained in general, but can be relaxed under certain circumstances. According to the Bodhisatta Rules, all must serve the needs of benefiting sentient beings (Sattvartha-kriya sila). Thus for lay Bodhisattas, even the four fundamentals may be relaxed as required for benefiting sentient beings. “Maintain” and “relax” are the terminology used in Vinnaya texts. For instance, abstention from eating after midday must be observed in normal times, yet in case of illness, it can be broken if the afflicted need to take good after midday. The Chinese monks have to relax the percept of not eating after midday because they take part in farm work. In the temples of the Zen Sect, supper is called “chamber meal”, since it was originally provided to the labors in their rooms instead of in the dining hall. However, in later times, those who did not take part in labor also began to have supper. (From Essentials of Buddhism: Questions and Answers)