Tu Viện Quảng Đức105 Lynch Rd, Fawkner, Vic 3060. Australia. Tel: 9357 3544. quangduc@quangduc.com* Viện Chủ: HT Tâm Phương, Trụ Trì: TT Nguyên Tạng   


04/08/201815:22(Xem: 5816)


hoa vo uu



At this time, there are so many problems it is greatly due to lying.A lie is a common social phenomenon, regularly, in various social contexts for a multitude of purposes.[1]As we know one basic definition of lying is telling without truth. In much the same way, according to Buddhist view, all incorrect speeches included lying.Any thinking, speech, or action but not true, can call lying. Most purpose of the liars in order to make themselves look better, or to avoid the trouble that they have brought on themselves. A lie is a direct or indirect assertion produced with the intention of deceiving another by way of invoking and betraying that others trust in the truthfulness of the statement.[2]On the other hand, truthfulness is absented lying or false speech. From a personal perspective, before finding out the meaning of truthfulness definitely,I would like to lead you understanding some meaningsabout lying.


To begin with, it is thought thathaving two kinds of lying: lie with a kind thinking and lie with a selfish mind. Kind thinking of liar is considered driving on the purpose to help or protect others, selfish thinking of liar is considered drivingon the purpose to make mistakes or evils. It seems to me that, lying with kind thinking is not a good way to do and it doesn’t encourage by carrying out a bundle of negative. According to natural rule, first, you lie to help others, then you will lie to help yourself automatically.Man, lying to fool someone else into doing something, or to cover his sins from many reasons for lying almost produced by scaring that others will know about his mistakes orhe tries to get something with do not belong to.In like manner, if you lie onetime and you think I will do no more, but the reality you have many times to lie again and again because of covering for the first time of lying, then numerous corollary goes after, certainly it couldn’t be a sweet fruit.


Generally, falsehood spoken is telling without truth for the purpose of getting the benefit for own self and be harm or make others resentment, hated, doubt, jealousness, offence, or vigilance,etc.In the present, social media where transfer real life to become a virtual world, especially,concerned today’s youth: See what our youth are up to these days? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Blog, carry out many lies which unaccepted to create thousands of sufferings for relative people.Our youth, whowant to attract more like by to update some sensational news, private pictures, or wrong news about politics, economics, culture to deceive who are interested. Lies, for this reason, can be betrayed in verbal and nonverbal leakage independently.[3]That why, it is said that a sad truth is more accepted than deceitfulness thing so that people who have a truthful life always make attracted to others easily.

Next, truthfulness was defined by the Buddha that:


“Herein someone avoids false speech and abstains from it. He speaks the truth, is devoted to truth, reliable, worthy of confidence, not a deceiver of people. Being at a meeting, or amongst people, or in the midst of his relatives, or in a society, or in the king's court, and called upon and asked as witness to tell what he knows, he answers, if he knows nothing: "I know nothing," and if he knows, he answers: "I know"; if he has seen nothing, he answers: "I have seen nothing," and if he has seen, he answers: "I have seen." Thus, he never knowingly speaks a lie, either for the sake of his own advantage, or for the sake of another person's advantage, or for the sake of any advantage whatsoever.”[4]


The Buddha, to be more precise,not only divides right speech into four components: renouncing false speech, renouncing slanderous speech, renouncing  harsh speech, and renouncing idle chatter but also he knew the effects of speech are not as immediately evident as those of bodily action, its importance and potential are easily overlooked as well as can have enormous consequences for good or for harm.[5] The truthful man is a person who has the ability to realize and correct his mistakes instead of pushing to others in fact. Gradually,controlling his mind and looking forward to good things, so that he has nothing to cover or lie because of knowing clearly what is wrong/right.



Indeed, a truthful person always has the strength to make others around him believe, he’s also a spiritual point warmly of his relatives or friends. When living beside the truthful one we always feel safe, peace and happiness because of absented of beware, observe, distrust, or fear betrayal. To illustrate, when you start to build any relationship or simply to make a friend, you always search for a truthful person, because nobody wants to work with the affected one. Chinese has a quote that: “精诚所至,金石为开."(《后汉书》. It means a truthful man really make the heaven and earth being touched so that gold and rock can fissure, with a sincere mind whose, could solve all problem even it is too difficult.[6] Furthermore, truthfulness is not only express by speaking words but also started from the deeply respected mind that expressional truthfulness will persuade the belief of others as well. In particular, if you treat someone by your truthfulness, it will be supportedfor you more confident, attracted and powerful.


Obviously, the importance of truth matters, both to us as individuals and to society as a whole. As individuals, being truthful means that we are growing up and maturing of realizing our mistakes. For society, truthfulness makes people more believe, and lying break them. For instance, you can easily realize this issue when you find out that someone has lied to you.After that, you feel less confident to believe them again as well as less inclined to trust someone else more.


What’s more, we are truthful it does not mean that we can say anything to anyone in any situation because of not to provide any information or provide false information unnecessarily.


- Considering to share of personal information is not welcome, whether people care about it and even if it is the truth.

- False information which we should not share when we don’t know it clearly, not means we are not true, truthfully we know the truth.


In brief, truthfulness is important but it should not get hurt others, therefore, do not say what you believe to be false and do not say that for which you lack adequate evidence.[7]To except some situations which we must tell without the truth for saving others, but at that time we should reflect by our wisdom to judge that we do it for what?  Let’s live truthfulness with others as well as own ourselves by assessing evaluated at its true worth. As, every truthfulness must express by delicate, tactful, tender and behaving of the knowledge unless the truthfulness will become unpolished, uncouth and unaccepted. Sometimes, you say the truth but people don’t believe, won’t worry or give up, please, give them more time, more chance to verify your statement, to understand you, maybe they don’t think you are a liar but some situation of liars make they lose theirs believe to everyone.


Talk to children about truthfulness:


“One day the Buddha came to Rahula, pointed to a bowl with a little bit of water in it, and asked: "Rahula, do you see this bit of water left in the bowl?" Rahula answered: "Yes, sir." "So little, Rahula, is the spiritual achievement (samaya, lit. 'recluseship') of one who is not afraid to speak a deliberate lie." Then the Buddha threw the water away, put the bowl down, and said: "Do you see, Rahula, how that water has been discarded? In the same way one who tells a deliberate lie discards whatever spiritual achievement he has made." Again, he asked: "Do you see how this bowl is now empty? In the same way one who has no shame in speaking lies is empty of spiritual achievement." Then the Buddha turned the bowl upside down and said: "Do you see, Rahula, how this bowl has been turned upside down? In the same way one who tells a deliberate lie turns his spiritual achievements upside down and becomes incapable of progress." Therefore, the Buddha concluded, one should not speak a deliberate lie even in jest.”[8]


It is clear that a disciple of Buddha does not lie but rather cultivates and encourages truthful communication in whole living life, also, is respected, trusted, regarded by people everywhere. In other words, if you lie about yourself, or to avoid trouble or any reason, and people find out, they are unlikely to trust you again. Also, did you hear a story: The boy and the wolf? At the end of the story, a wise man in the village said: “A liar will not be believed, even when he speaks the truth.”We are tricking someone into obedience, but deeply we are deceiving ourselves of lying.[9]As a result, if you lie, even just a little bit, nobody can trust you but when you practice being always sincere refraining from lying you have a lot to win: you will have more friends, attentions, interesting things, and merrily helped, etc.


When you are truthful:


  1. Understand yourselves, exactly you know your own strengths and weaknesses and be placid in successes or failures;
  2. The expression the way who you really are, whether in public or private, you will be the same;
  3. Doing commitments or promises that you make;
  4. Improving your moral character to be more confident but humble and responsible towards the society;
  5. Winning the hearts of everyone: you are not only getting respect, regards, and love of people everywhere but also becoming the source of inspiration for others;
  6. Trust with yourselves;
  7. Living onauspiciousness.


To conclude, from my perspective, truthfulness is honest and loyal that always be united between thinking and doing. Truth, additionally, is the best characteristic necessity which everyone appreciates in the value of human life. For love, truthfulness is a sword to destroy all doubts. For friendship, truthfulness is a string to keep and connect a deeply relationship. Fora family, truthfulness is a worthyaward for each of members. For society, truthfulness is a first certificate required for working application form. For education, truthfulness is the first lesson about the best character of the citizen bya society of abright future. And forown oneself, truthfulness is an invaluable treasure of self- respecting. With his wisdom and compassion, Buddha had given us five percepts which carry us out many problems, sufferings, sorrows and lead us to contentment,happiness and peacefulness.A man can take the precepts by making a resolution with himself that he will refrain from unskillful actions. As the five precepts are simple moral guides that remind us to mindfully practice a virtuous life with truth. These precepts guide people to conduct a way of life every lay Buddhists should follow.[10]In doing so, we give freedom from danger, freedom from animosity, freedom from oppression to limitless numbers of beings.[11]Truthfulness, to repeat, is one kind of personal features which can’t be measured and bought by the money or with so much money.Open and direct communication is essential to our work and practice together as well as provide each entitled to straightforward, complete information by appropriate persons in the spirit of honesty and compassion. Everyone, consequently, lives with truthfulness, this life gradually becomes real paradise at each of moment.

Lac Tam

Delhi 04/08/2018








[1]Fen Xu, XuehuaBao, Genyue Fu, Victoria Talwar, and Kang Lee (2011), Lying and Truth-Telling in Children: From Concept to Action.PMC, Child Dev. 2010 Mar-Apr; 81(2): 581–596.

[2] David I. Simpson,(2017),Truth, truthfulness and philosophy in Plato and Nietzsche. University of Wollongong Research Online, British Journal for the History of Philosophy, 15 (2), 339-360.

[3]David Matsumoto, Ph.D., Hyi Sung Hwang, Ph.D., Lisa Skinner, J.D., and Mark Frank, Ph.D., (2011),Evaluating Truthfulness and Detecting Deception. FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, Available: http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/law-enforcement-bulletin/june_2011

[4]AnguttaraNikaya 10:176; Word of the Buddha, p. 50.

[5]Bhikkhu Bodhi, (1984),The Noble Eightfold Path: The Way to the End of Suffering.Second edition 1994.Wheel Publication No. 308/311, Ch. 2.


[7]Deirdre Wilson, Is there a maxim of truthfulness?Available: https://s3.amazonaws.com/academia.edu.documents/42674779/Is_there_a_maxim_of_truthfulness20160214-26810-1x6g9ze.pdf

[8]MajjhimaNikaya 61.

[9]PhápsưThíchDiễnBồi, KinhPhạmVõngBồTátGiớiBổnGiảngKý.Việtdịch:  HòaThượngThíchTrí Minh, Chương III, B.1.1.44.

[10]Five precepts included:

  1. I observe the precept refraining from killing;
  2. I observe the precept refraining from stealing;
  3. I observe the precept refraining from sexual misconduct;
  4. I observe the precept refraining from falsehood;
  5. I observe the precept refraining from intoxicants that cause carelessness.

[11]AnguttaraNikaya 8.39

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Nguyện đem công đức này, trang nghiêm Phật Tịnh Độ, trên đền bốn ơn nặng, dưới cứu khổ ba đường,
nếu có người thấy nghe, đều phát lòng Bồ Đề, hết một báo thân này, sinh qua cõi Cực Lạc.

May the Merit and virtue,accrued from this work, adorn the Buddhas pureland,
Repay the four great kindnesses above, andrelieve the suffering of those on the three paths below,
may those who see or hear of these efforts generates Bodhi Mind, spend their lives devoted to the Buddha Dharma,
the Land of Ultimate Bliss.

Quang Duc Buddhist Welfare Association of Victoria
Tu Viện Quảng Đức | Quang Duc Monastery
Senior Venerable Thich Tam Phuong | Senior Venerable Thich Nguyen Tang
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