The fourth Buddhist precept for laity is to abstain from falsehood. This precept is also extended to include the practice of right speech.
The practice of observing precepts is based on wisdom and not a commandment from Buddha. However, it is inevitable that precepts are perceived as a “Do this, don’t do that” thing. How is something “restrictive” useful in our life? If we do not lie, how can we survive in this modern world?
According to scriptures, the practice of observing precepts brings tremendous merits into our life. It is good karma. How so?????
When I first heard that, I imagine some magic at work; hoping that some future benefits or rewards will mysteriously materialize in my life. (If I observe the precepts religiously)
Reflecting on my past, I realised that the practice of observing precepts changes my personality over a period of time. It is a positive change that gradually influence my preference for certain type of environment and people.
The 4th precepts states, “I undertake to observe the precept; to abstain from false speech.”
After a while, I began to dislike gossipy environment. What used to be entertaining becomes distasteful. In school, at the workplace or at home, I refrain from gossiping about others and also do not participate in them. Sarcasm, lying, harsh or violent words, swearing, tale bearing, whining and complaining etc are avoided. Naturally, my group of friends at work or leisure, are people who doesn’t engage in such speech pattern. Birds of the feather flock together, afterall.
Conversely, people who enjoy gossiping or unskillful speech will find me an extremely boring person to talk to.
In short, the practice of observing this precept is the magic of transformation.
We will attract truthful and good people while repelling those bad ones. Over a period of time, we will be surrounded by good people whom we call friends. These people creates a good positive environment in our life! Now, that is good karma.
The wisdom of Buddha is truly profound, isn’t it?
May all be well and happy.