By Nhat Quan
Lying is not telling the truth, if something happens, you say it is not. If it doesn't happen, you say yes. The question is why do you have to lie?
According to scientific researchers, people lie because they fear the consequences of telling the truth. When a person makes a mistake, they will try to hide the truth so as not to be seen by others as stupid, or incompetent, or simply to keep others from taking out their anger on them. In addition, some people lie because they fear punishment, and being denied personal benefits in life. Even people who lie not maliciously but only jokingly also cause bad karma, because it makes them get used to bad habits, and makes people around them not believe their words anymore, even though sometimes they tell the truth.
A liar, even just for fun, is enough to create evil karma. They make many people distrustful, and easily classified as deceitful, unethical people. There are also people who because of their weakness and lack of courage when they were forced by someone, had to lie. They do not speak the truth when being forced by bad people to lie or blame someone. Doing so caused the people they claimed to be in calamity.
Besides, there are people who are greedy for fame and status, so they brag. They lie to make others think they are talented, intelligent, and superior... but that's fake. This is self-created evil karma, just for the sake of fame and profit. Therefore, depending on the circumstances, people use all sorts of excuses to cover up their sins. But no matter what, the harm is very serious in terms of:
1- In terms of health
As you know, your nervous system is closely related to the immune system in the body. All your activities, thoughts, consciousness, feelings, and emotions have a direct effect on your health. Simply put, your body will act on what you think.
When you lie, you will feel anxious, guilty, or generally stressed about a certain issue. During this time, your body will produce many different hormones such as cortisol and norepinephrine. Cortisol will reduce the production of endorphins (happy hormones) in the body, increase blood sugar and weaken the immune system. Norepinephrine will stimulate the heart rate to beat faster and lead to high blood pressure.
In addition, scientific researchers also say that people who often lie are often anxious, and physically and mentally weak which easily leads to ulcers, headaches, insomnia, or paranoia.
2- In terms of harm to the union & society,
Lying is a bad habit and a disease of people today. Lying is also dishonesty, that action will gradually make people not be true to themselves, lose their wisdom, and will live in the falsehood of their own conscience.
Lying habitually will become a very difficult habit to eradicate. Lying that people know is like you are isolated, no one wants to be close to you. That is to say, lying will destroy your credibility. There are two effects:
Firstly, lying negatively affects social stability. You can only live together in an atmosphere of mutual trust. Trust that:
- In communication, everyone tells the truth. If everyone is lying, then it is a sign of social dissolution and disintegration.
Second, on a personal level, lying has the disastrous effect of a chain reaction. That is, one lie leads to another, and then another, more serious lie. Until you yourself are surrounded by a veil of lies that you create.
3- Buddhist point of view
In Buddhism, lying is also called false speech. This is one of the precepts of Buddhists. As a monk, lying is no longer simple but is divided into two types: petty lies, and serious lies:
- In Buddhism, the most serious lie is claiming to be a saint. That is, in your mind, you are very self-aware that you are not a saint, but because you want to receive the respect of others, you intentionally lie. Whoever commits this great error of speech, may suffer from crazy retribution in life, be scorned by everyone, and go to hell when they die.
- Cheating lies, a kind of trivial lie just to deceive, gain profit or give false testimony. It means knowing you lie, but you have to lie to get more profit. Then this sin will be relegated to the animal realm, hell upon death. It can be said that giving false witnesses or lying is the defect that people are most likely to commit. So in order not to lie, you should not do anything wrong, you must keep your whole life true and pure.
Buddha said:
- When a person lives a virtuous life, upholding the precepts, if higher than that, then this person entering a congregation has nothing to fear because his life has not made any mistakes.
The value is that you did nothing wrong and you have nothing to lie about. A person who can say that he is not lying, about his life has indeed reached a position close to that of a Saint, without considering how many virtues, or precepts because If you don't lie, life must be extremely true.
Usually, lying is hard work because you have to cover it up, hide it, and be sneaky. Everyone is a liar even though everyone is very pious, even the priest. You are always motivated to prove you are a good person in front of others. This is a lie in each of you.
You are not a saint yet, inside you secretly have many faults. But when appearing in front of people, you have to dress decently, smile and talk happily, walk solemnly, you always want to show that you are a good person. The reason why you become fake, acting with people, is mainly for fame and profit.
If you have lived untruth with others and with yourself, you will never find the truth, then you will never realize the truth. The consequences of lying like that are further and further away from the goal of liberation and enlightenment, you fall more and more into the cycle of sin, which is difficult to remove.
The Buddhist view of lying in life, you say untruthful or malicious words, making many people feel sad is causing evil karma. Lying is also stealing, so you have to bear bad karma. The evil retribution of lying is an opportunity for non-humans to disturb and good spirits to stay away.
The two non-human words here are only for the wrongful family, karma, and demons. And Thien Than is only for the guardians of the dragon heaven. In the Sutra, the Buddha tells you that those who have received the Three Refuges will have 36 guardian deities protecting the Dharma day and night. Because you have 36 guardian deities to protect, these inhuman beings dare not come near you. And you who receive one of the five precepts will be protected by the five guardian deities day and night. If you fulfill all five precepts, there will be 25 guardian deities following to protect you so that you will never have an accident.
If you are really a Buddhist, in this life words, creations, and thoughts are all good, then even if you have a lot of injustices and bondholders who are clinging to your day and night, these unjust people will also stay away, do not dare to come near to disturb you. And if you study Buddhism artificially, using the name of studying Buddhism to break the Precepts and break the Law, the Dharma Protector will go away, but the Precept Guardian will also go. These injustices and bondholders will disturb your day and night, to avenge you they will definitely not let you be comfortable. Causing your body and mind to suffer, your body being sick, and your mind suffering a lot of anxiety, worry, and insecurity.
When you are in the lecture hall, in the nembutsu hall, you can see that there are very few people who are full of elation, most of them are depressed, mentally tired, body and mind are not comfortable, or dare not attend retreats. All of these things are caused by wrongful family, karma, and demons. These events all happen in everyday life, it seems that no one can escape. You can't find the cause, so you just think it's because the body is not good, then go to the doctor to check, no matter what, you can't find the cause.
Even a psychiatrist can't find a problem. If you do not study Buddhism, you will not be able to understand this problem. Only when you study Buddhism can you understand, it's all caused by the resentment family, the bondholder, if you don't have an unjust family or a bondholder, you won't have these phenomena!
When you have understood the truth, if you look carefully at your daily life, you will easily find the answer. Those who have a lot of resentment, bondholders, live very tired, very miserable. Those who are unjust, bondholders are less, they will be very gentle, always in high spirits, and very active. This cannot be misinterpreted.
So if you want to keep your health, study and practice smoothly, and live a peaceful life, you must study diligently and especially not lie. Bring all the merits of your own practice and dedicate it to all these wrongful families, and bondholders, for them to enjoy. Thanks to that, they are happy, and they do not cause trouble anymore.
Besides, you must use a pure mind to study Buddhism, use a pure mind to cultivate, use a pure mind to live, and handle everyday things with people, then they will not only cause trouble for you but will also leave you immediately.
Therefore, the retribution of verbal karma is extremely scary, which you cannot ignore, you must always remind yourself. Never commit a verbal offense. Otherwise, your own future days will be miserable. And according to the Buddhist scriptures, if you lie and you have attained Sainthood, while you have not, you will commit the crime of false speech and will fall into the three evil paths of hell, hungry ghosts, and animals.
Lying not only causes consequences for yourself, but lies affect others. Remember, lying is a very very bad character, that action will gradually make you not be true to yourself, lose your wisdom, and will live in the falsehood of your own conscience. Buddha taught:
- A liar is like water that has washed his feet unfit for drinking.
Therefore, a liar will never practice and attain the Way. Lying and deceiving people, in the end, have to bear bad luck. Retribution is always strict. Causation and retribution at all times are present, if you live improperly and dishonestly, you will surely bring yourself trouble according to the law of cause and effect. The following cause-and-effect stories will show you that a person with an evil mind, lying to deceive others' compassion, will have bad luck in the body. The story is:
An old woman one day met a lost child on the street, took pity on the old woman and brought her home to eat and drink, then let her work as a maid and paid a salary of one hundred thousand VND a month 100,000. Just like that, the child has grown up and is aware that having money will live a much happier life, not having to work for anyone. Although the old lady treated her very well, she was greedy and wanted to deceive the benefactor's kindness to earn a lot of money and then set up her own business, not having to work for other people anymore. Thinking like that, the maid pretended to be ill and told the old woman that her ankle was hurt, her feet hurt, so it was difficult to walk, and she couldn't do housework anymore.
The old woman felt very sorry for her, so she gave her eight hundred thousand (800,000) and told the maid to go to a doctor. However, the maid received the money and pretended to go to the hospital, asked the doctor for a certificate of illness, and then went back to tell the old woman that:
- I have to quit my job because I don't want to bother you anymore
The old woman wanted to keep the maid, so she said:
- I will take care of you, without having to do housework anymore.
However, the maid insisted on leaving and asked the old woman for a little more money to support herself.
The old lady in her heart also guessed the greed of the maid, but being generous and honest, she gave an extra two hundred and fifty thousand (250,000) dong.
The maid girl got 1,150,000.00 VND and was happy to open her own business. Then, by chance, she met her lover, and the two planned to get married. But unfortunately, on the way to buy wedding clothes, there was an accident. Her boyfriend was fine, and the maid was run over by a car, injuring her ankle and joint. When she went to see the doctor, the doctor said that she is now disabled and has to use crutches to walk. The total amount of treatment cost is 1,150,000.00 VND!
The little maid at that time regretted what she had done, seeing what she was suffering, was the fact that she once deceived the old lady who was her benefactor who had mercy on her. But it's too late for her to regret it.
The story above shows you that cause and effect are very strict for all bad actions of people. So if you want to deceive others and say unfortunate things about yourself, you should also be careful. Because there will be times when that bad luck will enter your body according to the law of cause and effect. Many people think that lying is harmless, but it actually has terrible consequences. In future lifetimes, making you fall into hell as the Buddhists say, and now can have incalculable consequences. And this is the consequence of the lie. The story is:
When the mother was working in the kitchen, she asked the boy to buy vegetables. The boy went out for a while, then called home:
- Mom, I can't buy vegetables, I was hit by a motorbike at the intersection near my house, you come here with me. His voice was trying to sound shaky.
After hanging up the phone, he giggled because he thought he had tricked his mother. As for the boy's mother, when she heard him say that, she thought it was true and left all her unfinished work to run to the intersection with her child. While worrying about her baby, the mother did not pay attention to her surroundings and was hit by a truck. The mother lay unconscious on the spot, and also at the intersection, right in front of the boy's eyes. Everyone around panicked, and he stood dumbfounded at the sight. His face turned pale and then as fast as a baby monkey, he ran and tried to make his way through the crowd to his mother.. his mother lay there... motionless.. blood was flowing profusely around her head. Just then the ambulance also arrived, and his mother was taken to the hospital but it was no longer possible, the mother of the baby died. That woman left the boy with terrible torment, the regret may never end, leaving him alone with his father to take care of him.
And since then, he detests lies, he doesn't lie to anyone, and when anyone lies to him, he gets angry and irritable. As the days passed, it also matured, sometimes unconsciously it walked to the crossroads where its mother's accident happened, and then it returned quietly, with a heavy heart. Suddenly, one day when he was crossing the street, he was hit by a car, just like his mother in the past...
  Most of you lie to justify your wrong actions to avoid criticism and reprimand. Although your parents, teachers, and ancestors have always taught you not to lie, you cannot control your lying. You may think lying is harmless, but it actually has terrible consequences.
Buddhism is very concerned with words, that's why the precept not to lie is included in the teachings. Even for lay people, of the five precepts, the Buddha prescribed lying as the fourth precept. Thereby showing how important words are in life. That is why the Buddha advised Buddhists to always practice oral karma as one of the three karmas. No matter how you lie, it all causes karma, even if it's a joke,
In short, lying is also a psychological state, but still creates karma, it is also inevitable that karma, depending on the level of good and evil, the consequences are present. A liar, as you well know, is one people will have less trust in you in all areas of life, this is also known by folk, so there is a saying:
- Once not true, ten thousand times not believe.
But in life, because of selfishness, and wanting to benefit yourself, you find all kinds of cunning schemes, and scams, so you do whatever you want. You don't think about the consequences of your actions, so you do stupid things. When something goes wrong, it's too late.
Once again, I would like to repeat, the retribution for lying is to keep the Dharma Protector and the Precept World Protector away, wrongfully family and bondholders will haunt. And there will be great harm to yourself in the present, and in the future will fall into hell, hungry ghosts or animals. Because when you hide the truth for some purpose, the amygdala region of the brain will be affected. This amygdala structure plays a role in creating fear, or shame, so as soon as lies are uttered, the brain will generate guilt to limit actions that are not proud there. But most people ignored this warning, gradually the inhibitory function faded away, and the ugly habit of lying was formed.
So to say, lies that seem harmless, actually do not affect the listener but do a lot of harm to the speaker. Therefore, the act of lying is like torturing the brain, the more tired you are, the more tired you will be. Moreover, there are lies that cannot be ended immediately. Then the brain needs to think to make up a story that is not true, and then have to remember it again to avoid confusion next time. The next time you are asked, you have to keep recalling and making up this fake story. Just like that, lying makes the brain weaker and weaker. You will feel anxiety, stress, and pressure, which affects your entire health. Because the retribution is so serious, as a Buddhist you must practice not lying.
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