34. Existem punições no Budismo?
34. Are there punishments in Buddhism?
Punishment doled out by a divine power is widely believed in many religions. If you do not believe in God, or if you commit a sin, you may face punishment, and as a result, you may not be able to go to heaven. Buddhism does not believe in punishment by a supreme being.
We are living under the law of cause and effect. When you throw a ball against a wall, it will come back to you with the same force as it was thrown. In the same light, if you make a negative cause, it may create a negative result. Everyone is responsible for his or her own activities of body, speech and mind in Buddhism. Also, we do not believe in an eternal heaven or an eternal hell after death. We may make our heaven or hell realms while we are living, depending upon our physical and spiritual conditions.
We live under man-made laws in our daily lives. The rules and ordinances for each city and country keep the community in peace and harmony. If you break the law, you should follow man's rules to correct your behavior. Punishment exists in our moral life.
There are many precepts in Buddhism, but they were not established to punish people. They were adopted as guidelines for daily practice. For example, telling a lie is against the precept of refraining from false speech, therefore, we should not tell a lie. But a circumstance might arise where you may have to tell a lie in order to save or assist people. There is a famous story about this precept.
Once upon a time there were two boys who wanted to go to the moon. They asked many people how to go to the moon, but no one knew the answer. One day, while the boys were playing a game inside their house, their mother, who was outside, discovered that the house was on fire. The fire surrounded the house, which prevented her from rescuing them. She shouted to her boys to get out, but the boys were playing the game wholeheartedly and did not pay attention to her. A monk ran to the house and shouted, "Boys, I will take you to moon, come out at once!" They ran out from house with minor injury and asked the monk when he would take them to moon.
As a monk, he vowed not tell a lie, but who could punish him for telling a lie to save the boys' lives. Shakyamuni admitted that we may have to break the precepts in a difficult circumstance like this, therefore, he taught his disciples to return the vow to Buddha first, then conduct the best way to solve the problem. Take responsibility for the conduct without giving any excuse. Finally, make a vow to follow the Buddhist teaching again. Shakyamuni strongly taught his disciples not to make the same mistakes over again.