September 29, 1974 | Sunday Noon

On Monastics Not Watching TV

Ven. Master Hsuan Hua    


Ordinary people are all hooked on TV. How do I know? Because even some monastics and laypeople here are confused by television. One of my disciples said ďTV is even worse than womenĒ. TV is in first place then. So you women had better smash the TV. If there is a TV set in the house, your husband will love the TV and forget about you. Thatís how seductive it is. Guo Zong, you can send your TV to the monastery, so the monks can watch it and see all the bizarre things of the world. Or you can send it to your parents. They are old and have enough experience, so itís nothing special to them. If young people watch it, they get hooked. Even little Guo Fang would rather watch TV than eat candy. This is just defiled dharma. Sometimes, the TV screen goes blank and there is nothing but light; thatís pure dharma. But sometimes ghosts and demons, such as models who wear next to nothing, appear on the screen. Thatís why cultivators cannot watch TV. ďBut thereís a TV in your room,Ē someone says. Yes, but thatís because I confiscated it from downstairs. Itís facing the wall, so only the wall can watch it. I confiscated it because I saw a lot of people turning it on and watching it downstairs, getting caught by its lure. From now on, if you like to watch TV, Iím going to confiscate your TV. This applies to laypeople as well as monastics. The TVís will be confiscated because they are so addicting.   

In the past I criticized a certain monk for watching TV all day long. Now the problem has come to Gold Mountain Monastery, so no matter what, Iím going to confiscate all the TVís.

Before you have ended birth and death, you may not watch television. If you do, itís easy to break the precepts. The novice precepts include one that says you canít play music, sing, dance, or deliberately watch or listen to such shows on TV. Most of the entertainment on TV is defiling, not pure. We must hold the Buddhaís precepts and not be deluded by these worldly things. This is very important.

Timely Teachings, page 144 - 145