Master Jun Hong Lu’s Discourse (Batch 65)
TELLING WHITE LIES
I have a question about not telling lies. Suppose one’s spouse strongly opposes the idea of practicing Buddhism. When that person performs life liberation or other meritorious deeds on her own, if asked by her spouse, she may find some excuses to disguise the truth. Is this considered as lying?
A lie is a lie. Although this type of lie is way better than those that cause harm to others, there is still a need to repent for it. However, the negative karma can be eliminated easily in this case. In other words, given that her objective and intention are good, though it is still considered as lying, it will be treated with leniency. Additionally, it will not develop into any karmic debts.
Another example is on being a vegetarian. As we are concerned that others may badmouth Buddhism, we might claim that we have bad digestive system so that we would like to avoid consuming non-vegetarian food.
In this case, as long as you make it known to Bodhisattva, it will suffice and it will not be regarded as a big lie.