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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Precepts - Kinds of Sila those every Buddhist has to follow

Source: From various websites from internet

The precepts are a condensed form of Buddhist ethical practice (Ref: the Eight-fold paths). They are often compared with the ten commandments of Christianity, however, the precepts are different in two respects: First, they are to be taken as recommendations, not commandments. This means the individual is encouraged to use his/her own intelligence to apply these rules in the best possible way. (Ref: Kalama Sutta) Second, it is the spirit of the precepts -not the text- that counts, hence, the guidelines for ethical conduct must be seen in the larger context of the Eightfold Path.

The first five precepts are mandatory for every Buddhist. (Also known as the basic precepts.) Precepts no. six to ten are laid out for those in preparation for monastic life and for devoted lay people unattached to families. The eight precepts put together number eight and nine and omit the tenth. Lay people may observe the eight precepts on Buddhist festival days, such as Vesak Day.

I undertake to observe the precept to abstain from ...

1. ...harming living beings.
2. ...taking things not freely given.
3. ...sexual misconduct.
4. ...false speech.
5. ...intoxicating drinks and drugs causing heedlessness.
6. ...taking untimely meals.
7. ...dancing, singing, music and watching grotesque mime.
8. ...use of garlands, perfumes and personal adornment.
9. ...use of high seats.
10. ...accepting gold or silver.

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