Tuesday, 20 November 2007

The Precepts - 五蘊

The first five precepts are mandatory for every Buddhist, although the fifth precept is often not observed, because it bans the consumption of alcohol. 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. Ordained Theravada monks undertake no less than 227 precepts, which are not listed here.

To show that one is resolved to observe the Precepts, a Buddhist may recite them before a Buddha image or repeat them after a monk. "I undertake to observe the precept to abstain from ...
  • Harming living beings.
  • Taking things not freely given.

  • Sexual misconduct.
  • False speech.

  • Intoxicating drinks and drugs causing heedlessness.

  • Taking untimely meals.

  • Dancing, singing, music and watching grotesque mime.

  • use of garlands, perfumes and personal adornment.

  • Use of high seats.

  • accepting gold or silver.

The ceremony for receiving the precepts is usually after the ceremony of going for the Threefold Refuge.
The Five Precepts are recommendations given by the Buddha proposed to be lived by one who wishes to lead a peaceful life while contributing to the happiness of family and society. Following the precepts blindly without Wisdom and understanding is never encouraged.

May all beings be happy hearted!


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eckhart tolle