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Basic Buddhism

The Five precepts of Buddhism

The five precepts are also known as the Dhamma of the human beings as these are the moral conducts to make the human world bearable. The five precepts have been designed to restrain a Buddhist from making bad deeds in speech and body and to serve as the basis for further growth in the Dhamma.

The Five Precepts are as follows
1. Panatipata Veramani Sikkhapadam Samadiyami
I undertake the precept to refrain from destroying living creatures.
This precept applies to all living beings not just humans. All beings have a right to their lives and that right should be respected.

2. Adinnadana Veramani Sikkhapadam Samadiyami
I undertake the precept to refrain from taking that which is not given.
This precept goes further than mere stealing. One should avoid taking anything unless one can be sure that is intended that it is for you.

3. Kamesu Micchacara Veramani Sikkhapadam Samadiyami
I undertake the precept to refrain from sexual misconduct.
This precept is often mistranslated or misinterpreted as relating only to sexual misconduct but it covers any overindulgence in any sensual pleasure such as gluttony as well as misconduct of a sexual nature.

4. Musavada Veramani Sikkhapadam Samadiyami
I undertake the precept to refrain from incorrect speech.
As well as avoiding lying and deceiving, this precept covers slander as well as speech which is not beneficial to the welfare of others.

5. Suramerayamajja Pamadatthana Veramani Sikkhapadam Samadiyami
I undertake the precept to refrain from intoxicating drinks and drugs which lead to carelessness.
This precept is in a special category as it does not infer any intrinsic evil in, say, alcohol itself but indulgence in such a substance co

Additional Precepts
Besides the major five precepts, there are other important precepts as well for a Buddhist. On special holy days, there are three precepts followed by the Buddhists, mainly of the Theravada tradition :

1. To abstain from taking food at inappropriate times.
This means following the tradition of Theravadin monks and not eating from noon one day until the sunrise of the next day.

2. To abstain from dancing, singing, music and entertainment as well as refraining from the use of ornaments, perfumes and other items used to beautify the person.

3. To undertake the training to abstain from using high or luxurious beds.
This rule is regularly adopted by members of the Sangha aand followed by a lay person on special occasions.


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