The Five Precepts


"Whosoever destroys life, utter lies, takes what is not given, resorts to others' wife, and is addicted to intoxicating liquor, he, in this very life, would dig up his own root."
~ The Buddha (Dhpd. 246, 247)

“Killing living beings is unwholesome, abstention from killing living beings is wholesome; taking what is not given is unwholesome, abstention from taking what is not given is whole­some; misconduct in sensual pleasures is unwholesome, abstention from misconduct in sensual pleasures is wholesome; false speech is unwholesome, abstention from false speech is whole­some; malicious speech is unwholesome, abstention from malicious speech is wholesome; harsh speech is unwholesome, abstention from harsh speech is wholesome; gossip is unwholesome, abstention from gossip is wholesome; covetousness is unwholesome, uncovetousness is wholesome; ill will is unwholesome, non-ill will is wholesome; wrong view is unwholesome, right view is wholesome. In this way ten things are unwholesome and the other ten things are wholesome.

“When a bhikkhu has abandoned craving, cut it off at the root, made it like a palm stump, done away with it so that it is no longer subject to future arising, then that bhikkhu is an arahant with taints destroyed, one who has lived the holy life, done what had to be done, laid down the burden, reached the true goal, destroyed the fetters of being, and is completely liberated through final knowledge.”
~ The Buddha (MN 73)


The source for the above material:
MN 73 Mahavacchagotta Sutta: The Greater Discourse to Vacchagotta.
© Bhikkhu Bodhi 1995, 2001. Reprinted from The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Majjhima Nikaya. With permission from Wisdom Publications, 199 Elm Street, Somerville, MA 02144 U.S.A.



  1. Abstain from killing – Not knowingly killing another being. Humans and animals.
  2. Abstain from stealing – Not taking what is not given.
  3. Abstain from false speech – Not speaking falsely. Abstain from backbiting, slandering & speaking harshly .
  4. Abstain from sexual misconduct – Abstain from unlawful sex; committing adultery, having sex with minors, etc.
  5. Abstain from intoxicants – Alcohol, drugs or any substance that causes heedlessness.



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