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Five Precepts

The Five precepts (Sanskrit: pañcaśīla; Pali: pañcasīla) is the most important system of morality for Buddhist lay people. (Wikipedia) They are chanted in Pali around the world in ritual contexts and to mark the start of Buddhist gatherings.

Sangharakshita ritually received the five precepts (along with the three refuges) from U. XX in 19XX.

In 1956, he gave the refuges and precepts to 100,000s of Dr. Ambedkar's followers in India, converting them to Buddhism to help them escape the caste system.

Today in Triratna, people commit to practicing the five precepts when they become a Mitra (a friend of the Order).

The Traditional Five Precepts

The five precepts are chanted in pali with the suffix “I undertake the training principle to abstain from... (veramaṇī sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi)”

The Positive Precepts

Sangharakshita taught that it would be better to focus on the ”positive” manifestations of the precepts. He composed a poetic rendering of these for ritual purposes:

This focus on the positive was to emphasise the principial nature of Buddhist ethics. In other words, the spirit is more important than the letter. The real idea behind the precepts is to act more and more ethically, ultimately aiming to act as a Buddha would: completely ethically in any situation.

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