Five Protections Against Sorrow (the Five Precepts Panca Sila)

Buddhist Temple, Burma. Photo © Sir John Aske

In Buddhism it is taught that almost everything that happens to us, good or bad, is the result of previous actions — it is our karma. Refraining from five kinds of unskilful action will result in peace of mind and true happiness.

In order to be protected against sorrow, therefore, one should:

• refrain from harming anything;
• refrain from taking that which is not freely given;
• refrain from all forms of immorality or any action which is subject to blame;
• refrain from speaking falsely, harshly, or unkindly;
• refrain from indulging in anything which causes the mind to lose its natural clarity, such as drugs or alcohol.

By refraining from these unskilful actions, one will experience the peace and happiness of one’s true nature, one’s Buddha-nature.

If as Buddhists we have true awareness,
then morality will be our natural behaviour.
[Zen Master Bukko]

 The Five Precepts, Panca Sila

Buddhism in Totnes, Devon.

Photo: Buddhist Temple, Burma. © Sir John Aske

Categories: Foundations of Buddhism


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