Ten Great Precepts of Buddhism
The Ten Great Precepts of Buddhism are:
- Refrain from taking life.
- Refrain from stealing.
- Refrain from sexual misconduct.
- Refrain from lying.
- Refrain from using intoxicants.
- Refrain from gossiping.
- Refrain from praising oneself.
- Refrain from meanness.
- Refrain from aggression.
- Refrain from slandering the Three Jewels.
The following is an excerpt on Avoiding the Ten Evils from Paul Carus’ Buddha, The Gospel (1894):
THE Buddha said: “All acts of living creatures become bad by ten things, and by avoiding the ten things they become good. There are three evils of the body, four evils of the tongue, and three evils of the mind.
“The evils of the body are, murder, theft, and adultery; of the tongue, lying, slander, abuse, and idle talk; of the mind, covetousness, hatred, and error.
“I exhort you to avoid the ten evils: 1. Kill not, but have regard for life. 2. Steal not, neither do ye rob; but help everybody to be master of the fruits of his labor. 3. Abstain from impurity, and lead a life of chastity. 4. Lie not, but be truthful. Speak the truth with discretion, fearlessly and in a loving heart. 5. Invent not evil reports, neither do ye repeat them. Carp not, but look for the good sides of your fellow-beings, so that ye may with sincerity defend them against their enemies. 6. Swear not, but speak decently and with dignity. 7. Waste not the time with gossip, but speak to the purpose or keep silence. 8. Covet not, nor envy, but rejoice at the fortunes of other people. 9. Cleanse your heart of malice and cherish no hatred, not even against your enemies; but embrace all living beings with kindness. 10. Free your mind of ignorance and be anxious to learn the truth, especially in the one thing that is needful, lest you fall a prey either to skepticism or to errors. Skepticism will make you indifferent and errors will lead you astray, so that you shall not find the noble path that leads to life eternal.”