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10 precepts

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The Ten Precepts are sometimes considered a summary of the most important precepts of the monastic monks and nuns of Theravada Buddhism.

These training rules are observed by novice monks and nuns. They are derived from the 8 precepts by splitting the precept concerning entertainments into two parts and by adding one rule prohibiting the handling of money.

A fully ordained monk (bhikkhu) observes the 227 rules of the bhikkhu Patimokkha; a fully ordained nun (bhikkhuni) would observe the 311 rules of the bhikkhuni Patimokkha.

The Ten Precepts in Pali and English

1. Panatipata veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami

  • I undertake the precept to refrain from destroying living creatures.

2. Adinnadana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami

  • I undertake the precept to refrain from taking that which is not given.

3. Abrahmacariya veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami

  • I undertake the precept to refrain from sexual activity.

4. Musavada veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami

  • I undertake the precept to refrain from incorrect speech.

5. Suramerayamajja pamadatthana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami

  • I undertake the precept to refrain from intoxicating drinks and drugs which lead to carelessness.

6. Vikalabhojana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami

  • I undertake the precept to refrain from eating at the forbidden time (i.e., after noon).

7. Nacca-gita-vadita-visuka-dassana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami

  • I undertake the precept to refrain from dancing,singing, music, going to see entertainments.

8. Mala-gandha-vilepana-dharana-mandana-vibhusanatthana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami

  • I undertake the precept to refrain from wearing garlands, using perfumes, and beautifying the body with cosmetics.

9. Uccasayana-mahasayana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami

  • I undertake the precept to refrain from lying on a high or luxurious sleeping place.

10. Jatarupa-rajata-patiggahana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami

  • I undertake the precept to refrain from accepting gold and silver (money).

(from Digha Nikaya 1; Vinaya, Mahavagga I 56.1)

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