Five Moral Precepts

Compiled by Dr Ron Epstein
Philosophy Department
San Francisco State University
Please send all comments, suggestions, and corrections to epstein@sfsu.edu.


The Five
No Killing or Harming of Sentient Life
No Stealing or Taking What is Not Given
No Sexual Misconduct
No False Speech
No Taking of Intoxicants


The Five

"Five Moral Precepts, " Buddhism A to Z
"Why Should We Take the Five Precepts?" Excerpted from the Teachings of the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua (1918-1995)
"Precepts for Laypeople" by Ajaan Lee
"The Healing Power of the Precepts" by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
"The Five Precepts," Path to Freedom
"The Five Precepts," Going for Refuge, Taking the Precepts by Bhikkhu Bodhi
"The Five Precepts of the Layperson" Nagarjuna's Treatise on the Great Perfection of Wisdom
"Aiding Practices of the Bodhimanda," Shurangama Sutra (.pdf file)
"The Lesser Section on Virtue"
"Sankha Sutta: The Conch Trumpet"
"Sunakkhatta Sutta"--Claiming that one is enlightened does not justify unrestrained behavior
Pañcasila -- the Five Precepts (for lay men and women)
"Abhisanda Sutta"--The rewards of observing the precepts: AN VIII.39
"Vipaka Sutta"--The consequences of failing to observe the precepts: AN VIII.40

No Killing or Harming of Sentient Life

"The Precept Against Killing," From Nagarjuna's Treatise on the Great Perfection of Wisdom
Buddhist Resources on Vegetarianism and Animal Welfare

"Buddhist Ideas for Attaining World Peace" by Ron Epstein
"Violence and Disruption in Society: A Study of the Early Buddhist Texts" by Elizabeth J. Harris
"WHO: 1.6 million die in violence annually" by Thomas H. Maugh II
“Deaths by Mass Unpleasantness: Estimated Totals for the Entire  20th Century”
"Youth violence connected to aggression at home" by Anand Vaishnav
"Violence Unabated: Children's Programming in A Cynical Age" by George Gerbner
"Highlights of the Television Violence Profile"

"TV today, violence tomorrow: Study links viewing by kids to aggression later in life" by Nanette Asimov
"Spanking Causes Misbehavior"
"Analysis of Studies Suggests Abortion Can Raise Breast Cancer Risk" by Jane E. Brody

No Stealing or Taking What is Not Given

"The Precept Against Stealing," Nagarjuna's Treatise on the Great Perfection of Wisdom
"Contemplations to Inspire the Avoidance of Stealing," Nagarjuna's Treatise on the Great Perfection of Wisdom

No Sexual Misconduct

"The Precept Against Sexual Misconduct," Nagarjuna's Treatise on the Great Perfection of Wisdom
"The Offenses and Retributions Inherent in Adultery", Nagarjuna's Treatise on the Great Perfection of Wisdom
"Cancer, Infidelity Link Eyed" by Paul Recer
"Coconspirator? Genital Herpes Linked to Cervical Cancer" by Nathan Seppa
"Sex and Lifespan"

No False Speech

"The Precept Against False Speech," Nagarjuna's Treatise on the Great Perfection of Wisdom
"Lies Parents Tell Themselves about Why They Work" by Shannon Brownlee and Matthew Miller

No Taking of Intoxicants

"The Precept Against Consuming Intoxicants," Nagarjuna's Treatise on the Great Perfection of Wisdom
"A Discipline of Sobriety" by Bhikkhu Bodhi
"Alcohol's Erroneous Ways Revealed" by Emma Young
"Cannabis Smoking 'More Harmful' than Tobacco" by Emma Young
"Cannabis Link to MentalIillness Strengthened" by Emma Young
"Warning Over Light Pregnancy Drinking"
"Alcohol Increases Breast Cancer Risk"
"Alcohol or Drug Link Found in 80 Percent of U.S. Prisoners" by Christopher S. Wren
"Why We Are All Addicted" by Andrew Weil, M.D.
"AMA Urges Ban on Alcohol Ads" by Suzanne C. Ryan
"Cocaine Kills Brain's 'Pleasure' Cells"
"Study of Twins Backs Marijuana-Drug Link"



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Established November, 2002.