Buddhist Ethics: The Path Towards Enlightenment

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Buddhism is a spiritual tradition that originated in 500 BC in India. Goutam Buddha, who was a prince in earlier life, founded it. Gautam Buddha articulated the common principles that all the Buddhists follow. The core of Buddhist ethics is called the five precepts.

Buddhist Ethics: The Path Towards Enlightenment
Buddhist Ethics: The Path Towards Enlightenment
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These are the ‘principles of training,’ not any commandment which needs to practice with compassion. The five precepts or practices advise staying away from 

  • Being harmful to other living beings,
  • Taking things that you are not giving freely,
  • Sexual misconduct,
  • False speech,
  • Toxic drinks and drugs

It accepts that life is complicated, and the situation decides the right or wrong. It emphasizes on being skillful and unskillful instead. The three jewels (or Triratna) Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha tells us to live and practice those ethical precepts in the best possible way.

The Five Precepts Of Buddhist Ethics Explained

No Harm To Other Living Beings

It is the fundamental concept of Buddhism. Be compassionate and harmless to other living things. That is the reason they are generally vegetarian. The core idea behind it is love for everyone and non-violence.

Not Taking That Is Not Given

Taking anything from others without his consent is stealing. It implies harming them. In other ways, you can also manipulate, scare, exploit others to take what you do not have. The positive trait that grows within you practicing this is generosity.

Avoiding Sexual Attack And Breaking Commitment

This precept tells us not to harm others in terms of sexual activity. It also encourages not to break the social and sexual commitment and relations. One should follow this and also encourage others. The positive counterpart behind this ethics is contentment.

No To False Speech

The speech has a crucial role in representing the speaker to others. Our speech sometimes becomes harmful to others. So, truthfulness is a great virtue. And speech does not only imply honesty, but it should also be kindly, harmonious, and encouraging.  

Abstaining From Intoxicating Drinks

The intoxicating drinks and drugs take our mind towards darkness. Mindfulness is the fundamental trait of Buddhism. Toxic drinks create hindrance in the path of attaining mindfulness and awareness.

Buddhist Ethics: The Path Towards Enlightenment
Buddhist Ethics: The Path Towards Enlightenment

The Additional 6 Precepts According To The Triratna Buddhist Ethics

Harsh Speech – It has to be rejected to grow a habit of kind speech. This will help in better communication with others.

Frivolous Speech – Avoidance is required to develop meaningful speech.

Slanderous Speech – The aim is to create a harmonious statement rejecting it.

Hatred – The positive counterpart is love and compassion. So, get rid of hatred.

False Views – Avoiding it, one can take the path of developing wisdom. So, stay away form the false or wrong views as much as possible.

Buddhist Ethics Tells Us About The Four Noble Truths

  • Life is suffering and pain.
  • The cause of our grief is desire.
  • If you can release yourself from the thirst of worldly desire, you will be free from suffering.
  • Your ego holds you back to achieve inner peace. Shed the ego, and you will find infinite peace and happiness within yourself.

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