SOR buddhist teachings

Topics: Buddhism, Gautama Buddha, Karma Pages: 2 (820 words) Published: October 27, 2013
At the centre of Buddhist ethical practice are the Five Precepts which hold the fundamental Buddhist values, inclusive of ethical and moral teachings that serve as guides to perpetrate righteous behaviour. Each of the Five Precepts produces its own virtues and are very important in terms of maintaining a devoted lifestyle. The first brings about compassion, the second generosity, the third contentment and genuine companionship, the fourth honesty, and the fifth clarity and awareness. The principal ethical teachings play a significant role in the life of adherents as it offers a way of life. At their core, the Buddha's teachings are a prescription for ethical conduct in the world. By embracing these teachings, we minimize harm to our self, the people and the planet around us and gain “freedom from danger” (Pali Canon). By cultivating knowledge of the precepts, we discover a path to find peace in the midst of everyday chaos and a world riddled with uncertainty. The first precept makes unjustified the killing of any sentient life form as evident in the Pali Canon, “a disciple of the noble ones… abstains from taking life”. Sentient life forms are all creatures that possess senses and respond to the environment in which they habituate. Sentience indicates that there is the presence of karmic forces and a creature should be allowed to develop these forces during its life so that the karmic forces may be reborn into a better life form. In Buddhism, killing is seen as an act that will bring about bad karma. Lesser bad karma, however, is created if the killing is of small sentient life forms, and most serious is the killing of a human being. The second precept not only rejects stealing but advises that people may not take possession of anything that does not belong to them or that has not been freely given to them by another. This precept deals with not only material possessions but also with intellectual ideas and even time. The third precept is sexual respect for the...
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