Five Precepts in Buddhism

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In our country, we claim we have the purest and highest form of Buddhism and that we have preserved it for 2500 years, and with about 75% of the people in the country claim to be Buddhists.

Most of these 15 million Buddhists recite the Five Preceots regularly, often several times a day.

1. Panatipata veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami

I undertake the precept to refrain from destroying living creatures.

We kill a 100,000 cattle for a year for the meat. Slaughter of chicken is probably uncountable. On Sundays along the West cost, penly by the road side we see slaughtered pigs, hung by their legs, as their flesh is cut up for sale to the waiting slobbering customers.

We have poor animals and birds, sentenced to life imprisonment in our Zoos and Elephants in Buddhist temples, always in chains. These elephants are paraded on days of Buddhist festivals, in the name of the Buddha, who preached Ahimsa for all living things. To attract tourists, we proudly advertise elephants carrying beastly humans on their back. Farmers poison elephants who invade their farms, and then offer alms to the temples with the crop harvested from these farms.

We kill other humans, for a few thousand rupees, or just for the fun of it, or just to please another 'human'.

2. Adinnadana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami

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

We are placed 97th in the world corruption index. Corruption by giving and accepting bribes, in contracts, purchases, obtaining a license, getting a permit for some business, admitting a child to school. People who accepts bribes for whatever reason, are stealing from the other people, directly or indirectly. This money they steal is money that could be meant for medicine, for food or for education.

3. Kamesu micchacara veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami

I undertake the precept to refrain from sexual misconduct.

There are reports of increasing incidents of sexual abuse of children and women. The number of aids patients increasing and more and more children suffering due to the break up of families. Most novels, films and television serials depict adultery as the norm in today's families, which further encourage people to indulge.

4. Musavada veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami

I undertake the precept to refrain from incorrect speech.

It is hard to find any 'correct' speech in our country today. All print and electronic media give only half truths, or gross distortions of the truth, or outright lies. All politicians utter lies. They make promises they never intend keeping. They cover their mistakes and misdeeds with more lies. Children are trained to lie as they begin their schooling, as school admissions can be made only by submitting false information. Husbands lie to their wives, children to their parents and parents to their children.

5. Suramerayamajja pamadatthana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami

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

Probably the highest per capita consumption of alcohol is in our country. All the legal and illegal manufacturers are minting money and the government earns a big chink as taxes from the legal dealers, while officials and politicians fill their pockets from the earnings of the illegal dealers, violating the 2nd and 4th precepts too.

Those who consume alcohol violate all 5 precepts, as they hurt their children and women when they are drunk, steal when they don't have money to drink, indulge in sexual misconduct, have to lie to their families and employers.

If all of us could keep our promises, as we recite the Five Precepts, what a beautiful and wonderful country this could be, and what an inheritance to leave our children!

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