The Eight (Five) Precepts

Taking the Precepts

As Buddhists, during ceremonies and retreats we take all eight precepts as taken by monks. In the rest of our life we try our best to adhere to the first five precepts.

The wording of the Eight Precepts as we chant them at the retreat is here.

The Eight Precepts – alternate translation

There are other translations of the precepts that can widen our understanding of their meaning and their application in our lives. Here is one:

  1. pānātipātā veramani sikkhāpadam samadiyami
    I undertake the precept to refrain from destroying breath (or, life).
  2. adinnadana veramani sikkhāpadam samadiyami
    I undertake the precept to refrain from taking that which is not given.
  3. kamesu micchacara veramani sikkhāpadam samadiyami
    I undertake the precept to refrain from sexual misconduct.

imāni attha [panca] sikkhā-padāni samādiyāmi [SAY THREE TIMES]
I undertake these eight [five] precepts. [BOW THREE TIMES]

More on the meaning of the Pali words, and interesting discussion, at Buddhism StackExchange

Extended version of chants, listen online, and download, at
Chanting the Dhamma by the Buddhist Sangha of Western Australian (BSWA).

page revised: 26 July 2018

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