The Thirty-Six Sramanera/Sramanerika (novice) Precepts


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Posted by Tim C. (152.163.201.213) on May 09, 2000 at 00:51:05:

In Reply to: Boddhicitta vows posted by Andreas Isaksson on May 08, 2000 at 06:07:24:

Dear Friends:

(The following comes from, "Preparing for Ordination: Reflections for Westerners Considering Monastic Ordination in the Tibetan Buddhist Tradition," edited by Ven. Thubten Chodron.)

The Sramanera/Sramanerika Precepts: (the 36 Precpets)

One should avoid:

1. taking a human life;
2. killing an animal or insect;
3. for selfish reasons, doing an action which may kill an animal or insect and not caring about it; for example, using water that contains insects without straining it; digging a hole in the earth without considering the creatures that might die as a result; cutting grass; overburdening an animal, which causes its death;
4. while doing something for others, doing an action which may kill an animal or insect and not caring about it; for example, splashing water which has insects on a dry place;
5. sexual intercourse;
6. stealing, taking what has not been given. This includes borrowing things and not returning them, not paying fees and taxes one is required to;
7. lying in which one claims to have spiritual realizations or powers that one does not have;
8. accusing a pure bhikshu or bhikshuni of transgressing one of the four root precepts (parajika) when he or she has not;
9. insinuating that a pure bhikshu or bhikshuni has transgressed one of the four root precepts when he or she has not;
10. causing disunity among the sangha community through untrue slander or taking sides in a disagreement;
11. supporting someone who is creating disunity in the sangha community, taking sides in the dispute;
12. doing actions which obliterate lay people's faith in the sangha; for example, complaining untruthfully to lay people that action brought by the sangha against oneself was unfair;
13. telling others lies;
14. criticizing the storekeeper in the monastery of giving more to those who are near to him or her instead of sharing with them all, when this is not the case;
15. criticizing directly or by using insinuation that the storekeeper in the monastery of not giving oneself a share of the food or other things equal to that given to other monastics, when this is not the case;
16. claiming that a monastic gave a teaching in return for a little food, which is not the case;
17. criticizing a bhikshu or bhikshuni by saying that he or she transgressed a precept in the second group (sanghavasesa) when this is not the case;
18. abandoning the training, for example, rejecting the good advice of a nun or monk; criticizing the Pratimoksha Sutra;
19. covering the vegetables with rice; covering the rice with vegetables;
20. taking intoxicants;
21. singing with self-attachment or for nonsensical reasons;
22. dancing with self-attachment or for nonsensical reasons;
23. playing music with self-attachment or for nonsensical reasons;
24. wearing ornaments;
25. wearing cosmetics;
26. wearing perfumes;
27. wearing the rosary like jewlery, wearing flower garlands;
28. sitting on an expensive throne;
29. sitting on an expensive bed;
30. sitting on a high throne;
31. sitting on a high bed;
32. eating after midday (Exceptions: if one is ill, if one is travelling, or if one cannot meditate properly without food.);
33. touching gold, silver, or precious jewels (includes money);
34. wearing lay people's clothing and ornaments; letting one's hair grow long;
35. not wearing the robes of Buddhist monastic;
36. disrespecting or not following the guidance of one's ordination master. (Precepts 34-36 are called the three degenerating actions).

I hope these shed some light on your inquiry.

Metta,

Tim C.




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