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Ajivatthamaka Sila (Eight Precepts with Right Livelihood as the Eighth) by Bodhicarini Upasika

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Updated 14th August 2015

Ajivatthamaka Sila (Eight Precepts with Right Livelihood as the Eighth)

In Theravada Buddhism there are two versions of the Eight Precepts: Atthangika Uposatha Sila (Eight Uposatha Precepts) and Ajivatthamaka Sila (Eight Precepts with Right Livelihood as the Eighth).

The Ajivatthamaka Sila builds upon the framework of Panca Sila (The Five Precepts). It expands the Fourth Precept of the Panca Sila (The Five Precepts) to specify the four types of wrong speech from which a lay disciple should abstain. The Ajivatthamaka Sila also requires abstention from wrong livelihood, including trading in arms; in living beings (slavery, prostitution); meat; alcohol; and poison.

"The three constituents of the Morality Group of the Eightfold Path when considered in detail become the Ajivatthamaka Sila." (Ledi Sayadaw, Wheel 171-174 page 10)

"The perfect moral conduct or character can be categorised under the Eight Precepts called the Ajivatthamaka Sila." (Venerable Balangoda Ananda Maitreya, 1995, page 16)

Ajivatthamaka Sila occurs in the Pali Canon in the Abhidhamma Pitaka, the Sutta Pitaka and the Commentaries.

Ajivatthamaka Sila (The Eight Precepts with Right Livelihood as the Eighth)

1) Panatipata veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
I undertake the Precept to refrain from killing and injuring living beings

2) Adinnadana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
I undertake the Precept to refrain from taking that which is not given

3) Kamesu micchacara veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
I undertake the Precept to refrain from excessive sensuality

4) Musavada veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
I undertake the Precept to refrain from false and harmful speech

5) Pisuna vaca veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
I undertake the Precept to refrain from backbiting

6) Pharusa vaca veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
I undertake the Precept to refrain from using harsh or abusive speech

7) Samphappalapa veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
I undertake the Precept to refrain from useless or meaningless conversation

8) Micchajiva veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
I undertake the Precept to refrain from wrong means of livelihood

Bibliography

“The development and use of the Eight Precepts for lay practitioners, Upasakas and Upasikas in Theravada Buddhism in the West”, Jacquetta Gomes, Contemporary Buddhism, Volume 5(1) (May, 2004) 47-63 (ISSN 1463-9947)

Available online at www.wlu.ca/documents/6478/The_development.pdf
Available online at http://www.tandfonline.com/

Source

By Bodhicarini Upasika Jayasili BGKT Buddhist Group of Kendal (Theravada) England UK