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Pratimoksha vows

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The vows of pratimoksha (Skt. pratimokṣa-saṃvara; Wyl. so thar gyi sdom pa) or vows of ‘individual liberation’ (Skt. pratimokṣa; Wyl. so sor thar pa) mainly emphasize disciplining one’s physical behaviour and not harming others.

Pratimoksha discipline is called the foundation of Buddhism because for ordinary people physical discipline is the beginning of spiritual training and the basis of spiritual progress.

The aspiration of the pure pratimoksha discipline is the achievement of liberation for oneself, as it belongs to the shravaka training.

However, since Tibetan Buddhists are automatically followers of the Mahayana, they emphasize taking the pratimoksha vows with the attitude of bodhichitta.


Seven Types of Pratimoksha Vows

These are the vows of:


  1. a fully ordained monk (Skt. bhikṣu; Tib. དགེ་སློང་) or
  2. a fully ordained nun (Skt. bhikṣuṇī; Tib. དགེ་སློང་མ་);
  3. a novice monk (Skt. śrāmanera; Tib. དགེ་ཚུལ་) or
  4. a novice nun (Skt. śrāmanerikā; Tib. དགེ་ཚུལ་མ་);
  5. a female novice in training for full ordination (Skt. śikṣamāṇā; Tib. དགེ་སློབ་མ་) and
  6. a male lay practitioner (Skt. upāsaka; Tib. དགེ་བསྙེན་) or
  7. a female lay practitioner (Skt. upāsikā; Tib. དགེ་བསྙེན་མ་).


There are sometimes said to be eight types of pratimoksha vows.

The eighth category is that of the one day lay vows (Skt. ashtangopavasa shiksha; Tib. བསྙེན་གནས་ nyen né).


Further Reading


Source

RigpaWiki:Pratimoksha vows