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Grand Master's Books > Grand Master Lu's Book > 999_TBS Precepts

Five Precepts I

(Excerpted from ''True Buddha Precepts'' in Grandmaster Book 49 Ling Xian Vajra Practice.)

After taking refuge, many True Buddha School disciples have asked me what precepts they must observe.

Written on our Refuge Certificate「I, _______, wholeheartedly take refuge in the Buddha's teachings and recognize and pay homage to the enlightened teacher. I take refuge in Living Buddha Lian-sheng Sheng-yen Lu. I vow to dedicate my whole life to paying homage and respecting the lineage, honoring the Guru, treasuring the Dharma, and practicing diligently. I vow to dedicate my whole life to obeying the Buddhadharma and abiding by the precepts. I vow to dedicate my whole life to performing good deeds in accordance with the Buddha's teaching and observing filial piety toward my parents. I vow to abide by these vows for my entire life without reservation. I invoke all buddhas and bodhisattvas of the ten directions to be my witness. 」

First of all, the statement ''I vow to dedicate my whole life to obeying the Buddhadharma and abiding by the precepts'' means that one is willing to do all in one's power to uphold the correct Dharma and observe the precepts. These precepts are the five precepts of Buddhism. The True Buddha School practices the correct Buddhadharma and hence observes the five precepts.

The five precepts are:
  1. No killing - One must be compassionate and refrain from killing living beings. More actively, one engages in release of live animals.
  2. No intoxicants - This refers to not becoming drunk and losing control from use of alcohol (and other intoxicants).
  3. No sexual misconduct - Engaging in sexual activity outside the marital relationship is sexual misconduct.
  4. No False Speech - Do not spread malicious gossip. Slandering righteous people and righteous Dharma is a transgression of speech and a violation of this precept.
  5. No theft - Do not take anything that is not yours.
These are the basic precepts of the True Buddha School and of Buddhism as well. As Buddhists, True Buddha School disciples must, of course, abide by the five precepts. In addition, practicing the correct Buddhadharma, filial piety, respecting teachers, and respecting fellow students are the principles which form the foundation of being human. One must therefore observe these principles. If one cannot observe even these basic precepts, one should return one's Refuge Certificate to the guru. A disciple who does not observe the precepts is, in effect, renouncing the Refuge Certificate, rendering it nothing more than a worthless scrap of paper.

As for those True Buddha School disciples who observe the five precepts and perform the ten virtuous deeds, I shall bless them to have the following:
  1. They will have no enemies, be free from all illnesses, and experience longer life, auspiciousness, peace, and happiness.
  2. Their families will be harmonious and not contentious, they will depart from flatterers, and they will be respected by others.
  3. Disciples who observe the precepts and perform good deeds will have no accidents or disasters, and will not die a wrongful death.
  4. Heaven helps and protects those who observe the precepts and perform good deeds so they will turn to respect the Three Jewels and practice the path of awakening.
  5. They will receive full blessings and everything in abundance.
Not all worldly people are saints or sages, so there will, of course, be those who violate the precepts. If penitent, the transgressor must practice a repentance liturgy, confess all transgressions before the guru and buddhas, and vow not to violate the precepts again.

There are also the more severe five heinous crimes. For example, destroying a Buddhist stupa or Buddhist monastery; burning scriptures or books of virtue; destroying Buddhist statues; theft of property belonging to the Three Jewels; slandering Buddhadharma, degrading Buddhism, or persecuting the practitioners of correct Dharma; patricide or matricide; injuring a buddha; killing an arhat; creating schism in the sangha; negating the existence of karma, and constantly engaging in the ten unwholesome deeds.
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