The Five Moral Codes of Buddhism

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The five moral codes of Buddhism or commonly known as the five acts of self-discipline in the online self-development programme of Peace Revolution, are originally labelled as the most important pillars for Buddhists with regards to morality. They are standard and simple codes of ethics and principles to be followed by Buddhists in their journey to seek enlightenment. The five codes are pledges to abstain from hurting or killing any living beings, from destroying or stealing others’ properties, from sexual misconduct, from using false or hurtful speech and also from telling lies and consuming any type of intoxicants.

While meditating, the importance of practicing and respecting these five traits are symbolic as they are the bases of the definition of each and everyone’s meditation experiences and simultaneously they are unique and strategic elements which enable us to develop the mind and character to breathe mindfulness. To better understand the five moral codes, let us go through them in details.

1. Refrain from hurting or killing any living beings

The first code follows the principle of abstinence in hurting or killing any living beings to promote humanity and empathy. It is of upmost importance to understand the concept properly because most of the time, individuals get confused about it. It does not only focus on causing physical harm to humans but to every living being on the planet; animals, insects, plants and so forth. However, questions are always asked about the fact whether it is considered as breaking the rule when eating meat or wearing any clothes made from animals. Well, the answer is simply “no” because we, as customers, are not performing any acts or efforts of hurting or killing the animal. Still, it remains a very debatable matter.

2. Refrain from destroying or stealing others’ properties

This code emphasises on refraining ourselves from destroying or stealing properties, goods, money – and the list goes on – which do not belong to us to support kindness and rejection of any kind of greed and desires, according to the Buddhist doctrine. Moreover, this act of self-discipline is also responsible in the creation of a non-toxic and peaceful environment for the secondary socialisation of individuals. Damaging or stealing others’ properties are synonymous of chaos, violence or riots which are not healthy components for the upbringing of an individual.

3. Refrain from sexual misconduct

Abstaining from any form of sexual misconduct is the third moral code. Its main virtues are associated with dignity, integrity and the respect for faithfulness. The meaning of this code is quite diverse because for monks, it means not to engage in any sort of sexual relations. However, for meditation enthusiasts, for example, the meaning of this third discipline is to refrain from having any illegitimate form of relationship, be it, moral or physical with another person, for example, in cases where both parties are married to other people but they are performing sexual activities with each other.

4. Refrain from using false, hurtful speeches and lying

‘One lie leads to another’ and in the forth moral act of self-discipline, it is important to refrain from using false and hurtful speeches such as gossips or even lying. It focuses on the reality of always being honest and truthful in life. We do not want to hurt others’ feelings or break their trust by using false and hurtful dialogues or by lying to them. Honesty creates healthy relationships in the society.

5. Refrain from consuming any type of intoxicants

Last but not the least, the final code denies us from using any intoxicants such as alcoholic drinks, cigarettes and soft or hard drugs which on the other side helps promote mindfulness and responsibility. These social evils destroy a person morally, making him or her act and think differently as well as physically, making him or her prone to numerous forms of illnesses.

Are you ready to experience and respect these five moral codes? Feel free to connect to our 42-days online self-development programme through the Peace Revolution project where you will be guided by a Peace Coach throughout the whole journey.

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