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  Religion & Spirituality: Buddhism: Morality

Morality (Subscribe)


Vinaya (1)


The Meaning of Sin and Evil

"Buddhism has a completely satisfying answer to evil and sin. The Buddhist approach would be to question your "desire" to be without sin or evil, to look at the question itself. Why would you limit your life? To trap you into an experience that western language finds difficult to say directly. To direct your search to the real truth. Here our normal "logical" English language just breaks down. What is this "illogical" experience that is not linear and deductive? The answer is "There is - in fact - a life that can be experienced outside of the level of thinking." I call that the essential teaching of Buddhism."

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The Importance of Sila (Virtue)

"In order to practice meditation with any great success, one is required to practice sila."

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Sila -- Moral Conduct

Sila or moral conduct is the principle of human behaviour that promotes orderly and peaceful existence in a community. Rules of moral conduct are to be found in every religion. They may resemble other codes of conduct to a greater or lesser degree depending on the Teacher or religious system from which they originated. Usually they comprise lists of actions from which to abstain, implying that any actions not covered by the prohibitions are permissible. A good example is afforded by the five Silas (of Buddhism), namely to abstain from taking the life of sentient beings, to abstain from taking possession of anything that has not been given by its owner, to abstain from sexual misconduct, to abstain from lying or evil speech, and to abstain from intoxicating drinks which are a primary cause of negligence.

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Sila (virtue, moral conduct) is the cornerstone upon which the entire Noble Eightfold Path is built. The practice of sila is defined by the middle three factors of the Eightfold Path: Right Speech, Right Action, and Right Livelihood.

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Questions and Answers on Buddhist Moral Issues

Topics include: good and evil, marriage, divorce, birth control and abortion, suicide, war, military service, mercy killing, killing for self protection, stealing from the rich to feed the poor, extramarital sex, white lies, intoxicants.

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Lay Morality

The Buddhist perspective of morality is given in a nutshell in the little Pali verse. "Sabba papassa akaranam - kusalassa upasampada sachitta pariyodapanam - etam buddhanu sasanam" "To keep away from all evil, cultivate good, and purify one's mind is the advice of all Buddhas."

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Golden Rules of Buddhism

The too prevalent ignorance among even adult Sinhalese Buddhists of the ethical code of their religion lead H.S. Olcott to issue this little compilation. It consists of quotes from Therevada sources on daily life, organized by topic.

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