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A Guide for Laypeople

The Five Precepts

The Five Precepts form one of the essential elements of following the Lord Buddhas Way. Undertaking these Precepts (and Going for Refuge) are often the first formal affirmation of a new Buddhist. This is normally done by repeating after a monk these phrases (in Paali):

"I undertake the training precept:

  1. to abstain from taking life.
  2. to abstain from taking what is not given.
  3. to abstain from sexual misconduct.
  4. to abstain from false speech.
  5. to abstain from intoxicants causing heedlessness."
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