Pancashila, Panca-shila, Pañcasīla, Pañcaśīla, Pancan-shila: 9 definitions


Pancashila means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

The Sanskrit term Pañcaśīla can be transliterated into English as Pancasila or Pancashila, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

Alternative spellings of this word include Panchashila.

In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

[«previous (P) next»] — Pancashila in Mahayana glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

Pañcaśīla (पञ्चशील) refers to the “the fivefold discipline of the upāsaka” according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XXII).—Accordingly, “Abstention from the five sins (āpatti), [murder, theft, illicit sex, use of intoxicating drinks], constitutes excellent physical discipline (kāyakuśala-saṃvara); abstention from falsehood (mṛṣāvāda) constitutes the excellent discipline of speech (vākkuśala-saṃvara); the whole thing is called ‘discipline of fivefold morality characteristic (pañcaśīla) of the lay practitioner’ (upāsaka-pañcaśīla-saṃvara)”.

There are five ways of taking (samādāna) these five precepts (śīla) which makes five kinds of upāsakas:

  1. upāsaka of a single practice (ekadeśakārin),
  2. upāsaka of limited practice (pradeśakārin),
  3. upāsaka of developed practice (yadbhūyaskārin),
  4. upāsaka of complete practice (paripūrṇakārin),
  5. upāsaka who has renounced sexual activity (samucchinnarāga).
Mahayana book cover
context information

Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

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Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

[«previous (P) next»] — Pancashila in Theravada glossary
Source: Pali Kanon: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines

s. sikkhāpada.

context information

Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

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General definition (in Buddhism)

[«previous (P) next»] — Pancashila in Buddhism glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Buddhism

Pañcaśīla (पञ्चशील) is a Sanskrit work, referring to the “five precepts”. In Pali it is known as Pañcasīla. It consists of five resolutions. They are:

  1. abstention from killing.
  2. abstention from taking what is not given.
  3. avoiding sexual misconduct.
  4. abstention from false speech.
  5. abstention from fermented drink that causes heedlessness.
Source: Buddhist Door: Glossary

Or Five Commandments for layman (1) No killing (2) No stealing (3) No sexual misconduct/adultery (4) No lying (5) No intoxicant It is essential for the rebirth in human realms.

Source: Buddhist Information: A Simple Guide to Life

The Five Precepts are as follows:

  1. To abstain from killing living beings;
  2. To abstain from taking what is not given, i.e. from stealing;
  3. To abstain from sexual misconduct;
  4. To abstain from false speech;
  5. To abstain from intoxicants and harmful drugs.
Source: Shambala Publications: General

Five Precepts See Shīla.

Source: Knowledge Traditions & Practices of India: Indian Ethics: Individual and Social (buddhism)

Pañcaśīla (पञ्चशील) refers to “five rules” within Buddhism ethical conduct.—These moral instructions are included in Buddhist scriptures or handed down through tradition. According to Buddhism, the foundation of ethics (nītiśāstra) is the pañcaśīla (five rules), which advocates refraining from killing, stealing, lying, sexual misconduct and intoxicants. In becoming a Buddhist, a lay person is encouraged to take a vow to abstain from these negative actions.

Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

[«previous (P) next»] — Pancashila in Pali glossary
Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

pañcasīla : (nt.) the five moral precepts.

Pali book cover
context information

Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

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Sanskrit-English dictionary

[«previous (P) next»] — Pancashila in Sanskrit glossary
Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Pañcaśīla (पञ्चशील).—the five rules of conduct; Buddh.

Derivable forms: pañcaśīlam (पञ्चशीलम्).

Pañcaśīla is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms pañcan and śīla (शील).

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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