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Buddhism - Essay Example

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Student Instructor Course October 29, 2013 Religion and Theology: Buddhism Main Ethical Precepts (Rules) of Buddhism The moral and ethical precepts of Buddhism are covered in twenty-six chapters of the Dhammapada, the holy book of Buddhist teachings. They are in some cases metaphorical symbols and not a point of doctrine…
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Download file to see previous pages From the holy book, chapters 16–20 are devoted to nirvana and the path to enlightenment (Buddharakkhita 6–23). According to the teachings, the events that a person is subjected to are an outcome of the thoughts he or she has formed. Hatred should not lead to hatred, for it never causes hatred to cease but only by love. It is important to control one’s senses, and not only seek controlled pleasures or be immoderate in one’s food since such behavior will only cause Mara the Tempter to overthrow such person. Whether one is a monk or a householder, it is important to remove evil and sinful thoughts. Ethics seems to be a strong point in the teachings and drive home the benefits of good and sinless living, as compared to sinful living where one only has evil thoughts. The evil doer always thinks of the evil he has done, and these thoughts continue to haunt him even in his sleep, and deprive him of the simple pleasures in life since he is always thinking about evil, retribution, and the acts that others would take on him. A person who is free from such thoughts would be free from evil intentions and subsequently be free from hatred, desire, and evil (Buddharakkhita 30–63). According to Lord Buddha, a wise man does not pass arbitrary judgements but reaches them after deep thought. To be called an elder and not just a vain old man, one must show truthfulness, restraint, self-mastery, virtue, and inoffensive behaviour, and should be free from defilements (Buddharakkhita 64–65). Lord Buddha also says that a person must be watchful in using his speech, control his mind and not commit evil. Lust, affection, and desire are bondages that tie a man to sin and wrongdoing, so they must be cut off. The evil embodiments are defined by craving, or the mother, self-conceit that is the father of evil desire, eternalism and nihilism that are the two warrior kings, and sense organs and objects that are the country. Once these evils are destroyed, the person is ready to be on the road to salvation. Disciples of Gotama are those who happy and non-violent, who practice mindfulness of the body, who have the qualities of the sangha, dhamma and Buddha, and those who constantly meditate (Buddharakkhita 66–75). A wise man must come to realize that by renouncing a lesser happiness, one can achieve a greater happiness. One should avoid being entangled by bonds of hate since cancers of the mind only increase for people who are arrogant and heedless. It is important that one always be on guard since opportunity can slip by, and it is better to walk alone if the company that one finds is not made of virtuous people. The current of craving flows everywhere and includes sensual pleasure, annihilation, and continued existence. It is essential that one free himself from these cravings (Buddharakkhita 78–87). How Do Moral Expectations of a Buddhist Monk Differ from the Morality of a Lay Buddhist? The Buddhist monk is one who has given up all worldly pleasures and seeks nirvana, or the path of salvation. The laity, or the lay Buddhist, is one who still has a family and looks after his household. While the rules for the monk are strict and need stringent self-restraint, those for the laity are more of behavioral nature. Differences are given as below. A monk must practice restraint and show extreme control in his actions and attitude. Accordingly, the monk should restrain oneself in the eye, ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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