Householders Breaking the Five Precepts

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Training of Sila, the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).

Householders Breaking the Five Precepts

Postby clw_uk » Tue May 05, 2009 9:51 pm

Greetings


If a householder breaks one (or more) of the precepts, is there any kind of "confession" or way of redemption from the negative kamma of breaking them? Or does one just reconise the mistake and try to correct it for the future?



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Re: Householders Breaking the Five Precepts

Postby Ben » Tue May 05, 2009 10:12 pm

Hi Craig

I think the most important thing is to recite your vows again and make a decision with adhitthana not to break the precepts again. And maintain your daily practice.
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Re: Householders Breaking the Five Precepts

Postby Cittasanto » Tue May 05, 2009 10:14 pm

I try to just make a resolve not to do it again, and reflect on the particular precept
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Re: Householders Breaking the Five Precepts

Postby clw_uk » Tue May 05, 2009 10:18 pm

Thanks both for the advice, been helpful :smile:


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Re: Householders Breaking the Five Precepts

Postby kc2dpt » Tue May 05, 2009 10:22 pm

clw_uk wrote:If a householder breaks one (or more) of the precepts, is there any kind of "confession" or way of redemption from the negative kamma of breaking them? Or does one just reconise the mistake and try to correct it for the future?

Believing one can do something to purify one's negative karma is pretty much exactly the sort of this the Buddha was referring to when he taught about the fetter of attachment to rites and rituals. For example, some people believed taking a ritual bath would wash away bad karma. (Thig 12.1)

For an unwholesome bodily or verbal action, the Buddha taught his monks and nuns to confess the wrongdoing to the Sangha. For unwholesome mental acts, simply vowing to oneself to not do it again was enough. (MN 61)
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Re: Householders Breaking the Five Precepts

Postby clw_uk » Tue May 05, 2009 10:27 pm

Peter wrote:
clw_uk wrote:If a householder breaks one (or more) of the precepts, is there any kind of "confession" or way of redemption from the negative kamma of breaking them? Or does one just reconise the mistake and try to correct it for the future?

Believing one can do something to purify one's negative karma is pretty much exactly the sort of this the Buddha was referring to when he taught about the fetter of attachment to rites and rituals. For example, some people believed taking a ritual bath would wash away bad karma. (Thig 12.1)

For an unwholesome bodily or verbal action, the Buddha taught his monks and nuns to confess the wrongdoing to the Sangha. For unwholesome mental acts, simply vowing to oneself to not do it again was enough. (MN 61)



Thanks Peter :smile:

I know that the monks and nuns have a confession but i was wondering if there is anything similar for householders, and if there is if a householder doesnt have access to a sangha who does he confess to?

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“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: Householders Breaking the Five Precepts

Postby retrofuturist » Tue May 05, 2009 10:52 pm

Greetings Craig,

clw_uk wrote:I know that the monks and nuns have a confession but i was wondering if there is anything similar for householders, and if there is if a householder doesnt have access to a sangha who does he confess to?

If you don't have a bonafide bhikkhu on hand, maybe do it in front of a Buddha rupa? It's the mental act of the confession that's the significant... a sincere confession in the presence of a rupa, is surely superior to an insincere confession to a bhikkhu.

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Re: Householders Breaking the Five Precepts

Postby kc2dpt » Wed May 06, 2009 12:48 am

clw_uk wrote:I know that the monks and nuns have a confession but i was wondering if there is anything similar for householders

I am not aware of anything like that for lay people. You can always ask to take precepts again from a monastic. If you do not have access to a monastic in person, perhaps one of the Bhantes here would administer precepts to you.
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Re: Householders Breaking the Five Precepts

Postby forestmat » Wed May 06, 2009 1:17 am

Greetings,

the five precepts for a layperson are known as 'training' precepts. As such, if one fails to keep one or more of them, it's no big problem. One should ideally make a firmer commitment to try harder the next time. There is no 'sin' attached to having broken them.

After having practiced the precepts for a period of time, one begins to realize that they are in fact a great protection rather than a 'restriction'.

Best wishes

metta

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Re: Householders Breaking the Five Precepts

Postby clw_uk » Fri May 08, 2009 2:48 pm

Greetings

I have a further question to ask in relation to the precepts

On Buddhanet they have this for the 3rd precept

I undertake the training to avoid sensual misconduct
This precept is often mistranslated or misinterpreted as relating only to sexual misconduct but it covers any overindulgence in any sensual pleasure such as gluttony as well as misconduct of a sexual nature.


Is this correct? I always took the 3rd precept to mean sexual misconduct, but does it mean sensuality in general as well?

Also on the 5th precept it states

To undertake the trainingt to abstain from substances which causes intoxication and heedlessness
This precept is in a special category as it does not infer any intrinsic evil in, say, alcohol itself but indulgence in such a substance could be the cause of breaking the other four precepts.

These are the basic precepts expected as a day to day training of any lay Buddhist. On special holy days, many Buddhists, especially those following the Theravada tradition, would observe three additional precepts with a strengthening of the third precept to be observing strict celibacy.


Does this mean that drinking alchohol isnt unwholesome kamma itself but it can lead to unwholesome kamma?

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Re: Householders Breaking the Five Precepts

Postby Fede » Fri May 08, 2009 3:16 pm

Interpretation is a funny thing, isn't it?
In my opinion (and I do hope to be corrected, or re-guided if I am mistaken) the third precept has always referred to sexual misconduct. I think the inference of there being sensual desires, such as gluttony and other wants, are legitimate, but I have not come across this as indicative of 3rd Precept teachings....

Even half a glass of alcohol can affect people. Substances and Medication deliberately taken to alter the Mind's workings are discouraged.
prescriptive medication of course, doesn't count....
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Re: Householders Breaking the Five Precepts

Postby Cittasanto » Fri May 08, 2009 3:45 pm

because the 3rd precept doesn't change much between the 5 & 8 I would say the 3rd precept is just about sex, and sensual indulgence as a whole would be covered within the 4th & 5th.
as for your second question about the 5th I'd say yes

Five precepts
1. I undertake the training rule to abstain from taking life.
2. I undertake the training rule to abstain from taking what is not given.
3. I undertake the training rule to abstain from sexual misconduct today.
4. I undertake the training rule to abstain from false speech.
5. I undertake the training rule to abstain from drinks [and drugs] that cause heedlessness.[4]

Eight precepts
1. I undertake to abstain from taking life (both human and non-human).
2. I undertake to abstain from taking what is not given (stealing).
3. I undertake to abstain from all sexual activity.
4. I undertake to abstain from telling lies.
5. I undertake to abstain from using intoxicating drinks and drugs which lead to carelessness.
6. I undertake to abstain from eating at the wrong time (the right time is eating once, after sunrise, before noon).
7. I undertake to abstain from singing, dancing, playing music, attending entertainment performances, wearing perfume, and using cosmetics and garlands (decorative accessories).
8. I undertake to abstain from luxurious places for sitting or sleeping.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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