Upholding Of Precepts 持戒


‘You and other Bhikṣus (i.e. monastics), after my Parinirvāṇa (i.e. relinquishment of the Buddha’s body), should honour, treasure and revere the Prātimokṣa (i.e. precepts that lead towards liberation), like in darkness encountering brightness, poor persons obtaining treasures. You should know that this is then the great teacher of yours and others, and if with me abiding in this world, it is without difference from this.


Those upholding pure precepts, must not sell and trade, help to settle fields and houses, raise livestock, people, servants and animals. All planting and growing, and all wealth and treasures, all should be far departed from, like avoiding fire pits. There must not be cutting and chopping of grass and trees, cultivating of earth and digging of land.


Combining and blending decoctions of medicines, observing forms for auspiciousness and inauspiciousness, looking upwards to observe constellations, predicting astronomical phenomena, lunar waxing and waning, with counting and calculating, all those should not be done. Regulate your bodies with timely eating, with purity for personal survival.


You must not participate in worldly matters, to be connected and sent on missions, with incantation skills and “immortal medicines”, befriending and fawning on high-ranking people, to be close and hospitable by being disrespectful and undignified. All these should not be done.


You should personally upright your minds, with Right Mindfulness seek deliverance, and must not contain and hide your flaws, to appear differently for confusing people.


Of the four offerings [of (1) food and drink (饮食), (2) robes (衣服), (3) bedding (卧具) and (4) medicine (汤药)], knowing the proper measure and knowing contentment, for the objective of obtaining offered items, they should not be stored and accumulated. 


This then is briefly speaking on the forms of upholding precepts. As the precepts are that rightly following the roots of liberation, they are thus named the Prātimokṣa. Because of relying on these precepts, attaining the arising of all meditative concentrations, and eliminating suffering’s wisdom. Therefore, Bhikṣus, you should uphold the pure precepts, and not lead them to be destroyed and lacking.


If able to uphold the pure precepts, you are then able to have good Dharma teachings. If without the pure precepts, all good and meritorious virtues all cannot arise. With this, you should know, that the precepts are as the foremost tranquil meritorious virtues’ dwelling place.

Śākyamuni Buddha
The Sūtra Of The Buddha’s Bequeathed Teachings

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