Understanding the True Nature of Human Beings through the Precepts
All living things on earth cherish their life and strive for a peaceful existence. The human mind realizes that if we all love ourselves dearly and desire happiness and safety in our lives, others living creatures would surely share the same disposition. This will become more apparent as we explore further the concept of precepts, or moral discipline.
1. Abstaining from taking the life of any living creatures. Naturally, human beings never wish to be harmed or killed by anyone. Since everyone holds this belief, we should never harm or destroy any living things. By abiding to this precept, we protect the right to life of all living creatures.
2. Abstaining from taking that which is not given. Naturally, human beings never wish to have their belongings stolen or things taken without permission. For this reason, we should never steal because human beings uphold the principle of ownership — this item belongs to someone else and this belongs to me. By abiding to this precept, we safeguard other people’s property.
3. Abstaining from committing sexual misconduct. Naturally, human beings never wish to have their loved ones taken away from them, whether it is one’s husband, wife, or child. Therefore, we should never commit misconduct of this nature with other people’s loved ones. By abiding to this precept, we honor every family with respect and security.
4. Abstaining from lying, using offensive language, slander, and senseless talk. Naturally, human beings never wish to be deceived or verbally abused. Therefore, we should be sincere with everyone by not telling lies and using foul language, slander, and endless chatter. By abiding to this precept, we give everyone our honesty and sincerity.
5. Abstaining from intoxicants – the primary cause of negligence. Normally, human beings have the awareness to maintain control of their body, speech, and mind. However, when people consume intoxicants, mindfulness and self-restraint are compromised and they are capable of committing every possible offense. Therefore, this is the most important precept to adhere to because individuals without mindfulness are extremely dangerous. By abstaining from intoxicants, we ensure the safety of every being and thin g around us.
All problems in our society take root from people who violate the 5 Sila. Therefore, the 5 Sila can be used as standard for goodness and badness too.
Upholding the precepts has many other benefits, such as:
2. Great health
3. Loving family
When we uphold the 5 Sila, avoiding all evilness, safety in our life, our asset and our family structure is ensured. We would also be acting on sincerity, so that, our society would be suspicion-free and peaceful.