4

I recently saw a post on this website by Andrei Volkov that discussed the term Kāmesumicchācāra, breaking it down into it's constituent parts and discussing the full meaning of the word.

It led to me creating an account here, as I'm interested in having a similar discussion about the 4 other precepts - specifically the words Pāṇātipātā, Adinnādānā, Musāvādā, and Surāmerayamajjapamādaṭṭhānā.

I'd be grateful for any insight. Thanks.

  • Hate to break it to you, but kamesu is the only really interesting one. The rest are pretty literal. :-/ – user698 Feb 23 '17 at 2:50
2

The Five Precepts (pañca-sila)

These basic training rules are observed by all practicing Buddhist lay men and women. The precepts are often recited after reciting the formula for taking refuge in the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha.

  1. Panatipata veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami I undertake the precept to refrain from destroying living creatures.

    Pānātipātā: ‘the killing of living beings' can be further broken down into destruction (atipata) of life (pana)
    veramani: ‘to refrain from’
    sikkhāpadam: ‘the Precept’
    samadiyami: ‘I undertake

  2. Adinnadana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami I undertake the precept to refrain from taking that which is not given.

    Adinnadana: ‘taking that which is not given’; adinna+adana includes bribery, burglary, forceful acquisition of property, invasion of somebody else's territory, fraud, theft etc.
    veramani: ‘to refrain from’
    sikkhāpadam: ‘the Precept’
    samadiyami: ‘I undertake

  3. Kamesu micchacara veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami I undertake the precept to refrain from sexual misconduct.

    Kamesu: ‘sexual’; micchacara: ‘misconduct’
    veramani: ‘to refrain from’
    sikkhāpadam: ‘the Precept’
    samadiyami: ‘I undertake

  4. Musavada veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami I undertake the precept to refrain from incorrect speech.

    Musavada: ‘lying’ (One word); this is similar to.... slandering (pisunavaca), harsh speech (pharusavaca), and frivolous talk (Sampappalaapa)
    veramani: ‘to refrain from’
    sikkhāpadam: ‘the Precept’
    samadiyami: ‘I undertake

  5. Suramerayamajja pamadatthana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami I undertake the precept to refrain from intoxicating drinks and drugs which lead to carelessness. This is a compound made up from sura + meraya + majja + pamada + thana

    Suramerayamajja: ‘sura = fermented liquors made with powdery substances, merya = distilled liquors made with nectar / sweet liquid secreted from flowers or plants, majja = intoxicating liquors made by fermenting the above two types (ie. Sure & Meraya)
    Pamadatthana: ‘causes heedlessness'; Pamada = delay; thana = state / condition
    veramani: ‘to refrain from’
    sikkhāpadam: ‘the Precept’
    samadiyami: ‘I undertake

The most important bit of information regarding the five precepts that very few of the Buddhists are aware of is the meaning of these three words … aarati virati pativirati… veramani. The five precepts as we know and practice is the worldly right view and worldly right conception. The distinction made in the discourse between worldly right view and the right view that is above the world (supre-mundane) is that, in the case of the latter, this means Complete Abstinence, expressed by the use of these three more terms - aarati virati and pativirati. Such abstinence applies to right action and right livelihood as well. An explanation of it is found in the MN 117 Mahācattārīsaka Sutta - The Great Forty.

One who takes the five precepts with an aim of walking the Noble Eightfold Path, towards attaining Path-Fruition aim for the aarati virati pativirati level of abstinence.

  • 1
    I think the OP is asking for an analysis of the words, e.g. Musāvādā is made up of Musā + vāda. – ChrisW Feb 23 '17 at 1:23
  • 1
    Yes, I understand now @ChrisW.. I will try to elaborate more on those Pali words.... – Saptha Visuddhi Feb 23 '17 at 2:28
0

Post on his website by Andrei Volkov that discussed the term Kāmesumicchācāra, breaking it down into it's constituent parts and discussing the full meaning of the word.

I have read these kinds of discussions often however the Pali suttas seem to only describe 'kāmesumicchācāra' as 'sexual' misconduct, since the only definition of the precept is about sex.

He is given over to misconduct in sexual desires: he has intercourse with such (women) as are protected by the mother, father, (mother and father), brother, sister, relatives, as have a husband, as entail a penalty, and also with those that are garlanded in token of betrothal.

MN 41

For example, there are suttas for laypeople, such as AN 4.62, which discuss: "the proper season, on the proper occasions, for a householder partaking of sensuality (kāmabhoginā)".


As for the other precepts:

1st precept: 'Pānā means 'breath', such as in the term 'Ānāpānasati'. Atipāta = destruction.

2nd precept: adinn ādāna. ādāna' = seizing; grasping. 'adinna'= not given; not allowed.

4th precept: 'Musā' means 'falsehood; lie'. Therefore the 4th precept is only about lying or dishonest speech and is not about the harsh, divisive & frivolous speech that are included in the definition of Right Speech in the Noble Eightfold Path.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.