Imagine someone perform an action. What are the requirements should be completed for it to be a complete sin?
Explain it by using killing an animal as an exaple

  • What is the definition of sin? Does crime committed against oneself a sin too? Commented Apr 11, 2018 at 15:03

1 Answer 1


I don't think it's thoroughly explained in suttas.

I know you tagged this topic , but it might be relevant to mention that the topic is extensively discussed in the Vinaya (the "discipline", the rules for monks).

Pages of 74 through 86 of The Buddhist Monastic Code says:

This rule against intentionally causing the death of a human being is best understood in terms of five factors, all of which must be present for there to be the full offense.

  1. Object: a human being, which according to the Vibhaṅga includes human fetuses as well, counting from the time consciousness first arises in the womb immediately after conception up to the time of death.
  2. Intention: knowingly, consciously, deliberately, and purposefully wanting to cause that person’s death. “Knowingly” also includes the factor of—
  3. Perception: perceiving the person as a living being.
  4. Effort: whatever one does with the purpose of causing that person to die.
  5. Result: The life-faculty of the person is cut as the result of one’s act.

It details a number of exceptions: if you kill a person by accident; if you thought they were already dead; or etc.

It also details some non-exceptions, e.g. telling someone else to kill does count as "effort".

Perhaps I could mention that attempted murder (where the victim doesn't die as a "result") is considered still an offence, and punished ... but with "lesser penalties".

The penalties (and the deeds for which monks are punished) in the Vinaya aren't necessarily the same as the working of kamma -- they're more well-defined (and so easier to list in detail).

  • to be honest, I didn't want to tag that topic. I was looking for a tag as Buddhism, but there is no such. Therefore I had to do it. I regret to see Buddhism as "tibetan buddhism/ chinese buddhism" etc. Because Lord Buddha didn't teach two things. As I bellieve and also as it should be there should be only one religion as Buddhism (Shouldn't have categories)
    – Syrus
    Commented Apr 12, 2018 at 5:04
  • There are other tags you could use, like sila or five-precepts or killing. The tag system isn't very controlled (few rules about which tags to use) -- one other tag with a well-defined meaning is reference-request.
    – ChrisW
    Commented Apr 12, 2018 at 7:08
  • People said it's sometimes useful to have school-specific tags -- see for example Theravada and Mahayana and/or How should we handle the different traditions of Buddhism in our answers? -- so you may use that kind of tag in a question; but a lot of questions don't use that kind of tag.
    – ChrisW
    Commented Apr 12, 2018 at 7:09

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