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Book: Buddhism in Five Minutes

Chapter: 55. What Vows do Buddhists Take?

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.40796


It is not necessary to take any precepts in order to be a Buddhist (“taking refuge” in the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha is enough for this) but many Buddhists do, voluntarily. The number of precepts and the attitude toward them varies across different Buddhist cultures and also depends on whether one is a lay Buddhist or a monk or nun. The focus of this “answer” is on lay precepts. The five basic precepts for lay people are:
• avoid killing (onslaught on living beings);
• avoid taking what is not given;
• avoid sexual misconduct;
• avoid wrong speech;
• avoid intoxication.

Chapter Contributors

  • Nick Swann ( - nswann1298) 'University of South Wales'