Ashley Wells and Dharmachari Seven (EXPLANATION)
Wise Buddhists treasure virtue (sila) because it is beneficial and profitable. The guidance of the Dharma is the greatest treasure: It points one on a quest to "know and see for oneself."
The Five Precepts are just such a treasure pointed out by the Buddha, the Dharma, and the successful, noble Sangha. Guidelines can be followed or ignored; they merely guide and advise.
We are responsible for what we do, so it is crucial to understand or to place our confidence in someone/something worthy of that trust. Many are misled by what people say the Buddha said. We ourselves have to understand not merely "accept" what others understand.
Christians often go wrong because they are told by the Powers That Be that God or St. Issa (aka Christ) said this, said that, demands this, demands that. One would be wise to look into it, to read the Hebrew original, to get many points of view (such as the Gnostic Gospels the Church tries to keep hidden), to follow one's reason as well as one's heart.
Any authentic, useful teacher teaches nonharming (kindness and compassion), generosity (unselfishness), and wisdom (nondelusion). These are not limited to any religion, creed, sect, or school of thought. Nevertheless, such teachings are very hard to find. Religious leaders quickly hide them away and set up "rules" instead.
Five Fundamental Precepts
- I undertake to observe the training precept of abstaining from destroying life (neither taking nor encouraging any other to take the life of any living being).
- I undertake to observe the precept of abstaining from taking what is not given (neither taking nor encouraging another to steal).
- I undertake to observe the precept of abstaining from sexual misconduct (including sensual misconduct such as gluttony and self abuse, but technically refers to abstaining from sexual intercourse with ten kinds of partners).
- I undertake to observe the precept of abstaining from false speech (including deception, perjury, harsh speech, and useless babble).
- I undertake to observe the precept of abstaining from the taking of intoxicants (including alcohol, herbs, chemicals, or even prescribed pharmaceuticals) that lead one to violate other precepts through heedlessness.