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04:46 _ 06-12-2019

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The Eight retreat Precepts

I. Definition:

Quan means to close. Trai means after abstinence; to purity as by fasting or abstaining. The Eight Fold Precepts mean to keep the mind and body purified in 24-hour period by practicing the eight retreat precepts:

1. Not killing living beings

2. Not stealing.

3. Not having sexual intercourse.

4. Not telling lies.

5. Not taking intoxicants.

6. Not wearing bodily decoration, not using perfumes.

7. Not singing and dancing.

8. Not sleeping in a raised bed.

9. Not eating after noon time.

By taking the Eight Retreat Precepts ordination one vows to live the life of a monk within 24 hours.

II. Understanding the retreat precepts:

1. Not killing: One should not deliberately kill any living beings, either by committing the act act oneself or instructing others to kill.

2. Not stealing: Do not steal anything from anyone or even thinking about it. Try to pratice charity. Do not use anything not given.

3. Not engaging in sexual misconduct: To abstain from sexual misconduct.

4. Not telling lies: One should not lie but tell the truth without exaggerating.

5. Not taking intoxicants: Intoxicants will make one lose control of oneself, and delude the mind.

6. Not wearing perfumes, nor dancing and singing: Wearing make-up and perfumes predispose oneself to sensual desires while dancing and singing disturb one's concentration.

7. Not sleeping in an eloborate, raised bed: To practice a simple life style.

8. Not eating after noon time: The Divine eats in the morning, Buddha eats at noon, animals eat in the afternoon, and ghosts eat at night.

The benefits of not having meals in the afternoon:

- wrong/confused thoughts do not arise.

- no drowsiness.

- improve concentration.

- healthy body.

III. The formalites:

The Eight Retreat Precepts ordination is usually held in the Temple within 24 hours. If there is no temple, a quiet house may be used. The eight fold precepts maybe transmitted by:

1. A master: A master monk or nun will conduct the ordination. Prior entering the ordination, one needs to shower and repent. The master will introduce and explain the Three Jewels and the eight precepts. In the ordination, one has to be quiet, concentrate and listen to the master's questions, then one should answer the questions and vows to take refuge in the Three Jewels and to practice the precepts. During the 24 hours living as a monk, one has to control one's actions, speech and thoughts. Always think about Buddha and keep on learning and practicing the Buddha's teachings.

2. Oneself: If there is no temple, one may conduct this eight fold precepts at home by oneself. In front of the Buddha statue, one vows:

I am ........ will take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Shangha, vow to keep the eight fold precepts within 24 hours. Buddha is my master.

As the Buddha who never destroys the life of beings, I vow to abstain from destroying the life of beings during these 24 hours. (Repeat eight different precepts).

IV. The effects of practicing the eight fold precepts:

One who practices the eight fold precepts will purify one's mind and never commit bad actions. By practicing the eight fold precepts, one obtains mindfulness. The Buddha said: "One, who practices the eight fold precepts will be born into the happy worlds and never be born into the lower universe (such as hell, gost and animal). If one forwards merits to other beings, one will get innumerous merits and achieve enlightenment."

V. Conclusion:

Practicing the eight retreat precepts keep one from committing the bad karma of the body, speech and mind. As a result, the mind becomes purified and wisdom is developed. In short, the eight fold precepts are the foundation for attaining enlightenment. For the sake of beings, the Buddha taught these precepts. A Buddhist should learn and practice them.

Chánh Thiện

  1. Ngài Ma Ha Ca Diếp - Ma-Ha Ca-Diep
  2. Ngài A Nan Ðà - A Nan Da
  3. Ngài Nguyên Thiều - NguyenThieu
  4. Ngài Liễu Quán - LieuQuan
  5. Bốn Sự Thật Cao Thượng(Tứ Diệu Ðế) - The Four Noble Truths
  6. Mười Hai Nhân Duyên (Thập nhị nhân duyên) - The Principle of The Dependent Origination (Paticca samuppada)
  7. Tám Chánh Ðạo - The Eight-Fold Noble Path
  8. Kinh Mười Ðiều Thiện - The Sutra of The Ten good deeds
  9. Thiện Ác Nghiệp Báo  - Karma
  10. Sáu Ðộ - The Six Perfections
  11. Phép Quán Tưởng và Niệm Phật - The Methods of Meditating on Buddha
  12. Bát Quan Trai - The Eight Retreat Precepts
  13. Phật Giáo Việt Nam Từ Ðời Trần đến Cận Ðại - Buddhism in Vietnam from The Tran Dynasty to Present
  14. Tình Thần Không Chấp Thủ, Tinh Thần Tùy Duyên Bất Biến
  15. Phật Giáo Là Triết Học Hay là Một Tôn Giáo?
  16. Quan Ðiểm Của Phật Giáo Về Con Người - Vấn Ðề Tâm Vật Trong Ðạo Phật -  Buddhist viewpoint On Human Beings. About Spirit and Matter In The Buddhism
  17. Quan Ðiểm Của Phật Giáo Về Vũ Trụ - Vấn Ðề Nguyên Nhân Ðầu Tiên - Buddhism's Viewpoint ON The Universe The First Cause