Which is the most important precept to get right for the Noble Path?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Which is the most important precept to get right for the Noble Path?

Refrain from killing
14
40%
Refrain from stealing
0
No votes
Refrain from sexual misconduct
2
6%
Refrain from lying
16
46%
Refrain from intoxicants
3
9%
 
Total votes: 35

Dinsdale
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Re: Which is the most important precept to get right for the Noble Path?

Post by Dinsdale » Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:17 am

DNS wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:57 am
Personally, I think non-killing is the most important. A person could lie to me, steal from me; but at least I'd still be alive.
:thumbsup:
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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JMGinPDX
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Re: Which is the most important precept to get right for the Noble Path?

Post by JMGinPDX » Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:53 pm

chownah wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:55 am
The most important precept is the one which at the time you are tempted to breach.
chownah
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Right now, it's like this...

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Zom
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Re: Which is the most important precept to get right for the Noble Path?

Post by Zom » Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:38 pm

Lying. With the absense of inner integrity (no lying to yourself) no significant progress on the path is possible.

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manas
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Re: Which is the most important precept to get right for the Noble Path?

Post by manas » Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:32 pm

I had to choose between not killing, and not lying, and although my gut response was 'not killing', I chose 'not lying'. I have heard from two respected monks that, from the time the Bodhisatta resolved to become a Buddha in a distant future lifetime, right up to his eventual full awakening as the Buddha Gotama, he never told a deliberate lie. Along the journey of so many lifetimes, sometimes other precepts may have been transgressed, but not that one.
Last edited by manas on Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Knowing this body is like a clay jar,
securing this mind like a fort,
attack Mara with the spear of discernment,
then guard what's won without settling there,
without laying claim.

- Dhp 40

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Crazy cloud
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Re: Which is the most important precept to get right for the Noble Path?

Post by Crazy cloud » Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:54 pm

Refrain from lying

:)
If you didn't care
What happened to me
And I didn't care for you

We would zig-zag our way
Through the boredom and pain
Occasionally glancing up through the rain

Wondering which of the
Buggers to blame
And watching for pigs on the wing
- Roger Waters

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Stiphan
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Re: Which is the most important precept to get right for the Noble Path?

Post by Stiphan » Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:36 pm

Well, the Noble Eightfold Path begins with Right view. Right view is a facet of wisdom, and wisdom is knowing, seeing and understanding truth. So truthfulness and honesty, and the acknowledgement and appreciation of truth is a prerequisite, or what you first need, before you start practicing the Noble Eightfold Path.

Personally, the fourth precept is my favourite one, because I love Truth. Of all the precepts, the Bodhisatta that was to become the Buddha broke all except this one — he never lied. That says a lot.

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DNS
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Re: Which is the most important precept to get right for the Noble Path?

Post by DNS » Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:53 pm

It also might be good to look at what the 4 parajikas are for a monk (defeats) and this might give some indication of importance too.
1. Sexual intercourse, that is, any voluntary sexual interaction between a bhikkhu or bhikkhuni and a living being.
2. Stealing, that is, the robbery of anything worth more than 1/24 troy ounce of gold (as determined by local law).
3. Intentionally bringing about the death of a human being, even if it is still an embryo — whether by killing the person, arranging for an assassin to kill the person, inciting the person to die, or describing the advantages of death.
4. Deliberately lying to another person that one has attained a superior spiritual state, such as claiming to be an Arahant when one knows one is not, or claiming to have attained one of the jhanas when one knows one hasn't.
Note that it is not just any kind of untrue statement, but only those of claiming attainments, when one knows that one does not have it. It is not a defeat for example, to answer that one is "fine" when asked "how are you?" and one has chest congestion and not feeling well.

For stealing it is only a defeat for an amount higher than 1/24 ounce of gold, which today would be about $55 USD or more.

For sexual intercourse it is any type (for a monk or nun).

For killing it is any type, even if only an embryo.

Based on this analysis of the parajikas, it appears no sexual misconduct and no killing are the most important. However, the parajikas are rules for monastics, not lay people and that is why any sexual intercourse is not allowed.

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Nibbana
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Re: Which is the most important precept to get right for the Noble Path?

Post by Nibbana » Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:13 pm

Stiphan wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:36 pm
Well, the Noble Eightfold Path begins with Right view. Right view is a facet of wisdom, and wisdom is knowing, seeing and understanding truth. So truthfulness and honesty, and the acknowledgement and appreciation of truth is a prerequisite, or what you first need, before you start practicing the Noble Eightfold Path.
:goodpost:
I was just reflecting the same, honesty is the first step towards enlightenment.
How can one practice without honesty?
"Then you understand the brilliance of the Buddha's teaching of anatta, goes right to the heart of everything. They say the Dhamma is the source, not going to it's consequences not papancha, but going right into the very middle, the very essence, the very heart, the atta what you take to be you. From the body into the mind thinking, from the mind into the doer, from the doer into the knower. You can see you're not the knower, you can see you're not the doer..."

-Ajahn Brahm

Digity
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Re: Which is the most important precept to get right for the Noble Path?

Post by Digity » Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:39 pm

I think first thing is to take care of gross levels of breaking the precepts and then progress until you eliminate even subtle forms of breaking them.

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