immeasurable beings five precepts

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
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oak1
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immeasurable beings five precepts

Postby oak1 » Thu May 18, 2017 1:46 pm

As we read in the suttas, one give freedom from fear, hostility and oppression to immeasurable beings by following the five precepts. I do not entirely see however, how you give that freedom to an 'immeasarable' amount beings. Could someone explain the logic behind this?

Thanks in advance and may you be well :anjali:

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Sam Vara
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Re: immeasurable beings five precepts

Postby Sam Vara » Thu May 18, 2017 2:01 pm

oak1 wrote:As we read in the suttas, one give freedom from fear, hostility and oppression to immeasurable beings by following the five precepts. I do not entirely see however, how you give that freedom to an 'immeasarable' amount beings. Could someone explain the logic behind this?

Thanks in advance and may you be well :anjali:


I think it refers to the fact that if one's sila is perfect, then there is literally no measuring the benefit it bestows upon other beings. You would only be able to measure that freedom if you set limits upon it ("I'll not harm anyone in my family or community, but if someone from outside attacks me or mine, then I'll strike back...") In such cases, the benefit one bestows extends thus far (i.e. to a measurable, specified point) but no further.

This is not to say, of course, that the benefit is actually bestowed upon all beings; merely that you have not limited or measured it out according to your views on who deserves it.

something similar is found in formulations for metta-bhavana.
Thus above, below, & all around, everywhere, in its entirety, keep pervading the all-encompassing cosmos with an awareness imbued with good will — abundant, expansive, immeasurable, without hostility, without ill will.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn46/sn46.054.than.html

santa100
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Re: immeasurable beings five precepts

Postby santa100 » Thu May 18, 2017 2:07 pm

I quick example is the violation of the 1st precept, killing. By killing an individual, not only one's brought tremendous suffering to that individual him/herself, but also cascaded such terrible suffering to all their loved ones, relatives, and friends. The suffering of a mother who's just lost a son, a sister lost a brother, a son lost a father, friend lost a dear friend, so on and so forth. So by abstaining from killing, not only one's brought peace to that particular individual, but also peace to everyone around him. Beside that, there're countless other beings invisible to the naked eye who'd also benefit from the peaceful environment created by one who observes the precepts. The same reasoning can be applied to the rest of the Five Precepts..

R1111
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Re: immeasurable beings five precepts

Postby R1111 » Thu May 18, 2017 5:30 pm

I guess that it means that beings don't have to fear one as i understand it, in this life and perhaps the next

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: immeasurable beings five precepts

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu May 18, 2017 6:30 pm

For someone who does not follow the five precepts, there is no evil that they cannot do, and no limit to the number of other living beings they can harm.

Quite apart from the first precept, where the harm is obvious, e.g. spraying plants to get rid of aphids, or using rat poison, swatting bugs, etc., breaching the other precepts also causes immeasurable harm.

Stealing from others, or defrauding them is clearly harming them.

Rape, adultery, grooming young people for sex, causes lifelong harm to them.

Telling lies, abusing, and slandering others, even telling jokes and stories is harmful.

Under the influence of intoxicants, people cause road accidents, get into fights, and say and do things they would not when sober.

All of the living beings harmed by breaking the five precepts have relatives who are also harmed by their loved ones being killed, robbed, sexual abused, deceived, etc.

Undertaking and abiding by these five fundamental precepts changes one's own life and that of all those with whom one associates. It is difficult to measure the merit and benefit to society of one person who sincerely abides by the precepts.
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oak1
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Re: immeasurable beings five precepts

Postby oak1 » Fri May 19, 2017 2:48 pm

Thank you :anjali: I see now


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