Buddhist Scriptures (Penguin Classics) by Edward Conze (translator)

By Edward Conze (translator)

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A morally blameless or virtuous life is the basis of all other achievements. D. 400. (2) The monks, in their turn, were subject to some 250 rules of monastic restraint, known as the Pratimoksha rules, of which we possess about a dozen different recensions. My selection is taken from the Book of Discipline of the Sarvastivadins, who were the most influential and widespread of the Indian schools. In any case, the different recensions agree on all essentials. (3) A more poetical description of the conditions of the monk's life has been added from the Sutta Nipata, a Pali work of great antiquity.

But if you see the evil others do, and if you feel you disapprove, Be careful not to do likewise, for people's deeds remain with them. 7. Those who cheat in business deals, those who act against the Dharma, Those who swindle, those who trick - not only harm their fellow-men, They hurl themselves into a gorge, for people's deeds remain with them. 8. Whatever deeds a man may do, be they delightful, be they bad, They make a heritage for him; deeds do not vanish without trace. 9. A man will steal while profit seems to lie that way.

If you want honour, wealth, or, after death, a blissful life among the gods, Then take good care that you observe the precepts of a moral life! 2. 3. The prudent man will lead a moral life When he considers it has four rewards: A sense of virtue gives him peace, His body is not over-taxed, At night he sleeps a happy sleep, And when he wakes, he wakes with joy. A holy man, endowed with vision, He thrives and prospers in this world. 4. How excellent a moral life pursued till death! How excellent a well-established faith!

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