Phap Hien was a Vietnamese Zen master. He lived in the late 5th century and early the 6th century. When he was a young monk at the Phap Van Temple he met Vinitaruci (?-594) who was one of the successors of Seng-tsan, the Third Patriarch...
ABOUT THE BUDDHIST PRECEPTS
Posted on Oct.16.2011 @ 10:32AM EDT by chontri
At the moments before the Buddha passed away, he told his disciples around him something like this: After I died, Bhikkhus, there will be no more teacher to teach or guide you, so take my dharmas (the teachings) and precepts as your guide, your teacher. This teaching of his has been practicing since now in the Buddhist traditions, because they are helpful to the ones who practice them. When the precepts are practiced, the practicer himself will get less problems, less sins, less crimes..., and so will others around him.
Receiving the precepts and observing them is a voluntary job, no enforcements of any kinds. Even they may be dropped at any time by the one who took vows to observe them, if he no longer wants to practice them.
The precepts are just a guide, not a belief or a miracle or a supernatural power which blesses the practicer anything. The results that the precepts may bring to the practicer depend on how he practice them. They suppose to be practiced all the time, at any place and in any situation the practicer may be in. If the monk in the story did not look at the girl in such a way (he could not take his eyes off her), then he would not get any problem with the girl, and of course, there would be no arguments about that at all.
The precepts are just a guide, not a rule or law. Therefore, there is no something like a punishment which appplies to the person who violates the laws when the practicer breaks the precept. The only thing is required to do when the practicer breaks the precepts is to repent for what he did, and take his responsibility for what he did to the victims, if any. And the most important thing is he will not break the precepts again from now on. If the practicer committed a crime or a felony, then the legal court will take care of him.
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