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The Ten Precepts - explained in Nagarjuna's Great Discourse on the Perfection of Wisdom

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These ten precepts, explained in Nagarjuna's Great Discourse on the Perfection of Wisdom (S. Maha Prajna Paramita Sastra, C. Ta-Chih-Tu Lun, J. Dai Chi Do Ron), are further elaborated by Chih-I in the fourth volume of The Great Calm-Observation (C. Mo-Ho Chih-Kuan, J. Maka Shikan).

The lower precepts are likened to the master potter's making of vessels, symbolizing the spiritual vessel that can hold and serve the Dharma.

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Precepts

Description

Violation

Level

1

Not cracked

Embracing the fundamental nature of the precepts

Vessel cannot hold the Dharma

Rules of discipline

2

Not broken

Holding the different precepts without forgetting them or lapsing

Vessel breaks apart into pieces

3

Not pierced

Embracing Prayascitta - atonement for sins causing one to fall into purgatory

Vessel is pierced and leaks

4

Not adulterated

Embracing the precept with meditative concentration

Impure thoughts

Serenity of Mind

5

Following the path

Following and obeying the principle of truth - the first fruit

Improper views

Absolute Truth
Emptiness

6

Non-Attachment

See the absolute truth and becoming noble- the three fruits

Improper intent

7

Praising Wisdom

Praising the Buddha's name and words - Bodhisatta practice

Limited to Two Vehicles

Mundane Truth
The Provisional

8

Mastery

Mastering the Buddha's words - Bodhisattva mastery

Mastery of ways & means

9

Samadhi

Surangama Samadhi that includes all Samadhis - neither arising or extinguished

Bodhisattva limited to ways & means

Middle Way

10

Perfection

Insight into the Middle Way &
The Truth of the Highest Significance

Without total enlightenment

Source

tientai.net