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Śīla (Skt.; Pāli, sīla). ‘Precepts’, the basic obligations which Buddhists undertake, ten for bhikṣu/bhikṣunis, five for laypeople (or the first eight on uposatha days): the undertaking, in the rule of training, is to abstain from (i) harming any living being, (ii) taking anything not given, (iii) misconduct involving sense-pleasure, (iv) false speech, (v) losing control of mind through alcohol or drugs, (vi) solid food after midday, (vii) frivolous entertainments, (viii) perfumes and jewellery, (ix) raised, soft beds, (x) involvement with money or other valuables. These are understood, not so much as ‘ten commandments’, as promises that Buddhists make to themselves at the start of each day.

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