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335 LESSON 05 08 2011 Silabbata Sutta Precept and Practice FREE ONLINE eNālandā Research and Practice UNIVERSITY and BUDDHIST GOOD NEWS letter to VOTE for BSP ELEPHANT to attain Ultimate Bliss-Through Buddhist Studies for Young Students
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335 LESSON 05 08 2011 Silabbata Sutta Precept
and Practice
FREE ONLINE eNālandā Research and Practice UNIVERSITY and
BUDDHIST GOOD NEWS letter to VOTE for BSP ELEPHANT to attain Ultimate
Bliss-Through Free
Buddhist Studies for Young Students

AN 3.78

PTS: A i 225

Thai III.79

Silabbata Sutta: Precept & Practice

translated from the Pali by

Thanissaro Bhikkhu

© 2001–2011

Then Ven. Ananda went to the Blessed One and, on arrival,
having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, the Blessed
One said to him, “Ananda, every precept & practice, every life, every
holy life that is followed as of essential worth: is every one of them

that is not [to be answered] with a categorical answer.”

that case, Ananda, give an analytical answer.”

— by following a life of precept & practice, a life, a holy life that is
followed as of essential worth — one’s unskillful mental qualities increase
while one’s skillful mental qualities decline: that sort of precept &
practice, life, holy life that is followed as of essential worth is fruitless.
But when — by following a life of precept & practice, a life, a holy life
that is followed as of essential worth — one’s unskillful mental qualities
decline while one’s skillful mental qualities increase: that sort of precept
& practice, life, holy life that is followed as of essential worth is

That is
what Ven. Ananda said, and the Teacher approved. Then Ven. Ananda, [realizing,]
“The Teacher approves of me,” got up from his seat and, having bowed
down to the Blessed One and circumambulating him, left.

Then not
long after Ven. Ananda had left, the Blessed One said to the monks,
“Monks, Ananda is still in training, but it would not be easy to find his
equal in discernment.”

Free Buddhist Studies for Young Students

Namo Tassa
Bhagavato Arahato Samma Sambuddhassa

(Homage to the Blessed One,
the Consummate One,

the Supremely Awakened

Free Buddhist Studies for Young
is intended for students and

are well established in the
precepts, good bodily and study habits and

practice of Metta (loving-kindness).

Designed to be used together
with a biography of the

Buddha and
it covers life of the Buddha, his

fundamental teachings and Buddhist history and culture.

The students should be guided to
understand, practice and answer the questions at a

deeper level.

The main aims of this
work are to help students: 1.develop basic

knowledge of the Buddhist
religious tradition and realise the true

value of the Buddha’s
teachings to themselves and others, 2. by

applying the teachings in
their daily lives, become well established in

a peaceful way of living -
the Middle Way of life.

Emphasis on questions and
activities for students to do, so that they

develop their own faculties
and come to realise the answers by


Just as the basic ethical
boundaries to conduct, so the study of the

earliest Buddhist scriptures
and application of the Buddha’s advice in

our daily life, are an
absolute foundation for our Buddhist practice,

and also for instructing others.

Teachers are welcome to use
contents of this work as their wish,

to construct their own


for parents and teachers

1. Introduction to Buddhism

2. Life Story of the Buddha – Childhood

3. Life Story of the Buddha - Married Life

4. Life Story for the Buddha – In Search of Truth

5. Life Story of the Buddha – The First Discourse

6. Good and Bad, and Five Precepts

8. The Four Noble Truths

9: The Noble Eightfold Path, and Meditation

10: Pure States of Mind and Loving-kindness

12: Triple Gem

13: History of the Dhamma and Sangha

14: Buddhist Holy Sites, Festivals and Rituals

15: Buddhist Architecture and Art

Lesson 1: Introduction to Buddhism

What is Buddhism?

Buddhism is a peaceful religion started by Gotama Buddha. It has

very little record of any external conflicts with other
religious groups

or individuals. In its original and essential form, it is a
peaceful way of

life taught by the Buddha. It does not require a belief in a

being, or unquestioning belief in the Buddha and his teachings.

like any scientific teaching or a medicine, it requires an open

and some trust or faith, to examine the Buddha’s teachings and

them in your daily life.

Who is Buddha


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Welcome to

A title ‘Buddha’ means ‘Awakened One’ or one who is awake to the

Universal Truth. Based on the earliest Buddhist scriptures, a

is one who has attained the Supreme Awakenment, not known to him

before. This means he has attained the three highest or supreme

realisations, and by himself. According to the scriptures, he:

1) remembered his previous lives;

2) with divine vision he saw
others dying and being reborn according to the Law of Kamma (Law of
volitional actions) and

3) fully realised the 4 Noble Truths:
truth of

Dukkha (suffering), origin of dukkha, cessation of Dukkha and the

leading to the cessation of Dukkha – The Noble Eightfold

As a result of that, the Buddha understands life fully, loves

and can teach others skillfully truth about reality, and the way

freedom from Dukkha. The first historical Buddha lived and

about 2500 years ago in India. His name was Siddhattha Gotama

Buddha. Like a scientist, he discovered Universal truths,

before, and then started the Buddhist tradition and taught
others the

way of peace.

Who is a Buddhist?

A Buddhist is a follower of the Buddha. In its full sense, it
means he

or she takes a refuge, or a protection, in the Triple Gem,
studies the

Buddha’s teachings and practices what he taught. Triple Gem, or

Three Jewels, is: 1. Buddha, the teacher; 2. Dhamma, the
teachings of

the Buddha, the Universal Truth; and 3. Sangha, meaning here the

noble, or spiritual, Sangha - all Buddha’s students who have

the 4 Noble Truths.

There are 2 main Buddhist traditions: Theravada and Mahayana.

well known is Vajrayana tradition. But because it is an offshoot
of the

Mahayana tradition, we shall not treat it separately in this
text. The

scriptures of the Theravada tradition are written in Pali language,

while the scriptures of the Mahayana tradition are written in Sanskrit

language. So we have Kamma, Dhamma and Nibbana (in Pali) and

Karma, Dharma and Nirvana (in Sanskrit).
Theravada scriptures are

the oldest. They were first written down 400 years after the

death. Mahayana scriptures were put down in writing 200 to 400


In spite of various differences, both Theravada and Mahayana

traditions treasure the Triple Gem. Both traditions accept

Buddha as the founder of Buddhism, and 4 Noble Truths and the

of Kamma, as the core teachings. Both have a monastic Sangha,

their robes and some rules of conduct slightly vary.

Where do Buddhists live?

Buddhism started in India around 500 B.C., and it was a major

religion there until approximately 500 A.D. However, today most

Indians are Hindus. At present, Theravada Buddhism is a major

religion in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Burma, Laos and Cambodia.

Mahayana Buddhism is a major religion in China, Korea, Japan,

Vietnam, Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan. Both Mahayana and Theravada

schools are growing in popularity in the west.

Why learn about Buddhism?

It is good to learn about Buddhism, because the Buddha taught a

to peace and happiness for everyone. If we take his advice and

cultivate the path he taught, we find lasting personal peace and

security, and we grow in understanding of ourselves and world

us. If everyone followed the Buddha’s advice, there would be no

no violence or crime, we could trust other people more, and feel

safer anywhere we live and anywhere we go. Many wild and domestic

animals would also feel much safer and happier, and most of the

environmental problems would disappear.

Would it not be a much nicer place to live?


a) Use a dictionary, encyclopedia or other reference to discuss

difference between a religion and a way of life. Look up at
least two

different dictionary or encyclopedic definitions of ‘religion’,

and ‘awakening’ and discuss them with others in your class.

b) Why is it not sufficient just to believe in the Buddha’s

and not practice it, to find peace and happiness?

c) Use your school atlas or Internet resources to find out how

people in the world are classified as Buddhists, and what
proportion of

the world population it is.

2. Use your school atlas or other resources to discuss the

global situation – wars, poverty, extinction of many species and

pollution. Why do you think we have such big global problems?

Do you think we need ancient religious teachings to stop all
wars, the

global scale poverty, and pollution, or are modern science and

technology sufficient for that?

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