1Role of Ethics in Daily Life By Ven. Satya Priya Sraman B.A 3st year Students 2nd semester 2012 Faculty Major BuddhismMaHACHULALONGKORORNRAJAVIDYAKAYA UNIVERSITY Lamsai, Wangnoi, Ayudhya-13170
2 Table of ContentsTable of Contends 2Acknowledgements 3Interdiction 4Role of Ethics in our Daily 4The Path of Buddha 5Paractcing Buddhism in our Daily Life 7Conclusion 8Bibliography 9
3 Acknowledgements First of all I would like to extend our deepest gratitude to theMahachulalongkorajavidyalaya University for giving us a chance and opportunityto study Buddhism. To our dear Ven Ashin Sumanacra who is very patient toimpart her knowledge about Buddhist Ethics Thank you for all the informationand giving your best to feed our minds, nice power point and encouraging us tostudy more about Ethics, This is my individual assignment. In this topic I tried to explain about the Roleof Ethics in Daily Life. Although I couldn’t bring all the information in thisassignment but I tried my best to explain and sorted The Daily life Buddhist EthicsNext, I would like to give a special thanks to my brother Ven Ananda Bikkhu whohad given lot of information about the history of Buddhism in Bangladesh andgiven advice how to start this. Secondly I would like to a big thanks to my class meat and friend Rev NagasenSraman and Upekkha pal Sraman who helped to checked proof in this assignment. Finally, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to all teachers of MCUwho are very supportive and caring educator in molding us and taught the BA 3rdyear 2nd semester 2012 International Program.
4 Ven Satya Priya Sraman Wat Nakprok 342 Thoet thai Rd, Pasicharoen, Bangkok, Thailand March 17, 2012 Role of Buddhist Ethics in Daily LifeINTRODUCTIONEthics is a science that has to do with the standards of right or wrong in human conduct. Itstudies the moral ideals and the propriety of human behavior. It is often used by various leadersand organizations to control society - sometimes benevolently, but usually bringing about self-sacrifice and human suffering. It’s very main essence is to provide purpose and meaning to ourlives by helping to define goals in our lives - and then to help guide us to achieve them. So as ascience it has its relevance and importance to our daily living.Ethics basically involves leading life in a right manner and making right decisions. It is withinourselves to perform the right action and to make our world better and everything lies anddepends on our hands and to our good thoughts. Ethical behavior is necessary not only because itis distinguishes between right or wrong but also because it is one of the first means to attainenlightenment. If one does not discipline himself/herself, he cannot lead a proper life whichdiverted his mind from concentration and without concentration one cannot gain wisdom. That iswhy; ethic is one of the important factors for gaining of enlightenment.The morality of man is one of the most important elements in the progress of a country. Peoplemust exercise self- discipline because it is needed in the proper implementation of projects andgovernment’s activities. The knowledge of what is wrong in any activity will guide citizens whoare the partners of the government in the development of our country.ROLE OF ETHICS IN OUR DAILY
5 Ethical self-discipline it is the mental urge to safeguard the actions of one’s body, speechand mind – “safeguard” means to guard against doing something – and this comes from havingturned one’s mind away from any wish to cause harm to others. It serves as the controller orguidelines of our mind and body not to act negative or bad to our environment and to peoplearound us. There are three types of self discipline that is being mentioned: self-discipline: refrainfrom destructive behavior, engage in constructive behavior, and help others. Through this ourattitude and behavior are the basis in doing good. We will no longer act destructively insteadpositively and we are directing ourselves in doing good to others. Ethics play a very important role in any society; based on ethics we distinguish barbariansfrom social animals. When ethics and moral values are absent in any society then it transformsinto a jungle where there are no laws, no rights of people etc. Thus moral values are the pillarson which a society is established and in that society people live with contentment. People livingin the society are responsible for cementing these pillars so hard that they could never be shaken.Every person in the society is a small arc that contributes to the bigger circle and when any arc inmissing, circle remains incomplete, thus the pillars start getting hollow from inside. Wheneveryone forgets about ethics, pillars are no more able to lift the society and thus it demolishesalong with the contentment, respect, happiness, progress of that society.1THE PATH OF BUDDHA These five percepts serves as the foundation for an ethical behavior and serves a guide foreveryday life in order to examine the conscience to do what is right and wrong. They areguidelines for us on how we deal in our day to day activities and live our life mindfully. The waywe behave has a great effect and importance on how we deal in the world. Our conduct orbehavior affects out total being like our mind which affects our understanding and makes usovercomes our doubt. And our confidence in dhamma creates wisdom and this wisdom createsdeeper practice which reveals the dhamma’s truth. And also ven Bhikkhu Ariyesako explainedlike that:-1 http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/archives/sutra/level2_lamrim/advanced_scope/bodhichitta/developing_ethical_self-discipline.html
6 “The Five Precepts are basic human ethical standards — answering the fundamental questions of what do Ido, what should I say? These standards are further refined by the Eight Precepts, which allow the lay personto live a life closer to that of the monk — even if temporarily. This may then lead to the Ten Precepts of anovice (saama.nera) or of adasasiila mata nun.”2 The foundation of the Buddhist path is a life which expresses compassions in relationshipto all living things. Buddhism path is usually marked by following the Five Percepts which arethe following: 1.To refrain from killing any living being, 2.to refrain from stealing or taking whatis not ours, 3.to refrain from sexual misconduct that is from hurting others through our sexuality ,4.to refrain from speaking what is not true, 5.to refrain from using alcohol or drugs that cause usto be careless These simple ethical guidelines are the natural out expressions of a compassionateheart and by following them in our lives we begin to discover the heart of compassion withinus.3 The most basic need for ethics lies in the fact that we do not automatically know whatwill benefit our lives, and what will be disadvantageous. We constantly face choices that affectthe length and quality of our lives. We must choose our values: where to live, how to spend ourtime, whom to associate with, whom to believe. We must choose what to think about, and how togo about achieving our goals. Which character traits to acquire, and which to eliminate? Whichof our emotional responses are beneficial, and which disadvantageous. By what criteria to judgeothers, and on what basis to interact with them. To be happy, successful, and secure, we mustfirst learn to see ourselves and the world as they truly are and should then shape our everydayactivities. We must also look for solutions to our problems in terms of the relationship of causeand effect, for the universal law of causality operates in the field of human behavior as much asit does in the physical world. How we interact in our surroundings. We must be aware, keenobserver and inculcate in our mind the good and bad doings. We must remember and we mustalways put in our heart that doing good gives good result and bad doing gives bad result. Theright understanding is one way to shape our proper sense of values and self responsibilities.Since the world is full of temptations we must be aware to ourselves. Sometimes we forget thatwe are in the midst of that temptations .Our path is already crooked. Without right understanding2 Ven Bhikkhu, Ariyesako,(1999) The Bhikkhus Rules A Guide for Laypeople3 http://james-quirk.suite101.com/the-five-precepts-of-buddhism-a82977
7our vision is dimmed and the way is lost; all our efforts will be misguided and misdirected, allour plans for individual and social development must flounder and fail. Such plans will have tobe based on the Noble Eightfold Path with its emphasis on self-effort, self-control, and respectfor the individual.4PRACTICING BUDDHISM IN OUR DAILY LIFE Good actions are said to be lovely and good to hear from people. Everything we do we must doit mindfully. Being Mindfulness means being aware of what we are thinking, feeling, saying, anddoing each moment. It also means being mindful of our ethical values and of the kind heart, sothat we can live according to them in our daily lives.5 Ethical conduct is very much part of dailypractice. We are challenged to take care in our speech, our actions, and our daily lives to do noharm to others and to cultivate wholesomeness in ourselves. For instance, if we feel we are in thepick of our anger, we have to control our emotions before we harm others. The Noble Eightfold Path is a practical guideline to ethical and mental development with thegoal of freeing the individual from attachments and delusions; and it finally leads to understandingthe truth about all things. Together with the Four Noble Truths they serve as a guide for us to begood. It doesn’t necessarily to follow step by step instead they are the most principles to make ourrelationship to each other more closely and peacefully. The Noble Eightfold paths are: Right to view,Right to intention, Right to speech, Right Action, Right livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulnessand Right Concentration.6 Out of the eight limbs of Noble Eightfold Path three limbs form the bases for the Sila whichare namely: Right to speech, Right Action, and Right livelihood. These three limbs of NobleEightfold Path regulate the bodily and the verbal action of a person. Although we are dealing withverbal and physical acts, all of these originate from the mind itself. The actions of the mind,speech and body occur in such rapid succession that there seems to be no interval in between. As4 http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/bogoda/wheel397.html5 http://www.thubtenchodron.org/DailyLifeDharma/practicing_buddhism_in_daily_life.htmlhttp://www.thubtenchodron.org/Publications/ThePathToHappiness/index.html6 http://www.thebigview.com/buddhism/eightfoldpath.html#Right_Intention
8soon as a thought has arisen, we find ourselves speaking or doing something. We find that wecannot control speech and bodily behavior fast enough to refrain from harmful speech andaction. But sati (mindfulness) on the mind renders it alert to its own actions of speech and body.The purpose of sila is to refrain from hurting others by way of harmful speech and action - buthow much restraint we can impose on ourselves at all times? We react to our environment insuch a habitual way that we may already have hurt others before we realize what has happened inthe mind. This is because we are conditioned to neglect our own minds in our daily life. Ourattention is almost always directed outward. This preoccupation with the outer world is what wehave to transcend.CONCLUSIONHow we behave and act in our daily life has a great impact on society and our environment. Byfollowing all the Buddhist ethics mentioned above then we can come up a good personality welearn how to deal with people around us in a simple and meaningful manner. We have to followthe Buddhist perspective. Which help us to recognize our individual prejudices (about ourselvesand others) and to transform them into more positive views and behaviors? We must pro-actively think about these issues and intentionally direct our lives. To theextent that we avoid on this, to that extent we are at the mercy of social and emotional factorsthat may be far from finest - a drifting boat, at the mercy of the currents and winds. Ethics isabout the choices that we make - or fail to make. We are aware of our conscious thoughts and ofour ability to make informed, intelligent choices - that is what we call free will. We are awarethat the choices that we make have consequences, both for ourselves and for others. We areaware of the responsibility that we have for our actions. Ethics can help us make better choicesregarding our lives and well-being.
9 Bibliography1. Ven Bhikkhu, Ariyesako,(1999) The Bhikkhus Rules A Guide for Laypeople,2. Harvey, P (2000), An Introduction to Buddhist Ethics, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 31.3. http://james-quirk.suite101.com/the-five-precepts-of-buddhism-a829774. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/bogoda/wheel397.html5. http://www.thubtenchodron.org/DailyLifeDharma/practicing_buddhism_in_daily_life.ht ml6. http://www.thubtenchodron.org/Publications/ThePathToHappiness/index.html7. http://www.thebigview.com/buddhism/eightfoldpath.html#Right_Intention8. http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/archives/sutra/level2_lamrim/advanced_scope/bo dhichitta/developing_ethical_self-discipline.html