At this point, we will turn to the five roots and the five powers because
they indicate the way that we should approach the practice of the threefold
training. The five roots are faith, exertion, mindfulness, concentration
and wisdom, and they are considered to be latent faculties which can be
developed by anyone through proper discipline and training. When the five
roots have been developed, they are called the five powers. It is these
five powers which enable us to follow the demands of the threefold
The first is the power of faith, which should be understood as confidence
or trust. Buddhism is not a creed which we can benefit from by merely
professing it's tenets. We must experience for ourselves the four noble
truths which the Buddha teaches. However, in order to be willing to undergo
the discipline and training involved, we must at first have faith in the
three jewels: the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha. We must believe that
the Buddha really did achieve perfect universal enlightenment and is
therefore the right teacher; that the Dharma he taught is truly the way to
become enlightened; and that the Sangha is the community which truly
practices and preserves the Buddha's teachings and can facilitate our own
training. Furthermore, we must have confidence in our own abilities, so
that we can follow the path through all adversity, obstructions or
setbacks, whether internal or external.
In this way, we can adopt the right views of the Buddha, even before they
have been personally experienced through our practice. Specifically, right
views refers to the knowledge of the four noble truths and all that they
entail. Right thought can also be included here also, because the adoption
of the Buddha's views will naturally reveal the destructiveness of greed
and aggression, and the benefits of an altruistic and unselfish outlook.
The power of faith implies the absence of ulterior motives and the presence
of a sincere aspiration to accomplish the goal of enlightenment. Together,
right views and right thoughts comprise the training of wisdom. At this
stage, however, faith takes the place of wisdom. In a sense, faith allows
us to borrow the Buddha's wisdom in order to practice correctly, until such
time as our own wisdom has been perfected.
So, empowered by faith, we embark upon the development of morality or
ethical living. This consists of right speech, right action and right
livelihood. Right speech means to refrain from falsehood, slander, abusive
language and gossip. Right action means to refrain from killing, stealing
and sexual impropriety. Right livelihood means to seek an occupation which
does not cause harm to or exploits others, such as selling weapons,
alcohol, or slaves, or to engage in fortune telling and other forms of deceit.
The five precepts of Buddhism are basically a reiteration of the demands
of right action and right speech with the addition of a prohibition against
intoxicants which cloud the mind and destroy one's inhibitions against
breaking the other four. The five precepts as expounded by the Buddha to
his lay disciples are as follows:
Lay students of the Buddha move away from killing, put an end to killing,
rid themselves of all weapons, learn humility before others, learn humility
in themselves, practice love and compassion, and protect all living beings,
even the smallest insects. They uproot from within themselves any intention
to kill. In this way, lay students of the Buddha study and practice the
first of the Five Precepts.
In more conservative forms of Buddhism there are additional precepts which
are followed to this day depending on the people involved and the
circumstances. In the case of the novices who are in training for full
ordination, ten precepts are followed. These consist of the five precepts
which are given to the laymen and an additional five directed against a
life of luxury and distraction. They are: (6) not to wear ornaments or
perfume, (7) not to attend singing recitals, dances or other forms of
entertainment, (8) not to sleep on soft or luxurious beds, (9) not to eat
at irregular hours and (10) not to own valuables such as gold or silver.
Upon fully ordination, the monk or nun would take up a full 227 or 311
precepts respectively, including the 10 already stated. These precepts are
more specific and stringent applications of the other precepts, as well as
precepts governing propriety and good order within the monastic community.
Finally, at certain times, such as each quarter of the moon, especially
sincere lay people attend ceremonies and lectures at the temples and follow
all of the novice precepts, except the prohibition against owning
valuables, which would be impractical for lay people.
Lay students of the Buddha move away from taking what has not been given,
put an end to taking what has not been given. They find joy in being
generous without expecting anything in return. Their minds are not obscured
by greed and craving. They constantly guard their own honesty and uproot
from within themselves any intention to take what has not been given. In
this way, lay students of the Buddha study and practice the second of the Five Precepts.
Lay students of the Buddha move away from sexual misconduct, put an end to
sexual misconduct, and protect everyone - those under the care of their
father, mother, or both father and mother; their elder sister or elder
brother; their parents-in-law or other in-laws; those of the same sex; the
wife, daughter, husband or son of another; and those who have been raped,
assaulted, or tortured sexually, or who are prostitutes.*** Lay students of
the Buddha uproot from within themselves any intention to commit sexual
misconduct. In this way, lay students of the Buddha study and practice the
third of the Five Precepts.
Lay students of the Buddha move away from saying what is not true, put an
end to saying what is not true. They say only what is true, and they find
great joy in saying what is true. They always abide in truth and are
completely reliable, never despising others. They have uprooted from within
themselves any intention to say what is not true. In this way, lay students
of the Buddha study and practice the fourth of the Five Precepts.
Lay students of the Buddha move away from drinking alcohol, put an end to
drinking alcohol. They uproot from within themselves the habit of drinking
alcohol. In this way, lay students of the Buddha study and practice the
fifth of the Five Precepts. (From The Sutra on the White Clad Disciple translated in For a Future to be Possible, pp.
The precepts and the development of morality is a very fundamental part of
the Buddhist path. The precepts lay the groundwork for the further
development of mind which will eventually lead to liberation. In taking up
the precepts, the follower of the Buddha consciously affirms the most basic
values which all people seem to know instinctively. Through the development
of basic morality, we are protected from all manner of evil; whether it be
the inner torment of a guilty conscience, the social and legal consequences
of wrong doing or a future rebirth in unfortunate circumstances. Taking the
precepts is also a sign of determination and sincerity. It shows that we
are no longer willing to compromise our integrity for worldly gain, because
we have aspired to the highest goal. The precepts also cause us to be more
mindful of our daily activites; they provide a yardstick by which we can
improve our character in every facet of life through exploring their
implications in everyday situations.
The precepts are not just negative injunctions either, each of the
precepts has a positive value as well. Those who truly follow the precepts
against killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying and taking intoxicants
as presented in the passage quoted above will naturally develop the
qualities of humility, love, compassion, generosity and honesty. Such
people will not harm themselves or others; and instead, will seek to
protect all beings. Through the following of the precepts, we can cultivate
a character that is not only blameless, but pure and worthy of respect.
Morality alone, however, does not bring about liberation. Morality may be
the indispensable groundwork, but if the cultivation of the mind does not
follow, then it becomes a spiritual dead-end. A morality that is not
supported by the practice of concentration and insight can easily wither
away or degenerate into puritanical self-righteousness. The upholding of
the precepts, therefore, must be accompanied by right effort, right
mindfulness and right concentration.
The path of right effort refers to the four perfect efforts as well as the
development of the root of exertion into the power of exertion. Exertion
also appears as one of the seven factors of enlightenment and one of the
four roads to power. The fact that right effort or exertion under its
different aspects accounts for nine of the thirty-seven elements of
enlightenment shows how vitally important it is in Buddhist training.
Right effort consists of restraining from unarisen evil and unwholesome
mental states, overcoming evil unwholesome mental states that have already
arisen, developing wholesome mental states that have not yet arisen and
maintaining those wholesome mental states that have arisen. In this way, we
can uphold the precepts in mind as well as body and develop those mental
states that are conducive to mindfulness and concentration, such as the
seven factors of enlightenment, which will be covered under mindfulness.
In Buddhist mental cultivation, one refrains from evil and unwholesome
mental states by consciously gaurding the senses. In other words, we should
not indiscriminately allow external phenomena to disturb our minds or guide
our actions. Guarding the senses means making the effort to critique our
environment and reflect before acting impulsively or allowing the mind to
get entangled in unhealthy thoughts or desires. Guarding the senses also
means staying away from environments and activites that we know are
unhealthy and keeping to healthy and uplifting environments and activities,
away from temptation and other dangers.
Overcoming already arisen unwholesome thoughts involves the use of one of
five methods taught by the Buddha in the Vitakkasanthana (Removal of
Distracting Thoughts) Sutta of the Middle Length Discourses. The
first is to replace the unwholesome thoughts with wholesome ones, such as
the Three Treasures. If we can not wrest the mind away from the unwholesome
thoughts, or the wholesome thoughts are not powerful enough, then we can
instead contemplate the negative consequences that will inevitably follow
if we continue to dwell on or act upon the unwholesome thoughts. If this
does not work, then we are urged to simply ignore them, and find something
to do which will engage all of our attention. If the thoughts are
impossible to ignore and there is no suitable task or distraction at hand,
then we should objectify and analyze the thoughts until they lose their
urgency and we have discovered their causes and conditions. If even this
does not work, then we are advised to remember our spiritual resolve and
wait them out until they eventually disperse on their own. By following
some or all of these five methods, we should be able to overcome evil
unwholesome states of mind that have already arisen.
The development and maintaining of wholesome states of mind involves the
practice of right mindfulness and right concentration. So, it is to the
practice of mental cultivation through mindfulness and concentration, as
well as to the upholding of the precepts, that we must expend our efforts.
Right mindfulness is the path which develops the root of mindfulness into
the power of mindfulness through the four foundations of mindfulness, which
in turn cultivates the seven factors of enlightenment of which mindfulness
is the first factor. This repitition underscores the importantance of
mindfulness to Buddhist practice. It is due to right mindfulness that
Buddhist mental cultivation can be distinguished from other forms of
meditation. Right mindfulness also leads directly to right concentration,
and from there into the insight which brings liberation.
The four foundations of mindfulness are what constitutes the path of right
mindfulness, and they are: the contemplation of the body, the feelings,
mental states and mental objects. Each of these four embraces a multitude
of phenomena towards which one's bare attention is to be directed. What
this means, is that we must simply pay attention to these phenomena just as
they are, without trying to judge them or analyze them or use them as
springboards for all kinds of fantasizing or scheming. We should simply
take notice of them, and when the mind begins to wander into all kinds of
extraneous considerations, such as dwelling on the past or projecting into
the future, we just return to the phenomena at hand; thereby cultivating
bare attention and abandoning hopes, fears, regrets, brooding, speculation
and other forms of dwelling on the past or future or anything other than
what is right at hand. This is to be done at all times, so that one is
truly dealing with the realities of the present moment instead of with the
projections of the mind. In fact, the proper attitude of mindfulness was
taught by the Buddha in the following verse:
Let not a person revive the past
The practice of mindfulness does not mean, however, that we restrict our
attention only to ourselves. The Buddha's instructions clearly state that
we should contemplate the body, feelings, mental states, and mental objects
of ourselves or others or both. This probably indicates that we should also
be aware of the activites and phenomena around us and how they relate to
our own experience. In addition, as we gain a clearer understanding of
ourselves, we can begin to have a better understanding of others.
Mindfulness should not lead to narcissism but to clear awareness.
Or on the future build his hopes;
For the past has been left behind
And the future has not been reached.
Instead with insight let him see
Each presently arisen state;
Let him know that and be sure of it,
Today the effort must be made;
Tomorrow Death may come, who knows?
No bargain with Mortality
Can keep him and his hordes away,
But one who dwells thus ardently,
Relentlessly, by day, by night -
It is he, the Peaceful Sage has said,
Who has one fortunate attachment.
(Middle Length Discourse, p. 1039)
In addition, we should be mindful without fixating upon upon what is
observed. We should simply watch the arising and vanishing of phenomena and
their interactions without getting unduly caught up in it. In sitting
meditation we should just sit and observe with pure awareness. In daily
life, we should observe and act with clear comprehension.
The contemplation of the body includes mindfulness of the breath, which
holds the pride of place among the various practices described by the
Buddha due to its capacity to embrace the other three types of
contemplation as well as leading through all the various states of
concentration and ultimately to liberation. It is also the practice which
is recommended for sitting mediation in a quiet place apart from our daily
activities for set periods of time. Here is what the Buddha taught
regarding mindfulness of the breath:
Monks, when mindfulness of breathing is developed and cultivated, it is of
great fruit and great benefit. When mindfulness of breathing is developed
and cultivated, it fulfills the four foundations of mindfulness. When the
four foundations of mindfulness are developed and cultivated, they fulfill
the seven enlightenment factors. When the seven enlightenment factors are
developed and cultivated, they fulfill true knowledge and deliverance.
This is best practiced in the morning before leaving our homes and at
night before going to bed. Through beginning and ending each day with a set
period of mindfulness, a rhythm and a pattern of mindfulness is set up
which eventually begins to permeate the rest of the day as well. This bare
attention which is discovered and developed through periods of stillness
and quiet will soon take note of the four basic postures of walking,
standing, siting and lying down. Eventually, all of ones activities
throughout the day will become the subjects of mindfulness, or bare
attention. In time, we will no longer act unconsciously, as if on an
automatic pilot, but with attentiveness and care.
And how, monks, is mindfulness of breathing developed and cultivated, so
that it is of great fruit and great benefit?
Here a monk, gone to the forest or to the root of a tree or to an empty
hut, sits down; having folded his legs crosswise, set his body erect, and
established mindfulness in front of him, ever mindful he breathes in,
mindful he breathes out.
Breathing in long, he understands: "I breathe in long"; or
breathing out long, he understands: "I breathe out long."
Breathing in short, he understands: "I breathe in short"; or
breathing out short, he understands: "I breathe out short." He
trains thus: "I shall breathe in experiencing the whole body [of
breathe]"; he trains thus: "I shall breathe out experiencing the
whole body [of breathe]." He trains thus: "I shall breathe in
tranquilising the bodily formation"; he trains thus: "I shall
breathe out tranquilising the bodily formation."
Discourse, pp. 943-944)
Again, a monk, when going forward or back, is clearly aware of what he is
doing, in looking forward or back he is clearly aware of what he is doing,
in bending and stretching he is clearly aware of what he is doing, in
carrying his inner and outer robe and his bowl he is clearly aware of what
he is doing, in eating, drinking, chewing and savouring he is clearly aware
of what he is doing, in passing excrement or urine he is clearly aware of
what he is doing, in walking, standing, sitting, falling asleep and waking
up, in speaking or in staying silent, he is clearly aware of what he is
doing. (The Long Discourses of the Buddha, p. 337)
The ability to maintain clear comprehension throughout our life is a vital
skill which involves the ability to pause and take stock of each moment.
Clear comprehension includes four different areas of awareness which should
be applied to every moment. The first is the clear comprehension of the
domain of experiencing in order to recognize how and in what ways we are
being affected by any given situation. The next step is to clearly
comprehend the purpose of any given action in order to ascertain the goals
and intentions behind them. Next, we should clearly comprehend the
suitability of any action given the circumstances that we find ourself in.
Finally, there is the clear comprehension of non-delusion or reality. This
means that we will simply see each situation for what it is without any
bias or mental projections. In doing this, we can bring mindfulness and
wisdom into every part of our lives.
From mindfulness of bodily activity we can go on to the basic constituents
of our physical being. Everything from the details of our anatomy to the
four elements of earth, air, fire and water (or matter, movement, heat and
liquid) are recollected as the basic facts of existence. This recognition
of the components of life then leads to the recognition of their eventual
dissolution through contemplating the gradual decompostion of human
remains. In this way, the mindfulness of the body covers all the realities
of bodily existence.
From mindfulness of the body, its activities, constituents and dissolution, we then begin to observe feelings with the same non-judgemental clear awareness. We become aware of
all the pleasant, painful and neutral feelings that occur in each moment
and whether they are of a sensual or non-sensual nature. In meditation,
this means that we stay with the breath and simply takes note of feelings
as they arise, and then return to the state of watchfulness by centering on the breath.
The next step is to become aware of our general state of mind. Unlike
feelings, these mental states are overall predispositions within the mind.
In other words, we take note of what the mind tends to dwell on or how it
tends to interpret or judge different phenomena. The mental states also
include the mind's clarity, adaptibility and concentration. So, in becoming
mindful of the mind itself, we watch for any greed, anger, or ignorance
within the mind. We watch for any mental laziness, prejudices, or unfounded
opinions. We take note of any distraction, anxiety or weariness. On the
positive side, we also watch for the mind which is free from these things,
the mind which is clear, concentrated and has developed pure awareness.
Finally, we become mindful of all the myriad phenomena which can be
observed and contemplated by the mind. This includes the five hindrances
which prevent one from concentrating the mind and attaining insight, these
are: sensual desire, ill will, sloth/torpor, restlessness/remorse, and
doubt. In regard to these, one observes whether they are present or not,
how they arise, how they are abandoned and how they are prevented from
arising in the future.
The arising and disappearance of the five aggregates of form, feeling,
perception, mental formations and consciousness are also included in the
mindfulness of phenomena.
The six senses and their objects are likewise included, namely: eyes and
sights, ears and sounds, nose and smells, tongue and tastes, body and
tangibles and the mind and mental objects. We should also contemplate the
arising of attachments dependent upon the senses and how these attachments
can be abandoned and future attachments prevented from arising.
Proceeding from the mindfulness of phenomena are the seven factors of
enlightenment which are mental phenomena that lead directly to
enlightenment. The first factor is mindfulness itself which is developed
through the practice outlined above. Through mindfulness we gain an
impartial awareness of the myriad physical and mental phenomena that
constitutes our daily life and can begin to investigate these phenomena
just as they are without superimposing any subjective considerations. This
is the development of the investigation-of-states enlightenment factor.
This is followed by the development of tireless energy which is freed when
we impartially observe and investigate phenomena instead of wasting our
energy and attention on an endless treadmill of anxiety and desire. The
energy enlightenment factor is then followed by that of rapture which is
the pleasure we feel when all of that energy is released and we are freed
from the bonds of worldly anxieties and cares. The rapture enlightenment
factor then leads to the state of tranquility, where we finally attained
peace. This tranquility enlightenment factor then leads to the
enlightenment factor of concentration. At this point, it can be seen how
the practice of right mindfulness leads to the development of the seven
factors of enlightenment, which in turn leads to right concentration.
Concentration then leads to the last enlightenment factor of equanimity.
Once we have developed equanimity we are no longer bound by worldly
concerns or any other kinds of obsessions or fixations, and are thereby
able to attain nirvana, which is the extinction of the fire of ignorant
craving which is the source of suffering.
Once we are free of ignorant craving and have a clear awareness and
understanding of the true nature of phenomena we can then understand the
four noble truths on the basis of our own understanding. So, the four noble
truths themselves become the objects of mindfulness, no longer as a mere
theory or set of propositions, but as our own experience.
Right concentration, the last part of the eightfold path, is the
development of the root of concentration into the power of concentration.
Concentration is also one of the seven factors of enlightenment which is
developed throught the practice of right mindfulness.
And what, monks, is Right Concentration? Here, a monk, detached from
sense-desires, detached from unwholesome mental states, enters and remains
in the first jhana, which is with thinking and pondering, born of
detachment, filled with delight and joy. And with the subsiding of thinking
and pondering, by gaining inner tranquility and oneness of mind, he enters
and remains in the second jhana, which is without thinking and pondering,
born of concentration, filled with delight and joy. And with the fading
away of delight, remaining imperturbable, mindful and clearly aware, he
experiences in himself the joy of which the Noble Ones say: "Happy is
he who dwells with equanimity and mindfulness", he enters the third
jhana. And, having given up pleasure and pain, and with the disappearance
of former gladness and sadness, he enters and remains in the fourth jhana,
which is beyond pleasure and pain, and purified by equanimity and
mindfulness. This is called Right Concentration. And that, monks, is called
the way of practice leading to the cessation of suffering. (The Long
Discourses of the Buddha, p. 349)
As one can see, right mindfulness and right concentration overlap and
reinforce one another. The practice of mindfulness allows us to become
aware of and overcome the five hindrances, namely: lust, ill will,
sloth/torpor, restlessness/worry, and doubt. This corresponds to the
relinquishing of sense desires and unwholesome mental states which precedes
one's entry into the first dhyana or state of absorption. The four dhyanas
then describe the deepening of ones concentration until only pure
equanimity and mindfulness remain. In many ways the succession of the four
dhyanas correspond to the development of the seven factors of
By themselves, these dhyana states lead to temporary freedom from life's
troubles. They can also lead to rebirth in the four heavens of the realm of
form. They may also lead to further and more refined states of absorption
which take as their basis the realms of space, consciousness, nothingness,
and the realm of neither perception nor yet non-perception. These four
formless trances also provide temporary relief and the possibility of
rebirth into the formless heavens. However, none of these states of
consciousness alone provide the answer to the problem of birth and
Alternatively, the attainment of the dhyanas make it possible to follow
the four roads to spiritual power: zeal, energy, purity of mind and
investigation. Through concentration and the development of these qualities
it is said that we can attain various miraculous powers, including
physical transformations (such as multiplying one's body, walking on water,
flying through the air), clairaudience, ESP, recollecting past lives,
clairaudience and the destruction of the defilements. All but the last of
these miraculous powers are relegated to the mundane world of birth and
death; though they might facilitate our practice through increasing the
scope of our awareness and ability to render compassionate help to others.
The last power, the destruction of the defilements, is itself the goal of
Buddhist practice. However, its attainment does not require the
development of the other miraculous powers.
In the final analysis, the true purpose of right concentration in Buddhism
is not to attain altered states of consciousness or to secure a place in
heaven or even to attain miraculous power. The true purpose is to pave the
way for insight into the true nature of form, feeling, perception, mental
formations and consciousness in order to realize the four noble truths for
oneself and attain nirvana. That is why Buddhist meditation practice is
called the practice of concentration and insight.
Once mindfulness and concentration have led to genuine insight, the root
of wisdom becomes the power of wisdom. At this point, we no longer need to
go by faith or borrowed wisdom, we see the truth for ourselves. Once all
the thirty-seven requisites of enlightenment have been followed, we can
then successively enter the four classes of holiness. These four classes
are referred to as paths when one first enters such a state and
fruits when one realizes the benefits from the path attained.
Specifically, the benefits of the four classes refers to our progressive
liberation from the ten fetters which keep us trapped in the ordinary life
of birth and death and all the suffering, fear and anxiety which makes up
The first class is that of the Stream Winner. They are those who are
liberated from the first three of the ten fetters. The first fetter is
belief in a self. This is the notion that there is a substantial self which
must be looked for and appeased. The next fetter is skepticism in regard to
the Three Jewels of the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha. This kind of
skepticism does not refer to a healthy sense of doubt which will lead one
to find out for oneself; rather, it refers to lack of trust, either in
oneself or in the Three Jewels, which can prevent one from following the
path at all. Finally, there is the fetter of superstitious belief in the
efficacy of rites and rituals, either to bring about salvation or merely to
ensure good fortune or safegaurd oneself against misfortune. This kind of
superstition engenders a false security and a dependency which blocks the
way to following the true path to salvation as taught by the Buddha. It
should be noted that these three fetters primarily deal with beliefs and
opinions which prevent one from following the Dharma. These three fetters
keep one preoccupied with one's own welfare and the maintenance of the
status quo, which then becomes a distrust of the Three Jewels. The Stream
Winner is the one who is firmly covinced that only by trusting the Three
Jewels and escaping from the constant bondage of self-concern and false
security can one achieve liberation. It is said that the Stream Winner who
has entered the stream of the true teaching, can follow the precepts
perfectly and, at most, will only unergo seven more rebirths before
The second class is that of the Once Returner. The Once Returner has
partially overcome the fetters of sensual craving and ill-will. Such
feelings may still occur to him, but they no longer hold sway over the
mind. For the Once Returner, not only are his ideas and behaviour in accord
with the Dharma, but even his emotional life has been tamed. As the name
indicates, this saint will only undergo one more rebirth before acheiving
The third class is that of the Non-Returner. The Non-Returner is
completely liberated from the fetters of sensual craving and ill will.
These negative emotions no longer arise at all. For the Non-Returner,
Nirvana will be attained within their present lifetime.
The final class of holiness is that of the Arhat. The Arhat is one who has
overcome even the most subtle forms of clinging which are the last five of
the ten fetters. The sixth fetter is the craving for existence in fine
material form. This is the notion of a continued existence in a spiritual
body in some heavenly realm. The seventh fetter is the craving for
existence in non-material form. This is the notion of a continued existence
as a pure thought form. Both of these are simply more subtle cases of a
desire to immortalize a substantial self and show a preoccupation with
one's continued existence. It is still selfish craving, though in a much
more refined and sophisticated form. The eighth fetter is conceit, which
refers to pride in one's accoplishments on the path. Though not necessarily
craving, this fetter still betrays a lingering self-centeredness. The ninth
fetter is restlessness. Restlessness is the residual need to accomplish
something and make one's mark upon the world. It is the habitual need to
respond as a self in the midst of the world's demands and temptations.
Finally, there is the fetter of ignorance. This is the fetter which
obscures the truth revealed by the Dharma which gives rise to the self in
the first place. It is not mere intellectual ignorance, for that is broken
through by the Stream Winner. This is the ignorance at the core of
existence which views the self as a substantial reality and gives rise to
all the habits, emotions and ideas which stem from such a view. The Arhat
has seen through all this, and has liberated himself from all passions,
fixations and false views. The Arhat is one who has achieved the freedom of
*** Note that this precept is enjoining people to protect all of these types of
people and is not necessarily condemning extra-marital relations or same-sex
relations as such. Also note, that the principle underlying these injunctions
is non-harming to either the individuals concerned or to society at large,
and that this principle is being applied to an ancient agricultural society
and its needs and values. The principle of non-harming would naturally need
to be applied differently today.