1. Panatipata veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
I undertake the precept to refrain from destroying living creatures.
Starting from me, I abandon killing and violence,
May the world also end all violence. May there be peace and happiness.
Above is recited as a form of commitment when we wish to refrain from killing.
Being a dog lover, the thought of killing a dog is brutal to me.
However I cannot say the same for vermins and termites.
When trying to observe the precept of non killing, I am forced to rethink about life.
What makes one life form more deserving than another?
Why does a rat deserve to die while a dog should be pampered?
I found out that while trying my best to observe this first buddhist precept, I also gradually learn to respect different life form. In a way, it also trains me not to be too judgemental against others.
Besides refraining from killing, this precept can also be extended towards proactive behaviour too.
For example, it also include non violence. As one refine the depth of precept observance, one develops a certain degree of respect, equinimity and compassionate love towards others.
As these positive mindset becomes second nature, you will also refrain from violence or hurting others. We also refrain from hurting other emotionally. For example hurting another’s ego by speech.
Beyond that, the buddhist cosmology talks about unseen beings existing in different world systems and planes of existence. Such beings deserve respect too. I will include stories and certain observance on mantra recitation in future post.
I think the precept of non killing promotes respect and peace in the world and deserve our utmost effort to promote and observe.