The Other Method Of Undertaking The Precepts

The other method of undertaking the precepts


Pacātipātā veramacī sikkhāpadan samādiyāmi. Adinnādāna veramacī sikkhāpadan samādiyāmi. Abhrahmacariyā veramacī sikkhāpadan samādiyāmi. Musāvādā veramacī sikkhāpadan samādiyāmi.

Surāmeraya majjapamādaiihānā veramacī sikkhāpadan samādiyāmi.

Vikālabhojanā veramacī sikkhāpadan samādiyāmi. Naccagīta vādita visūkadassanā veramacī sikkhāpadan samādiyāmi.

Mālā gandha vilepana dhāraca macdana vibhūsanaiihanā veramacī sikkhāpadan samādiyāmi.

Uccāsayana mahāsayanā veramacī sikkhāpadan samādiyāmi.

Jātarūparajata paiiggahanā veramacī sikkhāpadan samādiyāmi.

 Accepting [dependence on the] preceptor

The teacher who will observe and point out minor and major transgressions and give necessary advice is the preceptor. Precepts including refuge in the triple gem can be undertaken from any bhikkhu who is able to recite the necessary stanzas regarding the refuge in the triple gem and the ten precepts. Not all the bhikkhūs are suitable for the position of preceptor. If the bhikkhu who gave the precepts is the same as the preceptor, the following sentence must be uttered three times, “Upajjhāyo me bhante hotī” in order to undertake dependence on the preceptor. When the preceptor says “Pasādikena sampādehi” the sāmacera should reply as ‘âma bhante.’ If the preceptor is not the same as the bhikkhu who gave the precepts, the sāmacera should go to the preceptor and accept the preceptor. It is  not proper to live without a preceptor. The meaning behind accepting a preceptor is making the request, “Sir! Be my teacher who will warn and advice me regarding any transgressions”. The preceptor uttering, “Pasādikena sampādehi” or “Sāhu, Lahu, opāyikam, patirupam”, performs the acceding to the request. If the bhikkhu does not make an indication bodily or verbally the acceptance of the preceptor is not acomplished.

The teacher must appraise the new sāmacera about everything that is proper and improper. He should be taught things such as how to wear robes, how to walk and how to eat. Until the sāmacera is accustomed to these practices, he should not be taken outside for alms giving or pirith ceremonies and safe guard him against falling into any one of the dashanāshanānga (Ten serious offences of a sāmacera – anyone commiting them cannot be taken back into the sāsana).


Taking refuge

There is a great difference between taking refuge by lay people and sāmaceras. Taking refuge by lay people is the acceptance that the triple gem of Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha is of great support to them. Taking refuge by the lay can be done in any manner in any language. It is  broken by the rejection of the triple gem, believing that Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha are of no use or accepting another religion. Committing unwholesome acts such as killing living beings does not result in the negation of the refuge.

Taking refuge by a sāmauera is a certain type of disciplinary act (vinaya kamma). It results in  one  becoming a sāmacera. One does not become a sāmacera  by reciting them in any language other than Pali. Taking refuge of the laity is done by reciting the precepts himself. Sāmacera refuge taking occurs by recitation by both teacher and pupil. Taking refuge with the help of a person who has not received higher ordination too will not establish sāmacera status. While taking refuge, if each letter,   each   word   of   the   phrase   “Buddhan   saranan

 gaccāmi” is not uttered with phonetic accuracy by both teacher and pupil correctly, sāmacera status will not be established. Therefore, when taking refuge, low sounding, and high sounding, long and short letters must be properly pronounced.  Old  bhikkhūs  without  teeth  cannot properly pronounce dental sounds. If a bhikkhu who has no teeth is ordaining a person, he should get another bhikkhu to say the necessary stanzas, and remain only as the preceptor.

The letter n (like “ng” in hung) is difficult to pronounce. If this is pronounced improperly one will not become a sāmacera, therefore vinaya commentaries allow it to be pronounced as “m” by those who cannot pronounce it correctly. Pronunciation by either the makhārānta or the niggahitānta methods is sufficient. To be more clear and certain of taking refuge properly, teachers adopt both methods.