Title- Facts Concerning Five Moral Precepts (#1 -Facts Concerning “Panatipata Precept”) & Related Story

“Panatipata” means killing any living being with intention. All Buddhists should know detailed factors of judgment concerned with “Panatipata” hence most Buddhists know only generally.





Five Factors of “Panatipata”


(1)    The one to be killed is a living being.

(2)    One knows that the one to be killed is a living being.

(3)    One has the volition or intention to kill.

(4)    One makes the effort to kill.

(5)    The being dies because of that effort and action.


The main cause for killing is the volition associated with anger (dosa).


Any action performed in accordance with the above five factors is called Panatipata Kamma. The perpetrator will suffer the bad consequences in this life and he will also be reborn in the four miserable realms after his death.


If any one of the above five factors is missing, the action cannot be called Panatipata Kamma. For instance, if one steps accidentally on insects and kills them as one walks along the road, one does not commit Panatipata Kamma because this incident happens unintentionally.




Great & Small Offences


Furthermore, the offence of killing a living being may be great or small depending on different situations. According to the size and moral practice of the victim, the offence may be great or small. With regard to animals naturally, lacking in morality, if the size of the animal is small, the offence is small; if the size of the animal is large, the offence is great. With regard to human beings, if the victim is of low morality, concentration and wisdom, the offence is small; if the victim is of high morality, high concentration and great wisdom, the offence is great. Where the victims are of equal size and of equal morality, the offence is small if the killer’s motive and effort are weak, and the offence is great if the killer’s motive and effort are strong.



The Consequences of Killing Sentient Beings


Whosoever kills any living being will be reborn in one of the four lower abodes after death. Even when he is free from there and is again reborn as a man, he will encounter the following evil consequences:


(1)   Having physical deformities and disfigurements,

(2)   Being ugly,

(3)   Being pale and feeble,

(4)   Being dull and inactive,

(5)   Being easily frightened when confronted with danger,

(6)   Being killed by other or facing death in youth,

(7)   Suffering from many diseases,

(8)   Having few friends, and

(9)   Being separated from beloved ones.


On the other hand the one who abstains from killing sentient beings will enjoy the benefits which are the opposite of the above consequences.



The Benefits of Abstaining from Killing


A person who abstains from killing any living being will be reborn after his death in a good destination either as a human being or as a celestial being. If he is reborn as a man, he will possess good health, longevity, etc. All living beings are afraid of death. So, everyone should refrain from torturing and killing others by being considerate to them. One who abstains from killing others, will enjoy the following benefits:


(1)    He has no physical deformities and disfigurements.

(2)    He has good complexion in his future existences.

(3)    He is fit and strong.

(4)    He is quick and active.

(5)    He is brave when confronted with danger.

(6)    He never gets killed by others.

(7)    He is free from diseases.

(8)    He has a large number of followers.

(9)    He enjoys longevity.


Related Story:


Title- The Stories Demonstrating The Evil Consequences of Breaking Precepts (1)


The Story Illustrating The Consequences of Killing Sentient Beings


Once upon a time a housewife went to the market to buy meat in order to feast a special guest. As she could not get meat from any place, she killed a little sheep which was bred in her house. The guest and her husband were very satisfied with the meat. But when she died she was cast into hell where she had to suffer for a long time. After that she was born as an animal as many times as the number of hair on the little sheep she had killed. In every animal life she was killed being cut at the throat as she had killed the little sheep.


Related Story:


Title-The Story Illustrating The Benefits of Keeping The Five Precepts


The Story of Dhammapala


Once in a village in Kasi Province, all the villagers gave charity, maintained good morality and observed the moral precepts on Uposatha days. Consequently they never died young; they usually died in their old age.

The son of the headman in that village went to study at Takkasila City. While he was studying there, a young son of the professor died. The young Dhammapala inquired why the professor’s son died young. The others asked him: “Don’t you know that everyone must die one day either in the early age or in the old age? Doesn’t anyone die young in your village?” The young Dhammapala replied, “Of course, they die, but they never die young”.

When the professor heard the strange words of the young Dhammapala, he was surprised and he wanted to find out what the young Dhammapala said was true or not. So he left the youth to look over his pupils while he himself went to the Dhammapala Village, taking along some bones of a goat. On reaching there, he went to Dhammapala’s father and showing the bones, said, “Your son Dhammapala had passed away and had been cremated. Here are his bones”.

His father and other relatives replied, laughing: “These bones cannot be my son’s. They must be the bones of a goat or a dog”. “Although every man is subject to death at any age, why are you an exception to this rule?” asked the professor.

The headman explained thus: “Here in our village of Dhammapala, all the villagers usually give charity and keep the precepts; we abstain from all evil deeds. Besides the youths usually obey the elders. We all perform voluntary work for the welfare of our community. Thus no one dies young in our village”.

Then the professor paid obeisance to the headman and admitted: “Your son didn’t die. I come here to inquire the truthfulness of your son’s remark that no one dies young in this village”. The professor inquired about the meritorious deeds performed by the Dhammapala villagers in further detail and returned home.




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Related Articles:

Title- Facts Concerning Five Moral Precepts (#2 -Facts Concerning “Adinnadana Precept”)

Title- Facts Concerning Five Moral Precepts (#3 -Facts Concerning “Kamesumicchacara Precept”)

Title- Facts Concerning Five Moral Precepts (#4 -Facts Concerning “Musavada Precept”)

Title- Facts Concerning Five Moral Precepts (#5 -Facts Concerning “Surameraya Precept”)

Title- Facts Concerning The Five Moral Precepts With Related Stories



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