Principles of Buddhist ethics

EENI- School of International Business

Sub-subject: Principles of Buddhist ethics. Four Noble Truths. Noble Eightfold Path. Syllabus:

  1. Principles of Buddhist ethics.
  2. Four Noble Truths
  3. Noble Eightfold Path of Buddhism
  4. Buddhist Golden Rule
Sub-subject “Principles of Buddhist ethics” is studied...
  1. Professional Doctorates: Ethics, Religion, and Business, Asia
  2. Masters (e-learning): International Business, Asia
  3. Courses Southeast Asia, China

Learning materials in En or Es Ética Budista Fr Bouddhisme

Sample of the Sub-subject: Four Noble Truths
Four Noble Truths

Sub-Subject Description: Principles of Buddhist ethics.

After his enlightenment, the Buddha went to Benares (Varanasi), the holy city of India, and the so-called Deer Park on the outskirts of the city, gave his first sermon: the Four Noble Truths, which are the foundation of Buddhism and the Buddhist Civilisation.

The Four Noble Truths are:

  1. Life is suffering (“Dukkha”).
  2. Cause of pain is the desire (“tanha”)
  3. If we overcome the selfish desire; we will eliminate suffering.
  4. Noble Eightfold Path

In the West; it tends to misinterpret this first noble truth of Buddhism; it is understood as exclusively physical pain. However, suffering should be understood as something broader, as “the pain, which to some degree, encouraged all finite existence” (Huston Smith).

Suffering may be a pain, sadness, imperfection, affliction, and superficiality. According to English philosopher Alan Watts converted to Buddhism:

“Duhkha is the great disease of the World whose cure is obtained with the doctrine (dharma) of Buddha.”

This is O monks, the noble truth of the origin of suffering.

Ignorance, desire - attachment and the five poisons are those who produce new rebirths, those inclined to seek pleasure and satisfaction here and there, discouraging not to get what we wanted. It is the desire for the existence, the desire for non-existence” Buddha.

The more we stick to things, more problems may arise for us,; it is a similar concept in Hinduism or Taoism.

Ignorance, hatred, longing, attachment are also causes of the pain.

The Fourth Truth, the Noble Eightfold Path, shows us the way to overcome the desire, eliminate suffering and finally reaching Nirvana.

Buddha offers us guidelines to develop a proper conduct, called the five precepts that make up the pillars of Buddhist ethics.

  1. Do not kill “I take the precept to respect life.” Derived from the principle of non-violence (Ahimsa). Many Buddhists are vegetarians to respect Ahimsa.
  2. Do not steal. “I take the precept of not taking what is not given to me.” Do not take what is not given me, implies Do not steal, not to disappoint, not cheat, not to do embezzlement
  3. Do not lie (Do not make false speech) “I take the precept of not speaking in a harmful manner.”
  4. Do not indulge in sexual misconduct. “Refrain from inappropriate or harmful sexual behaviour.”
  5. Do not take intoxicants

Ahimsa Ethics

Principles of Buddhist ethics
Buddhist Ethics

The previous five precepts are the basis of Buddhist ethics for laypeople, and furthermore, these principles are shared by all the higher religions.


The Buddhist version of the golden rule.

In the Udana V (“The venerable Sona), in the Chapter I” What one wants” we find the golden rule applied to Buddhism:

“This is the sum of duty: do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you”

Two awards Nobel peace, the Dalai Lama and Aung San Suu Kyi, both Buddhists, are today considered world leaders in favour for peace.

Ahimsa Buddhism

Religion and business: Mahayana and theravada, Buddhism in the World, Buddhist Economics



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