The name Five Precepts in Chinese / Japanese...

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Five Precepts

 wǔ jiè
 go kai
Five Precepts Scroll

五戒 is the title or name for the five precepts of Buddhism.

These are prohibitions against killing, theft, sexual misconduct, lying, and intoxication.
Also phrased as commandments against murder, stealing, adultery, false speech, and consuming intoxicating liquors.

These five precepts or “pañca-veramaṇī” apply to the Buddhist laity as well as monks and nuns. The observance of these five ensures rebirth in the human realm.

Five Precepts

 bù shā shēng bù tōu dào bù xié yín bù wàng yǔ bù yǐn jiǔ
Five Precepts Scroll

不殺生不偷盜不邪淫不妄語不飲酒 is the full list of the five precepts of Buddhism in Chinese.

There are many ways to translate or express these.
The following is one basic way:
1. Do not kill/murder.
2. Do not steal.
3. Do not commit adultery and/or sexual misconduct.
4. Do not lie or speak falsehoods.
5. Do not become intoxicated (with drugs/alcohol).

Here is another take from my favorite magazine: Lion's Roar: Five Precepts

Reiki Precepts by Usui Mikao

 shou fuku no hihou man byou no rei yaku kyou da ke wa oko ru na shin pai su na kan sha shi te gyou wo ha ke me hito ni shin setsu ni asayuu gasshou shite kokoro ni nenji kuchi ni tonae yo shin shin kaizen usui rei ki ryou hou cho so usu i mika o
Reiki Precepts by Usui Mikao Scroll

These are the precepts of Reiki that are attributed to Usui Mikao.

Here is a breakdown of the characters and a rough translation:
招福の秘法, 萬病の霊薬。
Invite blessings of [the] secret method, 10,000 illnesses of spiritual medicine.
今日丈けは: 怒るな, 心配すな, 感謝して, 業をはげめ, 人に親切に。
At least for today: Do not be angry, do not worry, be grateful, work with diligence, and be kind to people.
朝夕合掌して, 心に念じ, 口に唱へよ, 心身改善。
Morning [and] evening perform gassho (join hands), [with your] heart/mind in silent prayer, [with your] mouth chant, [thusly] mind [and] body [will] reform/improve.
臼井靈氣療法! -肇祖, 臼井甕男。
Usui Reiki Ryōhō! -Founder, Usui Mikao.

The middle portion of this is often titled, “The Five Principles of Reiki” and makes a nice calligraphy selection by itself. The Japanese text presented here can be considered the more verbose version.

Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

4. Right Action / Perfect Conduct

Samyak Karmanta / Samma Kammanta

 zhèng yè
 sei gyou
4. Right Action / Perfect Conduct Scroll

正業 is one of the Noble Eightfold Paths of Buddhism. Right Action, along with Right Speech and Right Living, constitute the path to Virtue.

The five precepts of Right Action are...
1. Refrain from destroying living beings (no murder or any form of taking a life).
2. Refrain from stealing.
3. Refrain from sexual misconduct (adultery, rape, etc.).
4. Refrain from false speech (lying or trickery).
5. Refrain from intoxicants that lead to heedlessness (no drugs or alcohol).

This concept can be summarized as “Avoidance of actions that conflict with moral discipline.”

Note: In Japanese, when read by a non-Buddhist, this will mean “the right job/vocation.”

This term is exclusively used by devout Buddhists. It is not a common term, and is remains an unknown concept to most Japanese and Chinese people.

See Also:  Buddhism | Enlightenment | Noble Eightfold Path

Ten Commandments

 shí jiè
Ten Commandments Scroll

十戒 means Ten Commandments or Ten Precepts.

In the Buddhist context, these are prohibitions consisting of five commandments for the layman:
1. Not to destroy life 不殺生 Pāṇātipātāveramaṇi.
2. Not to steal 不倫盜 Adinnādānāver.
3. Not to commit adultery 不婬慾 Abrahmacaryaver.
4. Not to lie 不妄語 Musāvādāver.
5. Not to take intoxicating liquor 不飮酒 Suramereyya-Majjapamādaṭṭhānāver.

The ten commandments for the monk are the preceding five plus:
6. Not to eat food outside of regulated hours 不非時食 Vikāla-Bhojanāver.
7. Not to use garlands or perfumes 不著華鬘好香塗身 Mālā- Gandha-Vilepana-Dhāraṇa-Maṇḍana-Vibhūṣanaṭṭhānā.
8. Not to sleep on high or broad beds (chastity) 不坐高廣大牀 Uccāsayanā-Mahāsayanā.
9. Not to take part in singing, dancing, musical or theatrical performances 不歌舞倡伎不往觀聽 Nacca-Gīta-Vādita-Visūkadassanāver.
10. To refrain from acquiring uncoined or coined gold, or silver, or jewels 不得捉錢金銀寶物 Jātarūpa-Rajata-Paṭīggahaṇāver.

These original Buddhist commandments date back to about 2500 years ago. The English definitions above are followed by Chinese characters and original Pali pronunciation.

Under the Māhayāna Buddhism, these ten commands for the monk were changed, to accord with the new environment of the monk, to the following: not to kill, not to steal, to avoid all unchastity, not to lie, not to slander, not to insult, not to chatter, not to covet, not to give way to anger, to harbor no skepticism.

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Below are some entries from our dictionary that may match your five precepts search...


If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese

Simple Dictionary Definition


see styles
wǔ jiè
    wu3 jie4
wu chieh

More info & calligraphy:

Five Precepts
{Buddh} the five precepts (prohibitions against killing, theft, sexual misconduct, lying, and intoxication)
pañca-veramaṇī; the first five of the ten commandments, against killing, stealing, adultery, lying, and intoxicating liquors. 不殺生; 不偸盜; 不邪婬; 不妄語; 不飮酒 They are binding on laity, male and female, as well as on monks and nuns. The observance of these five ensures rebirth in the human realm. Each command has five spirits to guard its observer 五戒二十五神.


see styles
shí jiè
    shi2 jie4
shih chieh

More info & calligraphy:

Ten Commandments
the ten commandments (religion)
(1) (Buddhist term) the 10 precepts; (2) Ten Commandments; Decalogue; Decalog; (surname) Jukkai
Śikṣāpada. The ten prohibitions (in Pāli form) consist of five commandments for the layman: (1) not to destroy life 不殺生 pāṇātipātāveramaṇi; (2) not to steal 不倫盜 adinnādānāver; (3) not to commit adultery 不婬慾 abrahmacaryaver.; (4) not to lie 不妄語musāvādāver.; (5) not to take intoxicating liquor 不飮酒 suramereyya-majjapamādaṭṭhānāver. Eight special commandments for laymen consist of the preceding five plus: (6) not to eat food out of regulated hours 不非時食 vikāla-bhojanāver.; (7) not to use garlands or perfumes 不著華鬘好香塗身 mālā- gandha-vilepana-dhāraṇa-maṇḍana-vibhūṣanaṭṭhānā; (8) not to sleep on high or broad beds (chastity) 不坐高廣大牀 uccāsayanā-mahāsayanā. The ten commandments for the monk are the preceding eight plus: (9) not to take part in singing, dancing, musical or theatrical performances, not to see or listen to such 不歌舞倡伎不往觀聽 nacca-gīta-vādita-visūkadassanāver.; (10) to refrain from acquiring uncoined or coined gold, or silver, or jewels 不得捉錢金銀寶物 jātarūpa-rajata-paṭīggahaṇāver. Under the Māhayāna these ten commands for the monk were changed, to accord with the new environment of the monk, to the following: not to kill, not to steal, to avoid all unchastity, not to lie, not to slander, not to insult, not to chatter, not to covet, not to give way to anger, to harbour no scepticism.

see styles
 kai; ingoto(ok)
    かい; いんごと(ok)
to guard against; to exhort; to admonish or warn; to give up or stop doing something; Buddhist monastic discipline; ring (for a finger)
(1) (かい only) {Buddh} admonition; commandment; (2) sila (precept)
śīla, 尸羅. Precept, command, prohibition, discipline, rule; morality. It is applied to the five, eight, ten, 250, and other commandments. The five are: (1) not to kill; (2 ) not to steal; (3) not to commit adultery; (4) not to speak falsely; (5) not to drink wine. These are the commands for lay disciples; those who observe them will be reborn in the human realm. The Sarvāstivādins did not sanction the observance of a limited selection from them as did the 成實宗 Satyasiddhi school. Each of the five precepts has five guardian spirits, in all twenty-five, 五戒二十五神. The eight for lay disciples are the above five together with Nos. 7, 8, and 9 of the following; the ten commands for the ordained, monks and nuns, are the above five with the following: (6) not to use adornments of flowers, nor perfumes; (7) not to perform as an actor, juggler, acrobat, or go to watch and hear them; (8) not to sit on elevated, broad, and large divans (or beds); (9) not to eat except in regulation hours; (10) not to possess money, gold or silver, or precious things. The 具足戒full commands for a monk number 250, those for a nun are 348, commonly called 500. Śīla is also the first of the 五分法身, i.e. a condition above all moral error. The Sutra of Brahma's Net has the following after the first five: (6) not to speak of the sins of those in orders; (7) not to vaunt self and depreciate others; (8) not to be avaricious; (9) not to be angry; (10) not to slander the triratna.


see styles
sān jiè
    san1 jie4
san chieh
(1) (from the Analects of Confucius) three lifetime commandments (youth's femininity, middle-aged struggle, old-age gain); (2) {Buddh} three categories of precepts (lay, ordination, moral)
The three sets of commandments, i.e. the ten for the ordained who have left home, the eight for the devout at home, and the five for the ordinary laity.


see styles
wǔ piān
    wu3 pian1
wu p`ien
    wu pien
 go hen
five categories of precepts


see styles
bā jiè
    ba1 jie4
pa chieh
 hakkai; hachikai
    はっかい; はちかい
the eight precepts (Buddhism)
{Buddh} (See 五戒) the eight precepts (the five precepts with the addition of prohibitions against lying in a luxurious bed, self-decoration, song and dance, and eating after noon)
(八戒齋) The first eight of the ten commandments, see 戒; not to kill; not to take things not given; no ignoble (i.e. sexual) conduct; not to speak falsely; not to drink wine; not to indulge in cosmetics, personal adornments, dancing, or music; not to sleep on fine beds, but on a mat on the ground; and not to eat out of regulation hours, i.e. after noon. Another group divides the sixth into two―against cosmetics and adornments and against dancing and music; the first eight are then called the eight prohibitory commands and the last the 齋 or fasting commandment. Also 八齋戒; 八關齋 (八支齋) ; cf. 八種勝法.


see styles
jiè lì
    jie4 li4
chieh li
The power derived from observing the commandments, enabling one who observes the five commandments to be reborn among men, and one who observes the ten positive commands 十善 to be born among devas, or as a king.


see styles
piān jù
    pian1 ju4
p`ien chü
    pien chü
 hen ju
Two divisions of wrong-doing, one called the 五篇 five pian, the other the six and seven ju. The five pian are: (1) pārājika, v. 波, sins demanding expulsion from the order; (2) saṅghāvaśeṣa, v. 僧, sins verging on expulsion, which demand confession before and absolution by the assembly; (3) ? prāyaścitta, v. 波逸, sins deserving hell which may be forgiven; (4) pratideśanīya, v. 波羅 and 提舍, sins which must be confessed; (5) duṣkṛta, v. 突, light sins, errors, or faults. The six ju are the five above with sthūlātyaya, v. 偸, associated with the third, implying thought not developed in action. The seven ju are the above with the division of the fifth into two, action and speech. There are further divisions of eight and nine.



see styles
sān guī jiè
    san1 gui1 jie4
san kuei chieh
 sanki kai
ceremony for the acceptance of the five precepts



see styles
wǔ jiè xián
    wu3 jie4 xian2
wu chieh hsien
 gokai ken
worthies adhering to the five precepts


see styles
wǔ bǎi jiè
    wu3 bai3 jie4
wu pai chieh
 gohyaku kai
The 'five hundred ' rules for nuns, really 348, viz. 8 波羅夷, 17 僧殘, 30 捨墮, 178 單提, 8 提捨尼, 100 衆學, and 7 滅諍.


see styles
shòu wǔ jiè
    shou4 wu3 jie4
shou wu chieh
receiving the five precepts


see styles
xiǎo shèng jiè
    xiao3 sheng4 jie4
hsiao sheng chieh
 shōjō kai
The commandments of the Hīnayāna, also recognized by the Mahāyāna: the five, eight, and ten commandments, the 250 for the monks, and the 348 for the nuns.



see styles
jiè qǔ jiàn
    jie4 qu3 jian4
chieh ch`ü chien
    chieh chü chien
 kaishu ken
戒禁取見 Clinging to heterodox ascetic views; one of the five darśana 五見.



see styles
sān guī wǔ jiè
    san1 gui1 wu3 jie4
san kuei wu chieh
 sanki gokai
(三歸戒) The ceremony which makes the recipient a 優婆塞 or 優婆夷 upasaka or upāsikā male or female disciple, accepting the five commandments. There are 五種三歸 five stages of sangui; the first two are as above, at the third the eight commandments are accepted, at the fourth the ten, at the fifth an the commandments. 三歸 is also a general term for a Buddhist.


see styles
shì sú wǔ jiè
    shi4 su2 wu3 jie4
shih su wu chieh
 sezoku gokai
five precepts for laymen


see styles
wǔ bā shí jù
    wu3 ba1 shi2 ju4
wu pa shih chü
 gohachijū gu
All the five, eight, and ten commandments, i. e. the three groups of disciples, laity who keep the five and eight and monks who keep the ten.


see styles
wǔ cháng wǔ jiè
    wu3 chang2 wu3 jie4
wu ch`ang wu chieh
    wu chang wu chieh
 gojō gokai
five constant virtues and five precepts


see styles
wǔ piān qī jù
    wu3 pian1 qi1 ju4
wu p`ien ch`i chü
    wu pien chi chü
 gohen shichijū
five and seven categories of precepts


see styles
zài jiā èr jiè
    zai4 jia1 er4 jie4
tsai chia erh chieh
 zaike nikai
The two grades of commandments observed by the lay, one the five, the other the eight, v. 五戒 and 八戒; these are the Hīnayāna rules; the 在戒 of Mahāyāna are the 十善戒 ten good rules.


see styles
wǔ jiè qīng xìn nǚ
    wu3 jie4 qing1 xin4 nv3
wu chieh ch`ing hsin nü
    wu chieh ching hsin nü
 gokai shōshin nyo
women of pure faith who adhere to the five precepts

The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...

Title CharactersRomaji (Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Five Precepts五戒go kai / gokaiwǔ jiè / wu3 jie4 / wu jie / wujiewu chieh / wuchieh
Five Precepts不殺生不偷盜不邪淫不妄語不飲酒
bù shā shēng bù tōu dào bù xié yín bù wàng yǔ bù yǐn jiǔ
bu4 sha1 sheng1 bu4 tou1 dao4 bu4 xie2 yin2 bu4 wang4 yu3 bu4 yin3 jiu3
bu sha sheng bu tou dao bu xie yin bu wang yu bu yin jiu
pu sha sheng pu t`ou tao pu hsieh yin pu wang yü pu yin chiu
pu sha sheng pu tou tao pu hsieh yin pu wang yü pu yin chiu
Reiki Precepts by Usui Mikao招福の秘法萬病の霊薬今日丈けは怒るな心配すな感謝して業をはげめ人に親切に朝夕合掌して心に念じ口に唱へよ心身改善臼井靈氣療法肇祖臼井甕男shou fuku no hihou man byou no rei yaku kyou da ke wa oko ru na shin pai su na kan sha shi te gyou wo ha ke me hito ni shin setsu ni asayuu gasshou shite kokoro ni nenji kuchi ni tonae yo shin shin kaizen usui rei ki ryou hou cho so usu i mika o
sho fuku no hiho man byo no rei yaku kyo da ke wa oko ru na shin pai su na kan sha shi te gyo wo ha ke me hito ni shin setsu ni asayu gasho shite kokoro ni nenji kuchi ni tonae yo shin shin kaizen usui rei ki ryo ho cho so usu i mika o
4. Right Action
Perfect Conduct
sei gyou / seigyou / sei gyozhèng yè / zheng4 ye4 / zheng ye / zhengyecheng yeh / chengyeh
Ten Commandments十戒jukkai / jukaishí jiè / shi2 jie4 / shi jie / shijieshih chieh / shihchieh
In some entries above you will see that characters have different versions above and below a line.
In these cases, the characters above the line are Traditional Chinese, while the ones below are Simplified Chinese.

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