3. The Buddha’s First Sermon -(contd.)

The Path of Purity

1. The Parivrajakas then asked the Buddha to explain to them his Dhamma.

2. And the Buddha was pleased to do so.

3. He addressed them first on the Path of Purity.

4. “ The Path of Purity,” he told the Parivrajakas, “ teaches that a person who wishes to be good must recognise some principles as principles of life.

5. “ According to my Path of Purity the principles of life recognised by it are : Not to injure or kill : Not to steal or appropriate to oneself anything which belongs to another : Not to speak untruth : Not to indulge in lust : Not to indulge in intoxicating drinks.

6. “ The recognition of these principles, I say, is most essential for every man. For every man must have a standard by which to judge whatever he does. And these principles according to my teachings constitute the standard.

7. “ There are everywhere people who are patit (fallen). But there are two classes of the patit : the patit who has a standard and a patit who has no standard.

8. “ The path who has no standard does not know that he has fallen. Consequently he always remains fallen. On the other hand a patit who has a standard tries to rise from his fallen state. Why? The answer is because he knows that he has fallen

9. “This is the difference between having a standard and having no standard for regulating a man’s life. What matters is not so much the fall of the man but the absence of any standard.

10. “ You may ask, ye Parivrajakas ! Why are these principles worthy of recognition as a standard of life.

11. “The answer to this question you will find for yourselves, if you ask : “Are these principles good for the individual ? “ also if you ask : “ Do they promote social good ? “

12. “ If your answers to these questions are in the affirmative then it follows that the principles of my Path of Purity are worthy of recognition as forming a true standard of life.”

Source: The Buddha and His Dhamma | Author: Dr. B. R. Ambedkar