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postgraduate thesis: Buddhist ethics for laypeople : a study and annotated translations of Pāil exegeses

TitleBuddhist ethics for laypeople : a study and annotated translations of Pāil exegeses
Authors
Issue Date2014
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Lee, T. [李天鳳]. (2014). Buddhist ethics for laypeople : a study and annotated translations of Pāil exegeses. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5570793
AbstractThis research was conducted to establish a comprehensive Buddhist moral guidance for laypeople whom scholars had not given fully their attention. The guidance is based on the three most relevant and representative Pāli texts on this topic––the Sigālovāda sutta (DN 31), Dīghajāṇu sutta (AN 8:54), and Dhammika sutta (Sn 2:14), plus their Pāli commentaries and sub-commentaries as the fundamental sources. English translations of the Pāli exegeses to the three suttas are also provided here. The Buddhist moral guidelines for laypeople aim at reaching happiness in this and future lives. Within, the former refers to the satisfaction of one’s sensual pleasures, without dangers like being punished by law, blamed by friends and relatives, etc., and having good interpersonal relationships. For the latter, it refers to a blissful rebirth and to better reach certain Buddhist attainments. Therefore, the practical guidance for the former consists of (1) pure personal conduct grounded on the five precepts; (2) prudent economy, emphasizing a righteous job, ways to manage income and expenditure; (3) apply the four saṅgahavatthu-s (ways to win people over)––giving, kind speech, beneficial behaviors, and impartiality to people around one. These three aspects ensure a happy life here and now, even further promise a heavenly rebirth. In addition to mundane happiness, the Buddha expects more from laypeople, i.e., achieving Buddhist attainments for guaranteeing one’s happiness in the saṃsāric lives till the final ultimate happiness––Nibbāna. Thus the spiritual trainings––the four accomplishments: saddhā, sīla, cāga, and paññā––were laid out especially for the conditions of laity. Paññā here is explained as “the wisdom of arising and passing away leading to the thorough destruction of suffering”, which is no difference in what the Buddha expected from the monastic. After establishing the moral guidance, the criteria for evaluating the wholesomeness of an action was also investigated. This research proposed that at least two conditions must be fulfilled before any given action can be termed “wholesome”. The first is: whether it is triggered by one of the three wholesome roots: non-greed, non-hatred, and non-delusion, and the second is whether the result of the action does not afflict oneself, others, or both oneself and others. The Pāli translations contributed two discoveries which could rectify the modern English translations of two Pāli lines in DN 31, since the modern translations were all done in the same and faulty way. The discoveries also demonstrated that the explanations in the exegeses are good references for understanding the sutta and solving the problem of discrepancy in various Pāli manuscripts. In this way, a comprehensive Buddhist moral guidance for laypeople with practical guidelines, supported by relevant Buddhist theories, has been established by the thesis. It is hoped to benefit the laity who makes great effort to achieve a blissful life in this world.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectBuddhist ethics
Dept/ProgramBuddhist Studies
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/219983

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorLee, Tien-feng-
dc.contributor.author李天鳳-
dc.date.accessioned2015-10-08T23:12:16Z-
dc.date.available2015-10-08T23:12:16Z-
dc.date.issued2014-
dc.identifier.citationLee, T. [李天鳳]. (2014). Buddhist ethics for laypeople : a study and annotated translations of Pāil exegeses. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5570793-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/219983-
dc.description.abstractThis research was conducted to establish a comprehensive Buddhist moral guidance for laypeople whom scholars had not given fully their attention. The guidance is based on the three most relevant and representative Pāli texts on this topic––the Sigālovāda sutta (DN 31), Dīghajāṇu sutta (AN 8:54), and Dhammika sutta (Sn 2:14), plus their Pāli commentaries and sub-commentaries as the fundamental sources. English translations of the Pāli exegeses to the three suttas are also provided here. The Buddhist moral guidelines for laypeople aim at reaching happiness in this and future lives. Within, the former refers to the satisfaction of one’s sensual pleasures, without dangers like being punished by law, blamed by friends and relatives, etc., and having good interpersonal relationships. For the latter, it refers to a blissful rebirth and to better reach certain Buddhist attainments. Therefore, the practical guidance for the former consists of (1) pure personal conduct grounded on the five precepts; (2) prudent economy, emphasizing a righteous job, ways to manage income and expenditure; (3) apply the four saṅgahavatthu-s (ways to win people over)––giving, kind speech, beneficial behaviors, and impartiality to people around one. These three aspects ensure a happy life here and now, even further promise a heavenly rebirth. In addition to mundane happiness, the Buddha expects more from laypeople, i.e., achieving Buddhist attainments for guaranteeing one’s happiness in the saṃsāric lives till the final ultimate happiness––Nibbāna. Thus the spiritual trainings––the four accomplishments: saddhā, sīla, cāga, and paññā––were laid out especially for the conditions of laity. Paññā here is explained as “the wisdom of arising and passing away leading to the thorough destruction of suffering”, which is no difference in what the Buddha expected from the monastic. After establishing the moral guidance, the criteria for evaluating the wholesomeness of an action was also investigated. This research proposed that at least two conditions must be fulfilled before any given action can be termed “wholesome”. The first is: whether it is triggered by one of the three wholesome roots: non-greed, non-hatred, and non-delusion, and the second is whether the result of the action does not afflict oneself, others, or both oneself and others. The Pāli translations contributed two discoveries which could rectify the modern English translations of two Pāli lines in DN 31, since the modern translations were all done in the same and faulty way. The discoveries also demonstrated that the explanations in the exegeses are good references for understanding the sutta and solving the problem of discrepancy in various Pāli manuscripts. In this way, a comprehensive Buddhist moral guidance for laypeople with practical guidelines, supported by relevant Buddhist theories, has been established by the thesis. It is hoped to benefit the laity who makes great effort to achieve a blissful life in this world.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.subject.lcshBuddhist ethics-
dc.titleBuddhist ethics for laypeople : a study and annotated translations of Pāil exegeses-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5570793-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineBuddhist Studies-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-

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