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Avoiding The Ten Evils

The Buddha said: "All acts of living creatures become bad by ten

things, and by avoiding the ten things they become good. There

are three evils of the body, four evils of the tongue, and three

evils of the mind.

"The evils of the body are, murder, theft, and adultery, of the

tongue, lying, slander, abuse, and idle talk; of the mind,

covetousness, hatred, and

"I exhort you to avoid the ten evils:

"I. Kill not, but have regard for life.

"II. Steal not, neither do ye rob; but help everybody to be

master of the fruits of his labor.

"III. Abstain from impurity, and lead a life of chastity.

"IV. Lie not, but be truthful. Speak the truth with discretion,

fearlessly and in a loving heart.

"V. Invent not evil reports, neither do ye repeat them. Carp not,

but look for the good sides of your fellow-beings, so that ye may

with sincerity defend them against their enemies.

"VI. Swear not, but speak decently and with dignity.

"VII. Waste not the time with gossip, but speak to the purpose or

keep silence.

"VIII. Covet not, nor envy, but rejoice at the fortunes of other


"IX. Cleanse your heart of malice and cherish no hatred, not even

against your enemies; but embrace all living beings with


"X. Free your mind of ignorance and be anxious to learn the

truth, especially in the one thing that is needful, lest you fall

a prey either to scepticism or to errors. Scepticism will make

you indifferent and errors will lead you astray, so that you

shall not find the noble path that leads to life eternal."