Not Clinging to Precepts, but Using Precepts as a Tool to Beautify the Mind - Ajahn Dhammasiha
We derive numerous benefits from developing Sīla (Virtue) and keeping precepts:
- We protect other beings from harm
- We protect ourselves from harm
- We avoid making bad karma, and instead generate good karma every day we manage to keep our precepts
- We create conditions for a happy rebirth
- We set a good example to others
- We train ourselves in determination, effort & mindfulness
- We beautify the mind and equip it for the experience of enlightenment
The last one is the most exalted benefit precepts provide. With pure virtue, we experience freedom from remorse ('avippaṭisāra') and blameless happiness ('anavajja-sukha'). That happiness will lead to rapture, tranquility, bliss and samādhi, and with samādhi the mind can develop the full 8fold Path and realize awakening.
We do not cling to precepts as an end in itself, but we understand this process and wisely use the precepts as a means to achieve our ultimate objective: Happiness, Samādhi & Nibbāna!