Eight Lifetime Precepts

Updated 4th April 2015

Eight Lifetime Precepts

The Eight Lifetime Precepts Precepts were developed by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana Maha Thera at the Bhavana Society, West Virginia, USA.


The Eight Lifetime Precepts are an expansion of Ajivatthamaka Sila. The first seven Precepts are the same but the eighth Precept is an amalgamation of the eighth Precept of Ajivatthamaka Sila and the fifth Precept of Panca Sila (The Five Precepts):
I undertake the training rule [Precept] to abstain from wrong livelihood; and drinks and drugs that cause heedlessness

The Bhavana Society website explains “The lifetime precepts … include the right speech precepts found in the eightfold path and right livelihood… In traditional Buddhist countries, abstaining from intoxicants is assumed to be included in the precept on right livelihood. For clarification, we spell it out.”

Bhante Henepola Gunaratana discusses the Eight Lifetime Precepts in:

Henepola Gunaratana, Bhante. 2008. (Revised edition) Bhavana Vandana: Devotions for Meditation. (High View West Virginia USA, Bhavana Society).
Available online at https://www.lulu.com/
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Henepola Gunaratana, Bhante. 2001. Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness: Walking the Path of the Buddha. (Boston USA, Wisdom Publications). (0-86171-176-9)
Available online at Google Books http://books.google.com

Bhante Henepola Gunaratana Maha Thera is one of the Spiritual Advisors to BGKT Buddhist Group of Kendal (Theravada).


Upasika Panna a member of BGKT Buddhist Group of Kendal (Theravada) received her Buddhist name and the Eight Lifetime Precepts from Bhante Henepola Gunaratana Maha Thera at Gaia House Devon, in June 2007.


See the webpage on this website:

Ajivatthamaka Sila (Eight Precepts with Right Livelihood as the Eighth) Bibliography