Panca Sila The Five Precepts

Updated 13 April 2024

Panca Sila (The Five Precepts)

Panca Sila (The Five Precepts) are the minimum requirements for lay practitioners in Theravada Buddhism.

Panca Sila (The Five Precepts)

  1. Panatipata veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
  2.  Adinnadana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
  3.  Kamesu micchacara veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
  4.  Musavada veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
  5.  Sura meraya majja pamadatthana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami

PañcaSīla (The Five Precepts) with Diacriticals

  1. Pāṇātipātā veramaṇīsikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi
  2.  Adinnādānā veramaṇīsikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi
  3.  Kāmesu micchācārā veramaṇīsikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi
  4. Musāvādā veramaṇīsikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi
  5.  Surāmerayamajjapamādaṭṭhānā veramaṇīsikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi

Panca Sila (The Five Precepts)

  1. I undertake the Precept to refrain from killing and injuring living beings
  2.  I undertake the Precept to refrain from taking that which is not given
  3.  I undertake the Precept to refrain from sexual misconduct and excessive sensuality
  4.  I undertake the Precept to refrain from false and harmful speech
  5.  I undertake the Precept to refrain from drink and drugs which fuddle the mind and reduce mindfulness

The word Upasaka denotes a male lay disciple and Upasika denotes a female lay disciple. An Upasaka/Upasika is defined by Venerable Nyanatiloka in his Buddhist Dictionary as:

Literally ‘sitting close by, i.e. a ‘lay adherent’ is any lay follower who is filled with faith and has taken refuge in the Buddha, his doctrine and his community of noble disciples. His virtue is regarded as pure if he observes the Five Precepts (Panca Sila). He should avoid the following wrong ways of livelihood: trading in arms; in living beings; meat; alcohol; and poison.



“The development and use of the Eight Precepts for lay practitioners, Upasakas and Upasikas in Theravada Buddhism in the West”, Jacquetta Gomes, Contemporary Buddhism, Volume 5(1) (May 2004) 47-63. (ISSN 1463-9947). DOI:10.1080/1463994042000249535
Available at

BPS Buddhist Publication Society Kandy Sri Lanka

BPS Books

Buddhist Dictionary: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines. Nyanatiloka, Venerable. 2004. (5th revised edition) (Kandy Sri Lanka, BPS Buddhist Publication Society. (ISBN 955-24-0019-8) (Current ISBN 978-974-9511-30-5).