Five Precepts (Taoism)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The Five Precepts in Taoism (Chinese: 五戒; pinyin: Wǔ Jiè; Cantonese: Ng Gye), constitute the basic code of ethics undertaken mainly by Taoist lay-cultivators. For Taoist monks and nuns, there are more advanced and stricter precepts. These precepts are the same as the Buddhist Five Precepts, however have minor differences to fit in with the Ancient Chinese society.

According to The Ultra Supreme Elder Lord's Scripture of Precepts, the five basic precepts are:

  • The first precept: No Murdering;
  • The second precept: No Stealing;
  • The third precept: No Sexual Misconduct;
  • The fourth precept: No False Speech;
  • The fifth precept: No Taking of Intoxicants.

Their definitions can be found in an excerpt of The Ultra Supreme Elder Lord's Scripture of Precepts:

*The precept against Sexual Misconduct also outlines that sexual acts such as premarital sexual conduct, adultery, prostitution, having intercourse with prostitutes, etc., are all sexual misconducts. (Original commentary: If the married spouses have intercourse too frequently, that is also considered Sexual Misconduct.)

*The married spouses (夫婦) usually in Chinese suggest male with female, though the scripture itself does not explicitly say anything against same-gender relations. (Original commentary: sexual misconduct is unfaithful sexual relationships [不貞為婬])

See also[edit]


  • "The Ultra Supreme Elder Lord's Scripture of Precepts"(太上老君戒經), in "The Orthodox Tao Store"(正統道藏)
  • "The Great Dictionary of Taoism"(道教大辭典), by Chinese Taoism Association, published in China in 1994, ISBN 7-5080-0112-5/B.054