Bodhisattva Precepts Manual

The Bodhisattva Precepts is a set of training rules undertaken by those individuals who are striving on the path towards Buddhahood.  Together with the Six Perfections, the Bodhisattva Precepts form a part of the Three-fold Practice of Sila, Samadhi & Prajna.

translation is based primarily on the teachings given by our late teacher Master Miu King (恩師境老和尚) on this precepts and also draws from our understanding of the Chinese Mahayana lineage and also from various sutta translations from the Pali Canon.

While we learn through the translation of this precept manual, we hope that this translation will serve to open the doors for English speaking communities to the Treasures found in the Buddha Dharma.

Should there be any typos, errors or mistranslations, please contact us so that we may put in updates and corrections where necessary.

May the merits and wisdom accrued from this translation lead to the attainment of Nirvana, Buddhahood of all sentient beings.

Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!

Bodhisattva Precepts Manual


(From the chapter of Precepts in the “Foundational Support Śāstra”1)

By Maitreya Bodhisattva 

Translated by Tripiţakas Master Dharmarakşa (India) in Guzang, the capital of Northern Liang


Translated into English in Singapore by

Ven. Shi Chuan Guan (

Mr. Lee Cheng Soon (

Started in June 2011, first draft in November 2011.

Completed in March 2012.













1 ~ This is identical to chapter forty on Bodhisattva Precepts found in theYogacarabhumi Śāstra.

So Does It Mean That One Have To Be a Vegetarian To Be a Buddhist?

Simply put, no. One does not have to be a vegetarian or vegan for that matter, to be a Buddhist.

Vegetarianism as a pre-requisite to being a Buddhist is a misconception that had been advocated directly or indirectly in the Chinese Mahayana tradition.

I’ve received many queries and responses from lay people about vegetarianism. Some wonder if it is a pre-requisite to be a vegetarian to be a Buddhist. Others wonder if it is a precept or by-clause under the No-Killing precept. All these questions plus some exchanges with a fellow Buddhist who is a vegan spur me on to write this post.

Here is a summary:

  1. To be a Buddhist, it is optional to be a vegetarian.
  2. To observe the First of the Five Precepts of “abstaining from Killing”, one does not have to be a vegetarian. It is still optional to be a vegetarian even if one observes the Five Precepts.
  3. To observe the Bodhisattva vows under the Chinese Mahayana tradition, it is *compulsory* to be a vegetarian.

Foot note to #3, it is not compulsory to be a Bodhisattva even if you follow the Chinese Mahayana tradition. It is only at a later stage that the Bodhisattva vow became a somewhat compulsory package for monastics. For lay people, the Bodhisattva vow is still *not* compulsory.

More after the jump.

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