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Pratimoksha vows

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Pratimoksha vows

(skt.: pratimoksha; tib.: so tar kyi dom pa) Individual freedom vows. The main subject of Vinaya, division of the Buddhist scriptures concerned with monastic discipline - the rules for the behavior of monks and nuns and the conduct of their communal business.

Pratimoksha vows are divided in different types:
1. one day vows (tib.: nyen.ne) - eight vows which one takes for the period of 24 hours, also known as eight precepts
2. layman or laywoman vows (tib.: ge.nyen.pa or ge.nyen.ma) - five vows.
3. pre-noviciats vows (tib.: rab.jung) - 8 vows
4. novice monk or nuns vows (tib.: ge.tsul.pa or ge.tsul.ma) - 36 vows
5. fully ordained nuns vows (tib.: ge long ma) - consits of 364 vows
6. fully ordained monks vows (tib.: ge long pa) - consits of 253 vows
In a commentary on Je Tsongkhapas text Essence of Ocean of Vinaya, Master Ngulchu Dharma Bhadra explains why these vows are named pratimoksha vows: ... is so named because those individuals who take them and keep them properly will escape the cycle of suffering, whereas those who do not, will not.


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- Lama Shenphen Rinpoche

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