Regarding the 5th Precept
Surâ meraya majja pamâdatthânâ veramanî sikkhâpadam samâdiyâmi.
I undertake the training precept to abstain from intoxicants, which
give rise to heedlessness.
*Pamâda = negligence, moral laxity, heedlessness, unmindfulness.
A related word, pamajjati, means: 1. to become intoxicated; 2. to be
careless, lazy, or negligent; 3. to waste one’s time.
Quotes from Gotama (Gautama) Buddha
“The layman who joyfully abides in self-control, knowing that the
use of intoxicants results in loss of self-control, should not indulge
in taking them, nor should he encourage others to do so, nor should
he approve of others doing so.
Fools commit evil deeds as a result of intoxication, and cause others
who are negligent to the the same. One should avoid this source of
evil, this madness, this delusion, this joy of fools.”
--Dhammika Sutta (Sutta Nipâta 398-399)
“To be…a drunkard…this is a cause of one’s downfall.”
--Parâbhava Sutta (Sutta Nipâta 106)
“If someone indulges in taking intoxicants, in this very world, he
digs up his own roots.”
--Dhammapada 247 (18:13)
“…to abstain from intoxicants, and to be diligent in virtue, these
are the Highest Blessings.”
--Mangala Sutta (Sutta Nipâta 264)
And from the teaching of Ma-tsu
“The chief law-inspector in Hung-chou asked, ‘Is it correct to eat
meat and drink wine?’ The Patriarch (Ma-tsu) replied, ‘If you eat
meat and drink wine, that is your happiness. If you do not, it is
--excerpt from Sun Face Buddha, trs. by Cheng Chien Bhikshu (p.81)
Note: the Ch’an master Ma-tsu lived in China during the 8th century C.E.