Panca Sila or Five Precepts for Nation Development


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Buddha promoted middle path for the attainment of Enlightenment. Worldly speaking, it is a middle path for social, political and economic development. In the past, the world experienced extremism in its political development such as so-called divine monarchic absolutism or secular authoritarianism. New moderate political system is liberal democracy in which it is believed to evolving from past stigma and intractable conflicts. This system is considered hybridizing or blending for the success of human endeavor.

Panca Sila or Five Precepts for Nation Development

In general, Cambodian people will be aware of Panca Sila or Five Precepts in their daily livelihood, but their understanding and practicing of these precepts are somehow skeptical.

Five Precepts are considered fundamental moral value of all beings. The Buddha himself accepted that no one created these precepts; they have naturally existed within this universe. Every Buddha in this universe will value these Five Precepts as basic need for social security and well being of mankind.

In modern world, Five Precepts have interpreted into human rights, social norm of moral value, political substance for fairness, and sustainable development.

Further to above interpretation, the first precept of avoiding harming and killing of other beings preliminarily coincided with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations. While this declaration has been used by many civilized countries for the fairness of social, political and economic development, the private corporations have also adopted human rights to treat their employees in a durable manner. For instance, the employees are entitled to receive parental or maternity leave, vacation pay, sick leave and other various benefits.

From the first to fifth precept, they are the best premises to handling with all types of abuses including physical, financial, sexual, verbal and emotional abuses. For instance, by observing the first precept to avoid harming and killing, one can cope with their action of physical abuses; by observing second precept of avoiding from stealing, one can cope with their action of financial abuses; by observing the third precept of abstaining from sexual misconduct, one can cope with their behavior of sexual abuses; by observing fourth precept of abstaining from telling lie and cheating, one can cope with their behavior of verbal abuses; and by observing the fifth precept of abstaining from addicting to drugs and alcohol, one can cope with their behavior of mental abuses.

Five Precepts have played important role on bonding Cambodian people within a moral value of shame to all types of wrong deed. But this shame is not enough as the enforcement of the rule of law must be also in place. In developed countries, shame to wrong deed has been developed in the meantime of law enforcement and punishment to all wrong doers regardless of their social status, political bureaucrats or other hierarchies. Thus, their social capital is rich of trust and mutual respect.

Modern popular development of political system of liberal democracy and equitable political economy, Five Precepts are comparable to five pillars of this nation-house. Coverage on both traditional norm and modern legal apparatus, these supplemental human rights precepts ably empower bureaucrats to duly implement their tasks. Hence, the whole society can experience fairness and satisfactoriness of daily living standard.

In term of economic development, the Five Precepts are considered the last resort for sustainable development. The love of nature and animals is actually stemmed from the undertaking of the first precept. Skeptics would ask how nation could develop its economy if the first precept prohibits from killing animals which are part of the meat consuming in a country. Of course, at those developed countries, all types of animal slaughtering mechanism must be closely monitored and approved by the local animal rights organization to operate such slaughtering within a lawful procedures. Kids are educated to love nature and animals. Their major behavioral patterns are derived from the Five Precepts.

Buddha promoted middle path for the attainment of Enlightenment. Worldly speaking, it is a middle path for social, political and economic development. In the past, the world experienced extremism in its political development such as so-called divine monarchic absolutism or secular authoritarianism. New moderate political system is liberal democracy in which it is believed to evolving from past stigma and intractable conflicts. This system is considered hybridizing or blending for the success of human endeavor.

Five Precepts must be the Five Pillars for Cambodia nation to develop in all fields. Cambodia has been suffered by the pursuit of political extremism. She must regress back to utilize five precepts as the existing social norm along with the strengthening the rule of law to ensure fairness and political subjectivity.

 

By Sophan Seng

Co-Admin of Cambodian Academic Network (CAN)

President of Khmer Youth Association of Alberta

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