The Teaching of All Buddhas
“Cease to do evil, do good; purify the heart and mind; this is the teaching of all the Buddhas”.
(1) “Cease to do evil”.
All of us know the difference between right and wrong. We must not do anything we know will be hurtful to anyone, including ourselves. Birds and animals, too, must not be harmed.
When we speak of not hurting anyone or anything, we mean far more than just not causing physical pain. We must not speak unkind words or invent untrue stories about anyone. We must not do anything wrong even by neglect or carelessness. For example, we forget to fill the dog’s water-bowl and the poor dog suffers from thirst. There are many ways to cause suffering simply by carelessness. When we have caused unhappiness to others by any act or word of ours, or by failing to do what we know is right, then we are guilty of doing evil. It is not a good excuse that something wrong we have done is only a “small evil”. When Lord Buddha advised us “Cease to do evil”, He did not mean only big mis-deeds, but also all evil.