Behavior is thought translated into action.  The Brahma’s Net Sutra (Brahmajala Sutra in Sanskrit) is a codification of the guidelines of behavior (Shila) for Bodhisattvas and other followers of the Buddha’s teachings. The Brahma’s Net Sutra gives attention to the topic of behavior, which in the Pali Canon‘s vinaya (rules of monastic conduct). receives much more attention.

The Sutra offers ten precepts for behavior. According to the Sutra, a Bodhisattva is expected to:

  • Avoid killing.
  • Avoid stealing.
  • Avoid licentious acts.
  • Avoid lying.
  • Avoid trading in intoxicants.
  • Avoid exclaiming the misdeeds of the Sangha.
  • Avoid praising one’s self.
  • Avoid stinginess.
  • Avoid harboring anger.
  • Avoid defaming the Three Jewels.

For each of the above, a Bodhisattva is also expected to avoid encouraging others from doing the same. And beyond the ten prescriptions above, there are a further 48 minor injunctions discussed. The 58 prescriptions together comprise the components of the Bodhisattva vow. 

Sanskrit:  Brahmajāla Sūtra