Buddhist followers may now be divided into two categories namely: monks and lay men or four kinds, namely: Bhikku, Samaner, Upasaka (churchman or lay man) and Upasika (churchwoman or lay woman). There are no more Bkikkuni, Samaneri Nan Sikkhamana. Their duties do differ but they similarly have to adhere strictly to the following five principles:-
1. Exercising utmost eforts to study and understand the teaching of the Buddha and the Buddhist religion.
2. Tryng to behave properly and appropritely to one's sex and status as ruled by the Buddha, i.e, the churchmen and the churchwomen are to have faith and firm belief in the virtues of the Buddha, that the Buddha is the holy, worthy, accomplishing Arahanta who is fully self-enlightened, perfect in knowledge and conduct, well-gone and well-farer and sublime. He is the knower of the world, the incomparable laeder fo men to be tamed, the teacher of gods and men. He is awakened, blessed and analyst, and believes in the Law of Kamma (action), in the consequences of actions and in the individual ownership of action.
They are to observe the rules of morality appropriate to their status and time, namely the five Precepts, as follows:-
1. To abstain from killing.
2. To abstain from stealing.
3. To abstain from sexual misconduct.
4. To abstain from false speech.
5. To abstain from intoxicants causing heedlessness.
There are not to cling to mere rules and rituals but to firmly believe in the Law of Kamma. Whenver they perform meritorious action, they will do it in accordance with what is prescribed in Buddhism. As for the monks, they are required to do more elaborately to suit their status.
3. In rpactising Dhammas, one will get in return the insight knowledge known particularly to oneself. This signifies that after Dhamma study, one must practise Dhamma to fruition of any level. Only in such a way a person can realize the value of Buddhims.
4. They are to contribute to the dissemination and explanation of moral principles of Buddhism. This can be done extensively at present, for example, throgh discussions, exchange of views, lectures, teachinngs and through the use of documents, tapes or video.
5. Whenever there are instults with offensive words, distortion and false accusations aimed to destroy Buddhism, it is the prime responsibility of all Buddhists to remedy them in orders to maintain Buddhism and its persons, doctrine, institutes and rites, in order that Buddhism may work eternally for the benefit and happiness of people all over the world.
In brief, the above fire practices comprise:-
1. Study the Buddha's teaching.
2. Practise the Buddha's teaching.
3. Get to the results arising from the practice (in item 2)
4. Contribute to the dissemination and explanation of the Buddha's moral principles.
5. Contribute to the preservation of Buddhism.
To eradicate dangers arising in Buddhism from persons both inside and outside as prescribed above is how to preserve the resolution set by the Buddha which has been followeed by all the Holy Persons, all former teachers adn ancestors for the continuation of the religion up to the present moment. This is what the people of this era must do in order to help maintain Buddhism eternally in the world.
From: What Buddhism gives us The Venerable Phra Rajadhammaniddesa (Rabaeb Thitayano) Borvaranivesvihara Monestery, Bangkok, Thailand.