8 precepts entertainment

Is the precept about entertainments only in the Vinaya ? or is it discussed in the suttas?

The 8 precepts, including the one on entertainments, are listed in AN 8.41. If you search on Uposatha you’ll find other references in the suttas.


For a detailed understanding of the entertainment clause in the eight and ten precepts, the Pali commentators refer the reader to the following passage from the Majjhimasīla section of the Brahmajālasutta, DN1:

“Or he might say: ‘Whereas some honourable recluses and brahmins, while living on food offered by the faithful, attend unsuitable shows, such as:

shows featuring dancing, singing, or instrumental music;
theatrical performances;
narrations of legends;
music played by hand-clapping, cymbals, and drums;
picture houses;
acrobatic performances;
combats of elephants, horses, buffaloes, bulls, goats, rams, cocks and quails;
stick-fights, boxing and wrestling, sham-fights, roll-calls, battle-arrays, and regimental reviews—
the recluse Gotama abstains from attending such unsuitable shows.’

“Or he might say: “Whereas some honourable recluses and brahmins, while living on food offered by the faithful, indulge in the following games that are a basis for negligence:

aṭṭhapada (a game played on an eight-row chess-board);
dasapada (a game played on a ten-row chess-board);
ākāsa (a game of the same type played by imagining a board in the air);
parihārapatha (“hopscotch,” a diagram is drawn on the ground and one has to jump in the allowable spaces avoiding the lines);
santika (“spellicans,” assembling the pieces in a pile, removing and returning them without disturbing the pile);
khalika (dice games);
ghaṭika (hitting a short stick with a long stick);
salākahattha (a game played by dipping the hand in paint or dye, striking the ground or a wall, and requiring the participants to show the figure of an elephant, a horse etc.);
akkha (ball games);
paṅgacīra (blowing through toy pipes made of leaves);
vaṅkaka (ploughing with miniature ploughs);
mokkhacika (turning somersaults);
ciṅgulika (playing with paper windmills);
pattāḷaka (playing with toy measures);
rathaka (playing with toy chariots);
dhanuka (playing with toy bows);
akkharika (guessing at letters written in the air or on one’s back);
manesika (guessing others’ thoughts);
yathāvajja (games involving mimicry of deformities)—
the recluse Gotama abstains from such games and recreations.’


Do PC gaming breakthe precepts?

Important to note, lay people are typically advised to follow 5 precepts, and if they go a step further 8 on uposotha days.

As for the question; I would think PC gaming would count as entertainment … but I think the internet probably would as well.

I would say yes, watching shows breaks the precept and a video game is a show that you control what happens, it’s also a game which is also against the precept.

The underlying principle is to not escape dukkha via sensual desire, hence it’s a precept taken up by lay people during uposatha.

Basically you’re supposed to feel the discontent of doing nothing head on, and deal with it in a way that’s not your typical defense mechanism against boredom/restlessness, but instead with satipatthana and yoniso manasikara as per MN 2


With great respect and appreciation for your wisdom.