What are the 10 negative actions in Buddhism?

What are the 10 negative actions in Buddhism?

30 Sec Answer: Buddhism teaches that engaging in any of the 10 negative actions will bring bad karma, and can ultimately lead to suffering. The 10 negative actions are killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, divisive speech, harsh speech, idle talk, covetousness/greed, ill-will, and wrong view.


Buddhism is an ancient religion that has been around for thousands of years. It’s based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama (the Buddha), who was born in what is now Nepal in the 5th century BCE. Buddhism teaches its followers to strive for enlightenment by following the Noble Eightfold Path, which includes practices such as mindfulness and meditation. But it also warns against certain types of behavior that can lead to suffering or bad karma. These behaviors are called the "Ten Negative Actions" and they should be avoided at all costs if one wishes to follow the path to enlightenment.

What Are The Ten Negative Actions?

The Ten Negative Actions are a set of ethical guidelines outlined in Buddhist scriptures. They provide a framework for how Buddhists should behave in order to avoid creating bad karma. The Ten Negative Actions are as follows:

  1. Killing
  2. Stealing
  3. Sexual Misconduct
  4. Lying
  5. Divisive Speech
  6. Harsh Speech
  7. Idle Talk
  8. Covetousness/Greed
  9. Ill-Will
  10. Wrong View

    Each action has a particular definition within the context of Buddhism, but generally speaking they involve engaging in activities that create harm either directly or indirectly, either towards oneself or others. By avoiding these activities, Buddhists believe they can create good karma and progress along the path to enlightenment.


    Killing is defined as taking another life intentionally or with malice aforethought; this applies to both humans and animals alike. Even though killing in self defense may be justified under some circumstances according to Buddhist teachings, it still creates bad karma due to its inherently violent nature so it should be avoided whenever possible. Instead of using violence as a solution, Buddhists practice nonviolence and attempt to resolve conflicts peacefully through dialogue and understanding instead of force or aggression.


    Stealing involves taking something that does not belong to you without permission from its rightful owner; this includes things like physical objects as well as intellectual property like ideas or copyrighted material. While it’s sometimes difficult to determine whether something is actually “stealing” or just borrowing without permission (especially when it comes to intellectual property), Buddhists should always strive to obtain permission before taking something that doesn’t belong to them in order to avoid generating bad karma through theft.

    Sexual Misconduct

    Sexual misconduct refers to any kind of inappropriate sexual behavior including adultery, rape, incest, etc.; this encompasses not only physical acts but also verbal expressions such as obscene language or lewd jokes/comments about someone else’s body/sexuality without their consent . According to Buddhist teachings, all forms of sexual misconduct should be avoided since they cause emotional pain and generate negative energy that can eventually manifest into physical problems such as illness or even death in extreme cases . As such, Buddhists strive for purity in thought and deed when it comes to sexuality in order to stay on the right path and achieve enlightenment more easily .


    Lying involves making false statements with the intention of deceiving someone; this could be something small like telling white lies for convenience sake or bigger lies intended for malicious purposes like fraud or identity theft . No matter what the purpose may be , all forms of dishonesty should be avoided according to Buddhist teachings because they create negative energy which can ultimately lead to unhappiness . Additionally , even though telling small “white lies” may seem harmless , it still sends out negative vibrations which can have long term effects on one’s mental health so it’s important not only for Buddhists but everyone else too make an effort not lie whenever possible .

Samantha Greenfield

Samantha Greenfield was born and raised in a small town in the rural countryside of Washington state. From a young age, she was drawn to the natural world and spent much of her time exploring the forests and fields around her home. As she grew older, she became increasingly interested in the intersection of nature, spirituality, and personal growth, and began to study Buddhism and mindfulness in depth. After completing her undergraduate degree in Environmental Science, Samantha decided to pursue a career in nature conservation and spent several years working with various non-profit organizations and government agencies on conservation projects around the world. Along the way, she discovered a passion for writing and began to document her adventures and insights in a series of personal blogs and articles. In recent years, Samantha has turned her focus to sharing her knowledge and experiences with a wider audience and has become a popular speaker and workshop leader on topics related to Buddhism, mindfulness, and personal growth. She is currently working on a book about the intersection of nature, spirituality, and mindfulness, and continues to be an active advocate for environmental conservation and sustainability.

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