On the morning of November 1, the Daoist ordination altar held the first true precepts ceremony. The group of ordinands were divided into two groups, following the lead of the ritual master and the staff-bearing team to the Grand Ritual Hall and Abbot’s Chamber, where they respectfully invited the eight masters and the abbot’s legal advisor to ascend to the high seat on the ordination platform.
On the platform, the abbot’s advisor consecrated the first true precepts robe, bowl, and “First True Precepts Scripture” according to the order of the precepts, and announced the ten first true precepts to the ordinands. After each precept was announced, he asked the ordinands, “Can you uphold these precepts?” The ordinands knelt down and replied loudly, “We will uphold the precepts as instructed.” The atmosphere on the altar was solemn and orderly, and the ritual was conducted with dignity and reverence.
The first true precepts are based on the three refuges precepts, the five precepts for accumulating merit and returning to the source, the ten first true precepts, and the nine female true precepts (which are specifically for female Daoist practitioners). The “First True Precepts Scripture” says: “Those who seek the Dao must take precepts as their teacher, uphold precepts as their life, or they are those who do not understand the nature of reality, do not follow the will of heaven, and do not follow the teachings of the saints.”
The three refuges precepts are the pivot of heaven and earth and the foundation of immortals. The five precepts for accumulating merit and returning to the source are the basis for maintaining the body and the root of upholding the Dao. Monastic Daoist practitioners must first receive and uphold the three refuges and five precepts before they can receive the ten first true precepts and the nine female true precepts. After receiving the precepts, the disciples must take the precepts as their teacher, faithfully uphold each precept, and make the precepts the foundation of their future cultivation.
In the afternoon of the same day, the ceremony for passing through the Grand Hall was held.