Eight gross infractions

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Eight gross infractions (Tib. སྦོམ་པོ་བརྒྱད་, Wyl. sbom po brgyad), sometimes referred to as the eight auxiliary downfalls, eight secondary downfalls,[1] or eight serious downfalls, are to be avoided as part of the samaya commitments following an empowerment belonging to the inner tantras.

  1. Having an ordinary, uninitiated consort
  2. Receiving the nectars from an improper source
  3. Not concealing the secret symbols of tantra from the uninitiated
  4. Disturbing practitioners, physically or verbally, during a practice such as a tsok feast
  5. Not telling the truth or not teaching someone who is a proper vessel
  6. Staying for more than seven days among people who disrespect the tantric view and practices
  7. Proudly boasting or pretending to be a vajra master
  8. Giving secret teachings to someone who previously received secret teachings but now lacks faith[2]


  1. Jamgön Kongtrül Lodrö Tayé, Buddhist Ethics, Ithaca: Snow Lion, 1998, p. 265
  2. Tulku Thondup, 'The Empowerments and Precepts of Esoteric Training' in Enlightened Journey: Buddhist Practice as Daily Life, Boston: Shambhala, 1995, p. 123