Sixteen serious faults

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The sixteen serious faults (Tib. ལྕི་བ་བཅུ་དྲུག, chiwa chudruk, Wyl. lci ba bcu drug) or sixteen grave actions[1] are divided into four sets of four:

Four serious wrong actions (Wyl. log pa'i lci ba bzhi)[2]

  1. To sit in a higher seat than a learned scholar (mkhas pa'i gong lci)
  2. To accept prostrations from a fully ordained monk or a great meditator (sgom chen gyi phyag lci)
  3. To steal the provisions of a meditator (sgom sgrub mkhan gyi zas lci)
  4. To steal the ritual objects or wealth of a tantric practitioner (sngags pa'i nor lci)

Four serious impairments (Wyl. nyams pa'i lci ba bzhi)[3]

  1. As an ordinary person, to swear using the name of the Three Jewels (mi chos la mna' zos nyams pa lci)
  2. To impair the shravaka precepts of the Vinaya (nyan po la 'dul khrims nyams pa lci)
  3. To impair the precepts of the bodhisattva trainings (byang chub sems dpa' la bslab khrims nyams pa lci)
  4. As a mantrayana practitioner, to impair the samayas (gsang sngags la dam tshig nyams pa lci)

Four serious disrespectful actions (Wyl. smod pa'i lci ba bzhi)[4]

  1. Out of ignorance, to have contempt for the Buddha's physical form (gti mug dbang gis 'phags pa'i sku la smod pa lci)
  2. Out of pride, to have contempt for the truth (nga rgyal dbang gis bden pa'i tshig la smod pa lci)
  3. Out of jealousy, to have contempt for the qualities of friends (phrag dog dbang gis grogs kyi yon tan la smod pa lci)
  4. Out of partiality, to discriminate between deities (phyogs ris dbang gis lha la blang dor byas pa lci)

Four serious denigrating actions (Wyl. bskur ba'i lci ba bzhi)[5]

  1. To make distinctions within perfect equality (mnyam nyid don la khyad 'don lci)
  2. To hold to distinctions of relative importance among samadhis (ting 'dzin dag la gal 'dzugs lci)
  3. To shed a buddha's blood, the most serious of the five crimes with immediate retribution (mtshams med lnga la khrag phyung lci)
  4. To hold wrong views, the most serious of the ten unwholesome actions (mi dge bcu la log lta lci)


  1. Kangyur Rinpoche, Treasury of Precious Qualities, Boston: Shambhala, 2001, p. 353, n.28 Note that the list there differs slightly from what is given here, which is based on Dungkar Lobzang Trinlé's Great Dictionary.
  2. Dungkar, Great Dictionary, p. 1976
  3. ibid, p.923
  4. ibid, p.1645
  5. ibid. p. 278