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(Skt.; Pāli, sīlabbata-parāmāsa). Obsession with the mechanical performance of rules, rites, and rituals, in the mistaken belief that such practices in themselves will lead to salvation. This is a hindrance on the religious path and is listed as the third of the ten fetters (saṃyojana) and one of the four kinds of clinging (upādāna). The Buddha viewed the sacrificial rites of the Brahmins as falling into this category and as being inefficacious, like many of the severe austerities practiced by ascetics (śramaṇas). While raising no objection to wholesome rites and rituals and the observance of moral precepts, he emphasized that these must be supplemented by meditative practice and the cultivation of insight and understanding.

Subjects: Buddhism.

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