Scala, La [Teatro alla Scala], one of the world's great opera houses, located in Milan, Italy. It opened in 1778 with a production of Antonio Salieri's Europa Riconosciuta. Built on the site of the Church of Santa Maria della Scala, the opera house was designed by Giuseppe Piermarini. The building was remodeled in 1867, modernized in 1921, restored in 1946 after having been bombed in World War II, and renovated in 2002-4. La Scala has been the scene of many famous opera premieres, among them Bellini's Norma, Verdi's Otello and Falstaff, and Puccini's Madame Butterfly and Turandot.
Mancha, La, historic region of central Spain, in historic New Castile, comprising Ciudad Real prov. and part of the provinces of Toledo, Albacete, and Cuenca. This high, barren plateau, dotted with windmills, was made famous as the scene of most of the adventures of Don Quixote de la Mancha in the novel by Cervantes.
Louvière, La, commune (1991 pop. 76,432), Hainaut prov., S Belgium. It was an industrial center of the Bassin du Centre coal-mining region but has changed its economic focus since the coal mines ceased producing.
Gruyère, La, district (1990 pop. 33,080) in Fribourg canton, W Switzerland. It is famous for its cattle and for Gruyère cheese. The population is largely French-speaking and Roman Catholic.
La. For names beginning thus and not listed here, see second element; e.g., for La Ceiba, see Ceiba, La.
La, symbol for the element lanthanum.
Laguna, La, city (1990 pop. 118,548), on Teneriffe island, Canary Islands. The center of a fertile farm area producing cereals, grapes, fruits, and vegetables, it is also a tourist resort. The Univ. of San Fernando is there.
Francophonie, La, officially the International Organization of the Francophonie, Fr. Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), an intergovernmental organization of French-speaking nations that promotes the education and culture of French speakers as well as peace, democracy, human rights, and economic cooperation and development in the French-speaking world. Founded in 1986 at an international conference at Versailles, France, the organization has 53 members (50 nations and the French Community of Belgium, New Brunswick, and Quebec); a number of non-French-speaking nations are among its members. The OIF is headed by a secretary-general (who chairs the OIF's permanent standing committee) and holds (since 1987) biennial meetings of the leaders of its member nations. The organization's bodies include the Intergovernmental Agency, its main agency; several specialized agencies, among them TV5 and Senghor Univ. of Alexandria; and the consultative Parliamentary Assembly.

La Francophonie originated in a number of international organizations of French speakers established after World War II. An international association of francophone journalists was founded in 1950, of national education ministers in 1960, of universities in 1961, and of national legislators in 1967. In 1970, at a conference in Niamey, Niger, the first intergovernmental body of the French-speaking world, the Agency for Cultural and Technical Cooperation (ACCT), was founded. In the 1990s these and other organizations were consolidated under a standing committee (est. 1991), which gave the OIF a more permanent status; ACCT became the Intergovernmental Agency of La Francophonie in 1996. The post of secretary-general was created in 1997, and Boutros Boutros Ghali was the first to serve in the post.

Hogue, La, or La Hougue, cape on the northeast coast of the Cotentin peninsula, France, on the English Channel. Off the cape, during the War of the Grand Alliance, a French fleet under Tourville was defeated (1692) by the English and Dutch. The battle ended French naval supremacy in the war.
Bicocca, La, former village, Lombardy, N Italy, now part of Milan. There, in 1522, the vicomte de Lautrec, commanding a French army and Swiss mercenaries, was defeated by a combined Milanese, Spanish, and German force in the Italian Wars.
Flèche, La, town (1990 pop. 16,581), Sarthe dept., on the Loir River. The town has a few light industries. It is famous for its college, the Prytanée, founded by Henry IV in the 16th cent., where René Descartes was a pupil. In 1808, Napoleon I transformed the school into a military academy open only to the sons of officers and members of the Legion of Honor. La Flèche has a 15th-century château that houses the town hall.
Hougue, La: see Hogue, La.
Unión, La, town (1990 pop. 15,144), Murcia prov., SE Spain. It is a center for the rich lead, silver, iron, manganese, and zinc mines of the vicinity, which have been worked since Carthaginian times.
Chaux-de-Fonds, La, city (1990 pop. 36,894), Neuchâtel canton, NW Switzerland, in the Jura Mts., near the French border. It is one of the largest watch-manufacturing centers in Switzerland.
Voisin, La: see Poison Affair.
Serena, La: see La Serena.
Spezia, La, city (1991 pop. 101,442), capital of La Spezia prov., in Liguria, NW Italy, on the Gulf of La Spezia (an arm of the Ligurian Sea) and at the eastern end of the Riviera. It is the chief Italian naval station and arsenal and the seat of a navigation school. It is also a commercial port, with shipyards and industries producing machinery, metal products, and refined petroleum. Once a fishing village, La Spezia has been fortified since the Middle Ages. It was badly damaged by Allied bombing in World War II. There is a notable cathedral (14th-16th cent.) in the city; nearby are the ruins of Luna, a Roman town destroyed in the Middle Ages. Along the picturesque Gulf of La Spezia there are several villages celebrated for their beauty, especially Portovenere, Lèrici, and San Terenzo.
Condamine, La: see Monaco.
Ceiba, La, city (1997 est. pop. 96,000), N Honduras, capital of Atlántida dept., on the Caribbean Sea. It is the commercial and processing center of a rich agricultural region dominated by the pineapple and banana plantations of the Standard Fruit and Steamship Company, which is based in the city. The surrounding plantations were nearly ruined by disease in the 1930s but have largely recovered. Coconuts and citrus fruits are also exported. La Ceiba is located at the foot of Peak Bonito (7,989 ft/2,435 m) and is the primary departure point for the Islas de la Bahía. More than 1,000 people were killed when Hurricane Fifi hit the city in 1974.
Granja, La: see San Ildefonso, Spain.
Línea, La, city (1990 pop. 61,597), Cádiz prov., S Spain, on the Strait of Gibraltar. Situated on the Spanish border north of the neutral zone that separates the city from the British colony of Gibraltar, La Línea is fortified and holds strategic importance. La Línea supplies Gibraltar with fresh fruits and vegetables, and many of its citizens are employed by the British.
Rochelle, La, city (1990 pop. 73,744), capital of Charente-Maritime dept., W France, on the Bay of Biscay. Industries include naval, aircraft, and automobile construction. La Rochelle is the principal French fishing port on the Atlantic coast. Chartered in the 12th cent., it soon became one of the chief seaports of France. It was a Huguenot stronghold during the Wars of Religion and successfully resisted Catholic besiegers for half a year (1572-73). However, when Cardinal Richelieu resolved to crush the Huguenots, La Rochelle fell after a siege of 14 months (1627-28). Louis XIV had the port refortified by Vauban; his revocation (1685) of the Edict of Nantes resulted in the foundation of New Rochelle, N.Y., by Protestant refugees. La Rochelle prospered again as it became the chief center of trade with Canada, but it suffered from the loss of Canada by France and from the Continental System under Napoleon. Although its fisheries, canneries, and shipyards still make it a busy port, La Rochelle never recovered its former importance. The principal harbor is now at La Pallice, some 3 mi (5 km) distant. The picturesque old fishing port in the heart of the city, the Renaissance town hall, and other old buildings make the city a favorite tourist center.
Roche-sur-Yon, La, city (1990 pop. 48,518), capital of Vendée dept., W France, on the Yon River. A transportation and agricultural trade center, it also has industries producing automobile parts and other light manufactures. Founded in 1804 by Napoleon I as a town for non-Royalists, it was first named Napoléon-Vendée; under the Restoration (1814-48) it was called Bourbon-Vendée.
Śīla (Sanskrit) or sīla (Pāli) is usually rendered into English as "virtue"; other translations include "good conduct, "morality "moral discipline. and "precept. It is an action that is an intentional effort. It is one of the three practices (sīla - samadhi - paññā) and the second pāramitā. It refers to moral purity of thought, word, and deed. The four conditions of śīla are chastity, calmness, quiet, and extinguishment, i.e. no longer being susceptible to perturbation by the passions like greed and selfishness, which are common in the world today.

Sīla refers to overall (principles of) ethical behaviour. There are several levels of sila, which correspond to 'basic morality' (five precepts), 'basic morality with asceticism' (eight precepts), 'novice monkhood' (ten precepts) and 'monkhood' (Vinaya or Patimokkha). Laypeople generally undertake to live by the five precepts which are common to all Buddhist schools. If they wish, they can choose to undertake the eight precepts, which have some additional precepts of basic asceticism.

Five Precepts

The five precepts are not given in the form of commands such as "thou shalt not ...", but are training rules in order to live a better life in which one is happy, without worries, and can meditate well.

  1. To refrain from taking life.
  2. To refrain from taking that which is not freely given (stealing).
  3. To refrain from sexual misconduct (improper sexual behavior).
  4. To refrain from lying and deceiving.
  5. To refrain from intoxicants which lead to loss of mindfulness.

Eight Precepts

A higher precepts than five precepts, eight precepts specifies in providing atmosphere for meditating by practicing celibacy and avoiding all other entertainments.

In the eight precepts, the third precept on sexual misconduct is made more strict, and becomes a precept of celibacy.

The three additional rules of the eight precepts are:

  1. To refrain from eating at the wrong time (by only eating from sunrise to noon, it ensures that all food eaten that day is digested; thus no night time activities).
  2. To refrain from all entertainments and decorations; ie. dancing, using jewelry, watching movies, going to shows, etc. Especially those entertainments that bring the viewer's mind to sexual scenes.
  3. To refrain from using a high, luxurious bed. These beds indicates softness, comfortable, and sleepiness of the sleeper.

Ten Precepts

Novice-monks use the ten precepts, which are the basic precepts for monastics: people who have left the home-life and live in monasteries.


Vinaya is the specific moral code for monks. It includes the Patimokkha, a set of 227 rules in the Theravadin recension. The precise content of the vinayapitaka (scriptures on Vinaya) differ slightly according to different schools, and different schools or subschools set different standards for the degree of adherence to Vinaya.

Mahayana Precepts

In Mahayana Buddhism, there is also a distinctive Vinaya and ethics contained within the Mahayana Brahmajala Sutra (not to be confused with the Pali text of that name) for Bodhisattvas, where, for example, the eating of meat is frowned upon and vegetarianism is actively encouraged (see vegetarianism in Buddhism). These precepts are, however, not present in the strictest moral code of the Theravadin Patimokkha, and are generally understood to have come in existence at least 500 years after the Buddha.

See also



  • Bodhi, Bhikkhu (2005). In the Buddha's Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon. Boston: Wisdom Publications. ISBN 0-86171-491-1.
  • Gethin, Rupert (1998). The Foundations of Buddhism. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-289223-1.
  • Gombrich, Richard (2002). Theravāda Buddhism: A Social History from Ancient Benares to Modern Colombo. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-07585-8.
  • Harvey, Peter (1990). An Introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, History and Practices. Cambridge: Cambridge University. ISBN 0-521-31333-3.
  • Ñāamoli, Bhikkhu (trans.) (1999). The Path of Purification: Visuddhimagga. Seattle, WA: BPS Pariyatti Editions. ISBN 1-928706-00-2.
  • Nyanatiloka Mahathera (1988). Buddhist Dictionary: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines. Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society. ISBN 955-24-0019-8. Retrieved 2008-02-17 from "BuddhaSasana" at
  • Saddhatissa, Hammalawa (1987). Buddhist Ethics: The Path to Nirvāna. London: Wisdom Publications. ISBN 0-86171-53-3.
  • Thanissaro Bhikkhu (1999). The Ten Perfections: A Study Guide. Retrieved 2008-02-17 from "Access to Insight" at
  • Warder, A.K. (2004). Indian Buddhism. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. ISBN 81-208-1741-9.

External links

  • Sila as explained in the Buddhist Encyclopedia.

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