Once an old lay cultivator had received the five precepts and an additional rule of “keeping silent while eating.” However, later he broke all five precepts and only kept the rule of "keeping silent while eating." The precept-protecting spirit that protected this rule hoped that the lay person would violate it so that he could also leave. This person, nonetheless, never broke that rule. He always ate in silence.
Later, that precept spirit appeared in a dream, “You have transgressed all the precepts. Why haven’t you broken this rule of "keeping silent while eating"? Please break it quickly so I can leave.”
The old cultivator thought to himself, “I only hold this one rule of eating in silence and still I have that precept spirit protecting me.” Thereafter, he found a virtuous Dharma Master and received the five precepts again. Consequently, he cultivated and realized the Way. Each person has his own set of causes and conditions.
Therefore, receiving precepts is a very important matter in Buddhism.