About Our Logo

The Library
Articles and Essays
Search .

Uposatha Days
Buddhist Days of Observance

.

The Condensed Version

Many Buddhists undertake extra discipline on Uposatha Days.

.

.

In many branches of Buddhism, four moon phases (new moon, first quarter, full moon, and last quarter) are kept as special days of obligation.  Others keep only the new and full moon. (I have had the practice of  recognizing these two days by shaving my head.  I haven't done it for a few months now, but will again soon.)  You can read more about Uposatha practice; although it has been widely adapted to modern life (for example, becoming simply "Sunday" in some Thai temples in America, and "every other Saturday" for head-shaving in some Chinese temples in America), it is worth contemplating.  How about giving up meat on those four days every month?

Here are the "eight precepts" for Uposatha days; they are explained more fully at the link above.  Note that the first five are the Five Precepts kept by many Buddhists at all times; the other three are added on Uposatha days:

1. I undertake the rule of training to refrain from killing living creatures.

2. I undertake the rule of training to refrain from taking what is not given.

3. I undertake the rule of training to refrain from unchaste conduct.

4. I undertake the rule of training to refrain from false speech.

5. I undertake the rule of training to refrain from distilled and fermented intoxicants which are the occasion for carelessness.

6. I undertake the rule of training to refrain from eating outside the time (i.e. refrain from eating outside the one mid-day mealtime)

7. I undertake the rule of training to refrain from dancing, singing, music, going to see entertainments, wearing garlands, smartening with perfumes and beautifying with cosmetics.

8. I undertake the rule of training to refrain from a high or large sleeping-place.

You can also read the sutta in which the Buddha originally laid out these practices.

The Journal Index Page has this year's Uposatha dates, and a handy image showing the current phase of the moon in your time zone.


Contents (C) 2006 James Baquet
.

.

Read More

Online:

References to come

Offline:

References to come

.

.

Write to