Dhammika Sutta - Uposatha and other special days

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Dhammika Sutta - Uposatha and other special days

Postby roni » Fri Sep 11, 2009 6:19 pm

Dear Dhamma Wheel Readers/Writers,

There is a sentence in the Snp 2.14 Dhammika Sutta (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/snp/snp.2.14.irel.html) which puzzles me. Could you please explain what these special days are (e.g. what the difference is between "uposatha" and the "holiday of the half month"), and what a layperson does on these days (while keeping the 8 precepts)?

"With a gladdened mind observe the observance day (uposatha), complete with its eight factors, on the fourteenth, fifteenth and eighth days of the (lunar) fortnight and also the special holiday of the half month."

Thank you very much for your answer in advance.

Metta,

Roni

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Re: Dhammika Sutta - Uposatha and other special days

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Sep 11, 2009 6:48 pm

roni wrote:"With a gladdened mind observe the observance day (uposatha), complete with its eight factors, on the fourteenth, fifteenth and eighth days of the (lunar) fortnight and also the special holiday of the half month."


Hi Roni,

First of all I see that is your first post here, so Welcome to Dhamma Wheel!

In ancient times, the 8 precepts were taken on the four main phases of the moon, including the New and Full.

Today, many take just on the New and Full or even just on the Full moon.

The 8 precepts:

1. Panatipata veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami

* I undertake the precept to refrain from destroying living creatures.

2. Adinnadana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami

* I undertake the precept to refrain from taking that which is not given.

3. Abrahmacariya veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami

* I undertake the precept to refrain from sexual activity.

4. Musavada veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami

* I undertake the precept to refrain from incorrect speech.

5. Suramerayamajja pamadatthana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami

* I undertake the precept to refrain from intoxicating drinks and drugs which lead to carelessness.

6. Vikalabhojana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami

* I undertake the precept to refrain from eating at the forbidden time (i.e., after noon).

7. Nacca-gita-vadita-visukkadassana mala-gandha-vilepana-dharana-mandana-vibhusanathana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami

* I undertake the precept to refrain from dancing, singing, music, going to see entertainments, wearing garlands, using perfumes, and beautifying the body with cosmetics.

8. Uccasayana-mahasayana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami

* I undertake the precept to refrain from lying on a high or luxurious sleeping place.

(from Anguttara Nikaya 8.41)
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Re: Dhammika Sutta - Uposatha and other special days

Postby roni » Fri Sep 11, 2009 7:01 pm

Thank you for your extremely fast reply. :woohoo:

The precepts themselves are in the sutta as well. My question is more about the celebration of these days. What does it mean the 14th, 15th and 8th. The day before and/or after the half moon & full moon nights? What about this "half month"? Is it not the same as "a fortnight"? And what do laypeole do on these days? Do they go to the monastery to take/receive the precepts or do they perform the ritual at home? What else happens on these days?

Metta,

Roni

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Re: Dhammika Sutta - Uposatha and other special days

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Sep 11, 2009 11:52 pm

Greetings Roni,

Whilst not directly related to Theravada, it's interesting to note that the Chinese Mahayana Buddhist liturgical calendar still places importance on some of those dates.

See: http://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.ph ... t=59&p=181

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Dhammika Sutta - Uposatha and other special days

Postby roni » Sat Sep 12, 2009 4:35 am

Thanks a lot, Retro! :smile:

The text comes from a sutta, so the best would be an early Buddhist context.

Metta,

Roni

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