Author Topic: Three kinds of Uposatha (found today as well)  (Read 86 times)

Offline Samana Johann

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Three kinds of Uposatha (found today as well)
« on: August 06, 2017, 10:30:33 pm »
Valued Upasaka, Upasika, dear Buddhabodhisattas and interested readers,

Being the first fullmoon Uposatha in Vassa (3-4 month rain-retreat of Buddhas monastic disciples) 2561 and having been asked what's the matter of the practice of the Jains, my person thought it's good to remind or even make known a central practice of the follower of our Buddha: The Ariya-Uposatha (cleaning):

Quote

Muluposatha Sutta: The Roots of the Uposatha

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying in Savatthi at the Eastern Monastery, the palace of Migara's mother. Now at that time — it being the Uposatha day — Visakha, Migara's mother, went to the Blessed One in the middle of the day and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As she was sitting there the Blessed One said to her, "Well now, Visakha, why are you coming in the middle of the day?"

"Today I am observing the Uposatha, lord."

"Visakha, there are these three Uposathas. Which three? The Uposatha of a cowherd, the Uposatha of the Jains, and the Uposatha of the Noble Ones.

"And what is the Uposatha of a cowherd? Just as when a cowherd returns the cattle to their owners in the evening, he reflects: 'Today the cattle wandered to that spot and this, drank at this spot and that; tomorrow they will wander to that spot and this, will drink at this spot and that'; in the same way, there is the case where a certain person observing the Uposatha reflects, 'Today I ate this sort of non-staple food and that sort of staple food. Tomorrow I will eat that sort of non-staple food and this sort of staple food.' He spends the day with an awareness imbued with that covetousness, with that greed. Such is the Uposatha of a cowherd, Visakha. When this Uposatha of a cowherd is undertaken, it is not of great fruit or great benefit, not of great glory or great radiance.

"And what is the Uposatha of the Jains? There are the contemplatives called the Niganthas (Jains). They get their disciple to undertake the following practice: 'Here, my good man. Lay down the rod with regard to beings who live more than 100 leagues to the east... more than 100 leagues to the west... more than 100 leagues to the north... more than 100 leagues to the south.' Thus they get the disciple to undertake kindness & sympathy to some beings, but not to others.

"On the Uposatha day, they get their disciple to undertake the following practice: 'Here, my good man. Having stripped off all your clothing, say this: "I am nothing by anything or of anything. Thus there is nothing by anything or of anything that is mine."' Yet in spite of that, his parents know of him that 'This is our child.' And he knows of them that 'These are my parents.' His wives & children know of him that 'This is our husband & father.' And he knows of them that 'These are my wives & children.' His workers & slaves know of him that 'This is our master.' And he knows of them that 'These are my workers & slaves.' Thus at a time when he should be persuaded to undertake truthfulness, he is persuaded to undertake falsehood. At the end of the night, he resumes the consumption of his belongings, even though they aren't given back to him. This counts as stealing, I tell you. Such is the Uposatha of the Jains, Visakha. When this Uposatha of the Jains is undertaken, it is not of great fruit or great benefit, not of great glory or great radiance.

"And what is the Uposatha of the Noble Ones? It is the cleansing of the defiled mind through the proper technique. And how is the defiled mind cleansed through the proper technique?

"There is the case where the disciple of the noble ones recollects the Tathagata, thus: 'Indeed, the Blessed One is worthy and rightly self-awakened, consummate in knowledge & conduct, well-gone, an expert with regard to the world, unexcelled as a trainer for those people fit to be tamed, the Teacher of divine & human beings, awakened, blessed.' As he is recollecting the Tathagata, his mind is calmed, and joy arises; the defilements of his mind are abandoned, just as when the head is cleansed through the proper technique. And how is the head cleansed through the proper technique? Through the use of cosmetic paste & clay & the appropriate human effort. This is how the head is cleansed through the proper technique. In the same way, the defiled mind is cleansed through the proper technique. And how is the defiled mind cleansed through the proper technique? There is the case where the disciple of the noble ones recollects the Tathagata... As he is recollecting the Tathagata, his mind is cleansed, and joy arises; the defilements of his mind are abandoned. He is thus called a disciple of the noble ones undertaking the Brahma-Uposatha. He lives with Brahma [= the Buddha]. It is owing to Brahma that his mind is calmed, that joy arises, and that whatever defilements there are in his mind are abandoned. This is how the mind is cleansed through the proper technique.

"[Again, the Uposatha of the Noble Ones] is the cleansing of the mind through the proper technique. And how is the defiled mind cleansed through the proper technique?

"There is the case where the disciple of the noble ones recollects the Dhamma, thus: 'The Dhamma is well-expounded by the Blessed One, to be seen here & now, timeless, inviting verification, pertinent, to be realized by the wise for themselves.' As he is recollecting the Dhamma, his mind is calmed, and joy arises; the defilements of his mind are abandoned, just as when the body is cleansed through the proper technique. And how is the body cleansed through the proper technique? Through the use of scouring balls & bath powder & the appropriate human effort. This is how the body is cleansed through the proper technique. In the same way, the defiled mind is cleansed through the proper technique. And how is the defiled mind cleansed through the proper technique? There is the case where the disciple of the noble ones recollects the Dhamma... As he is recollecting the Dhamma, his mind is cleansed, and joy arises; the defilements of his mind are abandoned. He is thus called a disciple of the noble ones undertaking the Dhamma-Uposatha. He lives with Dhamma. It is owing to Dhamma that his mind is calmed, that joy arises, and that whatever defilements there are in his mind are abandoned. This is how the mind is cleansed through the proper technique.

"[Again, the Uposatha of the Noble Ones] is the cleansing of the mind through the proper technique. And how is the defiled mind cleansed through the proper technique?

"There is the case where the disciple of the noble ones recollects the Sangha, thus: 'The Sangha of the Blessed One's disciples who have practiced well... who have practiced straight-forwardly... who have practiced methodically... who have practiced masterfully — in other words, the four types [of noble disciples] when taken as pairs, the eight when taken as individual types — they are the Sangha of the Blessed One's disciples: worthy of gifts, worthy of hospitality, worthy of offerings, worthy of respect, the incomparable field of merit for the world.' As he is recollecting the Sangha, his mind is calmed, and joy arises; the defilements of his mind are abandoned, just as when clothing is cleansed through the proper technique. And how is clothing cleansed through the proper technique? Through the use of salt earth & lye & cow dung & the appropriate human effort. This is how clothing is cleansed through the proper technique. In the same way, the defiled mind is cleansed through the proper technique. And how is the defiled mind cleansed through the proper technique? There is the case where the disciple of the noble ones recollects the Sangha... As he is recollecting the Sangha, his mind is cleansed, and joy arises; the defilements of his mind are abandoned. He is thus called a disciple of the noble ones undertaking the Sangha-Uposatha. He lives with the Sangha. It is owing to the Sangha that his mind is calmed, that joy arises, and that whatever defilements there are in his mind are abandoned. This is how the mind is cleansed through the proper technique.

"[Again, the Uposatha of the Noble Ones] is the cleansing of the mind through the proper technique. And how is the defiled mind cleansed through the proper technique?

"There is the case where the disciple of the noble ones recollects his own virtues, thus: '[They are] untorn, unbroken, unspotted, unsplattered, liberating, praised by the wise, untarnished, conducive to concentration.' As he is recollecting virtue, his mind is calmed, and joy arises; the defilements of his mind are abandoned, just as when a mirror is cleansed through the proper technique. And how is a mirror cleansed through the proper technique? Through the use of oil & ashes & chamois & the appropriate human effort. This is how a mirror is cleansed through the proper technique. In the same way, the defiled mind is cleansed through the proper technique. And how is the defiled mind cleansed through the proper technique? There is the case where the disciple of the noble ones recollects his own virtues... As he is recollecting virtue, his mind is cleansed, and joy arises; the defilements of his mind are abandoned. He is thus called a disciple of the noble ones undertaking the virtue-Uposatha. He lives with virtue. It is owing to virtue that his mind is calmed, that joy arises, and that whatever defilements there are in his mind are abandoned. This is how the mind is cleansed through the proper technique.

"[Again, the Uposatha of the Noble Ones] is the cleansing of the mind through the proper technique. And how is the defiled mind cleansed through the proper technique?

"There is the case where the disciple of the noble ones recollects the devas, thus: 'There are the Devas of the Four Great Kings, the Devas of the Thirty-three, the Yama Devas, the Contented Devas, the devas who delight in creation, the devas who have power over the creations of others, the devas of Brahma's retinue, the devas beyond them. Whatever conviction they were endowed with that — when falling away from this life — they re-arose there, the same sort of conviction is present in me as well. Whatever virtue they were endowed with that — when falling away from this life — they re-arose there, the same sort of virtue is present in me as well. Whatever learning they were endowed with that — when falling away from this life — they re-arose there, the same sort of learning is present in me as well. Whatever generosity they were endowed with that — when falling away from this life — they re-arose there, the same sort of generosity is present in me as well. Whatever discernment they were endowed with that — when falling away from this life — they re-arose there, the same sort of discernment is present in me as well.' As he is recollecting the devas, his mind is calmed, and joy arises; the defilements of his mind are abandoned, just as when gold is cleansed through the proper technique. And how is gold cleansed through the proper technique? Through the use of a furnace, salt earth, red chalk, a blow-pipe, tongs, & the appropriate human effort. This is how gold is cleansed through the proper technique. In the same way, the defiled mind is cleansed through the proper technique. And how is the defiled mind cleansed through the proper technique? There is the case where the disciple of the noble ones recollects the devas... As he is recollecting the devas, his mind is cleansed, and joy arises; the defilements of his mind are abandoned. He is thus called a disciple of the noble ones undertaking the Deva-Uposatha. He lives with the devas. It is owing to the devas that his mind is calmed, that joy arises, and that whatever defilements there are in his mind are abandoned. This is how the mind is cleansed through the proper technique.

"Furthermore, the disciple of the noble ones reflects thus: 'As long as they live, the arahants — abandoning the taking of life — abstain from the taking of life. They dwell with their rod laid down, their knife laid down, scrupulous, merciful, compassionate for the welfare of all living beings. Today I too, for this day & night — abandoning the taking of life — abstain from the taking of life. I dwell with my rod laid down, my knife laid down, scrupulous, merciful, compassionate for the welfare of all living beings. By means of this factor I emulate the arahants, and my Uposatha will be observed.

"'As long as they live, the arahants — abandoning the taking of what is not given — abstain from taking what is not given. They take only what is given, accept only what is given, live not by stealing but by means of a self that has become pure. Today I too, for this day & night — abandoning the taking of what is not given — abstain from taking what is not given. I take only what is given, accept only what is given, live not by stealing but by means of a self that has become pure. By means of this factor I emulate the arahants, and my Uposatha will be observed.

"'As long as they live, the arahants — abandoning uncelibacy — live a celibate life, aloof, refraining from the sexual act that is the villager's way. Today I too, for this day & night — abandoning uncelibacy — live a celibate life, aloof, refraining from the sexual act that is the villager's way. By means of this factor I emulate the arahants, and my Uposatha will be observed.

"'As long as they live, the arahants — abandoning false speech — abstain from false speech. They speak the truth, hold to the truth, are firm, reliable, no deceivers of the world. Today I too, for this day & night — abandoning false speech — abstain from false speech. I speak the truth, hold to the truth, am firm, reliable, no deceiver of the world. By means of this factor I emulate the arahants, and my Uposatha will be observed.

"'As long as they live, the arahants — abandoning fermented & distilled liquors that cause heedlessness — abstain from fermented & distilled liquors that cause heedlessness. Today I too, for this day & night — abandoning fermented & distilled liquors that cause heedlessness — abstain from fermented & distilled liquors that cause heedlessness. By means of this factor I emulate the arahants, and my Uposatha will be observed.

"'As long as they live, the arahants live on one meal a day, abstaining from food at night, refraining from food at the wrong time of day [from noon until dawn]. Today I too, for this day & night, live on one meal, abstaining from food at night, refraining from food at the wrong time of day. By means of this factor I emulate the arahants, and my Uposatha will be observed.

"'As long as they live, the arahants abstain from dancing, singing, music, watching shows, wearing garlands, beautifying themselves with perfumes & cosmetics. Today I too, for this day & night, abstain from dancing, singing, music, watching shows, wearing garlands, beautifying myself with perfumes & cosmetics. By means of this factor I emulate the arahants, and my Uposatha will be observed.

"'As long as they live, the arahants — abandoning high & imposing seats & beds — abstain from high & imposing seats & beds. They make low beds, on a pallet or a spread of straw. Today I too, for this day & night — abandoning high & imposing seats & beds — abstain from high & imposing seats & beds. I make a low bed, on a pallet or a spread of straw.'

"Such is the Uposatha of the Noble Ones, Visakha. When this Uposatha of the Noble Ones is undertaken, it is of great fruit & great benefit, of great glory & great radiance. And how is it of great fruit & great benefit, of great glory & great radiance?

"Suppose that one were to exercise kingship, rule, & sovereignty over these sixteen great lands replete with the seven treasures, i.e., over the Angas, Maghadans, Kasis, Kosalans, Vajjians, Mallas, Cetis, Vansans, Kurus, Pañcalas, Macchas, Surasenas, Assakas, Avantis, Gandharans, & Kambojans: It would not be worth one-sixteenth of this Uposatha endowed with eight factors. Why is that? Kingship over human beings is a meager thing when compared with heavenly bliss.

"Fifty human years are equal to one day & night among the Devas of the Four Great Kings. Thirty such days & nights make a month. Twelve such months make a year. Five hundred such heavenly years constitute the life-span among the Devas of the Four Great Kings. Now, it is possible that a certain man or woman — from having observed this Uposatha endowed with eight factors — on the break-up of the body, after death, might be reborn among the Devas of the Four Great Kings. It was in reference to this that it was said, 'Kingship over human beings is a meager thing when compared with heavenly bliss.'

"A human century is equal to one day & night among the Devas of the Thirty-Three. Thirty such days & nights make a month... One thousand such heavenly years constitute the life-span among the Devas of the Thirty-three. Now, it is possible that a certain man or woman — from having observed this Uposatha endowed with eight factors — on the break-up of the body, after death, might be reborn among the Devas of the Thirty-three. It was in reference to this that it was said, 'Kingship over human beings is a meager thing when compared with heavenly bliss.'

"Two human centuries are equal to one day & night among the Yama Devas... Two thousand such heavenly years constitute the life-span among the Yama Devas...

"Four human centuries are equal to one day & night among the Contented Devas... Four thousand such heavenly years constitute the life-span among the Contented Devas...

"Eight human centuries is equal to one day & night among the devas who delight in creation... Eight thousand such heavenly years constitute the life-span among the devas who delight in creation...

"Sixteen human centuries are equal to one day & night among the devas who have power over the creations of others. Thirty such days & nights make a month. Twelve such months make a year. Sixteen thousand such heavenly years constitute the life-span among the devas who have power over the creations of others. Now, it is possible that a certain man or woman — from having observed this Uposatha endowed with eight factors — on the break-up of the body, after death, might be reborn among the devas who have power over the creations of others. It was in reference to this that it was said, 'Kingship over human beings is a meager thing when compared with heavenly bliss.'"


One should not kill a being
   or take what is not given;
should not tell a lie
   or be a drinker of strong drink;
should abstain from uncelibacy, the sexual act;
should not eat at night, the wrong time of day;
should not wear a garland or use a scent;
should sleep on a pallet, a mat spread on the ground —
for this eight-factored Uposatha
has been proclaimed by the Awakened One
to lead to the end
   of suffering & stress.

The moon & sun, both fair to see,
shedding radiance wherever they go,
& scattering darkness as they move through space,
brighten the sky, illumining the quarters.
Within their range is found wealth:
   pearl, crystal, beryl,
   lucky-gem, platinum, nugget-gold,
   & the refined gold called 'Hataka.'
      Yet they —
   like the light of all stars
   when compared with the moon —
aren't worth one sixteenth
of the eight-factored Uposatha.


So whoever — man or woman —
is endowed with the virtues
of the eight-factored Uposatha,
having done meritorious deeds,
productive of bliss,
   beyond reproach, goes
   to the heavenly state.

See also: AN 8.43; AN 10.46; Ud 2.10; "Uposatha Observance Days" in the Path to Freedom Pages.



Anumodana!

May you gain the effort to keep the Uposatha not only today and may you have the chance to meet the monks, those following the Buddha, where ever you are for an auspicious day.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2017, 10:34:30 pm by Samana Johann »
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