I'm thinking of taking the upostha sila for 7 days targeting for a Pooja. And I am employed in a software engineering company so I'll be working for 5 days out of 7.

Can you give me any advices on how to take the 8 preceps and how to protect them avoiding obstacles that could harm them during these working days? Some Sutta references are appreciated as well (if any)


3 Answers 3


You might not be able to do this the traditional way.

But Sila is a promise to abstain. The promise can be to the Triple Gem of another person. Best is to make the promise to the Triple Gem.

Throughout the day recall the promise and see if you have broken it. If so take it again. If not make a determination to keep the posimie recollecting which precepts you have taken.

The skillful karma from the Sila is in the initial taking, recollection and retaking as well as the determination. So do the recollection retaking often with strong determination.

Also Sila has many level. Initially this can be like a rite or ritual. At an intermediate level it is based on Brahmavihara as breaking the precepts will harm or make other or oneself unhappy can cause negative karma for oneself, and at a higher level it is at level of sensation. The sensation is what gives arise to the unwholesome roots. So abstain from action which are unwholesome triggered by the respective sensation. More on this see: Kīta,giri Sutta.

  • The other answer is perfect. So in short I better recommend taking the precepts keep it firm and not to break, mindfulness in every day activity and loving-kindness will surely help you. Sadhu,Sadhu,Sadhu.
    – user10293
    Jun 8, 2017 at 13:22

Sadhu, Upasaka Akila Hettiarachchi! On this full-mond Uposatha today.

Everybody is able to walk the path upwards and this is the way. Those are the precepts of lay people, possible to be undertaken in "normal" life and hoods and guiding one on the eightfold path torward liberation.

Suttas: The 8 Precepts

These training rules are observed by laypeople during periods of intensive meditation practice and during uposatha (lunar observance) days. The Eight Precepts are based on the Five Precepts, with the third precept extended to prohibit all sexual activity and an additional three precepts that are especially supportive to meditation practice.

Should one come accross people discouraging one, remember:

"It's no gain for you, Sakyans. It's ill-gotten, that in this life so endangered by grief, in this life so endangered by death, you sometimes observe the eight-factored uposatha and sometimes don't.

Sakka Sutta: To the Sakyans (on the Uposatha)

Should you (one) have any questions, feel free to ask further here, in regard of refuge, and Silas.

(Note: This is a gift of Dhamma and not meant for commercial purpose or other wordily gains)

  • So is doing the this for 7 days a good thing? Or something else? I'm thinking of doing 7 dad per month. Jun 10, 2017 at 12:51
  • Start without doubt and full of joy and best following the Buddhas advice. Mudita, @AkilaHettiarachchi 1 day, not to speak of one week, one month... Jun 10, 2017 at 13:50
  • One question. About the 8th precept, how is it violated? Does sitting on a sofa or other types of chairs break it? Does sleeping on a normal bed break the rule? How is it violated? Jun 11, 2017 at 9:51
  • There are certain factors taken from the roles of monks. The practical way is to maintain a modest mind setting. So when you get aware of "oh let's enjoy this soft, high, nice place and forget anything else" that's to point you seek now for a low and maybe harder place. What ever invites to laziness, to feel above, to pride and high self esteem, avoid it. Try to sit all day straight, not leaning and just for bed time lay down. In such a way you are actually already in the highes training, vipassana, by you noble addept. Try to figue out what drives you to use this and that and then make choice Jun 11, 2017 at 10:00
  • -es. You will know in this way by your self, don't worry, Nyom @AkilaHettiarachchi . The links above have technical explainings but my person does not recomment them for people really liking to practicing. Mudita. Jun 11, 2017 at 10:01

Purpose of 8 precepts is to stay away from 5 sensual pleasures.
if eating one meal a day is too much for you on work days (tho if you are a software engineer and are not required physical work), mango juice might help elevate some hunger pain at night, and also Buddha allowed phala (fruit) drinks for monks in the evening. I believe milk isn't. I believe milk is considered food. From personal experience, sensual pleasure through tasting is one of the toughest enemies.
Also, dancing and musics etc.. use your judgement of what is considered entertainments. Example, video games, Buddha did not mention it but you get the idea. To me, following some code of conducts without intellectual understanding of their meanings is a 3rd fetters. Not much good will come out of doing it. (I'm certain not trying to be rude here) but my golden retriever has near perfect 5 precepts but i doubt he would get anything out of it. He would not steal my food even if i leave my plate on the floor because he was trained not to take food not given.

My advise would be, to have a complete understanding why you are doing it and what good it will benefit you. Anumodana

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