Uposatha Sutta, aka: Uposatha-suttā; 2 Definition(s)


Uposatha Sutta means something in Buddhism, Pali. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

[Uposatha Sutta in Theravada glossaries]

1. Uposatha Sutta - Suttas dealing with questions asked by monks of the Buddha as to why certain Nagas (egg born, womb born, moisture born and born without parents) should keep the fast day, divesting themselves of their Naga forms! The Buddha replies that they do so because they wish to be born in happy states. S.iii.241f.

2. Uposatha Sutta - One Uposatha day, the Buddha, surrounded by the company of monks, was seated in the Migaramatu pasada, in Savatthi. Looking round and finding them seated in silence, he spoke their praises, saying how some of them had won access to the devas, some to Brahma, others to the Imperturbable (anejja), and yet others to the Ariyan state. A.ii.183f.

3. Uposatha Sutta - One uposatha night, during the first watch, Ananda approaches the Buddha and asks him to recite the Patimokkha. Three times he asks, but the Buddha remains silent, and at last says that the assembly is impure. Mahamoggallana, who is present, looks round, and seeing there a monk given up to wicked ways, asks him to leave. On his refusing to do so, Moggallana takes him by the hand and leads him away. Thereupon the Buddha proceeds to explain how, just as the sea is full of eight kinds of marvels, so is the Dhamma. A.iv.204ff.

4. Uposatha (v.l. Uposathanga) Sutta - Visakha, having taken the uposatha vows, visits the Buddha at noontide in the Migaramatu pasada. The Buddha explains to her that there are various ways of observing the sabbath; these he describes as the herdsmans sabbath, the sabbath of the naked ascetics and the sabbath of the Ariyans. A.i.206f.

(Source): Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names
context information

Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

[Uposatha Sutta in Pali glossaries]

Uposatha, (Vedic upavasatha, the eve of the Soma sacrifice, day of preparation). At the time of the rise of Buddhism the word had come to mean the day preceding four stages of the moon’s waxing and waning, viz. 1st, 8th, 15th, 23d nights of the lunar month that is to say, a weekly sacred day, a Sabbath. These days were utilized by the pre-Buddhistic reforming communities for the expounding of their views, Vin. I, 101. The Buddhists adopted this practice and on the 15th day of the half-month held a chapter of the Order to expound their dhamma, ib. 102. They also utilized one or other of these Up. days for the recitation of the Pāṭimokkha (pāṭimokkhuddesa), ibid. On Up. days laymen take upon themselves the Up. vows, that is to say, the eight Sīlas, during the day. See Sīla. The day in the middle of the month is called cātudassiko or paṇṇarasiko according as the month is shorter or longer. The reckoning is not by the month (māsa), but by the half-month (pakkha), so the twenty-third day is simply aṭṭhamī, the same as the eighth day. There is an accasional Up. called sāmaggi-uposatho, “reconciliation-Up. ”, which is held when a quarrel among the fraternity has been made up, the Gen. confession forming as it were a seal to the reconciliation (Vin. V, 123; Mah. 42).—Vin. I, 111, 112, 175, 177; II, 5, 32, 204, 276; III, 164, 169; D. III, 60, 61, 145, 147; A. I, 205 sq. (3 uposathas: gopālaka°, nigaṇṭha°, ariya°), 208 (dhamm°), 211 (devatā°); IV, 248 (aṭṭhaṅga-samannāgata), 258 sq. (id.), 276, 388 (navah aṅgehi upavuttha); V, 83; Sn. 153 (pannaraso u); Vbh. 422; Vism. 227 (°sutta = A. I, 206 sq.); Sdhp. 439; DA. I, 139; SnA 199; VvA. 71, 109; PvA. 66, 201.—The hall or chapel in the monastery in which the Pāṭimokkha is recited is called uposathaggaṃ (Vin. III, 66), or °āgāraṃ (Vin. I, 107; DhA. II, 49). The Up. service is called °kamma (Vin. I, 102; V, 142; J. I, 232; III, 342, 444; DhA. I, 205). uposathaṃ karoti to hold the Up. service (Vin. I, 107, 175, 177; J. I, 425). Keeping the Sabbath (by laymen) is called uposathaṃ upavasati (A. I, 142, 144, 205, 208; IV, 248; see upavasati), or uposathavāsaṃ vasati (J. V, 177). The ceremony of a layman taking upon himself the eight sīlas is called uposathaṃ samādiyati (see sīlaṃ & samādiyati); uposatha-sīla observance of the Up. (VvA. 71). The Up. day or Sabbath is also called uposatha-divasa (J. III, 52). (Page 150)

(Source): Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
Pali book cover
context information

Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

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