Teachings on the Upasaka and Novice Vows
- This event has passed.
- For our sangha-to-be who will be ordained as novice monks and nuns soon.
- For anyone who is considering ordination in the future.
- For anyone who is interested to take the vows of a lay Buddhist. (Click here for the upcoming Upasaka vows ceremony)
- Sept 15, 2022 (Thu)
- 9.30 am – 12.30 pm
- Online (Zoom)
- Free admission, please register here.
Registration closes Sept 14 (Wed), 12.00 pm (GMT +8).
(OPEN TO KECHARA MEMBERS / KECHARA FRIENDS ONLY)
The Upasaka Vows
The Sanskrit term Upasaka refers to Buddhist practitioners who are not monks, nuns or novices, and who hold the five lay vows or Five Precepts:
- To refrain from killing.
- To refrain from stealing.
- To refrain from false speech.
- To refrain from sexual misconduct.
- To refrain from using intoxicants.
In general, the Upasaka vows can be taken all at once or individually, and for a lifetime or a self-determined period of time. A lay disciple who holds all 5 lay vows is also known as Genyen in Tibetan, literally meaning “pursuer of virtue.”
The Novice Vows
The Five Precepts are part of the wider set of Pratimoksha (Self-Liberation) Vows that are practised in Buddhism. The Pratimoksha vows comprise mainly of the vows of monastic discipline which descended directly from Buddha Shakyamuni.
- Novice monks and nuns take 36 vows. They are known as Getsul (monk) or Getsulma (nun) in Tibetan and Sramanera (monk) or Sramenerika (nun) in Sanskrit.
- A fully-ordained monk (bhikshu or gelong) holds 253 vows while a fully-ordained nun (bhikshuni or gelongma) holds 364 vows within our ordination tradition.
All these vows are contained in the Vinaya, the collection of Buddha’s teachings on monastic discipline.
Benefits of Taking Vows
The taking and upholding of vows is an essential Buddhist practice. It instils spiritual discipline which helps you develop mindfulness of how you conduct yourself on a daily basis.
In addition, every day that you uphold your vows, you collect merits and purify negative karma. This helps you progress on your spiritual path through transformation of the mind.
By attending this teaching, you will not only gain knowledge but receive the seeds or karmic causes to take the vows and hold them well in the future.
Who can attend
- The teaching is open to all Kechara Members and Kechara Friends who are interested to learn more about Buddhist vows.
- You are encouraged to attend if you aspire to take the upasaka or novice vows in the future.
- The teaching is compulsory if you wish to receive the upasaka vows from H.E. Kensur Rinpoche on Oct 8.
About H.E. Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende
His Eminence Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende studied at the feet of some of the greatest lineage masters of our tradition — H.H. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, H.H. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and H.E. Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche. He was the lead chanter (umze) of Gaden Shartse Monastery and later became the courageous first abbot of Shar Gaden Monastery.
After retiring from this esteemed position, Kensur Rinpoche has visited Kechara on multiple occasions, the first being in 2017 at the request of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche.