In every spiritual tradition around the world, the significance of the eclipse moment is recognized as a distinct time of the year. What does the Buddhist tradition say about this?
Effects of Actions during Eclipses
Great Buddhist masters assert that:
The karmic repercussions of actions taken during a Solar eclipse multiply by hundreds of millions of times, both good and bad, whereas during a Lunar eclipse, they multiply seven million times.
This underscores that the difference is vast. Hence, it’s crucial to strive for heightened awareness and ethical behavior during an eclipse, as the outcomes can be profound.
For comparison, it’s said that the karmic effects during a New Moon or Full Moon amplify “only” a hundred times. It’s preferable during this period not to be overly consumed by heightened emotions, and not to get trapped in them, as emerging from that state will be more challenging than usual.
Remedies and Advice
In Buddhist practices, the day before the New Moon (and before a Solar Eclipse as well) is dedicated to purification and protective practices of Dharma protectors.
As a remedy and an opportunity to cleanse and better one’s karma during special moments (like New Moon, Full Moons, and especially Eclipses), it’s advised to undertake the 8 Mahayana precepts for a day. What are they?
- Not to kill.
- Not to steal.
- To abstain from sexual relations.
- Not to lie.
- To avoid intoxication (not consume any intoxicants).
- Not to occupy soft and honorable places (i.e., forsake soft mattresses, comfortable chairs, not demand special attention).
- Not to adorn oneself, sing, or dance (i.e., not to engage in frivolities).
- Not to eat after midday.
How can this be beneficial for everyone?
Well, half the advice is valuable daily – for ethical and health reasons. The rest is linked to asceticism, fostering inner strength, or focusing, and involves reducing attachments to material comforts. These are chosen by spiritual practitioners.
Every individual may find some of these precepts challenging, but one can choose a few. After all, many people continually adopt such practices to toughen up, strengthen their spirit, and focus on inner matters.
Decisions and actions taken during an eclipse are deeply imprinted, whether they pertain to letting go of harmful habits, and redundant relationships, or deciding to live more consciously. This is the silver lining of the eclipse – it can firmly anchor positive aspects in one’s life.
Do not perceive Buddhism as a narrow, confined belief system. It’s not. Buddhism isn’t a mere product of historical imagination and intellectual speculation but a precise psychological elucidation of the true nature of the mind (Lama Zopa Rinpoche).
- During eclipses, maintain positive thinking and a constructive outlook – your thoughts and decisions at this time have exponentially magnified power.
- Wish that may all sentient beings (including yourself) be at ease.
- Avoid indulgence, misconduct, and appeasing your (and others) whims – the consequences of your actions will last a long time.
- Don’t get dragged into dramas or conflicts – they’d be challenging to resolve and could have devastating effects.
- Make an effort to maintain calm, peace, and awareness, and uphold your values – they will become ingrained in your life.
- Strive to act virtuously, and do good deeds – their consequences will also multiply.
- Don’t be provoked into misconduct; resist negative thoughts – it’ll set the trajectory of future karmic outcomes.
- Be humble, more restrained, and be an observer rather than a doer.
About the Solar and Lunar eclipses in October 2023, you can find out here: