Lama Zopa Rinpoche has asked people to especially take the eight Mahayana precepts, which is such an easy thing to do – just 24 hours and inconceivable merit with each precept. Rinpoche explains: “It is extremely important to do this. If no practice is done on these days, it is a greater, more foolish loss, than having lost dollars equalling the atoms of dust on the earth. And for those with whom I have a connection, to make this worthwhile, I want to ask you to take the Mahayana precepts at least once a month, especially the lay people.”
The vows are to refrain for 24 hours from: killing, lying, stealing, sexual activity, alcohol and other intoxicants, perfumes, jewellery, singing or dancing, and sitting on high seats with pride. In addition we take just one meal, at lunch time. Saka Dawa is an auspicious merit multiplying day, so any actions are magnified in their power. If one accumulates merit in this way, then it is so easy, and with small hardships one is able to collect great merit.