International “Kathina” Ceremony – Thailand & Sri Lanka….

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Colombo – Sri Lanka –

The International “Kathina” Ceremony serious in B. E. 2562 (2019) held in Sri Lanka under the main supported by Wat Phra Dhammakaya Temple in Royal Thailand. Including special Buddhist Monks delegation representative from Phra Dhammakaya Temple, Thailand attended this Katina Ceremony serious in Sri Lanka with Thailand and Myanmar devotees. “Maha Upasika” from Thailand, Ms. Lalitpat Janejob, the Executive Member of the World Alliance of Buddhists (WAB), was lucky to offer Katina Cheevara to Maha Sangha, as the Vishaka, the story of ancient historical era.

Most Venerable Luang Por Dhammajayo, The Chief Monk of Phra Dhammakaya Temple in Royal Thailand decided on this year to offering Kathina Robes to 119 temples in 9 Countries in the world. “Kathina” is a Buddhist festival which comes at the end of Vassa, the three month rainy season retreat for Theravada Buddhists in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand. The season during which a monastery may hold Kathina is one month long, beginning after the full moon of the eleventh month in the lunar calendar (usually October). The master Dhammajayo make up one’s mind to offer Katina robe to various countries temples, to support the countries that make Buddhism as their national region, to support the extend on the life span of Buddhism. Therefore, on the Year 2019. We sincerely invite everyone to rejoice the merits on offering Kathina robe to total 119 temples in 9 countries, which is between 13 October till 13 November 2019, in succession to the 9 countries- India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, to offer and support on the funding with the offering of the Kathina robe.

Offering Kathina Robe ceremony is one of nice Buddhism custom have been inherited for more than 2500 years. This tradition could retrospect back to the era of Lord Buddha, during then much monks came from all directions to visit the Lord Buddha in Jetavana. When they arrived with their robe were shabby, therefore the Lord Buddha being benevolence to allow the monks after the Buddhist lent period, could exchange the old robe with a new one. The custom of offering Kathina robe begin from then till the present.In Theravada Buddhism countries like Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Sri Lanka, etc. During the raining season, started from solar calendar 15 July till 3 months later. And by practice during in the Buddhist lent. It is called the Buddhist lent period. During the Buddhist Lent period, the monks should stay in the temple focus on study and practicing improving themselves. A upon the end of this period. The individual temple will organize its own offering of Kathina Robe Ceremony. All devotees will come from all areas to celebrate and perform offering. After this, the monks could leave the temple and travel around for visiting, teaching etc, activities.

“Kathina” is a Buddhist festival which comes at the end of Vassa, the three-month rainy season retreat for Theravada Buddhists in all over the world. It is a time of giving, for the laity to express gratitude to Maha Sangha. Lay Buddhists bring donations to temples, especially new robes for the monks. Kathina is a Pali word referring to the wooden frame used to measure the length and width by which the robes of Buddhist monks are cut. As the legend goes, thirty Monks were journeying with the intention of spending Vassa with Gautama Buddha. However, the rains began before they reached their destination and they had to stop at Saketa. According to Buddha’s guidelines for Vassa, mendicant monks shouldn’t travel during the rainy season as they may unintentionally harm crops and or insects during their journey. As such, the monks had to stop.

The Monks passed their time together without conflict and practicing Dhamma so afterwards, the Buddha rewarded the monks by demonstrating a way to practice sharing and generosity. A lay disciple had previously donated pieces of cloth to the Buddha, so the Buddha now gave the pieces to the group of monks and told them to make it into a robe and then offer it as a gift to one of them. A frame, called a “Kathina”, was used to hold the pieces while they were being made into one robe. The most significant part of the ceremony is the offering of a freshly tailored robe called “Kathina Robe” to the Maha Sangha by lay devotes. The Buddhists especially devote this Kathina ceremony day to the practice of Dana, generosity. This is a great opportunity for all to generate merit to improve the quality of their life in this life and future lives. The Kathina Ceremony in Sri Lanka brought many multi-cultural people together as ideal and friendly. Everyone inspired the happy, peaceful and uplifting atmosphere of the ceremony. It is a regarded as a great privilege to sponsor a Kathina Ceremony and it is one of the most meritorious deeds that lay followers can perform.

Wijaya Wagaarachchi
After visit to Colombo, Sri Lanka
Official Photographs by Pongpan Ratithammakul (Zung D’voice)