Monday, October 28, 2013

Kathina Ceremony at BC Temple & An explanation of the Buddhist Annual Ritual

Today i had the rare chance of being part of a Katina ceremony. I've heard a lot about this and even studied about it in Dhamma school but never had a chance to take part. To be honest if i was in Sri Lanka i would never have got this close to the ceremony unless my family was the Katina ceremony host family which would have been really unlikely. Technically Katina ceremony is the end of 3 months "wus" period for monks.

The origin story of Kathina ceremony

In Lord Buddhas times(about 2500 years ago in Northern India/Nepal) monks were supposed to go from home to home, from city to city, from village to village promoting the truth - Lord Buddha found. (The truth in another blog post maybe :D) But they noticed that when monks walk from place to place during the rainy season - small warms & creatures die by monks stamping on them. Buddhists are very strict about not harming any kind of living creatures and this was brought to Lord Buddhas notice.

He gave the solution of what we call today as "wus" season where the monks are supposed to stay in one place (A temple) during the rainy season and preach Dhamma (Knowledge) to the people in the area. The devotees are supposed to look after the monks, not letting them walk out by stocking food.etc.

The Kathina Ceremony

What happens in the actual ceremony is the celebration of the end of "wus" season. Where maha sanga (monks) are gifted with katina robe, a special robe made from one day and one night. We got the chance of sewing the robe.

They say gifting this robe can give you lot of positive Karma. Below is a photo of Sirinivasa thero putting on the robe gifted to him at the ceremony.

Kathina Ceremony at the Surrey/Vancouver Temple in BC,Canada

Thanks to Chethiya ayya & Dilini akka we got the chance of participating in it. And it was the first time i actually took part in the ceremony.

The ceremony didn't coincide the seasons in Canada - heard it's because the rainy/or the winter season here might make it difficult for anyone to come to the temple. Hence the "wus" season here is the same as the season in Sri Lanka. all in all it was a good experience.

Best thing was meeting a lot of Sri Lankans in one place after coming here. Place was packed and met really cool people. Some i have heard but never met - what a small world! Below are some more photos!

I don't know the exact names of monks involved in the origin story. If you know the story in a more specific manner - comment below! 

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