Friday, 29 June 2007

Khao PhanSa ~~ Buddhist Lent

The traditional beginning of the rainy season and the beginning of a three month period when monks are supposed to stay in the temples. Thus people visit temples at this time and give monks household items (so monks do not have to leave the Wat for offerings) in order to make merits.
The “Khao Pansa” ceremony itself concerns only the monks, the main purpose of it is for the monks to declare their intention of remaining in the monastery for the duration of Vassa (three months).After making the declaration three times, they chant other services, stating that they wish to live together in harmony and for the good of all. They note that they must not quarrel among themselves, must share with one another, and must not annoy others with wrong behavior or wrong opinions. Afterwards the monks ask forgiveness of each other, first of their leader and thereafter to younger monks. it is evident that this period of retreat is truly a time of purification and edification for them. The custom of spending the rainy season for a period of three months in a temple of fixed abode has been observed by Buddhist monks since the time of the Buddha.
As part of the celebration beautiful and ornate candles of all shapes and sizes and made out of beeswax will be donated to the temples by institutions and individuals alike. Besides serving the practical purpose of lighting the temple and the monks' sleeping area, the candles are also symbolic: they represent not only an illuminated room but also an illuminated mind. Candlelit processions take place all over the country at night. People walk with lotus buds, joss sticks and candle held in prayer-like fashion around the temple three times before setting these offerings down on the temple altars; a beautiful sight to behold indeed.

1 comment:

Rodrigo said...

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eckhart tolle