Switzerland - Geneva International Buddhist Vihara, Kathina Ceremony

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Switzerland – November 07, 2021 / 10.12 PM –

The Annual Katina Ceremony of the Geneva International Buddhist Vihara, Geneva, Switzerland held on October 24, 2021 at the temple premises in Geneva, Switzerland. The members of the “Vishaka Kulagana Society” in the temple were the main sponsors of the event on this year.

The ceremony commenced with katina robe procession and religious observances followed by dana to the monks. This meritorious ceremony was preceded by Most Venerable Parawahera Chandarathana Nayaka Thera, the Head of the International Buddhist Centre in Paris & Chief Sanghanayaka of France and the religious ceremonies was conducted by Most Venerable Tawalama Dhammika Nayaka Thero, Head of Geneva International Buddhist Vihara, Founder Member of the Geneva Inter Religious Platform & Chief Sanghanaya of Switzerland. Also, the Deputy Head of Geneva International Buddhist Vihara, Venerable Halvitigala Sujatha Thero, Switzerland Nation’s Venerable Lakkhano Thero, Laos Nation’s Venerable Weerawardano and other Buddhist Nuns, Venerable Bhikkhuni Mugin, Venerable Bhikkhuni Shantha, Venerable Bhikkhuni Manasa and Laos, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Bangladesh and Sri Lankan devotees participated to the event.

“Kathina” is a Buddhist ceremony 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 of Geneva International Buddhist Vihara, Geneva, Switzerland 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.

Buddhika Sanjeewa

After visit to Geneva, Switzerland.