(changed to 1Nov)
After the Vassana period of 3 months, a day is selected within a month to celebrate Kathina, a ceremony whereby members and devotees offer the Kathina Robe and other gifts to the Maha Sangha. Buddhist attach great significance to this celebration. ‘To care for the needs of the Bhikkhus’ is a meritorious deed.
We welcome your kind donation for the Kathina celebration. You may make your donation in person at the Treasurer’s Office. May the blessings of the Trile Gem always be with you and your family.
Kathina Robe Offering
Kathina robes are offered to the Sangha in a monastery only once a year and during a specified period, which starts from the end of Vassa to the next full moon day. In other words, Kathina robes can be offered between the days following the full moon of October to the full moon of November.
Kathina robes are offered to the Sangha and not to any individual monk. Thus, the offering of Kathina robes to the Sangha is indeed a very rare opportunity.
When we say “I offer this robe to the Sangha”, we mean all the Sangha or the community of Bhikkhus in the world. This includes not only those who have gained enlightenment and but also those on the path to be enlightened. Sangha means the community of monks which must consist of a group of at least four monks. When you offer the Kathina orbes, you are offering them to the Sangha, that means all noble disciples of the Buddha – not only the Enlightened Ones.
When we invite the monks to observe the Vassana period in our temple and we celebrate the successful completion of it on Kathina Day, many types of merits accrue to those who:
a. look after the needs of monks during the period;
b. participate in dhamma sermons and discussions, meditation programme and chanting of parittas;
c. make offering of Kathina robes and other gifts on Kathina day.
Benefits of Offerings During the Vassana Period and Kathina Day
a. offering of Kathina robe is considered of the greatest meritorious activities by the Buddha;
b. whatever else offered on Kathina day, the same merit could be accured to the donors;
c. one of the stanzas chanted during Kathina glorifies the greatness of merit from performing Kathina, “Even this solid earth, or a solid rock or a piece of diamond could tremble, shake or break at times but the merit obtained by offering Kathina robe could not be nullified by anything until one achieves the ultimate goal of Nibbana”. That is why it is called Kathina (unshakable).
d. In the Theragatha Atthakatha, a disciple named Arahant Nagitha recalled the glorious benefits of paying respect and having offered Kathina robe to the Maha Sangha. By the time of Padumuttara Buddha, he was a young man name Narada. Due to these meritorious deeds, he was never born in lower planes of existence (like spirit world or animal realm) and for the last 30 aeons of kalpa, he had been born in higher or blissful realms like divine planes or human world. The merit thus obtained was very helpful to him to realize the ultimate truth.
e. However, even the merit of offering Kathina cannot help a person who committed the 5 heinous crimes from suffering the consequences of the act – committing of patricide, matricide, murder of an arahat, wounding of a Buddha or casing schism in the Sangha. For minor bad deeds, the positive power of offering Kathina could reduce or impeach their negative effects. Furthermore, one could be blessed with happiness, long and healthy life, good complexion, physical strength and wisdom in one’s wandering in samasara until the ultimate goal Nibbana is achieved.