Amb. H.E. Ung Sean Offered Candles and Prerequisites to Bhikkhu Sangha on Vassa Day - KNT Diary

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Amb. H.E. Ung Sean Offered Candles and Prerequisites to Bhikkhu Sangha on Vassa Day



New Delhi: On Rains Retreat (Vassa) day, H.E. Amb. Ung Sean and Lokchumteav, Embassy officials, Indo-Khmer Buddhist devotees and students offered Vassa candles along with some prerequisites to Bhikkhu Sanghas in Cambodian monastery of New Delhi with Preah Samanarangi Tep Vuthy, Head monk of the temple and one of the Rajagana monks of Cambodian Buddhist Sangha order holding Honorary title, on 17 July 2019/2563.

On this auspicious occasion, Preah Samanarangsi gave Dhamma talk to the participants. He talked about the importance of self-interest and the interest of others by referring to the story of Mahaupasika Visakha during the Buddha time. He emphasised on the understanding of practising Buddha-Dhamma so that Buddhist devotees could be enthusiastic in doing awesome deeds.

He said that "as we come here, first we have to understand; as I said, doing something requires understanding, when doing something without understanding, even though we give or offer something, we do not feel enthusiastic."

Buddha said, "Gift of Dhamma exceeds all gifts." H.E. Amb. Ung Sean and Lokchumteav had the opportunity to listen to insightful Dhamma talk given by Preah Samanarangsi. Notably, since taking his office in October 2018, H.E. Ung Sean frequently offers and supports Buddhist monks and pays a visit to the temple on various occasions.

Vassa [Wikipedia]

The Vassa (Pali: vassa-, Sanskrit: varṣa-, both "rain") is the three-month annual retreat observed by Theravada practitioners. Taking place during the wet season, Vassa lasts for three lunar months, usually from July to October. 

In English, Vassa is often glossed as Rains Retreat or Buddhist Lent, the latter by analogy to the Christian Lent (which Vassa predates by at least five centuries). 

For the duration of Vassa, monastics remain in one place, typically a monastery or temple grounds. In some monasteries, monks dedicate the Vassa to intensive meditation. Some Buddhist lay people choose to observe Vassa by adopting more ascetic practices, such as giving up meat, alcohol, or smoking. While Vassa is sometimes casually called "Buddhist Lent", others object to this terminology. Commonly, the number of years a monk has spent in monastic life is expressed by counting the number of vassas (or rains) since ordination. 

Most Mahayana Buddhists do not observe Vassa, though Vietnamese Thiền and Korean Seon monastics observe an equivalent retreat of three months of intensive practice in one location, a practice also observed in Tibetan Buddhism. 

Vassa begins on the first day of the waning moon of the eighth lunar month, which is the day after Asalha Puja or Asalha Uposatha ("Dhamma day"). It ends on Pavarana, when all monastics come before the sangha and atone for any offense that might have been committed during Vassa. 

Vassa is followed by Kathina, a festival in which the laity expresses gratitude to monks. Lay Buddhists bring donations to temples, especially new robes for the monks. 

The Vassa tradition predates the time of Gautama Buddha. It was a long-standing custom for mendicant ascetics in India not to travel during the rainy season as they may unintentionally harm crops, insects or even themselves during their travels. Many Buddhist ascetics live in regions which lack a rainy season. Consequently, there are places where Vassa may not be typically observed.

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