Asalha Puja (known as Asanha Puja or Asarnha Bucha in Thailand, Thai: อาสาฬหบูชา aa-saal boo-chaa) is a Theravada Buddhist festival which typically takes place in July, on the full moon of the eighth lunar month. It commemorates the Buddha’s first sermon in the Deer Park in Benares and the founding of the Buddhist sangha. In Thailand, Asalha Puja is a government holiday.
Vassa (from Pāli vasso, Sanskrit varṣaḥ, both “rain” – Burmese: ဝါဆို waso, Khmer: វស្សា or ព្រះវស្សា; Lao: ພັນສາ pʰán săː, sometimes ວັດສາ wāt săː; Thai: พรรษา,pansa or phansaa; ), also called Rains Retreat, is the traditional retreat during the rainy season lasting for three lunar months from July to October. During this time Buddhist monksremain in a single place, generally in their temples. In some monasteries, monks dedicate the Vassa to intensive meditation. During Vassa, many Buddhist lay people reinvigorate their spiritual training and adopt more ascetic practices, such as giving up meat, alcohol, or smoking (Vassa is sometimes known as “Buddhist Lent“, though at least one prominent Theravada monk has objected to this usage- see ). And in countries such as Thailand, the laity will often take monastic vows for period of Vassa and return to lay life afterwards. Commonly, the number of years a monk has spent in monastic life is expressed by counting the number of Vassas he has observed.
The Vassa retreat has largely been given up by Mahayana Buddhists, as Mahayana Buddhism has typically flourished in regions without a rainy season, however for Mahayana schools such as Zen and Tibetan Buddhism other forms of retreat are common.
The observation of Vassa is said to originate with the Buddha himself. Gautama Buddha ordered his disciples to observe a pre-existing practice whereby holy men avoided travel for a three month period during the rainy season, in order to avoid damaging crops.
Vassa begins on the first day of the waning moon of the eighth lunar month; the preceding day is Asalha Puja. The focus of celebration by the laity is the first day of Vassa (or Wan Kao Pansa – Lao: ວັນເຂົ້າພັນສາ wán pʰán săː) during which worshippers donate candles and other necessities to temples, in a ceremony which has reached its most extravagant form in the Ubon Ratchathani Candle Festival.
The end of vassa is marked by joyous celebration. The following month, the Kathina ceremony is held, during which the laity gathers to make formal offerings of robe cloth and other requisites to the Sangha.
An embedded player for listening to the Wednesday Evening Chanting: Following is a link to downloading the Chanting audio file
Dear Friends of Atammayatarama, Starting on June 21st, 300+ Monks are arriving to attend the Council Meeting at our Temple for four days. We need help with the following: • With traffic control at the Temple. • Drivers to pick up Monks at the Airport and take them to their hotel. • Drivers to pick […]
The class is taught by Phra Phillip, and is held on Thursday’s starting June 7th at 7 pm in the Activity Room. There is no registration required, and attendance every week is not required. Following is information about the class: Class Description This class is an opportunity for English speakers to explore the “Bodhipakkhiyādhammā,” often […]
This class has been replaced temporarily, by a new class on “Wings to Awakening”. Information about this class is on a separate Post. Thank you for interest in Wat Atamma classes.
HAPPINESS WITHOUT A FOUNDATION OF DHAMMA IS JUST SUFFERING BIDING ITS TIME. CALM THE MIND; YOU WILL DISCOVER A COOL, REFRESHING JOY. To read “The Prison of Life” from the web click on: The Prison of Life Check the Wat Atam library of a copy of the book.
2018 Vipassana Retreat schedule: May 25th – 27th (Friday/Sunday) July 27th – 29th (Friday/Sunday) August 24th – 26th (Friday/Sunday) September 28th – 30th (Friday/Sunday) The Weekend Vipassana Retreat starts on Friday at 7 pm through Sunday at 9 am. The Day of Mindfulness starts on Saturday at 9 am to 9 pm. Click this link: Schedule […]
Phra Phillip Ṭhānavuḍḍho is staying at our Temple through the end of Vassa which ends in November. He will assist Ajahn Ritthi with this year’s Retreats, and with other Dhamma Activities. You may address him as Phra Phillip or Phra Phillip Ṭhānavuḍḍho which is his Thai Pāli ordination name He was raised in Washington, D.C. […]
Attending one of our Vipassana Retreats is a great way to get away from your daily activities, free your mind, and concentrate on your meditation practice. The Retreats alternate between Weekend and Saturday (Day of Mindfulness). Even if you select the Weekend Retreat, but cannot attend the full retreat, you are welcome to attend “Saturday only”. Please […]
The Monks gather together every evening at 7pm, except weekends, to chant and meditate (evening prayers). All are welcome. On Wednesday evenings the chanting is in Pali and English, followed with 45 minutes of meditation, a Dhamma talk in English. You are welcome to stay for tea and conversation before returning home. All are welcome, even without […]