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.
Temple Activities No special activities planned, except the New Year’s Eve celebration.
If you’re interesting in viewing pictures taken at the November 1st Kathina Day, please follow the Facebook link in the menu bar (far right). Or click on this link Atammayatarama There are many pictures posted in the Wat Atammayatarama Facebook. It was a wonderful day even with off and on rain.
There are new versions of the Dhamma Studies books in Thai and English under the ‘Teachings’ menu. The books can be downloaded to study for the exam or to review. Complements of Ajahn Ritthi
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Please click the following link to download the PDF Dhamma Studies Level 1 Dhamma Studies Level 1 (Thai language) Dhamma Studies Level 2 Dhamma Studies Level 2 (Thai Language)
Ajahn Ritthi is attending the “Parliament for World’s Religions” and will present to the “Buddhist Panel at Parliament for World’s Religions”, “Keeping the Dhamma in Mind” drawing from the teachings of renowned 20th century visionary Ajahn Buddhadasa. His presentation will focus on the eminently practical side of dhamma practice illuminating how the application of non-clinging to everyday […]
Hours and activities: Opening hours: Daily from 6 am to 7 pm The best times to call the Monastery are: between 8 AM and 10 AM between 1 PM and 7 PM Monday thru Saturday Schedule for Monks: 6:00 AM – Morning chanting and meditation, followed by discussion of tasks for the day. 7:00 AM – Light breakfast, […]
The Questions and answer of Buddhist History from 2012 Instructions: Write an answer to each of the following questions that bears equal points of 10. You are required to attempt all 7 questions. Q: How many castes (Vanna) or classes of people in Jambudipa, India were divided in to? And what were their duties? […]
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