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.
For free distribution only, as a gift of Dhamma© Amaravati Publications “Do not rely upon what you have heard proclaimed, or upon custom, or upon rumor, or upon scripture, or inference or established principles, or clever reasoning, or favouring a pet theory. Do not be convinced by someone else’s apparent intelligence, nor out of respect […]
This video was suggested by Santidhammo.
Thai Language Classes every Sunday starting in September Children 10:00am to 1:30pm. Adult beginner class 12:15pm to 1:30pm in the Meditation Hall Board Room (donations accepted). Adult Intermediate class 12:00pm to 1:30pm in the Monks House (donations accepted).
Daily Chanting every weekday at 6:00am and 7:00pm
ABM Retreat Guide Introduction Welcome to the Atammayataram Buddhist Monastery and Meditation Center (ABM). The ABM was founded by the Venerable Ajahn Rithi and Buddhist in Washington State in 1998. With the limited of space, Ajahn Rithi start teaching meditation in small American group on every Wednesday. Until the new meditation hall was build and […]
Dear Venerable Phra Kru Sithithammavitath and Executive Board Members, I would like to thank everyone for giving me the opportunity to assist you in applying for the construction permit to build the Thammagosajarn Meditation Hall (the Sala). The construction of the Sala is now completed, and we have received the ‘Final Construction Approval’ to use the Temple. […]
An interview with Ajahn Ritthi Thirajitto of Atammayatarama Buddhist Monastery by Santidhammo Bhikkhu Background information: Ajahn Ritthi is the Abbot of Atammayatarama Buddhist Monastery in Woodinville, Washington. He is a monk and Dhamma teacher of the Theravada Buddhist tradition. Theravada, literally the “Way of the Elders”, is the original practice established by the historical […]
This post uses the native WordPress gallery feature. The gallery will also show up on the Galleries page template since this post is not set to exclude it from that area.