Annual Katina Ceremony at Heathrow Athula Dassana International Buddhist Temple on 9th
Published: 28 Nov 2013
Annual Katina Ceremony is celebrated as the most valuable and important event of the Buddhist world. The three months series of events commenced with a ceremonial event of “invitation of Vas” by the main sponsor of Katina ceremony.
The Katina Ceremony commenced on 18th July 2013, Nikini Full Moon Poya Day when Dr. Nishanie Bajramović (BDS) had invited monks at Athula Dassana International Buddhist Temple to observe the Vas during three months. There was series of events and poojas took place during these three months.
This year Dr. Nishanie Bajramović (BDS) had volunteered to sponsor the Katina ceremony for whole three months including annual Katina Ceremony which was held on 09th and 10th November 2013.
Annual Katina Ceremony was commenced on 9th of November 2013 with a Atavisi Buddha Pooja which was held at the Lampton School, Hounslow. The pooja was conducted by Ven. Borelle Athula Thero (Archadeon position of Amarapura Sri Saddamma Wansha Buddhist Chapter) from Sri-Lanka, who visited the UK especially for the annual Katina Ceremony. The pooja was followed by a Dhamma speech by the Ven. Borelle Athula Thero.
The day was a great success. Devotees and other members of the community organised the event under the guidance of the head of the temple Ven.Wanduramba Kassapa Thero.
On 10th November the Katina day commenced at 5am, with bringing of the pre-sewn Kathina 'robe' being brought to the temple from the sponsor's home. The robe was brought by a foot procession involving devotees. They walked a mile, chanting Buddhist poems. They carried the 'robe' on a special tray, over their heads as a mark of respect to the distinguished 'robe'. The robe was brought to the temple prior to sunrise and offered to Ven. Borelle Athula Thero by Dr.Nishanie Bajramović. She requested him to make good the pre sewn 'robe' and have ready for the Kathina Ceremony later that day. Ven. Borelle Athula Thero accepted the 'robe' and blessed all the devotees. He also carried out a short Dhamma talk about the significance of the robe, and the Kathina Ceremony.
In this important date several events and poojs took place including observing “Ata Sil” by the Buddhist devotes and Dhamma preach and meditations events under the guidance of Ven.Wanduramba Kassapa Thero.
The Kathina Ceremony started at 10am at the Lampton School, Hounslow. There were 11 monks attending on the day. Ven. Wanduramba Kassapa Thero welcomed the monks attended from the following temples, Letchworth Buddhist Vihara, Birmingham Jethavana Buddhist Vihara, Nottingham Shanti Vihara, Edmonton Samadhi Meditation Centre, Bristol Buddhist Vihara and Enfield Buddhist Vihara.
The Ceremony was colourful with a 'Pinda patha', which is accepting of food by the monks' to their food bowls. The children of the Dhamma School at the Athula Dassana International Buddhist Temple, served the monks with rice, and offered “Pirikara” in envelopes, which were adorned by pictures drawn by the children.
The Annual Katina Ceremony commenced by attendees observing five precepts and a short talk to the devotees about the significance of the day. The Buddha Pooja was performed followed by the offering of “Dhana” to the Sangha.
The devotees brought home cooked traditional Sri-Lankan food to offer to the monks. Lots of devotees were keenly involved in serving of the food to the Sangha.
A traditional Kathina procession then took place into the school grounds. It had almost 100 devotees, with children carrying colourful ornaments, Buddhist Flags and the Kathina robe which was now complete, was carried on a Perehara by Dr.Nishanie Bajramović. The robe was brought into the school hall and stretched over the devotees, whilst the monks blessed all, and prayers were chanted.
The Robe was offered to the Sangha and as ritual monks had to decide and choose a most suitable monk to obtain the ownership of the robe. All the monks at the ceremony had agreed that Ven.Wanduramba Kassapa Thero was most suitable for the robe m and the rituals of giving of the robe was held by the Buddhist monks.
Then devotees offered 'Ata Pirika' and 'Sivuru Pirika' to the monks as well as “Pirikara”and personal gift bags were offered by Dr.Nishanie Bajramović. The monks blessed all, for their hard work and generosity throughout the 'Vas' season and on the day.
A Dhamma talk was held by Ven. Beragama Piyaratana Thero (LLB), in English about the significance of Annual Katina Ceremony. This was followed by the ending of the 'Sil' programme by Ven.Wanduramba Kassapa Thero.
The Kathina Ceremony was a great success, more than 500 devotees attended. It was a very peaceful and spiritual event for all those who participated.
The involvement in a Kathina helps to understand the greatness of selflessness and giving. The merits obtained are immense.