People are welcome to join us for our annual Kathina celebration this year. The Kathina ceremony is very ancient, having been established by the Lord Buddha and observed in Theravada Buddhist countries to the present day. The hallmark of this ceremony is an unsolicited offering of cloth with which the Sangha will sew and dye a finished robe before the next dawn. That finished robe is then bestowed upon a senior monk chosen by the Sangha to be a worthy recipient.
The following letter from our board president Paul Catasus summarizes happenings at Abhayagiri and highlights the spirit of generosity which is emblematic of the Kathina.
Dear Supporters of Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery,
The past year has been an extraordinary one for our community. Given the maturity and stability of the Sangha, Luang Por Pasanno was able to take a much deserved one year sabbatical, handing over the leadership of the community to Ajahn Karunadhammo and Ajahn Nyaniko as our new abbots. He returned this July only to be promptly invited back to Thailand by the king where he was honored with a new “Chao Khun” title. This honor was also bestowed on Luang Por Sumedho, Ajahn Amaro (former co-abbot of Abhayagiri) and Ajahn Jayasaro. This beautiful acknowledgement of the hard work and dedication applied in growing the western Sangha is deeply appreciated. Luang Por Pasanno is now back at Abhayagiri as Guiding Elder for which we are all very grateful.
At the end of 2018, an anonymous donor contacted Abhayagiri seeking to help the monastery by providing housing for the care of senior monks. As it so happened, our board of directors was looking into acquiring an adjacent property precisely for this purpose. The purchase of Santi Vihara was completed at the beginning of 2019 through this donor’s unprecedented generosity. Abhayagiri is now in a much better position to expand and extensively care for the bhikkhu Sangha.
And grow the Sangha has. In the last year it welcomed three new samaneras: Jotimanto, Dhammavaro, and Candasilo and two samaneras took full bhikkhu ordination: Tan Rakkhito and Tan Cittapalo. With so many new monks and others returning, the plan is to build four or five new kutis starting next year.
In this expansive spirit, you are cordially invited to join Luang Por Pasanno, Ajahn Sek, Ajahn Karunadhammo, Ajahn Nyaniko and the rest of the extended Abhayagiri community on Nov 3rd, 2019 at 10:30am for the annual Kathina celebration. It is a rare opportunity to see old and new friends in an atmosphere of peace, joy and harmony to commemorate the end of this year’s Rains Retreat.
All good wishes on behalf of Sanghapala Board –
Paul Catasus, Board President
As Kathina is also a time when people offer monastery requisites other than cloth, we have compiled a Kathina Dana List for anyone curious about monastery needs.
May your contact with Abhayagiri bring benefit,
– Nyaniko Bhikkhu on behalf of the Sangha.