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Thread: Katina

  1. #1
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    Katina

    This is the Buddhist celebration after the rains retreat where monastics are given robes and other things they need. That is the most basic explanation I have. However I got to participate in a real Katina and it was so lovely. It may not be a big deal at monastaries, however one of our nuns lives with her family instead of a monastery. The other lives alone in a very different style. You need 5 monastics together to actually have a Katina. The son of the older nun got nuns from 3 states to come and participate in the ceremony! It was a huge deal. There were 3 from California (different places) one from West Virgina and one from Washington state who had just taken robes and was in training. For the ceremony you also need the monastics to have completed the 3 month rains retreat. That means in modern terms to make sure you return home every evening.

    One of the bikkhunis gave a wonderful introduction to us America born about the celebration (this was supported by the larger Sri Lankan community). That is where my information comes from. There are a lot of formalities and interesting history, however the result was the older nun got new robes! Imagine not just buying new clothes when you needed them, but waiting until 5 people could gather together and follow certain ceremonies to get a new set of clothes. Her old robes were 12 years old. She was so happy and cute in her very bright new robes (her lineage has bright orange, my teacher has a deep purple/marroon). I think there are other ways to get clothing items to layer underneath or wear with the robes especially in colder climates, but the official robes you get through this process are special.

    In any case it was one of the biggest holiday/ceremonies we could have. A Christmas for the bikkhunis to get all the things they need.

  2. #2
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    Jan 2011
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    Thank you for the lovely description.

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