Buddhist robes ceremony held at temple to honour monks

Woking News and Mail, Oct 13, 2006

HUNDREDS of people gathered at the Buddhist temple in Knaphill on Sunday for a special ceremony that  takes place only once a year.

Woking, UK -- The ceremony of Kathina Robes at the temple had 300 people - including a member of the Royal Thai Embassy - captivated from start to finish. The ceremony included meditation, chanting and lunch before the special robes were presented to the monks.

Philbul Choompolpaisal said: “The Kathina day can occur any day within a month of the end of the lent period (rainy season).

“Many people refer to Kathina as a Sangha day because this is the day that temple supporters recollect and honour the good practice of monks throughout the course of the rainy season. It is customary to offer Kathina robes as a form of merit-making because it creates especially large benefits for those involved.”

During the rainy season in Thailand —  a period of three months —  tradition dictates that monks must not leave the temple and they are then eligible to receive the robes.

He added: “Donations made at this ceremony help to support the temple for a year.  A lot more people attended this year’s ceremony including people from the community.

“We have meditation classes, which are open to everyone, regardless of religion and they are free.” The classes are held on Saturdays between 1.30 and 3.30pm and from 7.30 to 9.30pm on Tuesdays.

For further information about the temple and its ceremonies, call 01483 475757.