Kathina 是指为完成三个月闭关期的僧侣准备和供奉的特殊僧袍（Kathina Civara），僧伽罗语称为 Vas，巴利语称为 Vassana，意为雨季。
Kathina 的字面意思是“坚定的”或“坚实的”，因为提供 Kathina 僧袍有助于获得稳固的善业。
Kathina 仪式已有 2500 多年的历史。这是世界各地佛教徒保存和遵守的寺院传统，因为这是每年唯一一次可行功德的机缘。
Kathina 僧袍甚为重要，因为在三个月的 Vas 期间，佛教僧侣必须通过严格的禅修和精进修行来提升各自的修为。提供给这样一位具有奉献精神的僧侣的僧袍，可以帮助一个人获得坚实的功德或良好的业力。
Kathina 期间唱诵的一节经文颂扬了Kathina的功德。它说，即使是这块坚硬的土地，一块坚硬的岩石或一块钻石，有时也会颤抖、摇晃和破碎。然而，在达到佛教的最终目标即涅槃之前，任何东西都不能抵消由供养Kathina 袈裟所获得的功德。
𝐊𝐀𝐓𝐇𝐈𝐍𝐀 : 𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐂𝐄𝐑𝐄𝐌𝐎𝐍𝐈𝐀𝐋 𝐏𝐑𝐄𝐒𝐄𝐍𝐓𝐀𝐓𝐈𝐎𝐍 𝐎𝐅 𝐍𝐄𝐖 𝐑𝐎𝐁𝐄𝐒 𝐀𝐍𝐃 𝐆𝐈𝐅𝐓𝐒 𝐓𝐎 𝐁𝐔𝐃𝐃𝐇𝐈𝐒𝐓 𝐌𝐎𝐍𝐊𝐒.
𝑾𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒊𝒔 𝑲𝒂𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒂 ?
Kathina refers to the offering of the special robe (Kathina civara) prepared and presented to monks who have completed the three-months period of retreat called Vas in Sinhala, and Vassana in Pali, meaning “the period of rain“.
Kathina literally means ‘firm,’ or ‘solid,’ because the offering of a Kathina robe helps to earn solid good karma.
The Kathina Ceremony has its history over 2500 years old. It is a monastic tradition preserved and observed by Buddhists all over the world because it is an extraordinary opportunity to acquire merit once a year.
𝑾𝒉𝒚 𝒊𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑲𝒂𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒂 𝑹𝒐𝒃𝒆 𝑺𝒑𝒆𝒄𝒊𝒂𝒍?
The Kathina robe is significant because during the three-month Vas period, Buddhist monks are required to remain fully dedicated to purifying themselves through the rigorous practice of meditation and moral conduct. A robe offered to such a monk potent with spirituality and dedication to religious living at this time, helps one to earn solid merit or good karma.
One of the stanzas chanted during Kathina glorifies the greatness of the merit which one gets from performing Kathina. It says that even this solid earth, or a solid rock or a piece of diamond could tremble, shake and break at times. However, the merit obtained by offering of Kathina cannot be nullified by anything until one achieves the ultimate goal of Buddhist aspiration which is Nirvana.
Kathina ceremony often involves a procession carrying the new robes along a pre-arranged route to the designated temple, sometimes headed by monks from this temple. There is no specific date for the ceremony, and it depends on arrangements at individual temples, but generally, the Kathina ceremonies are held within a one-month period from the end of vassa.
As the legend goes, thirty Bhikkhus were journeying with the intention of spending Vassa with Gautama Buddha.
However, the rains began before they reached their destination and they had to stop at Saketa. According to Buddha’s guidelines for Vassa, mendicant monks shouldn’t travel during the rainy season as they may unintentionally harm crops and/or insects during their journey. As such, the monks had to stop.
The Bhikkhus passed their time together without conflict and practicing Dhamma so afterwards, the Buddha rewarded the monks by demonstrating a way to practice sharing and generosity. A lay disciple had previously donated pieces of cloth to the Buddha, so the Buddha now gave the pieces to the group of monks and told them to make it into a robe and then offer it as a gift to one of them.