October 29, 2023, is a full moon day in Ashwin. We have gathered at DMC to celebrate Pravarana. Finding ways for communities to come together for harmonious gatherings is vital to cultural humility and building human connections. One of the traditional practices in Theravada tradition that fosters this connection is the Pravarana. As the moon has entered a complete orbit around the Earth, which signifies accomplishment, similarly, Bhikkhu Sangha completed their three-month retreat on this full moon day. Thereby, this day marks the accomplishment of the three months of rainy retreat (Vassa) observed by the members of the Bhikkhu Sangha worldwide, where they abide by the Sasana (noble teachings) of the Enlightened One.
On this day, the noble Sangha assemble before the Enlightened One and confess the blemishes they may have committed consciously or unconsciously during the retreat. Suppose only one Bhikkhu observes Vassa in a Vihara. In that case, he recites the Bhikkhu Patimokkhsa (the code of principles for Bhikkhus) by himself, concentrates and reflects on his spiritual duties and sets himself into the codes of disciplines. Thus, he maintains the purity of his holy life.
On this occasion, devotees come to the Vihara with the noble intention of offering robes to the resident Bhikkhus, who observe the Vassa retreat. The devotees organize a special robe-offering ceremony and perform meritorious deeds such as generosity, meditation and listening to Dhamma talk. And thereby, they receive blessings of the noble triple gems and accumulate many merits by engaging in a series of meritorious deeds. Thus, the Pravarana full moon day becomes significant and impactful to their personal lives, which allows them to bring the light of love and happiness to their family and friends. In this context, the Pravarana celebration becomes a source of spiritual awakening.
We are grateful to be able to celebrate this auspicious occasion at DMC and extend many thanks to all participants, devotees and friends for their contributions. We are excited to continue supporting your spiritual growth and development. We look forward to seeing you again on New Year's Day.