Theravada Buddhist celebrates Sitang Pot-wa

ITANAGAR, Oct 8: Theravada Buddhists residing in Capital Complex observed Sitang Pot-wa (in Tai-Khampti) festival or Retreat Ending Day at Theravada Buddhist Temple in Itanagar today.
Sitang Pot-wa is the last day of the three month Sitang Khao-wa or Rains Retreat which falls on the full moon day of the eleventh lunar month (October). It marks the end of the Buddhist 'Lent 'which is a moral camping period for monks. It is believed that after performing the ‘Sitang Khao-wa or Rainy retreat’ for three months as well as devoting themselves in the practice of Dhamma, the monks comes out with more holiness in soul and body.
Delivering his discourse on the occasion, head monk of Theravada Buddha Temple, Ratna Diip highlighted the importance and significance of Sitang Pot-wa celebration and essence of observing the three months rainy retreat.
The three month period which starts from Sitang Khao-wa is often used by lay and monastic folk alike to make a variety of determinations; to take up a particular devotional or meditation practice, to challenge or renounce some old and bad habits.
Reciting the story and verse of Buddha from the Pali Canon, a standard collection of scriptures in the Theravada Buddhist tradition, as preserved in the Pali language, he called upon all the people to beautifully amalgamate the pre-Buddhist practices and culture with the principles and practices of Theravada School of Buddhism as practiced today, as this merger of two different beliefs and practices can make the religion and culture even more attractive, dynamic and beautiful.
Other highlights of the celebration included illumination of lamps in temple premises besides offering foods to the monks, listening to sermons, praying and observing the Buddhist five and eight Precepts.