“Kathina” is a word of Pali in origin. It means “firm or durable” by the period of time and by consequence of Kathina ceremony. The devotees have to celebrate Kathina festival during the only period which the Buddha recognised.
Kathina is a Buddhist festival which comes at the end of Vassa. The period is fixed to take one month only between the first waning day of Thadingyut (October) and full-moon day of Tazaunmon (November). On the ceremony donors offer yellow robes to the members of the Buddhist Order for special purpose.
Five benefits allowed by the Buddha continuously exist from the first waning day of Thadingyut (October) to full-moon day of Dabaun (March). It takes five months long for the monks who stayed in a certain monastic one and ended in purima vassa. Monks who stayed in a monastery that has no kathina ceremony can get one month period of benefit. The reasons can confirm the two unchangable conditions, that is, period of time and consequence of Kathina ceremony. Noble offering Kathina robes has only to celebrate once a year; once within a month, and to end by a day for each and every monastery.
Benefits of holding Kathina Ceremony
When the monks (Sangha) participate in Kathina ceremony with the robes offered to them by the devotees, by the act of vinaya kamma, the monks get five Kathina benefits for five months. The donors of the Kathina robes can also get five benefits like the Sangha. They are as follows:
1.The donors of Kathina robes could go freely wherever they wish without any hindrance in every existence.
2.They could go to any place to carry out their tasks. They will be done easily and lightly without having to bear any burden in every existence.
3.They may eat any kind of food, but will not suffer from stomach trouble, diarrhoea, food poison or other dangers in every existence. They will get the benefit of easily digesting whatever is eaten.
4.They may keep lots of properties without having enemies.
5.The property of donors of Kathina robes cannot be taken away by force. If they do not wish to give away their property, nobody with any power can take by force. They get the benefit of making other people get it only when they give.
Offering the kathina robes is very worthy. From whether the parents and the friends, or the inviting donors, the monks may ask for the robe. However, it cannot do so for the Kathina robe. The monks have to perform Kathina Ceremony with the robes offered naturally by the belief of devotees. So, the Buddha honoured the offering of the Kathina robes.
Reference: Noble Kathina Robe Offering but Once a Year / U Kundalabhivamsa (Saddhammaramsi Sayadaw), Dhamma Padetha.
Posted by Nyan U