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Passage to bliss

Katina ceremony held in the US for a blessed 2019

The Austin Buddhist Vihara recently conducted its annual Katina ceremony to bless the year 2019 for all Sri Lankans living in the United States of America. Over 125 Sri Lankan Buddhists domiciled in Texas conducted this religious ceremony on a grand scale at the Austin Buddhist Vihara premises under the guidance of the temple’s Chief Incumbent Venerable Eluwangala Gnanaratana Thera.

A number of Buddhist monks – two from Austin Vihara – were in attendance. The monks from temples in Burma, Vietnam, Thailand and China also graced the occasion. The monks were 22 in all. The ceremony was followed by the colourful procession in the vicinity of Austin Vihara with the participation of Sri Lankans in the USA both expatriates and vacationers.

Most significantly, the devotees formed a queue to carry the Katina robe on their heads. They made stitches to the robe while walking on the procession.

As Venerable Eluwangala Gnanaratana Thera notes, many other temples in the USA have now made it a custom to conduct the Katina ceremony. Houston Vihara, established 30 years ago counting to be the oldest in the US, has held the ceremony since inception. Like in Sri Lanka, the lay patronage attends to the Buddhist clergy who stays indoors during the rain retreat in November.


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