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Lent, Buddhist

From Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia
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Lent, Buddhist: The Buddhist Lent starts on the first day of the waning moon of the eighth lunar month. The tradition of Buddhist Lent or the annualthree-month Rains Retreat dates back to the time of early Buddhism in ancient India when all holy men, mendicants and sages spent three months of the annual rainy season in permanent dwellings. They avoided unnecessary travel during the period when crops were still new for fear they might accidentally step on young plants. In deference to popular opinion, the Buddha decreed that his followers should also abide by this ancient tradition, and thus began to gather in-groups of simple dwellings. This tradition is still observed in the Theravadan countries in south-east Asia. During this time the monks teach those desiring to become monks and lay men and lay women. The lay members may also observe stricter discipline during this period. The period ends with the Pavarana ceremony.

see also; Vassa

Source

buddhism.org