A month and half monastic “SUMMER RAIN RETREAT” (Yar Ney in Tib), at Thrangu Monasteries in Nepal and India, which begins from 1st August to 14th September, 2023.
SUMMER RAIN RETREAT is one of the most important part of the monastic calendar during Buddha time. When the Lord Buddha first turned the Wheel of Dharma and established the Sangha, they spent most of their time wandering on foot throughout northern India. However, during the rainy season there were many insects and other living creatures underfoot, so Buddha made this “Summer Rain Retreat”.
It has also great significant for the monastic Sangha to gather together for a period of study and practice to deepen not only their understanding of the teachings but also to preserve and propagate the monastic traditions taught by the Buddha. Every day during the Rainy Retreat, the sangha recites the Three Daily Practices and takes a formal midday meal following the regimen described in the Vinaya scriptures. They take great care to follow the guidelines for monastic life the Buddha established as a way to remember the Buddha’s great kindness.
The Lord Buddha also sees that it is an opportunity for the lay community to deepen their connection to the sangha and further their own practice. During the time of the Buddha, lay people would offer food to the Sangha during the retreat and give the monks and nuns new robes at its end. These days as well, it is a chance for people to practice generosity by making offerings to the Sangha. In addition, seeing a Sangha of bhikshus wearing all three dharma robes while sitting in rows and mindfully taking a meal or performing an ancient monastic ritual can instill a sense of faith and devotion and also remember the kindness of the Buddha and Sangha in giving us the precious teachings and preserving them for over 2600 years.