Kathina is a traditional Buddhist festival which comes after the end of the rains-retreat (vassāvāsa). During the vassāvāsa, the monks strictly with higher effort spend most of the time studying the Dhamma and in meditation. They minimize the food, sleep and other sensual desires.
Traditional Weaving of the Robe
It is stated that the Kaṭhina robe offering is the highest offering and the most meritorious of skillful deeds. Today, the Kaṭhina robe offering is a large, annual festival where people gather in the monastery, undertake the five or eight precepts, listen to Dhamma talks and celebrate the day by offering monastics requisites, gifts, such as robes, alms and other monastery needs to express gratitude towards the Sangha.
The Sadhanarama Bana Vihara located in Jyostnapur Village of Diyun Circle is the largest Buddhist monastery complex for the Chakma Community in Arunachal Pradesh. Established in 2005, it was founded by the Chief disciple of the Venerable Sadhananda Mahathera, popularly as Bana Bhante, the “forest monk”, Venerable Nandapal Mahathera. Since the establishment, it has brought many social, economic and cultural changes in the society. Before the establishment, people were afflicted with the dreaded disease of Alcohols, gambling, fighting, raring of animals in the name of gods to bring good fortunes, blind beliefs, rites and rituals. Taking of alcoholic drinks, drugs and gambling made the people poor. With the comprehensive and continuous gift of dhamma, people abandoned those dreaded disease afflicting the society and there was drastic change in the Socio-economic, spiritual and cultural development.
The local legislator cum Parliamentary Secretary for disaster management Hon'ble Shri Nikh Kamin along with his wife Nikh Meena and thousands of people belonging to the Chakma, Khampti & Singpho Community attended the 2- Day Maha Kathina Civara Dana, the most important religious festival of the Theravada Buddhists with great devotion and sincerity.
The local MLA was accompanied by the Extra Assistant Commissioner of Diyun, S. Tayang and his brother-in-law, Arun Nido, who have witnessed the pathetic condition of the path from the main road towards the Bana Vihara promised to build the road for the welfare of all the devotees.
The MLA along with the Buddhist Community offered Robe to the Most Venerable Nandapal Mahathera and to all other Bhikkhu Sanghas invited from Theravada Buddhist Countries such as Sri Lanka and Thailand. More than 1000 Chakma, Khampti & Singpho women weaved robes in just over a night, started in evening of Friday (21st Oct) and ended early in next morning.
The local legislator cum Parliamentary Secretary for disaster management Hon'ble Shri Nikh Kamin along with his wife Nikh Meena.
Most Venerable Nandapal Mahathera, who is consider as the most revered and wise among all the living Buddhist Monks belong to the Chakma tribe around the world has preached the five precepts to the local MLA Nikh Kamin, to his family and EAC, S Tayang in a separate sermon on the first night of the 2- Day religious event.
During the Civara Dana offering ceremony attended by thousands of people from every village in Diyun Circle, MLA Nikh Kamin while expressing understanding of the Buddhist’s five precepts, he has advised the Chakmas to strictly follow the five precepts as preached by the Most Venerable Nandapal Mahathera as that could bring peace and social development within the society.
He have informed that he is an ardent follower of Jesus Christ and by following the 10 commandments of the Christianity it has brought drastic changes to their Society. He said the same miracle can happen to the Chakmas if they inculcate the essence of the five precepts.
While expressing gratitude to the grand hospitality and love given by the people of his constituency, he has confessed that during his time of his youth even he have participated in the AAPSU anti-Chakma movement and shouted slogans against the Chakmas. He said that there are lots of misgivings and misinformation passed to the people of the state, particularly in Itanagar about the Chakmas. But only after coming to Diyun and living with the Chakmas himself, he have realized most of those misgivings about them are wrong. As a local MLA, it is his responsibility to clear the skeptical of the local Arunachalees against the Chakmas, he said, while saying that he has started explaining things to people in Itanagar.
Earlier Shri Purno Sen Chakma thanked the MLA Nikh Kamin for installing a deep well in the premises of the Bana Vihara, which has solved the water scarcity problem of the grand temple.
The other main events of the 2-Day religious festival included hoisting of world Buddhist flag, Dhamma discourse, colourful procession, opening of kathina civara weaving centre, colourful cultural programme, illumination of candle, acceptance of Pancha-sila and releasing of Penace (Hot air Ballons).