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Pavarana Day Festival in India

The Rains Retreat which begins on the full moon day of Asalha (often in July) comes to an end on the Pavarana Day (often in October). The term pavarana literally translates into 'inviting admonition or inviting others to advise one'.

The name is closely related to the history of the day. As per history, a number of wandering monks sought shelter in a residence during a three months long rainy season. In order to avoid any conflict amongst themselves, these monks decided to keep a silence for the complete three months. When the Buddha came to know about the silence of the monks, He immediately disapproved of it saying that it was not beneficial for any community. Instead, He advised the monks to come out in open about what they liked or disliked about the monastic life so that improvements could be made within.

This marked the beginning of the Pavarana day. On this day, the resident monks within each monstery invite and reprimand one another and also discuss the good and bad points of the monastic life. The reprimands are done in a constructive manner with love and compassion for each other. The topic of discussion is agreed upon by both parties and disagreement in the matter is sorted out by discussions. The ceremony helps in bringing about requisite changes, promotes unity and therefore, without doubt, leads to the betterment of the community.

The day is also celebrated as the welcoming-ceremony for the Buddha's return from celestial realm. The story behind it goes that the Buddha spent the three months of the seventh rains period after his enlightenment in the Tavatimsa heaven giving Abhidhamma instruction to his mother, Mayadevaputta, and to the other gods who had gathered. On the Pavarana day, He came back to the earth with the help of the jewelled stairways. When he returned, people gathered in a large numbers with alms to welcome the Buddha. This return of the Buddha from the celestial realm is referred to as 'Devrohana' in Thai and Pali language. The place where the Buddha returned was Sankisa. For this reason, Sankisa till date remains one of the eight most revered Buddhist pilgrimage destinations.

Even today, on this day, people visit Buddhist temples and present alms and food to the Buddhist monks.
A number of the Mahayana countries do not observe the three months lent season, vassa, which ends with the Pavarana Day.
Festival Date
The Pavarana day is celebrated on full moon day of the 11th lunar month. This is usually in October.
Date - 26th October.


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