Pavāranā Day (วันออกพรรษา)
This day marks the end of the Rains retreat (vassa). In the following month, the kathina ceremony is held, during which the laity gather to make formal offerings of robe cloth and other requisites to the Sangha.
The uposatha observance regularly provides an opportunity for bhikkhus to accuse their fellows of any offenses that the latter may have committed without making amends. However, there are many factors that might dissuade a bhikkhu from taking advantage of these regular meetings to make such an accusation. The recitation of the Pāṭimokkha may be so time-consuming that he is reluctant to prolong the meeting. During the months outside of the Rains the composition of the Community may be so variable from week to week that he is uncertain of their ability or willingness to judge the issue fairly, and they themselves may be in a poor position to judge the reliability of the accused and his accuser. During the months of the Rains-residence, however, when the Community is more stable, his reluctance to break his Rains may prevent him from bringing up the issue if he senses that the person he wants to accuse, or the accused's cohorts, are likely to retaliate. This being the case, he might feel tempted to put his personal convenience and comfort ahead of the Vinaya, and the accusation would never get a hearing.
For this reason, the Buddha allowed that, once a year at the end of the Rains-residence, bhikkhus who have observed the Rains without break may replace one uposatha observance with an Invitation (pavāraṇā), at which each gives the opportunity to his fellows to accuse him of any offense that they may have seen, heard, or suspected him of committing. If the Invitation proceeds without accusation, the bhikkhus are then free to go their separate ways, each with a clean reputation. If there is an accusation, this is the time to settle it once and for all.
The meeting at which this invitation is given is an ideal time to settle such issues. Because the Pāṭimokkha is not being recited — and because there are provisions for shortening the Invitation procedure in the event of a long, drawn-out discussion — there is more time to consider an accusation. Because the participating bhikkhus, for the most part, have lived together for three months, they are in a good position to assess the character both of the accuser and the accused. Because the Rains-residence ends the following morning, the accuser has less reason to fear retaliation from the accused, as he is under no compulsion to remain with the Community.
In addition, the rules surrounding the Invitation encourage an atmosphere in which accusations may be heard. On the one hand, with every participant expected to invite accusations, anyone who refuses to give leave for an accusation looks like he has something to hide. On the other hand, if a bhikkhu suspects one of his fellows of having committed an offense but does not at least bring up the issue in the Invitation meeting, he incurs an offense if he tries to bring it up at a later date. In this way, both sides are given incentives to put the Vinaya ahead of their own immediate convenience and comfort. As the Buddha said when making the original allowance for the Invitation, its purpose is to promote mutual conformity among the bhikkhus, to help them rise out of their offenses, and to foster their esteem for the Vinaya.
The bhikkhus should invite one another, in line with seniority:
"Friends [venerable sirs], I invite you. With regard to what is seen, heard, or suspected, may you speak to me out of sympathy. On seeing (the offense) I will make amends. A second time... A third time, friends [venerable sirs], I invite you... On seeing (the offense) I will make amends."
In the first month after the end of the rains (Vassa) retreat a ceremony is performed by all the bhikkhus or bhikkhunis who spent the rains retreat together in one residence. This Kathina Ceremony involves receiving cloth, dying it, sewing it, and making it into a robe within one day. Before the day is out the Sangha gives that robe to one of its members. After this Kathina Ceremony has been performed the Sangha of that monastery receives five privileges. The five kathina privileges are:
1. Being able to go to a lay persons house without asking permission (Pac.No.85).
2. Being able to travel without taking all three robes robes (Nis.Pac.No.2).
3. Being able to take part in a group meal (Pac.No.32)
4. Being able to keep extra cloth without determining or sharing it (Nis.Pac.No.1)
5. Being entitled to a share of any cloth offered to the Sangha of the residence, during the period of
The kathina privileges can last up to five months after the end of the rains retreat if the bhikkhu or
bhikkhuni does not leave that residence to live in another residence and if the Sangha does not
revoke the privileges.
Kathina cloth is a bhikkhu's or bhikkhuni's share of cloth which has been offered to the Sangha of
a residence as in privilege number five above. Once a robe has been made from that cloth by a
bhikkhu or bhikkhuni it is said that `the kathina cloth has been finished.' (Nis.Pac.No.1)
Kāle dadanti sapaññā
Kālena dinnaṃ ariyesu
Vipulā hoti dakkhiṇā
Ye tattha anumodanti
Veyyāvaccaṃ karonti vā
Na tena dakkhiṇā onā
Tepi puññassa bhāgino
Tasmā dade appaṭivāna-citto
Yattha dinnaṃ mahapphalaṃ
Patiṭṭhā honti pāṇinanti.
Those with discernment,
responsive, free from stinginess,
give in the proper season.
Having given in the proper season
With hearts inspired by the Noble Ones
— straightened, Such —
Their offering bears an abundance.
Those who rejoice in that gift,
or give assistance,
They too have a share of the merit,
and the offering is not depleted by that.
Therefore, with an unhesitant mind,
one should give where the gift bears great fruit.
Merit is what establishes
living beings in the next life.
See also http://www.buddhamind.info/leftside/lif ... athina.htm
For more detail see http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... .ch17.html