Vessantara Chanting Day 2013
Date : On Sunday the 8th September 2013
Location: Main Temple Basement.
The Vessantara Jataka (in Thai, “Mahachat” – The Great Birth) was a festival held, to commemorate the life story of Lord Buddha in his birth as Prince Vessantara, who had perfected in himself the highest and noblest virtue of human life, that is:
“The ability to give and to forgive in all circumstances”
The supreme sacrifices made by Prince Vessantara were told in a story, which was divided into 13 parts.
13 monks (From various temples) are invited to take part in chanting the verses, recited in a song-like manner, first in sacred Pali and followed by a translation in Thai. Some monks even end their sermons with a beautiful performance consisting of a melody composed specifically for the part. This commences at 09:00hrs and concludes at about 18:00hrs.
A full comprehensive English translation of the Vessantara story was chanted by Phrakru Samulom Pabhassaro, within the upper floor of the temple (for non Thai speakers).
This year there were a lot of people participating in the festival. It is said that whoever can listen to all 13 parts continuously, she/he is able to perfect patient perfection and gain full benefit from the chanting. That is not really important, the important thing is that people come to learn the story together and then put into practice what they have learned as much as they can.
The theme of the story is to share and give away whatever, material or immaterial things, we have to the others in need. It is good to give away, this is what is lacking in society nowadays so that people are selfish; they only take for themselves, never give away. “To give is to gain” is a good proverb to remind ourselves now.
The story is happy ending like people are happy. This festival is held once a year; hope to see you all next year.