Buddhist Lent, Vientiane, Laos

Published on July 23, 2013

Laymen mark Buddhist Lent with religious insights

Buddhist laymen nationwide braved the rains yesterday to visit local temples to offer alms and attend candlelight processions to mark the beginning of Buddhist Lent.

Heavy rain after midnight caused some difficulties for laymen to make their way to the temples to hear the monks sharing insights into Buddhist teaching.

Many temples set up tents outside to provide shade and shelter for attendees. Despite the continuing heavy rain, huge crowds of devotees showed up, many of them kids who came with their parents to absorb the religious messages.

However some prayers have already been answered as the heavy rain lately has brought enough water for the farmers to transplant their rainy season rice.

Buddhist Lent lasts for three months during the rainy season, a time when monks are required to stay in the temple to pray and practice meditation.

At this time the monks are not allowed to travel because any journey outside the temple could harm living things, for instance frogs that reside in the rice paddies of local villagers.

Yesterday, the monks at their temples gave a lot of advice to people about living in society peacefully and morally. The monks said that if people came to the temples to receive their teaching, they would become more moral and less corrupt.

In a chaotic world full of temptations for material things and new technology, the monks have warned people to keep a balance in their lives to ensure better economy and prosperity in the family.

Source: Vientiane Times