Derived from the ancient Indian text Vinaya sutra; it has been said that once Lord Buddha decided to stay at (Prince Jeta’s garden bought by merchant Anathapindada for Lord Buddha) Jetavana of Shravasti the capital of Kosala kingdom. During that period his monks (Bhikshu) used to go around begging for alms and non Buddhist people gossiped and stated, “ Dear intelligent people, The sons of Shakyas prince (monks) are harming and killing tiny living beings and destroying nature while going around begging for alms. As the swallow bird can stay in their nest during the rainy season for a period of 4 months so why the monks of Buddha can’t stay inside and it’s not appropriate so who are willing to grant alms and be generous for them?” After hearing these gossips the monks went to the Buddha and then for the first time the Buddha declared the 3 months summer retreat at Shravasi from the 16th of the waning moon of medium summer month according lunar calendar. Also it can be started after one month because of the difficulties the monks face who are located in high mountains and cave areas.
According to Tibetan Buddhist tradition the summer retreat is held just for 1 and half months as there is a tradition that both waxing and waning moon can be counted as a month. Here at Sakya Monastery, Kalimpong, this year of 2020 the summer retreat will start from 6th July to 19th August and during this period our monks will stay indoors and do more Dharma activities.
Daily breakfast and lunch will served at the main temple. Most of the monks will take a vow not to take evening meal, in accordance with the Vinaya tradition. During this period every morning the 16 Arahat puja will be carryout with Sand mandala and every evening Mahakala puja and Aspiration Prayers (Monlam) will recites to bring harmony and prosperity to our planet and all the sentient beings. So therefore it’s meant to be auspicious occasion to cultivate great merits, any faithful Buddhist can join and support our monks to sponsor by giving food.