Sohelur Rahman, Senior Newsroom Editor
BACK FROM PANCHHARI, KHAGRACHARI: My mission was to see the biggest Buddha statue of South Asia in Khagrachhari. I reached there at 7:00am at ‘Shantipur Aranya Kutir’ in Shantipur village of Panchhari upazilla of the district.
While entering the Kutir, I felt the environment of festival. After some moments it was learnt that on the first day of full moon (Friday, October 14) the religious heads of the Buddhist community called ‘Bhante’ finished their Barshabas (Living in rainy season).
In this connection, the Buddhists from different places are coming here to take mandatory learning and for deep meditation. In this time the Buddhists cannot pass their night outside the Kutir. After the Barshabas this system ends. On that day the Buddhist monks get new cloths from the devotees in ‘Kathin Chibar Dan’ (Cloth donation) event on the day of Prabarana Purnima festival.
Accordingly, I witnessed the Kathini Chibar Dan and Probarana.
At the entry point of Kutir the sound of band was heard and simultaneously about 30 young girls, attired with same dresses, were found entering with sweets, flowers and various types of light foods on plates.
The devotees keeping similarity with band they came around the Buddha statue thrice and recited the sermons. Then the devotees made their exit in a row.
By that time a large number of Buddhists started pouring into Kutir for the same object.
One such devotee Lakshman Joty Chakma told Banglanews that at the time of Barshabash the religious heads (Bhante) cannot stay outside the Kutir. On this day, on the first day of full moon, they observe Chibar donation and Probarana Purnima.
Camellia Chakma coming from Manjura Dham after bowing on the feet of Buddha statue was lighting candle and said that they can communicate their mental desire through this candling.
However, the gifts, which the Buddhists brought with them, will be removed by 12:00pm.
On the other hand, after 10:00am under guidance of the principal of the Kutir, 11 Bhantes went to the Chibar festival point. There started the Probarana festival through Chibar donation.
Next, all the Buddhists coming from different places took part in the Chibar festival and donated everything they possessed.
The Bhantes at this time recited sermons of Lord Buddha which the surrounding followers listen with deep attention.
In the Probarana festival the Buddhists coming from far and near meet each other. So this Probarana is not only a religious festival but also a big social and cultural gathering.
BDST: 1723 HRS, OCT 15, 2016