On Tuesday, November 8, students and faculty gathered in the Robert H.N. Ho Lecture Room in Lawrence to witness Sri Lankan Monks perform a Pirith Ceremony: a chant extending protection and blessings. Four monks traveled from the New York Buddhist Vihara to perform this ceremony.
The ceremony started with a yellow string circling the audience with the four Monks dressed in orange robes sitting at a table in the front facing the rest of the room. Once everyone sat down and had satisfied themselves with the appetizers offered, the Monks began to chant the Maha-mangala Sutta. After they chanted it once, they encouraged the rest of the audience to participate and taught the rest of the room the chant. The monks proceeded to chant the Five Precepts, and again the audience followed along but in English. Once the room fell silent, the monks began a chant offering Colgate University protection. The chant also encouraged the audience to be virtuous and to refrain from wishing others to suffer.
Once the chant ended, the attendees were asked to focus on loved ones in need of help or of a spiritual being.
“This part of the ceremony was my favorite because the sincerity of the monks and the silence in the room really moved me, especially knowing that everyone was focusing on a person they are concerned for and truly care about,” sophomore Liz Penberthy said.
After a few moments of silence, a monk circulated the room, dipping a leaf into a pot of water and flicking it at each person. Finally, the ceremony was concluded with each person getting a bracelet tied around his right wrist, known as the “stitching of the century,” to bring well-being.
Contact Maddie Tennis at [email protected]