Observance when receiving almsfood for monks

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Note: The practice may differ slightly from one temple to another.
This is based on ordination of monks who are under Kubah’s guidance.

1. All would pay respect to the Buddha.


2. Kubah would be seated at the foremost seat. The arrangement  is arranged based on seniority (in terms of duration as an ordained monk).  In the case if all the monks ordained at the same time, then it is arranged based on seniority by age. Those who arrive earlier would take his respective seating and wait for other monks to be arrive and be seated.

3.  Once all the monks are seated, devotees would begin to offer food- first to Kubah. If the person doing the offering is a male, the food could be received directly. If it is a female devotee presenting the offering, the monk would hold one end of the cloth while she places the offering on the other end of the cloth.
Once ready to receive the offering, the monks would open the lid covering the almsbowl and slowly place food into the almsbowl.


4. After one monk have taken, the food is handled quietly to the next monk in line.
Usually rice would be offered first, followed by dishes, soup and fruits/desserts.

5. After the monk has finished receiving all the required food in his almsbowl, he covers it with a cloth and seat with composure until all other monks have finished receiving their food.


6.  Next would be the transferance of merits. The monk reflects with gratitude of the food offerings by the devotee. The transferance of merits (Yatha varihara) would be chanted.


Yatha varivaha pura paripurenti sagaram
Evameva ito dinnam petanam upakappati
Icchitam pattitam tumham khippameva samijjhatu
Sabbe purentu sankappa
Cando pannaraso yatha
Mani jotiraso yatha

All the monks:
Sabbitiyo vivajjhantu
Sabbarogo vinassatu
Ma te bhavatvantarayo sukhi dighayuko bhava
Abhivadanasilissa niccam vuddhapacayino
Cattaro dhamma vaddhanti
Ayu vanno sukham balam

6. After the transferance of merits, the monk lift the cloth off the almsbowl, reflecting that the alms food is used for sustenance of the body to enable one to practice the Dhamma.

Patisankha yoniso pindapatam patisevami
Neva davaya na mandaya na mandanaya na vibhusanaya
Yavadeva imassa kayassa thitiya yapanaya vihimsuparatiya brahmacariyanuggahaya
Iti purananca vedanam patihankhami navanca vedanam na uppadessami
Yantra ca me bhavissati anavajjata ca phasuviharo cati

7. The monks would quietly observe for Kubah (their teacher) to first take his alms food before they begin to eat. This is out of respect and reverance to their teacher.

 8. After the food is finished, each monk would proceed to wash his almsbowl and dry it for a short while under the sun.

Note: Photos taken on 3 & 4 Jun 2015  from Wesak 2015 ordination event.


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