The ‘Vas’ retreat which begins with Esala Poya continues through Nikini Poya as well. ‘Vas’ is a period of approximately four months where all Buddhist monks avoid outdoor activities, spending their days in intense spiritual pursuit. Their relationship with the lay devotees too takes on more meaning, as the monks are considered to be more accessible for discussions and obtaining advice than at other times. This in turn has a very positive impact on the attitudes and outlook of the lay devotees, and it is they who pay attention to the welfare of the Buddhist monks and address their requirements at this time of retreat.
It was under a directive of the Buddha all those centuries ago that this retreat was initiated, and it is continued even to this day.