Significance of Ullambana
Ullambana, falls on the 15 of the seventh lunar month each year, is also locally known as “Seventh Lunar Month” or “Hungry Ghost Festival”. Buddhists participate in the Ullambana Festival to make offerings to the Sangha of the ten directions. This is done to liberate beings of the three lower realms from suffering, so as to repay the deep kindness of parents.Thus, it is a celebration of Filial Piety by showing gratitude to our ancestors and departed parents.
佛教的七月十五的盂兰盆节，俗称中元节，也是孝亲节。 这天，佛教徒举行「盂兰盆法会」供养十方僧众，济度三恶道苦难，以及报谢父母长养慈爱之恩。这包含了两层涵义. 一是教育人们供养僧众，二是教育人们感恩祖先、父母们的无私奉献，思念他们的慈悲与关爱。并提倡孝道。
The origin of Ullamabana
According to the Ullambanapatra Sutra, Ullambana is a transliteration of the Sanskrit word that means “deliverance from suffering”. It specifically refers to the liberation of tormented beings in hell by making offering with basin containing the five fruits of a hundred different taste to the Sangha of the ten directions.
The origin of Ullamabana is closely associated with a story of Maudgalyayana, a chief disciple of Sakyamuni Buddha who was renowned for his psychic powers. One day, while recalling his deceased mother, Maudgalyayana saw with his powers his mother suffering in the hungry ghost realm due to her strong greed. Through his psychic power, Maudgalyayana had food transformed before his mother. But because of her strong greed, it was impossible for her to swallow it as the food would turn into burning charcoal when it enter her mouth. Although Maudgalyayana had great psychic powers, he was still unable to deliver his mother from suffering. Thus, Maudgalyayana approached the Buddha for instruction to liberate his mother from suffering.
The Buddha replied:
“The 15th of the seventh lunar month is the last day of the rainy retreat and is filled with wholesome Dharmic joy. Out of compassion to liberate your deceased mother, use a basin to gather food of a hundred different tastes and offer it to the Sangha of the ten directions to accumulate immeasurable merits.
The merits coupled with the pure virtues of the Sangha of the ten directions, would not only liberate your mother but also the parents of all others from suffering.”
Finally, Maudgalyayana did as the Buddha had instructed and liberated both his mother and the parents of all others. This practice is known as Ullambana in Buddhism.
The primary ideology of this Sutra is to liberate the suffering of deceased parents through the merits accumulated by making offering to the Sangha. As the emphasis of this Sutra is filial piety, it is highly regarded by people. The first Ullambana Festival was held by Emperor Wu on the 15th of the seventh Lunar month, Datong fourth years (538), at “Tong Tai” monastery. During the Tang dynasty, the Ullambana Festival was popularised among the commoners. Till today, Ullambana is a part of Chinese culture.
佛 陀弟子中，神通第一的目犍莲尊者，惦念过世的母亲，他就用神通看到其母亲因在世时的贪念业报，死後堕落在恶鬼道，饿得不成人形，过著吃不饱的生活。目犍莲 於是用他的神力化食物，送给他的母亲，但其母亲不改贪念，见到食物到来，深怕其他恶鬼抢食，贪念一起食物到她口中立即化成炭火，无法下嚥。目犍莲虽有神 通，身为人子，却救不了其母，十分痛苦，於是便请求佛陀指点，如何营救母亲脱离苦海。
Buddhism has 6 realms into which beings can be reborn. These are:
- Heaven, the home of the gods (devas)
- The realm of humans
- The realm of the Titans or angry gods (asuras)
- The realm of the hungry ghosts (pretas):
- The animal realm
- Hell realm
Related Events 相关活动
Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva Prayer Ceremony 地藏追思报恩法会
From 1st to 9th of the Seventh Lunar month. the monastery sangha would lead in the recitation of “The Sutra of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha’s Fundamental Vows” and dedicate it to world peace, the deceased and the auspiciousness of those living.
Ullambana Puja 盂兰盆超度法会
On the 15th of the Seventh Lunar month, ” Ullambana Puja” Sutra Recitation Prayers welcome devotees to make offering on this auspiciousness occasion.