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Ullambana Offering Services Successfully Held at Lingyin Temple

 | 2022-08-16 | View: 353

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The Ghost Festival falls on August 12 (the fifteenth day of the seventh month of the Chinese lunar calendar) this year. As an important Buddhist festival, it is also called the Ullambana Festival, Yu Lan Festival, Buddha’s Joyful Day, Pravarana Day or Parents’ Day.

According to the Buddhist tradition, Lingyin Temple in Hangzhou holds Buddhist services every year to celebrate this festival, including an offering ceremony, sutra chanting service, releasing the flaming mouth ritual, etc. These services are aimed at returning merits to all sentient beings and praying for world peace as well as wellbeing for all people.

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As recorded in The Buddha Speaks the Ullambana Sutra, “… If the tens of thousands of citizens wish to practice compassionate filial conduct, for the sake of the parents who bore them, as well as for the sake of fathers and mothers of seven lives past, on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, the day of the Buddhas’ delight, the day of the Sangha’s Pravarana, they all should place hundreds of flavors of foods in the Ullambana basins, and offer them to the Pravarana Sangha of the ten directions. They should vow to cause the length of life of the present father and mother to reach a hundred years without illness, without sufferings, afflictions, or worries, and also vow to cause seven generations of fathers and mothers to leave the sufferings of the hungry ghosts, to be born among men and gods, and to have blessings and bliss without limit.”

The Ullambana Festival is annually celebrated for the living to enjoy a life of abundance, good fortune and longevity and the deceased to obtain liberation from sufferings and attain release. Through the practice of Sangha offering, merits can be dedicated to the departed parents and ancestors as well as all sentient beings. Health, happiness and prosperity are also bestowed on the performers.