The Ullambana Dharma Assembly: Filial Piety and Gratitude to Parents and Ancestors
2016-08-31 14:08:22

In compliance with the way set up by the Buddha, every year monks of Longquan Monastery have a summer retreat from April 15th to July 15th on the lunar calendar, and on the last day hold the Ullambana Dharma Assembly which is themed around filial piety and gratitude to our parents and ancestors. During the Dharma assembly offerings are made to the Buddhas and monks. This produces power and merit that save our deceased ancestors and parents in all past lives, and benefit both the living and the dead. Dharma events during the assembly include high meal offering, the Ullambana offering, meal offering to the Sangha, taking refuge, Meng Mountain ritual, and Sutra chanting. At the same time, vegetarian food and books on Buddhist doctrines are provided for free, so as to introduce more people to learn about Buddhist doctrines. We welcome people from all walks of life and the broad masses of Buddhist devotees to participate.

According toThe Ullambana Sutra, Moggallana Thera, one of the disciples of Buddha, saw with his divine eyes that his mother had fallen into the miserable realm of hungry ghosts. Thus he offered food to his mother with an alms bowl. However, due to her nonvirtuous karma, the food turned to flame. He then asked Buddha about the way to rescue his mother, and the answer from Buddha was that: on July 15th, prepare an offering full of hundreds of flavors to the Three Jewels, and in this way he could save his mother from the misery of hungry ghost through the power of merits produced by the diligent practice of monks during their summer retreat. From then on, July 15th became a festival when Buddha’s disciples make offering to Buddha and the Sangha, and deliver the deceased. 

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