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Ullambana Hamper Offering

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Thekchen Choling

2 Beatty Lane

Singapore, 209945

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Hamper Offering date 5/9/2017
盂兰盆供养日 七月十五

Why do we make "Ullambana offerings" on Buddha's Joyful Day? (15th day of the 7th month)

According to the “Ullambana Sutra”, Maudgalyayana, one of the Buddha’s chief disciples, thought of his parents and wondered what had happened to them. By the power of his clairvoyance, he found his father in the heavenly realm. To his dismay, his mother was found in a lower realm known as the Realm of Hungry Ghosts. She could not eat because her throat was very thin and no food could pass through, yet she was perpetually hungry because of her huge stomach. She was reborn in the Realm of Hungry Ghosts because of her miserliness. Maudgalyayana had instructed her to make generous offerings to the Sangha members that she encountered. Instead, she withheld her kindness and her money.

To help his mother, the Buddha instructed Maudgalyayana to make Ullambana offerings of food and other daily necessities to the Sanghas(monks and nuns) on the last day of the rainy-season retreat (15th day of the 7th lunar month), also known as Buddha Joyful Day. The merit gained from this act eventually liberated his mother from her misery. Buddha expounded that making Ullambana offerings is beneficial to our parents of seven lifetimes. Parents who are living will gain merit and live life at ease, with good health and long life. Parents who are departed will be liberated from the lower realms and get reborn in the gods’ realm.

This is the origin of making offerings to Buddha, Dharma and Sanghas (monks and nuns) on the 15th day of the 7th month. Its a good opportunity for us to accumulate great merits for the wellbeing of our parents and ancestors on this holy day.

我们为什么在七月十五的佛欢喜日供养“盂兰盆”?
“盂兰”是梵文的音译,意思是“救倒悬”(拯救倒挂起来的地狱众生);“盆”是汉语,为盛供品的器皿。意思是说这个“盂兰盆”可以解救先亡受倒悬的苦。
关于“盂兰盆节”的由来,《佛说盂兰盆经》记载:佛陀住舍卫国低园精舍时,他的“十大弟子”中“神通第一’的大目犍连尊者,以道眼见其亡母生饿鬼道个,因没有吃的而瘦得皮包骨。目连为报母亲哺育之恩,心中难受极了。他便以钵盛饭给母亲送去。可是,母亲左手抓钵,右手抢饭,饭还没有吃进口,就化成了火炭。目连悲号涕泣;跑去求教佛陀该怎么办。
佛陀对目至说:“你母亲罪很深结,不是靠你一人内力量所能够拯救的。你虽然是个孝心感动天地的大孝子,但天神和地神对此也束手无策。我现在告诉你一个办法:你必须在七月十五日“佛欢喜日”这天,以饮食、用具等放在盆中成为“盂兰盆”,以此“盂兰盆”虔心供养十方大德僧众,只有靠他们的功德才可拯救你父母及六亲眷属的苦厄。”目连听后,即按佛陀所说的去办理。之后,他的母亲果然脱离了饿鬼之苦,还转生天上,享受福乐。 从此,七月十五日称为“盂兰盆节”。

目连又对佛陀说:“我的母亲脱离了苦厄,其他人也能办得到吗?” 佛陀回答说:“无论比丘、比丘尼、国王太子、宰相大臣、三公百官、万民庶人,凡是要修行慈爱心、孝心的子女,只要采取以上办法,都能使现在的父母无病无痛,亦无苦恼,长命百岁;如果父母已逝,则可离饿鬼苦,转生人道天道之中,福乐无边。一切佛弟子,应该如此来修,以报父母养育慈爱之恩。”从此以后,目连等僧俗弟子,都欢喜地奉行供养“盂兰盆”之法。

Website - http://www.thekchencholing.org/
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Rinpoche gives explainationGentleman making offeringUllambana Hamper
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