Singapore DharmaNet Homepage
Return to Singapore Dharma Net Homepage
ULLAMBANA DAY, 2540
( Full Moon in the Chinese Seventh Month)
Quoted from : Wayne Woo
email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Sunday, August 17, 1997
Today, the full moon day of the 7th lunar month, the 2540th year
after the Parinibbana of the Buddha, is the day we celebrate Ullambana.
This festival is in rememberance of the Venerable Moggallana, who under
the advice of the Buddha, made offerings to the Sangha in order to liberate
his departed mother from the Peta realm.
On this day, Buddhists in Asia make many offerings to the Sangha in
their respective countries, and transfer all the great merit generated to
their departed parents or ancestors, so that they may be find bliss in
their present existences. This is how we express filial piety to them,
as the Venerable Moggallana did more than 2 thousand years ago.
Other charitable acts are also performed with the hope that all other
beings in the sorrowful states be liberated to happier realms. Through
these actions we build greater compassion.
May all beings be well and happy.
The Sanskrit word , Ullambana means "saving people from acute suffering".
Observing the festival is good as it is in keeping with our cultural
Quoted from Wong Yew Kwan
The Straits Times 2 September 1997
Transference of merit
What is the basis in the Pali cannon for transference of merit by
sponsoring prayer or sutta recitation? I practise in the Tibetan
tradition and sponsor prayer for the dead, living, and sick people
but am wondering where this custom/practice started.
In one of the minor books of the Khuddaka Nikaya there is passage
concerning this. The story, partly commentorial, is that King Bimbisara
gave a meal for the monks and was subsequently troubled at night by the
wailing of ghosts. The Buddha explained that this was because he failed
to offer any of the merit to his deceased relatives. He gave another meal
and transferred merit thereby pacifying the ghosts.
This has caused some difficulty in the exegesis, because according to
strict theory karmas cannot be made for another. The explanation arrived
at is that when one transfers merit the beings in the ghost realm rejoice
and rejoicing in the wholesome is itself a good karma.
Hope this helps.
Arrow River Community Center
Email: email@example.com .