August 17 - August 18
Ullambana Assemblage 盂兰法会 08 / 17 – 08 / 18 / 2024
The fifteenth day of the seventh lunar month is Ullambana, one of the most significant days in Buddhism, especially in terms of transcendence and offering to monks. This is because Shakyamuni Buddha once explained to the venerable Maudgalyayana on this day how to rescue beings from the realm of hungry ghosts. The “Ullambana Sutra” recounts a story: Maudgalyayana’s mother, due to the force of her karma, was reborn in the realm of hungry ghosts. Maudgalyayana, seeing his mother suffering in hell, unable to eat, with her food turning to ash as it reached her mouth, urgently sought help from the Buddha. The Buddha said: “This is not something you can achieve alone. On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, you must hold a Dharma assembly and gather the monks to perform rituals; only then can you save your mother.” Hence, Maudgalyayana made offerings to the monks, and through such merit, his mother smoothly departed from the realm of hungry ghosts. From then on, the fifteenth day of the seventh lunar month was designated as Ullambana, and Buddhists make offerings to monks during this month, dedicating them to the beings in the realm of hungry ghosts.