Ullambana Festival

Ullambana Festival is also called the Sangha Day, or the Buddha’s joyful day. It is the day when the Sangha community had completed their summer retreat. As Buddhists, we should uphold the Buddha’s teaching of filial piety by supporting the Sangha. This is a very meaningful and meritorious act as it allows the Sangha to practice without obstructions and cultivate merits for ourselves and our ancestors.

The Origin and Meaning of Ullambana and Making Offerings to Sangha Ullambana Sangha Offering Ceremony is for Buddhist laity to offer a meal to the Buddha and the Sangha as an act of reverence.

According to the Ullambanapatra Sutra, when Maudgalyayana, a chief disciple of Sakyamuni Buddha, was unable to alleviate the suffering if his mother in the realm of hungry ghosts, the World-Honored One told him that the only way to deliver his mother from the pains of suffering is to rely upon the strength of monastics of all directions in their cultivation of meritorious virtues. The Buddha instructed his disciples to dedicate an elaborate offering of food and fruits to all Sangha members in the names of his parents from the past seven lifetimes as well as the present lifetime because the practice of Sangha offering has the power to transform and deliver all sentient beings.

The merits thus acquired could liberate the deceased from the three suffering realms and allow the living to enjoy a life of abundance, good fortune and longevity. Therefore, by observing the practice of Ullambana Sangha Offering, all Buddhists can deliver their parents from the miseries of the three suffering realms. (Source: Hsi Lai Temple)