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Ullambana Festival 2014

Update: 10/08/2014
Sunny Summer has just ended and followed by a breath of Fall winds gathering yellow leaves, signaling a New Ullumbana Festival being almost celebrated everywhere in the world conventionally .
 

Ullambana Festival 2014

 
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In the convivial atmosphere on the occasion of the Ullumbana\r\nday, Hoang Phap Pagoda solemnly celebrated Ullumbana Festival on August 10th,\r\n2014 (July 15th lunar calendar) in order to express the Buddhists sincere\r\ngratitude to their parents. Tens of thousands of lay Buddhists from all parts\r\nof the country came here to attend the ceremony.

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Ullambana is one of the Vietnamese long-established\r\ntraditional festivals which comes from Buddhas teachings about gratitude and\r\ngrateful acknowledgement as well as the Venerable Moggallanas\r\ngood examples of filial piety. It is also the day when people show their\r\nlove to one another, containing spiritual culture and human morality. That\r\nbelief has persisted down centuries, leading to the establishment of the\r\ntradition "Never cast dirt into that fountain of which you have sometimes\r\ndrunk(When you drink water, think of its source.")

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 At 9 am sharp, there were three rolls of Prajna drums\r\nand all the attendees stood in two lines in reverence facing each other to\r\nwelcome the honored monks who came to the main hall for the ceremony witness\r\nand celebration.

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 The ceremony started with the statement of the\r\nreasons, program contents and participants presentation. Right after that was\r\nthe song in warm tone performed by members of Young Buddhist Association of\r\nHoang Phap Pagoda to pay tribute to Buddha and create auspicious conditions on\r\nthe occasion.

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 Next was the pinning a rose on participants’\r\nshirt, the most essential part of the ceremony. All the Buddhists in the temple\r\nwere listening to Buddhist Thanh Huyen s speech about the meaning of this\r\npractice – a rose is a symbol of divine love that the children wish to show\r\ntowards their parents. The atmosphere here appeared calmer when her speech\r\nabout the debts we owe our parents was accompanied by melodious music from the\r\nMat Troi Moi (New Sun) band. Then, there was a moment of silence in order to\r\nremember the debts we owe the Buddhas, the patriarchs, the original Masters,\r\nthe country and our parents. This moment was to be in memory of the fallen\r\nsoldiers for peace and peoples happiness, too.

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The program was followed by a song lyric of sweet words\r\ntitled A Rose Onto The Shirt performed by singer Nguyen Nhung\r\naccompanied by the  guitar, arousing strong innermost emotion about\r\nparental love whenever our shirt is pinned onto with a rose.

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 Next was the song of While Away From Parents by singer\r\nLuong Bich Huu. It conveys a message that it is fortunate for those whose\r\nparents are still alive.  Otherwise, they must be in acute depression.

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 Then, on behalf of orphans without parental love in\r\nDieu Giac Pagoda located in district 2, Ho Chi Minh city, Thien Kim, a\r\n13-year-old girl, expressed her feelings by telling her own true moved story.\r\nShe was an orphan when she was a little girl. Fortunately, she was brought up\r\nin the orphan shelter in Dieu Giac Pagoda and she has found joy in life here\r\nand has a bright future ahead.

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 Also, on this occasion the participants have fully\r\nrealized the boundless parents love for their children by watching the play\r\n"The Light Of My Life" written and acted by the Dharma Protection\r\nGroup of the pagoda. Inspired by the story of "a one-eyed mother," they made emotional episodes, conveying\r\nan important message about maternal love and teaching usa very valuable lesson.\r\nAfter the play, singer Vu Bao sang the song "Words Of A person Whose\r\nParents Are Dead" which seemed to evoke deep sympathy from those whose\r\nparents are deceased.

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 Especially, in the Ullumbana, there was a ceremony of\r\nTen Great Debts Of Gratitude. In the solemn atmosphere the\r\nwholeBuddhists in the temple halls holding their hands together knelt down\r\nand fell prostrate in worship to express gratitude to the Buddhas’ of the ten directions and\r\nthe Three Jewels in the high-low pitched sound of bell. Right after that was\r\nthe most essential ceremony - the ritual of Remembering Gratitude and Showing\r\nFilial Piety to parents from the monks. Buddhists playing the roles of their\r\nparents were asked to go on the stage so that the monks could repay their debts\r\nof gratitude. Under the Venerables witness, the monks offered strings of beads\r\nand wreaths of flowers to their parents to show their sincere gratitude towards\r\ntheir parents.

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 The integral part of the ceremony is the\r\nrobe offering ritual.  After the practice of the filial duty, on\r\nbehalf of the participants, members of Young Buddhist Association of Hoang Phap\r\nPagoda offered things to the honored monks with all respect in the process\r\nof melodious song performance of the two singers Vu Bao and Yen Ngoc.

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At the end of the ceremony, the Abbot, Senior Venerable\r\nThich Chan Tinh representing all the monks appreciated the Buddhists noble\r\nspirit of filial piety and their commitment to making merit offerings to The\r\nThree Jewels. He also advised everyone, who are lucky to be Buddhists now and\r\nimbued with the Buddhas teachings, to follow the

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Venerable Moggallanas good examples of filial\r\npiety and observe to the five precepts, a basic ethical foundation of dutiful\r\nchildren. Besides, we should not ignore the preservation of five precepts\r\nbecause they are the basic ethical background from children to their parents.

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His speech came to an end by his best wishes to all in this\r\nUllumbana.

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 In the program, singer Nhat Thanh made everyone\r\nrelaxed by the song "Going to pagoda".

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 Finally was the ceremony of incense offering to the\r\nBuddha and praying in this Ullumbana. All of the Buddhists single-mindedly\r\nchanted the sutra to pray for the dead and the living, wishing that all enjoyed\r\nthe festival immensely.

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 Nearly 50,000 vegetarian lunch portions, about 21,000\r\nDVDs of Ullumbana 2013 and 14,000 VCDs of "Words For The Young" were\r\nfreely given out. The ceremony ended successfully and everybody left happily.

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 These are recorded photos:

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Translated into English by Mr. Tran Xuan Thanh.

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