Indian Festivals

Ullambana Sutra


The Ullambana Sutra is a Mahayana sutra which consists in a brief discourse given by the Gautama Buddha principally to the monk Maudgalyayana (Mokuren in Japanese) on the practice of filial piety. The text is considered of questionable authenticity by many. In the Ullambana Sutra, the Buddha instructs his disciple Mahamaudgalyayana on how to obtain liberation for his mother, who had been reborn into a lower realm, by making food offerings to the sangha on the fifteenth day of the seventh month. This practice is the basis of the Obon ceremony in honor of one's ancestors which is still observed widely in Japan. Judging from that, it may be inferred that this sutra has had considerable influence.


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