Sangha Offering Ceremony

The annual Ullambana Sangha Offering Ceremony will be held on Sunday, July 15, 2012, 10am at Fo Guang Shan Hsi Lai Temple, 3456 S Glenmark Drive, Hacienda Heights, CA 91745, providing Buddhist practitioners the opportunity to honor the Sangha.

Ullambana, translated as "suspended upside down," connotes the extreme sufferings of hungry ghosts, which can only be alleviated by making offerings of delectable dishes to the Buddha and providing meals for the Sangha. According to the Ullambanapatra Sutra, Maudgalyayana, a disciple of Sakyamuni Buddha, came to the Buddha for guidance when he was unable to alleviate the suffering of his mother who had descended into the realm of hungry ghosts upon her death. The Buddha told Maudgalyayana that the only way to help his mother 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 to all Sangha members in the names of his parents from the past seven lifetimes as well as the present lifetime. The merits acquired could liberate the deceased from the three suffering realms and allow the living to enjoy a life of abundance, good fortune, and longevity. The practice of making offerings to the Sangha is a skillful means that benefits both the deceased and the living, offering the way to liberation for all sentient beings. After listening to the Buddha's words, Maudgalyayana made the required offerings and his mother was finally liberated from the realm of hungry ghost and ascended to the realm of heavenly beings. The Buddha then reaffirmed the merits of making offerings to the Sangha to Maudgalyayana: all Buddhists could deliver their parents from the miseries of the three suffering realms as long as they observe the practice of Ullambana Sangha Offering. 

In China, Emperor Wu of the Liang Dynasty established the Ullambana Sangha Offering Ceremony to formally make offerings to monastics of all directions and to promote the spirit of filial piety. Since, the ceremony was deemed very important by successive emperors and the general public and had become a widely practiced Chinese custom. According to Chinese folk practice, lunar July is considered the "Ghost Month," during which people make offerings to the departed. Hence, with the blessings of the Triple Gem and merits accrued from this Dharma function, the deceased could be liberated and the living attain peace and harmony.

Southern California is the place where many eminent masters reside and the home of Buddha's Light International Association (BLIA) World Headquarters, so it is our honor to organize the Ullambana Sangha Offering Ceremony. We will make offerings to monastics in temples and centers of the right Buddha Dharma within the Greater Los Angeles Area. We sincerely seek the support of all Buddhists in Southern California in our effort to make offerings and pay homage to the Triple Gem.

In order to ensure sufficient funds for this year's ceremony, BLIA proposes the following sponsorships:

Premier Initiator: For a donation of $3,000 or more before June 10, 2012 (name will be published in all promotional materials)

Honorary Initiator: For a donation of $2,000 to $2,999 before June 10, 2012 (name will be published in all promotional materials)

Chief Initiator: For a donation of $1,000 to $1,999 before June 10, 2012 (name will be published in all promotional materials)

Initiator: For a donation of $500 to $999 before June 10, 2012 (name will be published in all promotional materials)

General Sponsor: For a donation of $200 to $499 before July 10, 2012 (name will be published in partial promotional materials)

Any amount of donation is welcome before July 15, 2012

Ullambana Sangha Offering Tickets: Seating inside the Main Shrine ($50 per ticket) and seating inside the Auditorium/Conference Room ($30 per ticket). Lunch is included.

For making sponsorships or purchase of Ullambana Sangha Offering Tickets, please contact Fo Guang Shan Hsi Lai Temple at (626) 961-9697 or BLIA Los Angeles Chapter at (626) 923-5187.

We sincerely appreciate your consideration and support. May the compassionate light of the Buddha shine on you for perfection of merits and wisdom!

                                                                                                     Yours in the Dharma,                                                                                                                            
                                                        Jerry Chen     
                                                        President, BLIA Los Angeles Chapter              
                                                        May 11, 2012

Calvin Yee,
2012年6月2日 晚上7:05