The Vu Lan Sutra

Namo Shakyamuni Buddha

Namo Shakyamuni Buddha

Namo Shakyamuni Buddha (B)


Sutra Opening Verse

The Buddha's Dharma

is so deep and incomparable.

For thousands of lifetimes

the chance to know it is so rare.

Now we recognize the clear and bright path

and vow to practice deeply, sincerely. (BB)

Vu Lan Sutra

Today is Pravarana day,

The Ullambana Festival.

Our assembled Sangha:

All monks, nuns, and Buddhists,

Reflect to commemorate

Venerable Maudgalyayana.

Who reached Enlightenment,

Attaining six supernormal powers

Still loved his late mother,

But did not know, where was she?

In the six realms of rebirth,

He determined to seek for her,

With divine eyes, he saw through,

The lower realm of hungry ghosts,

“My mom is here!”

Wandering in hunger,

Overwhelming feeling of sadness,

He could not sit still.

Immediately he went on alms round,

Collected a full bowl of rice,

And used his supernormal power,

To bring the rice to his late mother,

Seeing the bowl of rice,

She was overjoyed,

But as she reached for the rice,

Instantly the rice turned into burning coals!

Painful grief was indescribable,

Torrents of tears streaming down,

He quickly returned,

To ask Buddha for help,

Lord Buddha taught,

To hold the Ullambana Festival,

Relying on collective praying power of Sangha,

Seeking doctor for medicine,

As soon as the festival was over,

His late mother was reborn in the Heavens realm,

Maudgalyayana was cheerful,

Immersing in endless joy,

He even asked Buddha,

For all filial children,

With late mother and father,

Is it possible to hold Ullambana Festival?

Buddha immediately taught that,

The Ullambana Festival,

To seek salvation for six generations of relatives,

And parents of seven past lives,

Remember the example of Maudgalyayana,

A filial child,

Who attained Complete Liberation,

Still loved his mother and father.

How could we not,

As lay people,

The deep kindness of parents,

has no measure.

The filial duty of a child,

How can we forget,

Even for this whole life,

We cannot fully repay.

Our body was given,

From our parents,

Even if our bones were ground to powder,

Never enough to repay our parents’ deep kindness,

How can it cross our mind,

To forget about our mother and father,

Who can be closer to us,

Than our father and mother.

The enduring hardship of pregnancy and birth,

The nurturing, loving, and caring,

If children are happy,

Parents are also happy.

When children get sick,

Parents feel worried,

Running back and forth.

Always think of their children,

Forget all their hardships.

Children are the pearl,

The treasure to parents.

Without their children,

Parents are sorrowful.

Even when children grow up,

Parents never forget them,

Loving them forever and ever,

Until the last second of their life.

Sacrificing their whole life,

Just for their children,

Wanting children to be happy,

Forget themselves committing sin,

This life is suffering,

Will other lives be peaceful?

The more we think about our parents,

Our heart is tightened!

Vowing to practice diligently,

Doing good deeds,

Dedicating this merit,

To repay our parents’ kindness,

May the Three Jewels,

Verify our vow,

All accumulated merits harvested,

We want to dedicate,

To our living parents,

To have a peaceful life,

Develop the goal to Wake Up,

To practice towards Awake and Liberation;

To our late parents,

To soon liberate from endless suffering,

Reborn in the human realm,

Adhere to the teaching of Supreme Dharma,

With collective power of harvested merits,

Will soon become fully Awakened.


Namo Filial Bodhisatva Maudgalyayana

(3 times) (BB)