July 16
The Ullambana Segaki (Feeding the Deceased) Service

eUllambanaf is the Sanskrit term signifying ghung upside downh and describes the suffering of spirits in another world remaining hung upside down and unable to accept any offerings of food. The Ullambana ritual aims to liberate those spirits from pain and originates from the Ullambana Sutra, featuring an episode whereby Shakyamuni Buddha initiated Maudgalyayana, his disciple famous for the top divine power, into a special ritual when the latter used his spiritual vision to discover the condition of his late mother, who had fallen into the realm of hungry spirits and suffered from the same torture. The episode says that the disciple could finally free his mother from the realm thanks to the merits created by his treating monks, as taught by Shakyamuni.
eSegakif literally means eto feed hungry spiritsf and generally refers to the ritual to help various suffering spirits in the realm of hungry spirits (gaki), one of the lower six realms. This story centers on Ananda, a disciple of Shakyamuni with a superb memory, whose death was declared imminent by hungry spirits but eventually acquired longevity after feeding them while chanting a dharani imparted by Shakyamuni Buddha. At Minobusan Temple, these Ullambana and Segaki are combined and held as a single service.

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