General Transfer of Merits (Lunar 7th Month)


 

DateDayTimeEventForm
25 AugSatDuring puja at 7pmLunar 7th Month (General Transfer of Merits)

Transfer of merits will be performed during the 7pm puja at the shrine hall, all members and devotees are welcome to participate.

 


 

The Background of

Tirokudda Kanda — Hungry Shades Outside the Walls  Pv 1.5

 

After Buddha Gotama gained Perfect Enlightenment in Bodh Gaya under the Bodhi Tree, he spent seven weeks in the Bliss of Emancipation. At the end of the seven weeks he wanted to teach the Sublime Dhamma to the two old ascetics (who had taught him meditation up to the Arupajjahanas only when he was yet a Bodhisatta): Alara Kalama and Uddaka Ramaputta. But seeing that they had passed away, he turned his attention to the five ascetics who had once fared with him (but later forsook him).

Thus, at Isipatana Deer Park, the Buddha expounded the Dhammacakka- pavatana Sutta to the five ascetics and they became the first disciples in the Sangha with Anna Kondanna Maha Thera as the first. Later, the Buddha went to Gaya and converted the three matted-hair ascetic brothers, Uruvela, Nadi, and Gaya Kassapa and their one thousand followers with the Aditthapariyaya Sutta.

While proceeding to Rajagaha, King Bimbisara [who had tried to offer his kingdom to the Bodhisatta earlier] went to visit him with thousands of brahmins. King Bimbisara was established in the fruit of Sotapatti on that very day and he invited the Buddha to a meal in the palace the following day.

During the alms-giving, the departed next-of kin petas of King Bimbisara stood outside the walls of the palace thinking, “The king will dedicate the merits of the alms-giving to us.”

However, after the alms-giving, King Bimbisara did not dedicate the merits of the merit-making to his departed next-of-kin petas but instead his mind was thinking about where to site the vihara for the Buddha. Not receiving the merits, the petas made dreadful cries and wailings outside the palace walls in the dead of night.

The king heard these ‘unearthly’ noises and became very frightened. At daybreak, the king told the Buddha about his dreadful experience and asked what would become of him. The Buddha explained to the king: “Former relatives of yours who have been reborn as petas have been going round for an immeasurably long time since the last Buddha kappa [Buddha Phussa’s time, about 92 kappas ago] expecting to be released from their suffering.

They had expected you to dedicate the alms-giving done yesterday to them but you did not. They were extremely distressed by this and lamented their lost hope.” The king said, “O Blessed One, would they receive the merits, if I give alms today and dedicate the merits to them?”

The Buddha was affirmative. “Then let the Blessed One accept my invitation of alms-giving today.” The Blessed One consented by his silence. During the alms-giving to the Buddha and his Order of Ariya Sangha, strange things happened. The Buddha, using his supernormal powers, caused the petas from outside the walls of the palace to be clearly seen by the king.

As the king gave the gift of water saying, “Let this be for my relatives!” At that moment, lotus ponds appeared around the petas. The petas bathed in them and their weariness and thirst was allayed; their body became the color of gold. The king gave rice gruel and both hard and soft food and dedicated these action.

All at once, the petas had food to eat and their faculties were refreshed. The king gave robes and lodging and dedicated these actions. Instantly, the petas were richly adorned and they had well-furnished palaces to live in. The king was extremely delighted by what he did and saw the effects. When the Blessed One had finished his meal, he expounded the Tirokudda Sutta.

 

Ven Dr. Indaratana Thera

 


Tirokudda Kanda — Hungry Shades Outside the Walls

 

Outside the walls they stand,
and at crossroads.
At door posts they stand,
returning to their old homes.
But when a meal with plentiful food and drink is served,
no one remembers them:
Such is the Kamma of living beings.

Thus those who feel sympathy for their dead relatives
give timely donations of proper food and drink
— exquisite and clean —
thinking: “May this be for our relatives.
May our relatives be happy!”

And those who have gathered there,
the assembled shades of the relatives,
with appreciation give their blessing
for the plentiful food and drink:
“May our relatives live long
because of whom we have gained (this gift).
We have been honored,
and the donors are not without reward!”

For there (in their realm) there is
no farming,
no herding of cattle,
no commerce,
no trading with money.
They live on what is given here,
hungry shades
whose time here is done.

As water raining on a hill
flows down to the valley,
even so does what is given here
benefit the dead.
As rivers full of water
fill the ocean full,
even so does what is given here
benefit the dead.

“He gave to me, she acted on my behalf,
they were my relatives, companions, friends.”
Offerings should be given for the dead
when one reflects thus
on things done in the past.
For no weeping,
no sorrowing
no other lamentation
benefits the dead
whose relatives persist in that way.
But when this offering is given, well-placed in the Sangha,
it works for their long-term benefit
and they profit immediately.

In this way the proper duty to relatives has been shown,
great honour has been done to the dead,
and monks have been given strength:
The merit you have acquired
Is not small.