盂兰盆节的起源与意义:敬佛供僧·孝亲报恩

2017 年 7月 17 日 | 浏览次数: 32

盂兰盆节:佛教文化与传统民俗

中元节俗称鬼节或七月半,佛教称为盂兰盆节。与除夕、清明节、重阳节三节是中国传统的祭祖大节。中元节也称盂兰胜会或庆赞中元,除了祭祖普渡表演各籍贯的传统习俗戏剧外,还有一项特别的表演活动以娱乐鬼魂,当地人建立了歌台文化。不少地方中元节祭拜亡灵之前,会先祭拜大士爷,信众认为农历七月,所有在阳世的亡灵,都归“大士爷”管理。 信徒一般会以纸扎出大士爷塑像,并将大士爷神位或神像放置供桌之前,以求祭祀顺利。待到七月一过,一般会火化大士爷像,送其登天。

大士爷

于大山脚举办的盂兰盛会上,26尺高的纸扎大士爷塑像。照片来源:http://ptlimlink.blogspot.my

传说中元节当天阴曹地府将放出全部鬼魂,民间因此普遍进行祭祀鬼魂活动。这是一个结合了道教、佛教和儒家传统的民间节日。每年到了农历七月中,民间一般会举行大型的祭拜仪式,以超渡亡魂。人们也都会宰鸡杀鸭,焚香烧衣,拜祭由地府出来的饿鬼,以化解其怨气,不致于遗害人间。在法事中,他们不仅超度亡魂,而且更为无主孤魂和那些为国捐躯,战死沙场的死难者施予救济。

中元节不同地区的活动或有不同,不过普遍会进行放河灯和焚纸锭的习俗。凡有新丧的人家,例要上新坟,而一般在地方上都要祭孤魂野鬼,所以,它是以祀鬼为中心的节日,成了中国民间最大的鬼节。因此,整个七月,在传统文化里是一个以鬼为中心的节日。这整个农历七月里,家里的老人家也特别嘱咐小孩和年轻人紧守一些禁忌,以免给自己招徕厄运或不幸。

许多人在中元节焚烧金银纸锭给祖先和孤魂

每到中元节,家家祭祀祖先,供奉时行礼如仪。家家户户会择日以酒肉、糖饼、水果等祭品举办祭祀活动,以慰在人世间的众家鬼魂,并祈求自己全年平安顺利。到了农历七月的最后一天,民间一般会放河灯送亡魂回到地府,放河灯(亦被称为荷灯)时,在船尾点缀红红绿绿的纸灯,称为“度孤”。

祭祀祖先

说到农历七月庆赞中元的高潮,就肯定是整个活动结束前,各家各户将供给孤魂的金银纸和纸制供品集在一起,在空地上点燃焚烧了。

Floating candles to guide the deceased for their safe return

 

盂兰盆节的起源与意义

饿鬼在梵语中“薜荔多”或“閉戾多”(preta)。饿鬼居住在饿鬼道,是六道轮回中的恶趣,代表着三不善根中的贪欲。“盂兰盆”一词,是梵名 Ullambana,音译作“解倒悬”。“盂兰”即“倒悬”之意,解救死者受到有如倒吊悬挂般的苦痛业报。

按佛教典故,关于“盂兰节”的起源,有着以下一个典故:相传佛祖释迦牟尼在世时,“神通第一”的目犍连尊者证得阿罗汉果,得六种神通时,便想度化现世父母,以报哺育之恩。于是,他运用天眼通寻找母亲,结果看见亡母堕于饿鬼道受苦,形貌憔悴,皮骨相连,咽喉像针一般细小。目犍连见状,十分不捨,立刻取钵盛了饭菜,以神通力奉养母亲。不料母亲将食物往口裡放时,饭菜即化成了火焰!前去请示佛陀该如何解救母亲。佛陀对目犍连说:

七月十五日是十方僧众解夏自恣日,一切众生当在此时为七世父母及现在父母于危难中者,设百味饮食,置于盆中,供养十方大德众僧。凭藉众僧安居期间精进修行的功德,能拔济父母出离三涂之苦,现世父母亦得福乐绵延,吉祥如意。

其有供养此等自恣僧者,现世父母、六亲眷属,得出三涂之苦应时解脱,衣食自然;若父母现在者,福乐百年;若七世父母生天,自在化生,入天华光。~摘自《佛说盂兰盆经》

或许不是所有人对《佛说盂兰盆经》感到熟悉,不过“目连救母”或“目莲救母”的故事却是许多人自小听长辈谈起、大戏或电影里看到的故事。“目连救母”的故事在民间广泛流流传,跟之后衍生的中元节息息相关。

目犍连尊者救母典故

 

透过盂兰盆法会供佛斋僧,救度现在父母乃至七世父母和冤亲债主

盂兰盆节在亚洲各国佛教徒中广泛庆祝。在柬埔寨,这个庆祝一整个月的节日被称为“Pchum Ben”,属于寮国公假。在寮国,盂兰盆节被称为“Boun Khao Padabdine”,一直以来是越南民族体现饮水思源道理的传统节日。在斯里兰卡被称为“Mataka Danes”,在泰国被称为“Sat Thai”。上座部佛教庆祝盂兰盆节的方式是,在七月十五日众僧结夏安居修行圆满的日子里,为供僧和祭祖而大行布施功德。

佛陀开示说,在七月十五日供僧,并以供僧功德回向给过往的亲人,这功德不只可以救度这一世的父母,甚至也可以救度七世的父母。不但现在的父母寿命百年无病,无一切苦恼之患,乃至七世父母离恶鬼苦,得生天人中,福乐无极。 这份无私的心也有助一个人生起菩提心,以及化解跟冤亲债主的恩怨。

今年八月二十七日,克切拉佛教中心将首度在克切拉禅修林Kechara Forest Retreat 举办盂兰盆节,诚邀各界人士参与供僧敬佛,当下远离烦恼,得清净心;救度受苦的挚亲与孤魂。

克切拉藉两场威力无比的法会超度亡魂。首场法会为上师荟供法会 协助普渡亡魂。上师荟供法会透过献上荟供,祈请佛菩萨和传承上师进行超度。

第二场法会为-四百供除障法会 -这是其中一个最繁杂,却有效消灾消除解难的法会。按照字面它意即“400种供养”,法会上的广大供养及特殊仪式能生起广大正能量化解各种障碍。法会分为两个部分进行,午休用餐后继续第二部分。

由于每个人的需求各异,克切拉特别提供了个人、家庭和企业多个配套,满足大家在农历七月寻求超度先人和保平安的需求。您可以到克切拉佛教中心、克切拉天堂文物店和网店VajraSecrets.com VajraSecrets.com订购。

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