This document is written in Vietnamese, with Unicode Times font
|1. Phật nói Kinh Vu Lan Bồn
Ta từng nghe lời tạc như vầy:
Một thuở nọ
Công dưỡng-dục thâm-ân
Thấy vong-mẫu sanh làm
The Yu-lan-p'en Sutra
Thus have I heard.
Once, the Buddha resided in the kingdom of Sravasti,among the Jetavana trees in the garden of Anathapindika. The Great Mu-chien-lien began to obtain the six penetrations. Desiring to save his parents to repay the kindness they had shown him in nursing and feeding him, he used his divine eye to observethe worlds.
He saw his departed mother reborn among the hungry ghosts: she never saw food or drink, and her skin hung off her bones.
|2. Lo phẩm-vật đem dâng từ-mẫu,
Ðặng đỡ lòng cực khổ bấy lâu.
Thấy cơm mẹ rất lo âu,
Tay tả che đậy, hữu hầu bốc ăn.
Lòng bỏn-xẻn tiền-căn chưa
Thấy như vậy âu-sầu
Mu-lien took pity, filled his bowl with rice, and sent it
to his mother as an offering. When his mother received
the bowl of rice, she used her left hand to guard the
bowl and her right hand to gather up the rice, but before
the food entered her mouth it changed into flaming coals,
so in the end she could not eat.
Mu-lien cried out in grief and wept tears. He rushed back to tell the Buddha and laid out everything as it has happened.
|3. Phật mới bảo rõ ràng căn-cội,
Rằng mẹ ông gốc tội rất sâu.
Dầu ông thần-lực nhiệm-mầu,
Một mình không thể ai cầu được đâu.
Lòng hiếu-thảo của ông dầu
Cộng ba cõi sáu phương
The Buddha said, "The roots of your mother's sins
are deep and tenacious. It is not within your power as a
single individual to do anything about it. Even though
the fame of your filial devotion moves heaven and earth,
still spirits of heaven and spirits of earth, harmful
demons and masters of the outer paths, monks and the four
spirit kings of heaven cannot do anything about it.
You must rely on the mighty spiritual power of the assembled monks of the ten directions in order to obtain her deliverance.
|4. Pháp cứu-tế ta toan giải nói
Cho mọi người thoát khỏi ách-nàn
Bèn kêu Mục-thị đến gần,
Truyền cho diệu-pháp ân-cần thiết thi
Rằm tháng bảy là ngày Tự-tứ
Lại phải sắm giường nằm
Chư Ðại-đức mười
shall now preach for you the method of salvation, so that
all beings in trouble may leave sadness and suffering,
and the impediments caused by sin be wiped away."
The Buddha told Mu-lien, "On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when the assembled monks of the ten directions release themselves, for the sake of seven generations of ancestors, your current parents, and those in distress, you should gather food of the one hundred flavors and five kinds of fruit, basins for washing and rinsing, incense, oil lamps and candles, and mattresses and beđing; take the sweetest, prettiest things in the world and place them in a bowl and offer it to the assembled monks, those of great virtue of the ten directions.
|5. Vì ngày ấy Thánh-tăng đều
Dầu ở đâu cũng tụ-hội về.
Như người Thiền-định sơn-khê
Tránh điều phiền-não chăm về thiền-na
người đặng bốn tòa đạo quả
Hoặc người đặng
Ðều trì giới rất
thanh, rất tịnh
this day, the entire assembly of saints - those in the
mountains practicing meditation and concentration; those
who have attained the fruit of the four paths; those who
practice pacing under trees; those who use the six
penetrations to be free; those who convert others, hear
preaching, and awaken to causality; and the great men,
those bodhisattvas of the ten stages who provisionally
manifest the form of a bhiksu - all of those who are part
of the great assembly shall with one mind receive the
patra [bowl] of rice.
[A monk who] possesses fully the purity of the precepts and the Way of the assembly of saints - his virtue is vast indeed.
|6. Người nào có sắm ra vật-thực
Ðặng cúng-dường Tự-tứ Tăng thời
Hiện-tiền phụ-mẫu của người
Bà con quyến-thuộc thảy đều nhờ ơn
Tam-đồ khổ chắc rằng ra khỏi
Như cha mẹ bảy đời
When you make offerings to these kinds of monks as they
release themselves, then your current parents, seven
generations of ancestors, and six kinds of relatives will
obtain release from suffering in the three evil paths of
rebirth; at that moment they will be liberated and
clothed and fed naturally.
If one's parents are living, they will have one hundred years of joy and happiness. If they are deceased, then seven generations of ancestors will be reborn in the heavens; born freely through transformation, they will enter into the light of heavenly flowers and receive unlimited joy."
|7. Phật dạy bảo mười phương
Phải tuân theo thể-thức sau này:
Trước khi thọ thực đàn chay
Phải cầu chú-nguyện cho người tín-gia.
Cầu thất-thế mẹ cha thí-chủ
Khi thọ-dụng nên an
Then the Buddha decreed that the assembled monks of the
ten directions should first chant prayers on behalf of
the family of the donor for seven generations of
ancestors, that they should practice meditation and
concentrate their thoughts, and that they should then
receive the food.
In receiving the bowls, they should first place them in front of the Buddha's stupa; when the assembled monks have finished chanting prayers, they may then individually partake of the food.
|8. Pháp cứu-tế Phật vừa nói
Mục-liên cùng Bồ-tát chư Tăng
Ðồng nhau tỏ dạ vui mừng
Mục-liên cũng hết khóc thương rầu buồn
Mục-liên mẫu cũng trong ngày ấy
Lại cũng nhờ oai thần
Ðộ cha mẹ còn đương tại
this time the bhiksu Mu-lien and the assembly of great
bodhisattvas rejoiced. Mu-lien's sorrowful tears ended
and the sound of his crying died out.
Then, on that very day, Mu-lien's mother gained release from a kalpa of suffering as a hungry ghost.
Then Mu-lien told the Buddha, "The parents who gave birth to me, your disciple, are able to receive the power of the merit of the Three Jewels because of the mighty spiritual power of the assembly of monks. But all of the future disciples of the Buddha who practice filial devotion, may they or may they not also present yu-lan bowls as required to save their parents as well as seven generations of ancestors?"
The Buddha said, "Excellent! This question pleases me very much. It is just what I would like to preach, so listen well!
|9. Thiện-nam-tử, tỳ-kheo nam nữ
Cùng quốc-vương, thái-tử, đại-thần
Tam-công, tể-tướng, bá-quan
Cùng hàng lê-thứ vạn dân cõi trần
Như chí muốn đền ơn cha mẹ
Chính ngày ấy Phật đà
Ðặng hưởng phước nhân
duyên vui đẹp
good sons, if there are bhiksus, bhiksunis, kings of
states, princes, sons of kings, great ministers,
counselors, dignitaries of the three ranks, any
government officials, or the majority of common people
who practice filial compassion, then on behalf of their
current parents and the past seven generations of
ancestors, on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, the
day on which Buddhas rejoice, the day on which monks
release themselves, they must all place food and drink of
the one hundred flavors inside the yu-lan bowl and donate
it to monks of the ten directions who are releasing
When the prayers are finished, one's present parents will attain long life, passing one hundred years without sickness and without any of the torments of suffering, while seven generations of ancestors will leave the sufferings of hungry ghosthood, attaining rebirth among gods and humans and blessings without limit."
The Buddha told all of the good sons and good daughters,
|10. Thường cầu-nguyện
Cùng bảy đời phụ-mẫu siêu-sanh
Ngày rằm tháng bảy mỗi năm
Vì lòng hiếu-thảo thâm-ân phải đền
Lễ cứu-tế chí-thành sắp đặt
Ðệ-tử Phật lo âu
Mục-liên với bốn ban
"Those disciples of the Buddha who practice filial
devotion must in every moment of consciousness maintain
the thought of their parents, including seven generations
of ancestors. Each year on the fifteenth day of the
seventh month, out of filial devotion and compassionate
consideration for the parents who gave birth to them and
for seven generations of ancestors, they should always
make a yu-lan bowl and donate it to the Buddha and Sangha
to repay the kindness bestowed by parents in nurturing
and caring for them. All disciples of the Buddha must
carry out this law."
Upon hearing what the Buddha preached, the bhiksu Mu-lien and the four classes of disciples rejoiced and put it into practice.
Notes by Minh Quang < BuddhistI@aol.com> :
Today is the Vu-lan festival, a Buddhist ceremony, but also celebrated by lay people in East Asia as the hungry ghost festival (lễ cô hồn). Ullambana (Vu lan bồn) is also celebrated in other Buddhist countries.
In Vietnam and China, we used to chant the Yu-lan-p'en Sutra (Kinh Vu-lan-bồn) which had many different translations, although the most popular was the one in Vietnamese poetic style of "two seven, one six, one eight syllables" (song thất lục bát) which most of us have heard at least a few times.
The Chinese translation was not difficult to find, and usually said to be first translated from Sanscrit to Chinese in the third century by Dharmaraksa (505-313) [Ðàm Ma La Sát, hoặc Pháp Hộ) who originatedfrom Tun-huang (Ðôn Hoàng) and has translated 210 works (or 175 accordingto Chinese source) into Chinese, including the Lotus Sutra (Kinh Diệu PhápLiên Hoa) and the Ullambana Sutra (Kinh Vu Lan Bồn) [cf Lịch Ðại TamBảo Ký].
Source: firstname.lastname@example.org list
Date: Sun, 17 Aug 1997
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