Today, I would like to explain about the meaning of Obon service in Jodo Shinshu. The Obon is also called as Urabon in Japanese. It’s one of the most important services for us as Buddhist. The meaning of the Obon service is somewhat different between the different Buddhist schools. For most, they believe that Obon is when our ancestors come back from another world during July 13 to 15. Some Buddhist schools believe that at that time, the souls of our ancestors are coming back to our home and visit us.
However in Jodo Shinshu, we don’t believe such a superstition at all, we consider Obon as a great opportunity to reflect and appreciate the teachings which our loved ones and ancestors left for us. We are all so busy everyday so it is difficult to have this opportunity to hear the Dharma. But once a year, through the Obon service, we get together at the temple or our houses in memory of our ancestors and loved ones and then we can feel and appreciate the relationship of family and friends through our memories of the life we shared. This is the meaning of Obon for Jodo Shinshu followers such as ourselves.
During the Obon season, let’s reflect how we are embraced by invisible supports of our loved one in our daily life and Amida Buddha’s working with putting hands together in Gassho.
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浄土真宗本願寺派 大見山 超勝寺 衆徒。翻訳家。ハーバード大学 神学部研究員を修了し、帰国。現在は、執筆活動や通訳・翻訳を通して、日本仏教を世界に弘める活動をしています。