Each year around the month of August, Chinese Taoists and Buddhists around the world perform rituals and prayers to celebrate “Ghost Month”; a month where billions of departed souls (i.e. ghosts and spirits) are said to be released from the lower realms. For 30 days, these spirits are given freedom to roam within the human dimension. Many regard this month as one of darkness and inauspicious energies, which can lead to misfortune, accidents and mishaps if one is not careful. So, is hungry ghost month really this dangerous? What can you do to stay safe?
Watch my Zoom Video where I cover these key points:
Hungry Month Dates
19th August 2020
2nd September 2020 (Full Moon)
|Ends on:||16th September 2020|
Highlights of my Zoom Talk on 16th August 2020:
The origin of Hungry Ghost month can be traced back to the Ullambana Sutra (a teaching given by the Buddha). Buddha advises that the 7th month is a special month where prayers and rituals can be performed to benefit our ancestors who are still in the ghost or hell realms. These realms are full of terrible suffering, particularly for hungry ghosts called “pretas”. These are specific types of ghosts who are unable eat or drink; so they are very hungry all the time. Many of our ancestors may still be suffering terribly in the lower realms; so this is an excellent month to benefit them.
To liberate our ancestors and other spirits this month, the best way is to:
- Sponsor and participate in Ancestor Liberation Pujas organized by qualified Rinpoche’s and Lamas. My Guru Khenpo Delek Rinpoche will be performing the Shithro Puja for the deceased on the 2nd September.
- As advised by the Buddha, on the 15th day of this month (2nd September), make food, garment and financial offerings to monastic communities on behalf of our ancestors. There are hundreds of monasteries that take online donations; but in response to requests from many of you, I have listed some of the monasteries and dharma centers that I support. You are welcome to make donations to these monasteries or select your own:
Staying Safe During Hungry Ghost Month
During this month, there will be a large number of spirits and souls roaming about our space. Please don’t worry! Most spirits are harmless and cannot cause any harm to you.
However, for people who’s life force, spirit essence and health are not strong this year, it is best to take some precautions and protect yourself. By observing some of these taboos, this month will go more smoothly for you:
Prayers Recommended for this month:
In my video, I mentioned that those who have low spirit essence are more vulnerable to spirit harm. If you would like to check the level of your spirit essence this year, read my article on the Five Spiritual Luck Forces.