Obon (Gathering of Joy) Service

The term Bon is an abbreviation of a Japanese Buddhist term “Urabon,” which is derived from the Sanskrit term “Ullumbana.” “Ullumbana” means to be liberated from a spiritual state of pain and hunger caused by greediness, one of three blind desires.


Even as we reflect on the sorrowful consequence of basic human defilement, we, as Jodo Shinshu Buddhists, joyfully reflect on the Primal Power of Amida Buddha which has been fulfilled, thus enabling us to live in gratitude. Bon Service is called the Gathering of Joy in Shin Buddhist tradition, instead of being merely called “Memorial Service.”