Most beneficial merits of Pchum Ben Khmer

Political Paradigm of Pragmatism from the Khmer Youth part 80

This part (80), Mr. Sophan is recalling the importance of Bon Pchum Ben during this festival sessional A modern Khmer art period. As a reminding, Cambodian Buddhists who are offering foods to Bhikkhu monks aiming to dedicate merits to those passed away ancestors, should reflect on themselves on how they are living with those blessing such as “may they be happy, and end of suffering”. By such self-reflection, the Cambodian people will see their own livelihood and uncontested sufferings in present society.

Pragmatically, we could not endorse happiness to those deads if we have not accumulated happiness in the present livelihood.

Also, the offering of food signifies wealth and material, while the offering of knowledge (Dhamma) shall yield more fruitful results to all Cambodian people.

  • Bhikkhu monks should preach in short and interact more (answering the questions and doubts) with audience in details and long.
  • Dhamma attendants especially those seniors must play role model by listing to deepen knowledge and increase wisdom rather than such shallow believing in gaining merits from listening.
  • All Bhikkhu monk preachers should pass training of “preaching courses” at the minimum.
  • The dedication of merits to the death is important paralleling with the living.
  • The most meritorious deeds are the respect of human rights and freedom of expression in society.

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What P’Chum Ben means

Written by Sophan Seng
Tuesday, 23 September 2008
Dear Editor,

Regarding your news item titled “P’chum Ben festivities kick off Sunday” (15 September). Among Cambodian annual festivities, P’Chum Ben is considered very significant.

Regarding Buddhist ethics, this festival offers a chance for all Cambodian Buddhists to pay gratitude to their deceased ancestors as well as to those living parents and elders. The principles of Buddhist practice are to get rid of all evils, to cultivate the good and to cleanse one’s mind.

P’chum Ben has bonded Cambodian society and it is the instrumental cultural thread to the nation.
In sum, P’chum Ben has been a timeline, a cultural thread, a notion of national unity and prosperity, and a bonanza of goodness of all Cambodian citizens.

Sophan Seng
political science
University of Hawaii at Manoa

Original Source: http://www.phnompenhpost.com/index.php/2008092321791/National-news/What-P-Chum-Ben-means.html

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P’chum Ben: Its Significance

Among Cambodian annual festivities, P’chum Ben and Kan Ben are considered very significant. Literally, P’chum Ben means the gathering of the pieces of cooked rice to offer to the deceased. It culminates in 15th of full moon day and ends in 15th of waning moon day in lunar calendar of the 9th month or September 14 to September 28. The values of this festival notably inscribed its universal similarity, traditional practice, Buddhist ethics, and social, economic, political driven-force.

Universally, the festivity occurs during the darkest night. During these 15 days, the night in Cambodia is so dark and humid allowed Cambodian people to accelerate their belief of ghosts who dare appear only in the very dark night. The belief coincides with some Western countries especially Canada and America that their Halloween Day also happens in the very dark night. The purpose of the festival is to refer to ghosts or spirit, but practice is in different formats. Cambodian Buddhists bring food to offer to the Sangha, but Canadians and Americans joyfully play “trick or treat” with each other by transforming themselves as the night ghosts. Thailand and Lao also celebrate this day for the gratefulness to their deceased called Kao Sarth.

Continue reading “P’chum Ben: Its Significance”

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