Myth Buster

All posts in the Myth Buster category

Myth Buster 43: Incense Smoke Brings Our Prayers to Heaven

Published November 17, 2016 by jptan2012

When I was in still elementary and going to a Christian school, my Christian teacher told us that when Buddhist (collectively referring to Taoist and Buddhist) pray they light an incense because the incense smoke brings the prayer the wishes to heaven. Of course, given that she is our teacher, a lot of us believe this. and later on I found out that this is a very common beliefs amongst non – Taoist or non – Buddhist, but more than that this is also a common belief amongst Taoist and Buddhist as well.

There is no truth to that belief. When we chant – a – mantra, or recite – a – sutra, or even pray, we don’t need to light incense for the Buddhas or Bodhisattvas to hear our prayer. In fact, the sutra says even before we say our heart’s wishes or desires, the Buddhas and the Bodhisattvas already know them. We only light incense as an offering to the Buddhas or Bodhisattvas or Taoist Gods.

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Myth Buster 42: Lightning Storm is A Sign of Bad Omen!

Published June 8, 2016 by jptan2012

Photos-of-Lightning12On July 10, 1856 a pregnant woman went into labor. While delivering her baby around midnight, there was a strong lightning storm. Thus while delivering the child, the midwife got pretty scared, and when everything has settled, the midwife told the new mother that her son is a child of darkness. It was said that the mother got scared for she knew about the belief that lightning storm are a sign of bad omen and/or that it shows that the child is a child of evil. Which is another pervading belief in some Eastern European countries.

The child is Nikola Tesla, a Serbian scientist who later became an American. He worked for Thomas Edison, and while he is not as famous as Thomas Edison, his discovery and invention of the modern Alternating Current (AC) electrical supply has greatly impacted on how we use electricity these days.

nikola-tesla-02

Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla is the living proof that Lightning Storms are not bad omen. In fact, regular readers of this blog, especially those who have the world’s most powerful amulet in the Buddhist pantheon, the Vajrapani Ruel, would know that Bodhisattva Vajrapani is of the Vajra lineage and He has the power of the lightning and thunder.

Having said this, contrary to the popular belief that lightning storm is a bad omen, if we only tap into it’s power, lightning storm can help change bad luck to good luck.

Some of you might remember that I have written about the power of lightning. If not you can read the posts:

 

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Myth Buster 41: Meeting A Mentally Challenged Person Will Bring Luck To You If You Are Going Fishing!

Published May 19, 2016 by jptan2012

There is a belief amongst fishermen that when you meet a mentally challenged person on your way to ‘work’, you will definitely have good luck and able to fish lots of fishes.

Is there truth to this?

Well, this belief originated from the Shetland Islands in Britain where the primary source of livelihood is fishing. In the olden times, boy as young as 10 years old are already being trained to fish.

I would think that because these boys are at the ‘mischievous’ stage, they would laugh or make fun of mentally challenged people, thus their elders will ask them to not do it because it actually gives them luck.

There is no truth to the fact that meeting a mentally challenged person will give you luck. But treating them properly or with kindness might bring you some good karma!

 

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Myth Buster 40: The Ashes of a Black Cat Will Enable You to See & Fight Demons!

Published May 18, 2016 by jptan2012

black catIt’s been quite some time since I wrote about an article under the MYTH BUSTER category. But today, allow me share a pervasive myth amongst the local of Siquijor (a province in the Philippines known for witchcraft and stories of Manananggal or local vampires). In a trip to Siquijor a few months back, some people told me that I will never see a pure black cat in Siquijor because the albularyos (local shamans) hunts the black cat, kill them, then burn it and use the ash in looking for demons and fighting them. I was quite surprised and told my guide to hook me up with an albularyo who practices this because I would surely love to understand more about this practice.

Some of my friends who are with me warned me not to talk to the albularyos because I might get hexed or bewitched. I was pretty confident that it wouldn’t happen because I have my Kalachakra Pendant and more importantly I have my Vajrapani Ruel and Surangama Mantra Amulet.

I was lucky enough to meet two elderly albularyos who absolutely forbid me to take their photo because they believe that their soul might be captured by the camera or photo (I will discuss this in succeeding posts). Anyway, they told me that this is a known way to best see and fight a demon, but it is a practice that is quite difficult to do. At the end, they said that they have tried it, however, they don’t know the actual ritual thus are unable to do it.

I got really curious about this practice and decided to do more research about it. I found out that ancient Hebrews also believes in this practice. Now the question is there truth to this?

The variables present as was shared with me are they only need of the ashes of black cat and some prayer. If I’m going to base it on this alone, I think this is more of a myth. Why? Because an ash has no chi. It is literally without energy thus it can be used into a spiritual object or amulet. In fact, Buddhist prefers to be cremated because in that case they won’t have to worry as to where to put the ash. Once a person has been cremated, one will not need to worry about the Feng Shui of the burial site because the ashes have no chi.

For questions, comments, or suggestions please email sanaakosirickylee@gmail.com

 

Myth Buster 39: The Number Four Brings Death!

Published December 14, 2015 by jptan2012

Today, allow me to talk about a very popular Chinese belief that the number four (4) causes death.

A lot of Chinese believes that the number 4 brings death; this belief is so strong that a lot of buildings don’t have the 4th floor. So from 3rd floor it skips to 5th floor, totally taking out the fourth floor. Likewise, they won’t have the fourteenth (14th) floor, twenty-fourth (24th) floor and so on.

Is there truth to this? Well, unlike with other Myth Busters that I have written, the answer to this is quite not straight forward because strictly speaking there is no truth to this, but sometimes this can be true. Before you get confuse, please allow me to explain.

fourth floor

Don’t be surprised not to see the 4th floor botton in an elevator. Because a lot of Chinese – owned building purposely take out the 4th floor and skips to 5th floor for fear that havng a 4th floor brings death to the occupant of that particular floor.

If you look at the Feng Shui flying star, the number four (#4) flying star is the romance and literary star. Meaning it is the star that brings romance luck and literary luck or education luck. So strictly speaking base on the flying star formula of Feng Shui there is no truth to the belief that number 4 brings death.

In Buddhism and Taoism, there is real significance of the number 4. The only closest thing that I can think of that signifies the number four is the Four Great Bodhisattvas of Chinese Buddhism, which are Kuan Yin Bodhisattva also known as Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva or Chenrezig Bodhisattva, Earth Store Bodhisattva also known Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva, Samantabhadra Bodhisattva, and Manjushri Bodhisattva. Obviously, they have nothing to do with bringing bad luck or death.

So where this did belief comes from? And why can’t I categorically say that there is no truth to this belief?

I have written, more than once, the story about Mao Zedong’s fake Feng Shui experts. They are the ones who propagated the belief that the North is always the worst part of the house. I have written about this in the following posts:

It is also at the same time that the belief that the number 4 in an address or a building (as one of the floors) is bad luck. Why? As mentioned before, Mao Zedong and those that followed didn’t want the people to practice Feng Shui for fear that it might be used to the disadvantage of those in the government. So what they did is that they prohibited all Feng Shui masters to practice Feng Shui. Several of them were in captured and brought to labor camps for ‘reeducation’. And because the public can’t be stopped from wanting to practice Feng Shui, the Chinese government released their own fake Feng Shui masters and that brought out a lot of simplistic Feng Shui principles that are totally baseless. One of which is that the North being the worst side, and number 4 or having a 4th floor is really bad because four in Chinese Mandarin and Han Chinese, which is the dominant ethnic group, sounds like or sounds very similar to the word death.

But does this carry some truth? Direct answer is no. Nevertheless, this belief became so ingrained in people’s mind that sometimes by sheer of strong belief and power of the believing mind, death does occur.

So how does one counteract this? Simple, simple know that there is no truth to this.

For questions, comments, and suggestions, please email sanaakosirickylee@gmail.com

Myth Buster 38: Three Persons On A Picture Will Lead to the Death of the Person in the Middle!

Published November 25, 2015 by jptan2012

There is a very common belief amongst Filipino and Filipino – Chinese here in the Philippines that you should not have your picture taken in 3s because this will lead to the death of the person in the middle.

Is there truth to this? What started this belief?

For the first question, base on Buddhism, Taoism and Feng Shui beliefs there is absolutely no truth to this. Simply put this belief has no basis whatsoever.

So what started this belief? Well, I’m not sure but if I were to believe what my father’s Feng Shui consultant said when I was still a young boy, this belief started for mundane reasons.

According to him, this belief simply started out of jealousy. Normally the third person in the picture is the third wheel, somebody who doesn’t really belong with the couple and who wanted to be part of the picture. Since pictures are pretty expensive in those days, and some couples simply want their picture taken, to get rid of the third person they will say that one of the people in the picture will die. Then people started taking this as the truth and somehow it evolved to being the person in the middle.

Anyway, there is no truth to this belief.

For questions, comments, and suggestions, please email sanaakosirickylee@gmail.com

Myth Buster 37: Bite A Tree or A Faucet When You Dream that Someone Died!

Published November 16, 2015 by jptan2012

One day when I got to one of my favorite coffee shop I was heartily welcomed by one of the employee. She knows me quite well because she sees me a lot in that particular coffee shop and have often strike a conversation with me. She also started reading my blog when she found out that I blog about Feng Shui. She has always been cheerful when she sees me but this day was extra ordinary and I was further surprised when she quipped that she needs and practically demanded and somewhat beg that the Vajrapani Ruel be made available for her.

She furthered explained that she has been waiting for me for 4 days, and have been praying that I come to the shop. I asked her why she was so frantic to see me, and that’s when I learned the whole story.dream death dying

TK, is a 39 – year – old manager of my favorite coffee shop, and I also know that she is a wife and a mother to a teenage son, however, what I didn’t know until then is that when she got pregnant with her son she had some complications and that she will not be able to conceive again. She also told me that a few nights before she dreamt that her 12 – year – old died and was fetch by her deceased father. The dream was really short and she can’t even describe the surroundings and the nature of the death, all she was sure of is that her son died, and her son’s maternal grandfather, her father came to pick him up. And that is why she has decided that she really needs the Vajrapani Ruel to help save her son. She also clarified that she and her husband has tried to prevent that dream from happening by listening to what their elders told them that they should bite into a tree or a faucet. This is a popular Filipino belief, but since they are not sure, which one they should bite into, they said to bite both, but just to be sure she still want the Vajrapani Ruel. More than that she said she also has prohibited her son from going out without any company. Now, if she hadn’t been so serious and really worried that simply telling me her dream is making her cry, I would have laugh!

Why? Well, I can assure you I’m not being cruel but for those of you who have been reading my blog might remember a previous Myth Buster post entitled – MYTH BUSTER 23: DREAMS ARE THE OPPOSITE OF REALITY – DREAMING OF A POT OF GOLD!

TK’s case is no different. As I said in that particular post there is a popular misconception that dreams are the opposite of reality, and I quote myself on that particular post: “Now I would like to address here the myth that all dreams are opposite of the reality. For example, a lot of people believe that you dream of laughing that would mean there is sadness. Or if you dream of wealth you’ll have a problem. That is a big myth. There is no truth to it. Dreams are seldom interpreted that way. There is no clear-cut way of interpreting dreams. So don’t believe that it is always the opposite of truth.”

However, having said that, dreams should also not always be interpreted as prophetic. And I would like to clarify myself here; dreams can be prophetic, but even that prophetic one more often than not they are also symbolic.

It was pretty obvious that TK’s dream about his son is quite symbolic and that death here does not mean that her son is going to dye, but that her son’s old self is dying. What about TK’s deceased father picking him up? Well, the way I see it her son is maturing already and he is starting to show personalities, mannerisms, or attitudes that are quite similar to TK’s father.

After assuring TK that nothing bad is happening to her son and that she doesn’t need the Vajrapani Ruel, I told her of my interpretation of her dream. And she laugh because she said her husband has been telling her that their son at age 12 is staring to be mature and that indeed he is showing some personality traits that is very similar to his maternal grandfather.

So the next time you dream of something bad, don’t panic, keep calm and try to analyze its symbolic side. Really it’s the dreamer who can usually explain it, and while I may have help lead TK with the interpretation, she was the one who really was able to concretize everything.

For questions, suggestions, and comments pleas email sanaakosirickylee@gmail.com

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