In my last two posts, I talked about and introduced to you the DREADED HUNGRY GHOST MONTH and also talked about the EFFECTS OF THE HUNGRY GHOST MONTH.
As I always said it is useless to know about all these things if we are unable to protect ourselves. It is because of this that I would like to share with you some rituals that we can do to help protect us from the ill effects of the Hungry Ghost Month and the Hungry Ghost Festival.
Some people will make more elaborate offerings liek the one depicted in the photo. However, simply offerings the ones that I’ve listed are good enough.
First, you must KEEP THE HUNGRY GHOSTS ‘HAPPY’, and you do this by feeding them. Some people say that you should do this every single day of the Hungry Ghost Month, but some say you should do this only on the eve of the Hungry Ghost Festival. Personally, I think this should be done every single day of the Hungry Ghost Month from the first day to the last.
What you need to do is quite simple. You need to put a bowl of cooked rice; a small cup of rice wine or any liquor; 3 different bowls of beans (red beans, chick peas, mung beans); a small slab of tofu or bean curd; a piece of any kind of fruit; a bowl of cooked peanuts; and a small portion of meat – any meat will do. Optional are lighting of 2 red candles and 2 incense sticks. However, I do these two as well. Also, you should put some Yin Money or Hell’s Money, which in the Philippines is available in Ongpin or any Chinatown. I also leave some real coins, which is considered as Yang Money, to balance the Yin energy of the Hell’s Money.
You should leave these things outside your main door. If you have a gate, you can also do this outside your gate, but if might cause some problems, just the main door of your house will do. I leave all these things outside the house for a full month of the Hungry Ghost Month, and only replacing some of the food if they start to spoil or rot.
Some people say that the bigger amount you put the better. But just follow your instincts and put just enough.
By doing this, you are preventing the Hungry Ghosts to enter your house to ‘look for food’, and sometime food can be your chi.
You can also do this in your office. If you happen to pass by an establishment or house that has this kind offering outside, it is customary to put some coins or small bills. It is like dropping and blessing the hungry ghosts with some yang energy to help them re-enter samsara (cycle of life).
At the end of Hungry Ghost Month, throw away the all the food and burn Hell’s Money. Donate the coins to a temple or church.
VISIT YOUR ANCESTORS’ grave or in the case of the Buddhist their spirit dwelling tablet. Light some incense and offer some food. It’s best to do this at the first 7 days of the Hungry Ghost Month.
VISIT A TAOIST OR BUDDHIST TEMPLE to ask for protection. Praying to any Buddha, Bodhisattva, Deity or Immortal is acceptable, but if possible visit a Taoist temple or Buddhist temple that has the images of the known protectors like Amitabha Buddha, Sun Wukong, Kuan Kong, Chung Kwei. Try to offer some fruits, flowers and incense.
LIGHT SOME LOTUS CANDLES. Lotus candles are simple candles made in the shape of a lotus, this is because lotus symbolizes purity and by lighting lotus candle you bless the hungry ghost with yang energy and purity. Two things that they need most to get out of hell.
Lotus Candles. You can also simply get candles in lotus shaped glass.
LIGHT SOME RED LANTERNS outside of your house (or window or balcony if living in a high rise) the whole month of the Hungry Ghost Month if you live near the ocean, river, lake or any body of water and if possible, let some lotus candle float on the body water on the eve of the Hungry Ghost Month.
PUT SALT ON YOUR DOORSTEP, WINDOWS, AND EVERY CORNER OF THE HOUSE. This is to ensure that the place is constantly cleansed of any form of Yin energy.
CONSTANTLY PLAY SOME MANTRA OR SUTRA in your house. You can do this by buying some CD or altar paraphernalia that constantly play different kinds of mantra or sutras. You do this not to drive them away, although it may drive them away, but more importantly to help them get the benefit of the mantra.
People watching the Chinese Opera. Notice the empty front chairs, they’re reserved for the Hungry Ghosts.
PLAY THE CHINESE OPERA on the eve of the Hungry Ghost Festival. In the olden time, Chinese Opera are played by actors on the street to an ‘empty’ audience. This is because it is believed that the Opera will distract the Hungry Ghosts and not wreak havoc. Nowadays, living people also watch these operas, but they usually leave the first one or two rows empty, because they’re reserved for the Hungry Ghosts.
Of course, it’s not practical for you to play the opera, what some people do is put a TV set or a radio and just leave it on to a ‘happy’ program. It is said that this will distract the hungry ghosts and make them believe that there are real people and therefore they won’t enter your house. The energy that you’re emitting by playing the radio or TV is also a yang energy that attracts them.
TO UNDERSTAND MORE ABOUT THE HUNGRY GHOST MONTH, HUNGRY GHOSTS, IT’S EFFECTS, RITUALS AND PROTECTION READ THE FOLLOWING HUNGRY GHOSTS SERIES:
YOU MAY WISH TO READ THE FOLLOWING ALSO:
OR YOU CAN CLICK ON THE CATEGORY – KUWENTO TUNGKOL SA HUNGRY GHOST MONTH.
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