Hell

All posts tagged Hell

Another Lesson on Karma: There’s Nothing Good That Will Come From Cursing A Person Using the Name of the Buddha or a Bodhisattva or Deity or Even A God!

Published Marso 10, 2017 by jptan2012

It is so ironic that some people will use the name of a god or a Buddha or a Bodhisattva to curse some people, thinking that it will make it more powerful or thinking that they are right to do this.

Saying – MAY GOD / BUDDHA / BODHISATTVA PUNISH YOU! – Is actually creating bad luck for the one who utters it and not for the one who receives the curse! And yes, saying that a person should be punish is a curse because it creates an energy of suffering for the one you hate, but unfortunately since you are the one who directed that kind of energy using the name of a God or a Buddha or a Bodhisattva, it will bounce back to you. Not because they will punish you instead but because the law of karma indicates that using a holy being for your evil desires will make that energy bounce back to you.

I cannot speak for the Christian or Muslim God, but in Buddhism, the Buddha or Bodhisattva are compassionate beings who are incapable of feeling anything negative. It’s all about compassion. In fact, when we do something wrong they through the merits that we generate will save us from hell or a bad rebirth (if we have enough merits). They never punish us.

When we suffer, when we have bad luck, that is because the law of karma. The Buddhas or Bodhisattvas has nothing to do with it. It’s part of the law of the universe where it is not controlled by the Buddhas or Bodhisattvas.

Obviously, karma is a very complicated topic. The Buddhas or Bodhisattvas has nothing to do with it, although they can help save us from some bad karma if we have enough good merits or if they shower upon us some blessings. Wearing their images or amulets is a ways of earning those merits. But they will never put upon us some negative karma to let us suffer. If we do something wrong, it is our own karma to pay. It can’t be passed on to us.

Having said that, and going back to the topic, cursing for somebody to be punished or suffer using the name of Buddha or Bodhisattva will only create negative karma on the person who wishes it!

For your questions, comments, and suggestions please email

The Ten Realms of Existence in Buddhism (1): The First Six Lower Realms

Published Nobyembre 8, 2016 by jptan2012

When I wrote the post entitled – IS THERE A FENG SHUI RELEVANCE TO ALL SOULS DAY – I know that this is really the time for me to write about the topic that I have always wanted to write but has withheld from writing it because I’m not sure whether my readers are ready for it and also if it is the right time.

However, in hindsight this is something that I should have written before I even wrote and posted about the article about the Feng Shui relevance of All Souls Day. But having said that, I still believe that everything works and happened on its right time. And maybe it is really meant for me to write this now.

For Christians, when you die you either go to hell or heaven, maybe purgatory. And there you stay forever, that’s the only rebirth you experience. But in Buddhism, it is said that one goes thru reincarnation or rebirth, and there are different realms that you go to, the first six realms which are considered as the lower realm you go through that several times.

What are these SIX LOWER REALMS?

  1. HELL. To put it plainly this is a realm very similar to what Christians believe in. This is where you undergo punishment for your sins. If I’m not mistaken, in the Bible, hell is described as a lake of fire. In Buddhism, the lake of fire is just one part of hell. There are many different stages and parts of a hell. But needless to say in all those parts you go through retribution by a lot of suffering from your offenses in your other lives.
  2. HUNGRY GHOST. This is somewhat akin to hell, only the difference is that some Hungry Ghost still has the capacity to live amongst humans. You undergo suffering and retribution in this realm by feeling that you have a physical body but are unable to touch physical things. One of these things is food. Technically speaking, Hungry Ghosts may be nice or temperamental. They retain characteristics of human in terms of temperament and personality.
  3. ANIMAL. Simply put you are born as an animal, which is seen as a lesser being because of several attachments and inability to fully discern right and wrong. And most animals have a short life span and also are less fortunate than humans.
  4. HUMAN. This is us. If you are human, it is considered that you have enough good karma for you to be born as one. Because humans have the power to right things and learn new things and learn about the dharma (Buddha’s Teachings). But take note that we are still in the lower realm, and we are not in the highest in the lower realm.
  5. ASURA. Asura’ are unseen being that are better off than humans, they still need to learn things and they have their own realm of existence. They can see us, but we cannot see us. It is said that you are born as an Asura if as a human you are very generous but tends to have foul mouth and a bad temper. I guess one example of this is to take the story of Robinhood. Somebody like will be born as an Asura because he did a lot of good things but at the same time he stole things.
  6. HEAVENLY BEINGS. There are so many stages in Heavenly Beings that I will discuss in the future. But as a heavenly being one has some kind of supernatural power, but one has no physical body. A Heavenly Being lives in a place much like what the Bible described. However, as a heavenly being they still need to learn more about the Dharma. Some of the gods and deities of Taoism are considered as Heavenly Beings in Buddhism. In the lowest realm of Heavenly Beings are the Demons, who guard the lower realms like hell. And heavenly beings can be reborn as an Asura or Human or Animal, but their life span is much longer than that of human. Heavenly beings can help protect those in the lower realms like humans. In fact, in the Sutras a lot of the Lord and Yakshas and ‘Demons’ have committed to protect the people who read and carry or own the Medicine Sutra, Diamond Sutra, Earth Store Bodhisattva Sutra, and the Surangama Mantra Amulet.

Everybody in the lower realm undergoes rebirth. One can go up to Heavenly Beings or go down to Hell depending on one’s karma. As long as we don’t achieve Samadhi we will continue to be born in one of these realms.

We only stop samsara (cycle of rebirth) once we have attained Samadhi. And we enter the 4 higher realms. I will discuss that on my next post.

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

 

Interment or Cremation: A Feng Shui Perspective!

Published Nobyembre 1, 2016 by jptan2012

I understand that the Roman Catholic Church now allows cremation provided that there is going to be a proper interment after.

Some of you, especially my regular readers, would know that I’m a big advocate of cremation. Why? Because this takes out a lot of the possible problem of Yin Feng Shui.

Yin Feng Shui is the branch of Feng Shui that has to do with the Feng Shui or burial sites or cemeteries. I myself am not very familiar with this because this is a critical branch of Feng Shui, something that may cause harm to the one who does this. My Feng Shui teacher in Hong Kong is a certified Yin Feng Shui consultant, and my Guru Lama himself without explicitly telling me is somebody who knows how to handle Yin Feng Shui. But again this is a very delicate branch of Feng Shui. In fact, in Hong Kong there is a famous Feng Shui consultant, one who is adept in doing Feng Shui and who is quite famous because he has attracted some of the richest people in Hong Kong as his clientele. However, when he did a delicate Yin Feng Shui and went to the cemetery, he died right there and then while he was doing it when a landslide happened and buried him alive. I’m sure my readers from Hong Kong and Taiwan would know whom I’m talking about, just as those who are familiar with Feng Shui.

But no matter how delicate Yin Feng Shui is, one has to do it if one opts for an interment, because a Yin Feng Shui, for example wrong placement of the tomb, or wrong direction can lead to really tremendous bad luck to the descendants of the person. Or the person itself might go to the lower realms like Hell or Hungry Ghost or Animal Kingdom or it may make your life next life as a human really bad.

But I repeat, doing Yin Feng Shui that is why I never fully studied about it except for some basic guidelines. And throughout my life as a Feng Shui practitioner, I have never attempted to do Yin Feng Shui except maybe thrice. One is when we have to correct the burial site of my paternal grandmother because the first Feng Shui consultant who did it made a mistake, but in effect I didn’t do it myself because all the decisions were made by my Feng Shui teacher in Hong Kong and all I did was to relay details to him. But even I was just a conduit I made sure that I’m absolutely protected.

Then the second time was when my good friend practically begged me to help him correct his father’s burial site. Again this was done with the help of my Feng Shui teacher and Guru Lama and I again act as conduit.

Last time was when BM who has minor burial site with her mother’s tomb, my Guru Lama guided me what to do. In fact, I really don’t want to do it at that time but my Guru Lama said that I owe it to BM to do it and so I went to Davao and did it. But again, with BM it was just a matter of placing a Vajrapani Ruel and a special amulet and doing some ritual and again I made sure that I’m totally protected. In fact, I even have to wear a special ritual robe for it, which was later burned.

You see a wrong burial or interment process, or bad Yin Feng Shui will cause all sorts of problems to the ones left behind. But, as mentioned, also to the ones that was buried.

What are these problems? Well, it can range from extreme financial bad luck or grave ill health, or even turbulent and chaotic relationships. I know of a person who is unable to have a child only because of an alleged mistake in the burial site of her husband’s grandfather. Another loss all his family’s wealth when he didn’t have the proper direction of his mother’s tomb.

We can get rid of all these problems and potentials issues if one resorts to cremation. Of course, one has to consult a Feng Shui as to what is the best time to cremate a person, but that is the only concern one has to deal with, because with cremation, you actually take out the entire chi left by the consciousness of the person who passed away. In a way, you also get rid of the vessel and in the process you take away the entire chi also. That is why, when Westerners cremate and throw the ashes on the sea or mountain or even Niagara Falls, there is no bad luck that is created because there is no chi that comes with it.

 

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

Is There A Feng Shui Relevance to All Souls Day?

Published Oktubre 31, 2016 by jptan2012

Ire, Loves Well, obviously the Chinese ‘All Souls Day’ or day of remembering the dead doesn’t happen in November 1, or to be more accurate about it on November 2. All Saints Day / All Souls Day is a big deal for a lot of Filipinos and perhaps Catholics in the world. But is there is Feng Shui significance or relevance to this special day?

For Chinese, especially those who are in the older generation, it is very important that we remember our ancestors or loved ones who passed away, this is taken as a sign of respect but at the same time, it is believed that we should not earn their ire by forgetting about them, or we should earn their approval so that they can help shower blessing upon the living. This is why remembering our loved ones or dead ancestors are important part of the life of a Chinese. In fact, a lot of us have images of our ancestors in our home, where we light incense and offer food on special occasions. The older generation will offer incense everyday. This may be a little too excessive.

In Buddhism, according to the Medicine Buddha Sutra, when a person dies his or her consciousness will undergo rebirth within 7 days or 21 days or 35 days or 49 days. I will clarify that it will go through rebirth on the first day, it will have to wait for 7 days, then if you didn’t go through rebirth on the 7th day then on the 21st day if not then it will be 35th day, until 49th day. If you don’t go through rebirth in the first 5 stipulated days, then you will sure go rebirth on the 49th day.

But rebirth doesn’t necessarily mean rebirth here on earth as human.

There are different levels of possible rebirth and starting from the bottom they are the following:

  1. Hell
  2. Hungry Ghost
  3. Animal Kingdom
  4. Human
  5. Asura
  6. Heavenly Beings
  7. Arhat
  8. Pratyekabuddha
  9. Bodhisattva
  10. Buddhahood

The first six are considered as the lower realms wherein the being still has an attachment and the last four are considered as the upper realm wherein the being or our consciousness no longer has any attachment. Once one is born in the upper realm, his or her consciousness no longer goes back to any of the lower realm.

It should be noted that for Catholics or Christianity, heaven is the ultimate goal, for Buddhism is a better place than the first five but it is still a place where in desire and attachment exist and one can still go down to the other realms. It is also not the most desired realm. I will talk about the 10 realms further in a future post.

I will also discuss the difference between Hungry Ghost and the Hell in another post.

But for now what I want to show is that for Buddhism, one can be born in different realms, until we reach Buddhahood.

So when a person dies, his consciousness or soul as Christians would call it will be born again in one of these realms. As humans 98% we will be born in either the realm of Hell or Hungry Ghost or Animal Kingdom or Human (again). If we have been good we might be born in the realm of an Asura or a Heavenly Beings.

This is where remembering and offering ‘good merits’ to our departed love ones or ancestors will become important. For example, your loved one or ancestor was born in the realm of the Hell or Animal Kingdom or Hungry Ghost, by offering good merits to them such as praying for them or chanting mantras or reciting sutras for them will shortened their suffering in the lower realms of Hell or Hungry Ghost or Animal Kingdom. On the other hand, if they were born in the realm of Human, by offering good merits to them their life will be better. If their current life is bad it will become better, if it is already good it will become even better. And if they were born as an Asura or Heavenly Beings then their life will even become better or they maybe pushed up to being born as Arhat or a Pratyekabuddha.

But this is the thing. Days like ‘All Souls Day’ are important because it forced us to remember them on these days. However, it certainly doesn’t mean that we should only remember them on this day. In fact, it is very important that we offer prayers or mantras or sutras or incense to them everyday. And by remembering them and offering merits to them everyday, we in turn make our life better. Because we are interconnected with each other. They may have a totally different life now but because of affinity with each other we are somewhat linked to each other. And if we send them merits, in a way we also get our own merits.

 

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

Ksitigarbha Buddha is a Bodhisattva that Vowed to Help All Those Who Suffer in Hell and in this World!

Published Oktubre 6, 2013 by jptan2012

A few days ago I wrote and introduced you to the possible wonderful blessings of THE FOUR DHARMAKAYA RELIC MANTRAS, and the response has been truly overwhelming. Of course, regular readers are well familiar with WISH FULFILLING AND BUDDHA’S BLESSING MANTRA PENDANT, and the several personal testimonies of people who has requested for it. Sometimes, between THE FOUR DHARMAKAYA RELIC MANTRAS, WISH FULFILLING AND BUDDHA’S BLESSING MANTRA PENDANT, and the WEALTH AND MASTER PROTECTION PENDANT, which, unfortunately is no longer available for requests because of its price, I believe that there is no more excuse for us to go through any form of suffering. The truth Feng Shui, Taoism, and Buddhism has a lot of deities, Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, not to mention power of symbols and mantras that can help alleviate us from any form of suffering.Ksitigarbha

However, why do many of us still suffer? Many of us still go through some form of suffering because of either of two things. One, it can be due to the fact that our house Feng Shui is bad, or it can be also due to karma, whether past life karma or recent karma. When I say recent karma, I refer to karma that is sowed during this current lifetime.

Nevertheless, still, we have a lot of Bodhisattva who have vowed to help uplift us from any form of suffering. First, of all these Bodhisattvas is the Goddess of Mercy, Kuan Yin or Avalokitesvara in Tibetan Buddhism. She remains to be the most popular and revered Bodhisattva. In fact, often times she’s referred to as the Bodhisattva of Compassion or Buddha of Compassion.

Today, allow me to introduce to you another such Bodhisattva, who in reality is already a Buddha but vowed to stay on as a Bodhisattva until such time there is no longer any soul in hell. I’m referring to Ksitigarbha Buddha, who again is actually a Bodhisattva.

Ksitigarbha Buddha, is usually depicted as a Buddhist monk, and for bigger temples, he usually has his own temple hall. In the Philippines, and smaller hall he is usually placed at the memorial halls of the dead or mausoleums this is because of his vow to save people from hell. Personally speaking, I believe this is a limitation of how Ksitigarbha should be perceived. A lot of Filipino – Chinese Buddhists thinks of Ksitigarbha only as a Bodhisattva of the souls of the dead. While it’s perfectly true and accurate, this belief doesn’t paint the whole picture of who Ksitigarbha truly is.Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva

Ksitigarbha Buddha or Dizang P’usa (also spelled as Ti Tsang P’usa, he is also called in Chinese as Dizang Wang P’usa or Ti Tsang Wang P’usa). There are a lot of translations of Ksitigarbha’s name in English, but the most common one is Earth Store.

Ksitigarbha Buddha or Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva is known for his vow to take care take responsibility of souls that are experiencing hell. This is where the translation becomes a little muddy; because some people took it to mean the literal hell, and while they are not incorrect, they’re not entirely correct either. I personally believe the other translation, hell means suffering, whether these are the souls that are suffering when they are in – between transitions from one earth life to another, or it is suffering because of what we are going through here on earth. Some people seems to have forgotten that Ksitigarbha’s vow is to take responsibility for the enlightenment of all souls in the six worlds between the physical death of Gautama (Sakyamuni or Shakyamuni) Buddha (also known as the Historical Buddha) and the rise of Maitreya Buddha (also known as the Happy Buddha or the Future Buddha), with this vow is the vow of not entering Buddhahood until all hells are emptied.

KsitigarbhaI mentioned earlier that Ksitigarbha Buddha is second to Bodhisattva of Compassion, Kuan Yin in terms of ‘popularity’ and followers to East Asian Buddhist. What’s striking is that Kuan Yin, became a woman in China from the male form of Avalokitesvara.

Ksitigarbha also had a transformation of gender, however with Ksitigarbha, he was she before she became a he. Also, unlike Kuan Yin, it is believed that Ksitigarbha really became a human being.

Much of what we know about Ksitigarbha Buddha or Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva is base on his own sutra, Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva Purvapranidhana Sutra, which is one of the most popular sutra in Mahayana Buddhism. It is said to have been spoke by Sakyamuni Buddha himself to the Trayastrimsa Heaven towards the end is earth life.ksitigarbha3

To this day it’s not clear whether the Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva Purvapranidhana Sutra has an Indian or Chinese origins. It was first believed that Tipitaka Master Siksananda, who is a famous Buddhist monk from Khotan who also provided a new translation of the Avatamsaka Sutra and the Lankavatara Sutra, translated it from the Sanskrit into Chinese during the Tang Dynasty in the 7th century. However, among all the sutras, Ksitigarbha Sutra strongly advocates filial piety, w/c was stereotype associated with Chinese culture. It talked about Ksitigarbha’s filial piety as a human or mortal, which lead to great vows to save all sentient being. Furthermore, no Sanskrit manuscript of Ksitigarbha’s sutras was ever found, which strengthen the belief that it is of Chinese origin.

According to his sutra, Ksitigarbha was a maiden in the distant past eons. He or she was of the Brahmin caste named Sacred Girl. She was said to have shown love and respect towards her parents, especially her mother. When her mother died, Sacred Girl became deeply troubled because her mother had been very slanderous towards the Triple Gem. Wanting to save her mother from the tremendous tortures of hell, Sacred Girl sold everything she has to buy offerings for the Buddha of her era. The Buddha then is known as the Buddha of the Flower of Meditation and Enlightenment. Remember that Sakyamuni Buddha was then still a Bodhisattva.

Some Buddhists, specially in japan and China (where the one child policy is forcing women to commit abortion), Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva is considered as the Bodhisattva for the souls of babies who died.

Some Buddhists, specially in japan and China (where the one child policy is forcing women to commit abortion), Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva is considered as the Bodhisattva for the souls of babies who died.

Sacred Girl would always make offerings and recitation of prayers to help save her mother’s soul. One day, while she was making an offering and prayers at the temple, she heard the Buddha of her era telling her to go home and recite his name in meditation if she truly wants to know how her mother was in the other world. She did what she was told and her consciousness through a vision was transported to a realm of Hell.  There she met the guardian of hell who informed her that through her offerings and fervent prayer, she has helped her mother accumulate enough merit to negate her karma and she has ascended to heaven where she awaits to be reborn. Sacred Girl was greatly comforted with this; however, she saw the suffering to the souls in Hell, which greatly affected her. She then made a vow to do her best to relieve the beings in hell of their suffering in her future lives.

It is normal that people will call Ksitiagrbha a Buddha even if he is actually a Bodhisattva. That is because like Kuan Yin, it's his choice to remain a Bodhisattva to help suffering people and sould.

It is normal that people will call Ksitiagrbha a Buddha even if he is actually a Bodhisattva. That is because like Kuan Yin, it’s his choice to remain a Bodhisattva to help suffering people and sould.

At this time Sacred Girl is already considered as living Bodhisattva, much like how some people consider the Fourteenth Dalai Lama and Lama Zopa Rinpoche to be a living Bodhisattva. When Sacred Girl left her physical body and went to heaven, she was given the chance to go back so she can start her vow to save souls. This time she chooses to be male monk. Before he left heaven to assume his new life as a monk, he found that her mother when she was still Sacred Girl would also go back to earth to take a life of a dog; this is because she has to earn a lesson from being slanderous about the Triple Gems.

Ksitigarbha as a monk seek out Sacred Girl’s mother who is now a dog. The dog often acted as Ksitigarbha’s guard, which is a way for Sacred Mother’s mom to repay Sacred Girl’s love.

Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva is popularly depicted in two ways, one as a bald monk and the other one as a monk who wears a Five Leave Crown. He is depicted either seated or standing up on a lotus base. On his right hand is the Ringed Staff, which is carried by a lot of monks during his time. The Ringed Staff is also called the Alarm Staff; it is used to warn animals and insects that he is arriving so that he can avoid harming them by unintentionally stepping on them. In Feng Shui the ringed staff has come to symbolize the announcement of an impending danger. On his right hand is the Wish Fulfilling Jewel, which actually is a pearl. The Wish Fulfilling Jewel symbolizes the fact that Ksitigarbha has ability to help us fulfill our wishes. The Wish Fulfilling Jewel becomes a Fireball to help subdue negative energies such arguments or fighting. So it is not surprising that in some temple, you’ll see Ksitigarbha holding a round ball signifying the Wish Fulfilling Jewel, while in other he holds the Fireball. These two are actually one and the same. In Feng Shui, the Ksitigarbha fireball signifies the taming of arguments and fighting.

From my personal collection. A rare Red Amber Ksitigarbha.

From my personal collection. A rare Red Amber Ksitigarbha.

Having an image of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva at home or as a pendant, will help people who are going through some hardships, Ksitgarbha will help make things better. Furthermore, having his image at home or as a pendant will also help people deal with the compulsion or addiction. Addiction and compulsion are a form of hell and suffering, thus devotion to Ksitigarbha will help. People who are going through a difficult time will get some relief if they have the image of Ksitigarbha.

If wearing it as a pendant, I prefer the image with the five leave crown.  This is a rare red jasper Ksitigarbha pendant from my personal collection.

If wearing it as a pendant, I prefer the image with the five leave crown.
This is a rare red jasper Ksitigarbha pendant from my personal collection.

If you are suffering from a fixed karma, meaning karma from your past life and as indicated on your Paht Chee or Bazi, having Ksitigarbha’s image and reciting his mantra will help eradicate this negative past karma.

The mantra for this is OM PRA MANI DANI SOHA.

The other mantra for Ksitigarbha Buddha is OM AH KSITIGARBHA THALENG HUM.

His mantra in Chinese is NAMO DIZANG WANG P’USA.

If you wish to get an image of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva, I find that an image of Ksitigarbha made of red jasper, or red amber is the best. The one made of jade only works for a select group of people.

Again, if using an image of Ksitigarbha at home, I prefer to use the one with the crown, unless, he is placed the ancestral altar.

Again, if using an image of Ksitigarbha at home, I prefer to use the one with the crown, unless, he is placed the ancestral altar.

Between the FOUR DHARMAKAYA RELIC MANTRAS, the images in the WISH FULFILLING AND BUDDHA’S BLESSING MANTRA PENDANT, GUAN YIN, KSITIGARBHA BODHISATTVA to name just some of the things that I’ve written there is no reason for us to suffer, as long as we keep our hearts pure and consciousness clean.

Rituals to Appease and Protect Oneself from the Hungry Ghosts

Published Hulyo 19, 2012 by jptan2012

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.

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

 

Suicide is Not a Solution

Published Hunyo 27, 2012 by jptan2012

I’ve received some emails from some of you inquiring as to why I haven’t post anything the past few days, in fact, for 20 days. I’ve been quite busy with work and I have to personally attend to two readers who sent me an email about suicide. I’m writing this post with their permission but I won’t really discuss their situation.

It feels weird that I’d received two emails from two different people contemplating suicide. Having a received a number of hoax emails, my initial reaction was to ignore the email or simply write a standard response, however, the emails felt real and more than that it is as if fate has ‘commanded’ to read their emails that day. I received several emails a day, and I have a huge backlog in responding to the said emails, as some of you may have experienced. Nevertheless, for some weird reason my attention was caught by this two different emails sent on two different dates.

There is something about their emails that really bothered me and it seems like there was a force that push me to reply. To make the long story short, I soon found out that those were real email, and real situations. The first thing that I did was to recognize the gravity of the situation, and the second thing that I did was to recognize the fact that I’m not trained to handle these kinds of situations.

I called up a clinical counselor friend to inquire how to handle the situation, she recommended some ways on how should I respond and then I hooked the two readers with her.

For Christians, suicide is a grave sin, and we’re taught that committing suicide will surely make your soul burn in hell for all eternity. In Buddhism and Taoism, it’s much more complicated, there is no clear response whether it is a sin or not. It really depends on the situation and the intent of the deed. However, one thing is clear though, suicide is not a solution.

In a Buddhist perspective, we are here on earth to achieve Buddhahood. Each lifetime is a consequence of a previous one and hopefully, the last one is always a little better than the previous one, until, one reaches Buddhahood. Unless, in extreme cases like when one commits suicide to save somebody else, or a nation, etc., committing suicide is definitely a solution, and it pulls you back several karma back from attaining Buddhahood.

It is in this sense, that for Buddhism, it is quite clear that suicide is not a solution, committing suicide will definitely bring you back to the same solution in your next lifetime or maybe even put you to a situation that’s even worse than your current situation.

If one is depressed and/or is contemplating suicide, the first thing that one should recognize is that you need to talk to somebody. It can be a relative, friend, or try one of those counseling hotlines.

If you’re Buddhist, you can also constantly recite the Mantra of the Buddha of Compassion – OM MANI PADME HUM.

If you’re Taoist, you can simply take a bath in a tub of water with salt. If possible do include some flowers.

If you believe in Feng Shui, you can also do the first two, and you can put salt in your room and make sure your room or house is well lit.

But most important of all, seek help!

%d bloggers like this: