Thursday, March 10, 2016

Pacification Of Ancestral Spirits (安慰祖灵)

The Chinese hold very fast to the view that one’s ancestors must be from the same bloodline. However, in certain culture; ancestors can be from other bloodlines. For example, if a person is adopted by another family of different bloodline; then the adopted family’s ancestors would become his/her ancestors.

In Chinese’s view, the Feng Shui of ancestral graves can only affect descendants if and only if they are of the same bloodline. In some views, a lady after married would be affected by the Feng Shui of her husband’s ancestors. This is not necessary true according to my field experience as based on I-Ching, the lady’s luck would still be affected by her father/mother’s grave.

Whatever view of one’s ancestors would be, below methods can be used to pacify one’s ancestors; direct or indirect. Whoever they might be, the dead should be respected so that they can rest in peace.

First, one should keep his/her ancestors in mind whoever he/she might be or whatever one’s religion is. It is good to visit one’s ancestral grave just to offer a piece of flower and a piece of incense stick. During the visit to the graves, it is good to recite prayers and briefly say to one’s ancestors of his/her current situations. It doesn’t matter if the dead is listening or otherwise. It is one’s sincerity that matters. In that matter, all those deceased acquaintances should be respected and remembered too. 

It is worth mentioning that while at the graves, please pay particular attention to the conditions of the grave structure. If there are cracks, then it is best to repair them to the best of your ability. Since a grave is deemed to be the house of the dead, the soul of the deceased will not rest in peace if his resting place is defective. The restlessness of the deceased will definitely affects the wellness of the still living, i.e. you! 

If a person is a Buddhist, then the Japanese method of inscribing the Prajnaparamita Heart Sutra (般若波罗蜜多心经) is also another good way to create merits to one’s ancestors.

When my father passed away some 10 years ago, I told my friend that I would not be sending him New Year greeting card this year. On hearing that, my Japanese pal sent me a piece of Prajnaparamita Heart Sutra instead.

On reading his handwritten sutra, I felt very pleased and thought that my late pa would be happy too if he sees the sutra. So I burnt the sutra as a means to create merits for my pa. Since then too I started to copy heart sutra.

Whenever possible, one should setup a small shrine to remember our ancestors. The old Chinese and Japanese must have a small soul tablet inscribing the names of their ancestors. During festivals and on important matters, the ancestors are the first to be informed. Perhaps that is one of the reasons why Japanese and Chinese family members are pretty close together.

Other thing we can do is to donate to charity organizations on behalf of our ancestors. Such action not only create merits for us, our ancestors; we could also help the needy physically too.

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