Sunday, March 24, 2019

Consulting Rice (问米)














Consulting rice is a ritual to communicate specifically with the spirits of close relatives. This is not the same as ordinary spirit mediumships. In places outside Singapore and Malaysia, this 'consulting rice' is otherwise known as 'asking the dead', 'bringing the dead' or even 'going to underworld'.

There is a similar ritual from Fujian and Taiwan that are more public in nature said to be able to bring whoever wished to go 'underworld' may do so under certain conditions. 

It is not difficult to perform this 'rice consultation' ritual... First we must prepare some raw rice and an chicken egg. The best time for this ritual would be after 4 pm and a small quiet room. The person would also need to be seated on a stool and a table; then she must lean forward and rested her forehead on the edge of the table while chanting non-stop.

There are many different mantras, one of them sounds like: "I ask horseman to bring the god of death, and the god of death shall bring me to meet so-and-so dead soul..."

After a while the person will enter into a state of trance and she would be brought to a place to meet with the deceased. There are two possibilities: the first is that the person be possessed by the dead soul while the second is that the person only conveys the message.

I have tried this ritual after my dad passed away and I was brought to a small wooden house where my dad was inside together with my late grandma too. Very interesting experience but I couldn't tell if it was my subconscious mind or it was real however.

It was said that the 'rice consultation' ritual should be done 3 times: after 49 days, after 100 days and finally after 3 years. Further consultation would be fruitless as the deceased would already being reincarnated.

Nowadays of course the 'consulting rice' acts are no longer relevant under the influence of Buddhism and also with the passing away of old mediums. I am simply recording down this lost arts; perhaps it will become popular again in future.

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