Madame Blossom's Book of Poems

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Lessons from the Buddhist's article

"No possessions can be brought along to the next existence; the only thing that follows one is his deeds"

Most Muslims would think that I got that from some Islamic article. However, this is taken from an article from Nalanda Buddhist Society, said to be a Chinese saying.

Interesting! This is exactly what we are taught.

Another point to ponder from this article : when rituals are passed down by word of mouth or just see and follow, without reference to a clear and authentic book of guidance, this is how it can turn out.

Dear Muslims, always have a reference to The Quran and the Sunnah.


From Nalanda Buddhist Society website :

“What burning ‘paper money’ really meant those days.”

Excerpt from Bro. Tan’s teachings on 30 March.

During a funeral ceremony in ancient China, paper-made models of houses, sedan chairs, treasure chests, clothes, daily utensils, and even effigies of servants, were burnt as the cortege was leaving home for burial in the cemetery.

The ORIGINAL meaning of such an act is to show everyone present that all former possessions of the deceased cannot be brought along to the next life.  At one’s death, everything one had ever owned has to be left behind. The burning only emphasizes this message, as it is the most graphical, symbolic, and dramatic way of showing total loss!

There is a Chinese saying that ‘no possessions can be brought along to the next existence; the only thing that follows one is his deeds, or ‘karma’ ‘ ( 万般带不去,唯有业随身 ).  Furthermore, his relatives and friends only follow the deceased up to the grave, but soon turn to go home, leaving the dead alone in his tomb!

Thus, the burning of cheaply-produced paper models and effigies served as an effective educational tool.  Witnessing how fire consumes every ‘former possession’ of the deceased, even an illiterate peasant or young child was able to understand this sense of total relinquishment at death.

A seller holds up a 'paper car' meant as offerings to the dead.
Today, this practice is completely misunderstood by the majority of Chinese.  Instead of the original meaning, paper-made models have been turned into “paper offerings” – with the mistaken thought that whatever one burns, his departed relatives will obtain in the netherworld!

Hence people nowadays burn paper models of the latest i-Pads, smartphones, LED screens, and “paper money” in inflated sums in order to please the dead.  All these will not help the departed ones at all.  In fact, this misunderstanding will only harm the living by maintaining their ignorance and delusions.

Instead of burning “paper offerings”, one can perform ‘Dedication of Merits’ (Pāli, ‘Pattidāna ’) to help their departed relatives.  The explanation on this Buddhist practice was posted on this website on 31 March.  Scroll down and have a good read!


Al-Manar said...

Salaam to you.
Foor some unknown reason I kept your other website and on a number of occasions I called on that site and found it not updated. You must have got tired of blogging, I thought. Then looking at one of my old blog I saw Madam Blossom's comments on my posting inj 2012, clicked on it and here I am.

You have been writing some nice postings. You see, not visiting others occasionally would end up your regulars thinking you have stopped. It is nice to see that this one blog is still very ssactive. Do drop by to remind this old Pakcik to pay you a visit

It is not surprising to see many of life values are common to many old religions. But none could match oour Qurran in its totality.

madame blossom said...

Salaam pakcik. Hope you have been well in iman and health. Insyaa Allaah.

I've been quiet.. but insyaa Allaah.. I'll be more active here. I want this blog to be my personal space to record my thoughts - some of which I may want to refer to in future.