Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Only We Can Protect Ourselves

My wife’s employer is sending her to KL for a one and a half day training session. And she is going there alone for the first time. I am just worried, especially during the night time and when returning from Subang airport. There are no other colleagues going to Subang airport. And I can’t take 2 days leave…I have to give 7 days notice before applying for any leave. Anyway, it does not make sense for me to do that. Ultimately, it is her company that should arrange to ensure her safety. How can they let a young lady go to KL alone?

Having said that, even if I can take leave, and I am willing to do that, but I also realize I can’t be following her everywhere forever. When it is time for us to die, we go alone too. It is, perhaps, time that she learns to protect herself. Yes, we have to learn to protect ourselves. With my affinity with many Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and deities, I have slightly less problem in invoking their help to protect me wherever I go. I know how to make offerings to them and invoke blessings and merits for myself. I also know how to do self-purification and do repentance practices. However, my wife and many people like her, as well as many of today’s youth and school students, nowadays do not know how to protect themselves with spiritual practices, other than going to a temple and putting three pieces of joss-sticks on the urn. Or, they will be given some “Ang Kong hoo” (blessed paper talisman) to take. Or, they will be asked to see a medium who thinks he is possessed by a god, but actually possessed by a spirit/ghost instead. The lay persons will be given all sorts of advice that ultimately give very little protection, if at all any.

Nowadays, many people also resort to buying numbers made of jewellery to wear. This is the latest craze and these jeweled numbers are seriously not cheap. And many people have stories to tell of how it has worked. These jewellery are much more expensive than wearing something from the World of Feng Shui shop. Most of the things that Lillian Too recommends to wear are holy objects, either they contain mantras or have something to do with Buddhist symbols. Wearing blessed objects do create blessings and that’s how they work. However, how does wearing numbers and diamonds alone work to create more blessings? I really do not know. Numbers and precious stones, of and by itself, do not have any inherent blessings that they can emit to anyone wearing them. But there are some rumours that perhaps these jewellery sold by them are blessed by their secret deity before passing them to customers. The rumours arise because it seems the wearers are told to visualize and make offerings to it daily before making your wish. Does anyone make offerings to numbers and stones? Surely not. We only make offerings to deities and spirits, and God or gods, as far as I know. Not to inanimate objects. Hence, arises the rumour that anyone wearing it is actually protected by this deity, and not the stone and numbers. But who this deity is, we do not know, if at all it is true. I do not wish to speculate whether it is true or not.

Anyway, I prefer to stick to my religion’s ways of protection. And I would urge everyone to find ways to increase your own and your families’ blessings. You will never know when tragedy will strike and life is taken away all too soon…like the recent dragon boat tragedy. 5 young boys and a young teacher were killed in a dragon boat tragedy last Sunday in Penang. For Buddhists, there are many ways to increase our blessings, and one simple way is to make offerings of fruits on the altar to the Buddha. If you have a true heart to seek enlightenment for all beings (i.e. bodhicitta) then, that is the surest way of protection you can ever give yourself. Having said that, please protect her (you know who I mean), dear Protector!

Take care and May all be well!

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