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Hungry Ghost month ‘wrong time to meet departed loved ones’
By WINNIE YEOH
PARTICIPANTS of a netherworld tour were not able to meet their dead relatives there because it was then the Hungry Ghost month, when the spirits had wandered off to our world instead.
Tze Bei Guan Yin Centre leader Master Kek Eng Seng, who led a tour of 54 people to visit the netherworld in conjunction with the Phor Thor (Hungry Ghost Festival) at Padang Brown in Penang, said only one participant managed to catch a glimpse of a departed loved one.
“She later told me she saw her mother in front of her but couldn’t speak to her. Her mother then went to her side,” he said.
Experienced spiritual guide: Master Kek who recently led 54 people to tour the netherworld “After the event, I asked Dou Mu Niang Niang (the mother of the nine deities) who explained to me that it was the wrong time for meeting with departed relatives as it was their ‘holiday’.”
Master Kek said sceptics who harboured suspicions about the tour to the netherworld were not able to enter it, as they were doubtful of the possibility and could not relax their mind.
“Sometimes it is also because of the person’s karma, which determines the ‘places’ he or she will go.
“About 20 people out of the group managed to enter the netherworld and see something,” he said when met at his centre in Church Street here on Thursday.
Touted to be the first outdoor netherworld tour held in the nation, the event on Aug 27 attracted over 200 registrants but only 55 were selected to participate. However, a middle-aged woman left before the tour took place.
Master Kek said the woman had the “third eye”, which could see spirits even without going to the netherworld:
“Before we started, she saw spirits wandering around and was afraid.”
After the tour, some claimed they saw lights, monks, spirits, and even a street of shopping malls and a waterfall.
A participant known only as Sun, 27, claimed she saw a monk gesturing to her to follow him. Master Kek explained that the monk was actually Guan Yin or the Goddess of Mercy.
“She must has a good heart for the monk to show her the way. If she had followed him, she would have been taken to a temple where she would see many monks chanting there,” he said.
As for 65-year-old Wong Mun Cheong’s sighting of a ghost, Master Kek said it was the Tai Su Yah (King of Hades).
Entering another realm: Master Kek hitting the gong and cymbal during the 'tour' to lead the way “He said the ‘ghost’ later ‘exploded’ into thousands of people. Those were Tai Su Yah’s guards. They all then converged and took the form of Buddha, which is actually Guan Yin as depicted on the head of Tai Su Yah,” he said.
He added that in the netherworld, one loses sense of time.
“One year down there equals to about 10 human years.
“An experienced guide is needed to lead the tour because if it is not conducted properly, the soul would not come back.
“That will cause the person to become loon, or some other spirits might take control of the person,” he explained.
He also said that the bright lights reported by photographer Chiang Kee Chuan, 30, were a sign from Guan Yin.
“Guan Yin gave him a notion to become a vegetarian but it is up to him,” he said.
Master Kek said that during the tour, Datuk Gong came to help guide the participants to the netherworld.
“Many participants heard the coughing of an old man though no one was coughing nearby. It was in fact Datuk Gong,” he said.
He said that a man who took off the blindfold halfway through the journey later told him that he felt like he was suffocating and being pulled downwards.
As for Janice Phuah, 36, who saw shopping malls, a sports car and a waterfall, Master Kek said the place was ‘Liu Jiao Jie’ or Six Corner Street.
Master Kek, who studied Tibetan Buddhism, Taoism, fortune-telling and feng shui and has 28 years of experience in dealing with spiritual matters, said he had visited many places in the netherworld.
“I have seen a bloody lake where aborted babies float and have gone through a hanging bridge where people who have done bad deeds fall off into a snare of a tiger and a snake,” he said.
“Those who are doubtful of the netherworld or the tour will know one day when they leave the world,” he said.
Participants of the tour were led through a series of ceremonies, which included walking through hell’s gates and burning of hell bank notes.
The ‘tourists’ were then blindfolded with black and yellow cloth folded with amulets, said to be the ‘tickets’ to the netherworld. They also had ‘passports’, written with their names, strapped around their necks.
The actual tour lasted for about an hour. When it ended past midnight, the participants went through another cleansing ceremony by Master Kek before they went home.
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