Thursday, April 04, 2013

Talisman Marking on the Granite Tablet of Some Niches - 妙法蓮華經 (Lotus Sutra) @ Mandai Crematorium

I was supposed to touch on more details of my recent visit to Mandai Crematorium but given how busy i was in my new workplace, i am seeking your utmost understanding for yet another short post today!

Length aside, the topic could generate some curiosity from readers who are interested in matters concerning the dead; a most intriguing subject especially in the superstitious Chinese context. 

Has anyone ever noticed this line of talisman-like black characters on the granite tablets that cover the niches? When i first saw it, i brushed it aside thinking it could be a one-off occurrence of low cultural significance. 

Walked past a second one and when my eyes caught a third one with the same marking, questions started swimming in my head on the actual purpose of these cursive Chinese characters. 

After searching online (google is my best friend), i managed to get an answer; albeit an inconclusive one. 

Picture taken from http://www.puti.org.tw/PUTI005.htm
妙法蓮華經, also known as Lotus Sutra, appeared to be the exact words on those granite tablets. However, why was its use so prevalent for the dead and not other sutras? From the readings on wikipedia (not exactly a research approved portal), i could identify two likely reasons:

1) Talks on Timelessness and that Death is not the Termination
2) Lotus Sutra is assumed to the most superior of all Buddhist sutras

Picture taken from http://www.npm.gov.tw/exh95/grandview/books/000166_000172_ch.htm
Any enlightened soul trained in Buddhist doctrine is able to give their inputs or clarify / refute my wrong assumptions? 

4 comments:

  1. They are probably followers of the Japanese Buddhist Denomination, Sokka Gakkai or Nichiren Shoshu/shu.

    ReplyDelete
  2. nice blog. granite markers were really good who make this monument.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks! i generally would delete comments which have a separate agenda in promoting other sites (which could have malware).

      However, the website you have is quite informative. :)

      Delete

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