Author Topic: Ancestors come back in the form of green butterfly ??  (Read 30240 times)


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Re: Ancestors come back in the form of green butterfly ??
« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2012, 08:41:51 AM »
the concept that a moth or butterfly can embody the deceased has its roots in Taoist beliefs.
It could also have its origins in other belief systems like Shamanism and Animism.
Shamanism and Animism (from Latin anima (soul, life) holds the basic tenet that souls and spirits exist not only in living beings, but also in material objects like rocks and stones or in geographic features and natural phenomena like thunder, mountains, rivers and the wind. Some of these spirits are worshipped in order to gain favours and therefore offerings are made to the objects that spirits are thought to inhibit or embody.

As a buddhist, I am not sure about Taoist beliefs, I heard few times from friends that they been experienced butterfly or moth flying in the house during the time of his parents' funeral and they could not explain why.

I even heard from a colleugue the scary story about thousands of moth in a hotel's room cabinet when she opened the wardrobe cabinet, and the hotel claimed to be a haunted place...

There is no explanation that the spotting of moths or butterflies in a funeral or during the first 7 days of the passing of the person, is the dead person coming back to visit the relatives. Maybe it is because of these stories that people started to look for moths or butterflies in their houses when there is someone dead. If you look for it, then you will find it. You will find the smallest insect and confirm that it is the dead person coming back in insect form for a visit. Hehe....

In Taoism, yes the believe is that the soul will come back to the family home on the 7th day of the passing to visit and to make sure that the family members are okay and that they can leave without being worried about them. I have also heard that family members knowing that the 7th day will be the "visiting" day of the soul, the whole family goes out and no one will be at home. Either they are scared of meeting the soul or do not want to see them. All these are created by humans...........

In Buddhism, there's only karma which will decide what the next rebirth would be. And the soul would have 49 days from the passing to be reincarnated. So during this 49 days, the family members should dedicate all the good merits to the soul so that a good rebirth will be obtained.


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Re: Ancestors come back in the form of green butterfly ??
« Reply #16 on: March 25, 2012, 11:08:31 AM »
I have not heard about the ancestor coming to visit as moth/butterfly tale among the chinese before.... perhaps it is only believed by a certain ethnic group of the chinese?

I was aware that moths do visit funerals quite a lot but not as the souls of the deceased... infact, there's a research that was done to investigate why do moths frequent these situations all the time. According to the research, they found that the ritual items, color and among many other things, tend to attract moths to the funeral parlour.

However, I have heard that the deceased 'soul' do wonder back to the people they're close to. It has happened to me personally, and also to my cousin... that was about 20 years ago when my grandfather passed away. I think it is logical and nothing strange for the deceased soul to wonder around as we all know that it takes a certain period of time for them to move on to the next life... the interim between lives that is called the Bardo.

But then again, who know... perhaps there is some truth to this old wives tale...


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Re: Ancestors come back in the form of green butterfly ??
« Reply #17 on: March 27, 2012, 03:04:24 AM »
My own personal experience of the dying was when my mother in law was lying in a bed in my house during her last moments. We had a hospice doctor helping. Hospice doctors really know about the death process from experience. She pointed to us that when the dying person's ' ren zhong' ( area under our nostrils ) sink down , the death process has begun. When the heart stops beating and breathing ceases, the Dr would still be very respectful of the dead person as she said the person's consciousness is still around . This is consistent with Tibetan Buddhist belief that the consciousness enters the intermediate stage before  taking rebirth within 49 days. Hence very important to keep peaceful environment and to have harmony within the home so as not to trigger negative thoughts in the diseased's consicousness which can lead to lower rebirths.This supports reason why after monks chanting and dharma talk , the deceased can let go. They can still hear and feel the vibrations of holy energy  even if the body is dead.


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Re: Ancestors come back in the form of green butterfly ??
« Reply #18 on: March 27, 2012, 11:48:39 PM »
Dharma tells us the the preceeding thought will be the condition for the next arising thought, therefore it is very important to have a quiet and peaceful surrounding for a dying person because the last thought of this life will condition the mental state of the next life.

Traditional Chinese  customs , however, follow that when a family member passes on the next of kins must wail and howl to show their love or filial piety.

What the Hospice staff observe is completely aligned with Buddhist teachings. The volunteers and doctors of the palatial care profession have through their experience and observations confirm that a quiet and peaceful condition is most conducive and helpful for the departing person.

I had also seen Hospice doctor talking and telling the dead person gently what she was about to do when she was washing up the body and putting on the clothes for the deceased. She showed more respect and care for her dead patient than many other doctors do with their living patients !


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Re: Ancestors come back in the form of green butterfly ??
« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2012, 01:57:13 PM »
The Taoists and the older generation of Chinese believe that on the 7th day, the deceased will come back to visit them and it is a custom to prepare the deceased favorite food and drinks for their return. As rossoneri mentioned, the family members will turn off the lights and stay inside the room. What I heard from another source was that the family members will sprinkle talcum powder or flour on the floor before they hide in their room. When it is time for them to come out, they will throw a sharp weapon like a knife out before opening the door. If their deceased came back, they will be able to find footprints marks on the powder. Sometimes there are many footprints because the deceased would bring his “friends” to enjoy the sumptuous dinner too. Is this an old wife's tale or are there some truth in it.......


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Re: Ancestors come back in the form of green butterfly ??
« Reply #20 on: April 23, 2012, 02:13:48 PM »
I think that their story might be real,but the point is a sometimes your ancestors might become a butterfly and something else because they want to check on their grandaugther or grandson.According to buddhism, they might have reincarnated as an animal due to their attachment towards grandchildren in this case. It is very common for ancestors to be reborn near thier family. In buddhism, there are 6 realms. The animal realm and the spirit realm are very closely related. Certain spirits may manifest in an animal form. That is what I believe.