Author Topic: Ancestors come back in the form of green butterfly ??  (Read 30031 times)

Tammy

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Ancestors come back in the form of green butterfly ??
« on: March 18, 2012, 10:10:13 AM »
I was with an interesting group last night - a Christian who claims she is very open-minded (indeed she is, to a certain extend!!) and a 17 year old boy.. We were sharing what is our worst fear... Mine being butterfly and moth.. Yes, I know this is absolutely silly but it's true..

Then the christian lady asked why it is Chinese believe the souls of recent death visit their loved ones in the form of green butterfly?? If this is just a myth, then why is there always a butterfly lingering in the house after the demise of one of the family members?

Anyone has any thoughts on this to share ?
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KhedrubGyatso

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Re: Ancestors come back in the form of green butterfly ??
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2012, 07:42:11 AM »
Hi Tammy,
The christian lady's remarks  have too many loose ends and assumptions.I had never heard of the green butterfly rebirth theory mentioned by her. I would like to know if other chinese members had been told such a story.Maybe she saw the movie Butterfly lovers too many times !
As to the assertion there is always a butterfly around after someone died. Why not say there is always a coackroach or ant around ?? We are in Malaysia where insects are endemic !
You have to be careful with some christians with all due respect. Many tell you they are open minded only to open you up to confuse and create doubts in you with pseudo buddhist ideas intentionally.If you know your dharma there is no problem but if you don't, then the seemingly innocuous butterfly tale is planted in yr mind as a buddhist concept.

Honestly , to me its too silly to be discussed here. Its ok if others think differently.

vajraD

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Re: Ancestors come back in the form of green butterfly ??
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2012, 09:19:03 AM »
This is a pretty long story to share

Well they can come back as anything no just moth or green butterfly.

A year ago I attended a funeral from the very beginning. They have arrange a Buddhist Centre that came to chanting for the dead and also a talk (some sort similar to a Dharma Talk). The man is not a monk but a very senior student of the centre. They have been doing this service for their centre member and members relatives for many years already. If I’m not wrong they are from Amitabah centre. The talk he gave is on letting go of anger, attachment and the 6 realm and a few more and guide to follow the Amitabah. It was almost a 2 hours talk next to the dead body. After the talk we chant 2 hours of Amitabah then he show us that she can hear us. Before all that when I see her, her whole body is stiff and harden and her eyes were wide open and have so much of anger and very pale. After the talk and prayer her hands are able to move and also her eyes have soften and she looks like she have put on a blusher. Then they can change her clothes and move her into the coffin. He ask the family to continue to do the chanting until the very last day. Then lastly he advises the family not to take meet, have sex and also not to kill as they may come visit in any form.

DSFriend

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Re: Ancestors come back in the form of green butterfly ??
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2012, 05:01:21 PM »
Dear VajraD

Wow...I can imagine how impactful it is for the listeners of the talk, sitting in the presence of the dead person.

The beauty about people in this forum is that we come from all over the world, different cultures, and background. I love the diversity. In the west where i come from, I've heard of white moth instead of green butterfly. I've never gotten the answer as to why...perhaps it's just coincidence or old tales.

DS Star

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Re: Ancestors come back in the form of green butterfly ??
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2012, 03:24:22 AM »
This is a pretty long story to share

Well they can come back as anything no just moth or green butterfly.

A year ago I attended a funeral from the very beginning. They have arrange a Buddhist Centre that came to chanting for the dead and also a talk (some sort similar to a Dharma Talk). The man is not a monk but a very senior student of the centre. They have been doing this service for their centre member and members relatives for many years already. If I’m not wrong they are from Amitabah centre. The talk he gave is on letting go of anger, attachment and the 6 realm and a few more and guide to follow the Amitabah. It was almost a 2 hours talk next to the dead body. After the talk we chant 2 hours of Amitabah then he show us that she can hear us. Before all that when I see her, her whole body is stiff and harden and her eyes were wide open and have so much of anger and very pale. After the talk and prayer her hands are able to move and also her eyes have soften and she looks like she have put on a blusher. Then they can change her clothes and move her into the coffin. He ask the family to continue to do the chanting until the very last day. Then lastly he advises the family not to take meet, have sex and also not to kill as they may come visit in any form.

VajraD shared a very interesting story on the dharma talk that was given at funeral. This is a proof that the deceased still can 'hear' us. At the time, we have to be very creful with our behaviour and speech to avoid any disturbance to the deceased who may have strong attachment.

As for the post by Tammy, the Christian misunderstood Chinese traditional belief as Buddhist belief. It is a Chinese custom not to kill any insect, especially butterfly during wake and funeral because supposedly our deceased family member will come back in these form within 7 days of passing away.

However, we cannot entirely reject this belief to be false as we do not know what was the basis dor this Chinese belief started and continue to pass down generation after generation. There is a possibility that the deceased had taken rebirth as small insect like butterfly due to karma and then fly home due to their attachment to their family. Anything is possible.

triesa

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Re: Ancestors come back in the form of green butterfly ??
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2012, 09:25:18 AM »
Oh well.....whether the deceased comes back as a butterfly or crocodile......that means the deceased did not have the merits to be reborn as a precious human being, the best state to learn the dharma....

I was told in one of the teachings from a lama that it is best to dedicate as much merits as possible to the deceased after he died, that is the only thing we can do to help. If the family allows, the best is to use some or all of the money from the deceased and conduct pujas or offer incense for the deceased, this will help the deceased to collect vast amount of merits, and perhaps take a better human rebirth.

Family and friends are advised to chant "Om Manu Padme Hung"  continuously for 49 days and dedicate to the deceased for a swift human rebirth.  It is believed that if the deceased does not take rebirth within 49 days, then they will be reborned as spirits or hungry ghosts. A state which make future human rebirth even harder, except until their karma is exhausted as spirits/hungry ghosts.


ratanasutra

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Re: Ancestors come back in the form of green butterfly ??
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2012, 05:00:11 AM »
well.. I think each country have different cultures therefore they have their own believes. And i never heard the story about green butterfly in country i come from.

From the country i come from they believe that the spirit of decease one will come back in the 7 days after the day pass on and there are many stories about how the family members will see and hear some unusual sound/thing or dreamt about decease person and some is very haunted and became well-known until they they take a story to make the movie.

As its a Buddhist country, there will be a prayer session by monks every morning and night till the cremation day and at the last day of the funeral before cremation, the family members and friends of decease person will offer many monk robe sets to the monks in order to dedicate the merit to the decease person..

Now i learned that we also can offer a statue to the teacher or temple and dedicate the merit to the decease one also..   

Jessie Fong

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Re: Ancestors come back in the form of green butterfly ??
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2012, 12:52:07 PM »
My father passed away many years ago and I was the last close relative to see him alive.  After my brothers and I had arrange for the funeral and all prayers, we left our birthplace to go back to our individual homes in different parts of the country.

On the 7th day of his passing, a very large brown moth flew into the rented house where I was staying.  No one realised it was there until the next morning when my housemate alerted me.  It was clinging onto the beam between his room and mine.  He was adamant that it was my dad who came back to visit me.

The moth refused to budge.  I did not know what to do.  Then I "talked" to it -- I asked it if it was my father who came back to visit me, not to worry, I am fine; if it is not, please move on.  We (all the housemates) are healthy and fine.

Well, after that I went downstairs and forgot about it until lunchtime.  I went upstairs and it was gone.  No one saw it fly out of the house.  Until this day, my friends could not explain what happened.

I think it was my late father who came back to say his final goodbye.  After that, no other moths ever came back into that house.

Tammy

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Re: Ancestors come back in the form of green butterfly ??
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2012, 01:31:02 PM »
Wow wow this is turning to a ghost stories telling competition and I LIKE IT! I love ghost stories, they are scary but full of interesting twists!

On a more serious note, the dharma-talk-at-wake story reminded me of a weird furneral wake that I had attended.

The deceased's family invited a chanting group to help chant sutra for the deceased, this is very common in my part of the world, what was weird was before the chanting, one of the seniors (from the chanting group) started to talk to the deceased very loudly, almost shouting, he told her not to worry as her children will be fine, she has done her duty as a mother, wife n grandmother, etc etc... So now she can go to heaven in peace.. I mean the content of the talk was fine, but the way he delivered was extremely weird, he shouted every word out and almost like he was scolding her and the rest of the group repeated every single sentence he said... Absolutely crazy and weird..

The talk lasted almost 30 minutes and I set there feeling really sorry for the deceased, her didn't deserve to be harressed this way, and the talk would definitely gave her a lot of stress!! As we all know the newly dead could still see and hear what happens surrounding them...

Anyway, I didn't see any moth or butterfly that night...
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biggyboy

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Re: Ancestors come back in the form of green butterfly ??
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2012, 06:10:55 PM »
From where I come from, I have heard many times where the deceased would return within 7 days after their death. Not as green butterfly but in moth form.  It did happen in my family.  When either my mother-in-law or father-in-law passed on, a big moth would appear on both occasions.  Initially, I did not want to believe what others have said.  But after two times of such occasions, I cannot dismissed it.  Probably, it may be their way to see whether the family they have left behind were alright or it may have not let go nor believe that they have passed on.  Anyway, it is just my thoughts.

Jessie Fong

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Re: Ancestors come back in the form of green butterfly ??
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2012, 07:55:19 AM »
Mmmmmm .... biggyboy .... looks like both of us have had the same experience.  I believe that the moth returns to the house of the people they love and miss.  I am not sure if they go "visiting" to other places like homes of their friends or buddies?  Usually I hear stories of their return to their own home only.

Would you say that it is because they were still attached to us (the ones living and left behind) and could not leave in peace?

rossoneri

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Re: Ancestors come back in the form of green butterfly ??
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2012, 09:46:54 AM »
Many of the Chinese believes the deceased will return to their family as in the form of moth or butterfly. Not only that but in Taosim they do believed that the deceased being brought home after certain days by two spirits guard one with a horse head and the other is with a bull head but in human body. So the family will prepare some offerings to the deceased and normally is his or her favorite food. All lights will be switched off during that time frame and all the family members would hide themselves in the rooms for the entire period. Some even claimed they could hear the sound of a chain being dragged on the floor and after the session all the family members would eagerly check the offerings if it been touched. One story I heard is the eye of a fish been dugged out as a signed to show the deceased had returned and pleased of the offerings.

I am not so sure if it's true or not but for most Chinese who are generally very superticious and mixed up with Buddhism and Taoism really treating the occasion like a custom more than a religion. It's like these are the list of things have to be done and offerings to the decease is one of it. The to do list normally is been given by the Taoist master and after all the ceremony is been completed, everybody goes back to their normal life without thinking how precious and fragile our life is. Feel very honored and blessed to be able to receive Dharma and to know about Dorje Shugden. And I hope every sentient beings some day or somehow will be able to understand or receive Dharma.

Reena Searl

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Re: Ancestors come back in the form of green butterfly ??
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2012, 03:26:16 PM »
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...

Tenzin K

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Re: Ancestors come back in the form of green butterfly ??
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2012, 05:31:31 PM »
Interesting!
I have not heard of this before but I have this experience that whenever I see a moth it always give me a hint of someone in my family or relative will pass away. True enough normally happen within 2 to 3 weeks. Can’t explain why but after I started the protector practice, whenever I see the moth I’ll always make prayers to Lord Shugden that whoever in my family members that going to pass away pls bring them to a good rebirth and may they meet the dharma at young age.

sonamdhargey

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Re: Ancestors come back in the form of green butterfly ??
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2012, 07:16:17 AM »
I was in a conversation with a Chinese lady who beliefs that a human being has 3 souls and after death these 3 souls goes to different places and that is why the Chinese tradition practiced ancestral worshipping.

As a Buddhist when we die we take rebirth based on our karma be it upper or lower realms and nothing about 3 souls going to different places.

Anyone here care to share more about the 3 souls belief and is the Buddhist point of view in this?