Thursday, April 28, 2011

What Is Deliverance?

Deliverance, or 超度,is a very important affair in all religion.

It is especially highlighted in Buddhism by the Tibetan Book of Death that took the world by storm more than a decade ago.

Many people think deliverance is only for the demise, that it is only funeral rites, however, it has a far deeper meaning behind it which I shall share today.

What is deliverance?

Every human being (in fact all living things) consists of the tangible physical part we know by body and the intangible part that is the soul.  Deliverance is the cleansing work upon the soul.

Is it important?


An average soul do not go through a system and series of "trainings" (meditations etc) to separate the mind from it, so it's often "polluted" by various emotions that are not positive. 

With little positivity, the soul is burdened heavily which in turn, do things we may be aware of or not that spark off a series chain-reactions affecting our emotions and physical mind further.

It is a continuous cycle.

How would a "polluted" soul affect us?

By ways of daily decision-makings = how we choose our investment, business directions, friends, spouse, job to take etc etc.  Some people just pick the wrong friends, job or investment etc etc no matter how careful they are.

And some people just appear very irritating, unappealing to people around them, even with strangers. It's not about looks, as a very beautiful or handsome person can be uncannily off-putting too.

These are actually accumulated previous lives Karma, we're obstructed towards goodness and veered towards a life not as positive and abundant as we'd like because of it.

These may come at different timing of one's life, not everyone is stricken with issues from birth.

So upon death, because of all the hanging onto things our desires want while living on Earth, our journey to the Pureland (Buddhism) or Heaven (Christianity/Islam etc) is obstructed.  One often gets reincarnated to human form again to re-learn lessons not passed in the previous life.

** Or as what others would put, to repay the Karma debts.

Not everyone goes to Hell, most human beings are not evil.

** A good look into the state of our true happiness and peace, level and depth of desire(s), our relationship with people around us will reveal the level of "pollution" within.

Isn't deliverance for the dead?

It is both for the living and dead, in fact, in my experience, I'd think it's more important for the living.

The dead has no chance to re-look into their doings on Earth and re-start their lives to put things right, the last and funeral rites are there only to persuade repentance, forgiveness, letting go and moving on.

Deliverance for the living involves active repentance, forgiveness, awareness of sins done (knowingly and unknowingly) in the past and previous lifetimes.  With guidance from the spiritual teacher, one starts to live a better life proactively after the deliverance by better choices in clearer mind.

It also involves invoking the "creditors" of one's previous lives to arrive for the deliverance rites to appease their souls with scriptures and mantras, forgive the living debtor, then invoke the Higher Power (according to one's faith) to bring these spirits to a better, higher realm.

It's an exercise of letting go, seeking forgiveness, repentance and changing ourselves for the better, for the road ahead for the living.

Christianity's saying that everyone is borne a sinner is true and right, though in my view, these sins we already have from birth are accumulated through various past lives.  Lessons that we failed to learn and pass.

The Western countries are now looking into the notion of previous lives regardless of religion with the book by Brian Weiss, "Many Lives Many Masters".  You may like to have a read, it is a very good book on past lives.

Who pass these tests or how we are in the next lifetime?

Contrary to popular beliefs, every soul has an auto-pilot system that record our thoughts and doings, this system would determine our culpability in absolute fairness after death.

All that we have not passed and learnt follow to the next life e.g addiction in previous life may lead to similar addiction in the current one, fear of water in previous life may follow to the next one.

However, even with that, we need to find the Source of the issue and pass it before moving on successfully e.g addiction stemming from hatred towards a previous life parent, fear of water because one was drowned in one lifetime etc.

Why was there hatred towards one in the first place?  How did one drown in the first place too?  These need finding out again.

What about the "creditors" you mentioned up there?

By different level of ignorance or wilful acts in the previous lives, we would have let down people who were good or benign to us.  Letting down comes in 2 main ways = Hurting them emotionally or physically.

These sow the seeds of anger and resentment are very strong energy that are sent towards and "sticks" on the doer.  It will translate into various obstacles to one's physical life on Earth in different ways.

For some, it's obstacles in human relationships.
For some, it's health.
For some, it's financial stability and security.
For some, it's emotional health.
For some, it's a different combination of some or all of the above in varying degree.

And then, these seeds will grow like vines, obstructing the "view" of the debtor in their current lifetime that leads to (for example) behavioural issues they're not aware off, yet keep repeating the same pattern and launch them into "bad luck" with different aspects of life.

Like, a very kind yielding person just get bullied by peers no matter what.  The kind yielding nature is the trigger that set off the pattern of bullying in that group of people.  If he/she met a kind group of people, that kind yielding nature would trigger no negative effect at all.

Meaning, being kind persistently at the wrong people = wrong and poor results.

But the sufferer "just can't change", in their words.  "I just can't bear to stand up for myself!" would be their words.

How do we perform deliverance for the living?

There're different ways in different religious faith.

One of it is to burn a quantity of Underworld money according to the Chinese zodiac sign to these "debtors" to appease them.

However, in my understanding and experience doing quite a few deliverance rites, giving money incites greed and not activating the true wisdom of letting go and moving on to a better realm. 

My practise is to have the client fold lotus flowers with scripture paper for the creditors, while I ''counsel'' them to free their debtor with further scriptures and mantras chanting, and burning good quality incense to "repair" their "wounds".

Then invoke the Higher Power to descend and bring them to Pureland so there's no more reincarnation.  In Buddhism, Pureland is a place without suffering, and where one continues gaining wisdom by learning fruitfully there.

One can do it on behalf of another too.

What are the effects after the deliverance?

The interpersonal appeal-factor (人缘) will improve, health will improve and/or get to know of the right doctor for the illness, financial stability and security etc etc.  That one can finally find peace and stability in their lives.

Light at the end of the tunnel.

Having said that, we must be mindful that for one to opt for this ritual, one must humble themselves, be repentant, open to accept that that they're the ones creating problems in their lives and willing to proactively work on a better life by effort after it.

It doesn't mean one can go back to their old ways after cleaning up their Karma debts, this only create more ignorance and issues later.

Case study

A 40-odd year old man has been out of jobs for 2 years.
He's not untalented, his work has won industrial awards for himself and his previous companies.
He is a very kind man by his friends. --> this was a referred case, so there's a strong character testament from my client, the referrer
His wife is very cold towards him no matter how or what he does since marriage.
His wife only has eyes for their only child.
Even in his last employed job, he was often bullied in workplace.
Then he has to support his old parents and a sibling who has no capacity to work.

After the deliverance ritual, he got offers from companies and work has been smooth without the depressing bullying in workplace. 

His wife is no longer as cold and unyielding in their relationship. 

His sibling, who cannot work, is now employed by a company who is willing to overlook his handicap.

He now don't have to contribute so much money to his parents' household.

Ending notes

The reason why we're on Earth as human beings is because there're lessons to learn and wisdom to grow.  As nothing is perfect on Earth, none of us is perfect too, so incurring Karma debts isn't anything shameful.

And everyone of us would have sinned or erred in one way or another with our tenure here, so it's only right that we face up to it.

The most important thing is understanding and accepting that we've flaws and mistakes committed with or without knowledge, then seek to address it and move on with a mind to reflect on ourselves often in future.

I'd be lying to claim that one would never sin again after the deliverance ritual, the importance is clearing the backlog so we can step out and work positively for ourselves and others, living as a renewed person.

So with renewed knowledge and understanding in this aspect, the likelihood of committing heavy Karma sins/debts to impede our future would be far far lower.  With more wisdom, we pay it forward in society to others to better it.

The issue in this world now is the lack of actual, real Wisdom.  Many people confuse wisdom with intelligence.  While for some, abusing the wisdom word to con the ignorant.

Past lives and Karma are all real.  To one who don't believe the Eastern culture of past lives can refer to Brian Weiss's books to have the Western perspectives for it.  Why would a good-earning, intelligent psychologist touch on such sensitive topic to unleash the religious-staunch against him?

Because he cannot believe it himself too, and so, worked on more than 500 patients as a focus group to find out more.

The topic of Karma has been on for a long time, and we're seeing the mechanism of Karma work before our eyes.  The kind gets rewarded, the bad gets punished.  But things are not so simple for some people.

Everything has a reason for it's existence, why are some kind people so unlucky?  Why are some bad people still having it good?  Most people have no way to see through time, so don't know the working of Karma and lifetimes.

Some people blame God/Buddha.  My question to them is, God/Buddha being God/Buddha, would He be so stupid/silly to be wrong, or do wrong?  He's not human being, He will not err like us.

"But why don't He stop all the bad people?"

The issue now isn't about stopping bad from happening.  Knowing human beings, we tend to test the ground or waters we have experience in.  Without allowing us to go into the deep end, our mind wouldn't have learnt how it's like to be in the deep end and grow wisdom from it.

You can stop a baby from playing with fire, but by hurting himself by fire would stop him from testing it again and learn how to discern danger.  Curiosity kills the cat, it can also kill anyone.  But only from mistakes do we truly and really grow.

There's no shame in making mistakes we don't know, the Devil is making mistakes we really want to.

Wisdom and Knowledge are the only Ways to liberate our heart and soul.