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> The Official Lowyat.NET Sintua Thread, A thread on Chinese folk religion.

nachtsider
post Dec 28 2014, 07:47 AM, updated 15h ago

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Greetings, Lowyat/Kopitiam goers. smile.gif

I'm a lifelong Klang resident, and a long-time enthusiast/practitioner/student of Chinese folk religion and ritual activities (the 'sintua [神坛] scene', as some call it). I primarily associate with the Hell deities, such as Elder and Second Brother [大二爷伯, also known as the 黑白无常 or Black and White Ghosts], and Hell-related topics are where I am most knowledgeable; however, I do pray to several Heavenly gods, as well.

The sintua scene is so vibrant and widespread in Malaysia; I was thinking of starting a discussion thread about it here, so that fellow sintua buffs might be able to discuss this wonderful aspect of Chinese culture. A lot of misconceptions, ignorant beliefs, etc concerning the sintua scene have been going around; perhaps this thread can be used as an educational tool. I'm more than happy to answer questions, clarify facts and so on.

Pics related; the first is me at the temple I normally attend, and the second is me worshipping at home. Let's hear it from all the other sintua people here! biggrin.gif

user posted image

user posted image
nachtsider
post Dec 29 2014, 05:35 AM

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Geez. Pretty quiet in here; surely there MUST be people who adhere to Chinese folk religion on this forum? I did a search of the Kopitiam and saw plenty of threads on Datuk worship, the Hungry Ghost Festival and other related topics. blink.gif
Seager
post Dec 29 2014, 09:32 AM

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I'm not Chinese but I think this is pretty cool man.
nachtsider
post Dec 29 2014, 01:42 PM

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QUOTE(Seager @ Dec 29 2014, 09:32 AM)

I'm not Chinese but I think this is pretty cool man.


Thanks, Seager - feel free to talk about the subject or ask any questions if you so please!

There are quite a number of non-Chinese adherents of Chinese folk religion, in actual fact. For example, here is an Indian medium who is channelling Second Brother (二爷伯).

user posted image

Still waiting and hoping that some sintua people will come in here to participate. I wonder if I posted this topic in the correct section...
Seager
post Dec 29 2014, 01:43 PM

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You mind explaining what's going on in the 2nd picture of yourself in the first post?
nachtsider
post Dec 29 2014, 02:11 PM

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QUOTE(Seager @ Dec 29 2014, 01:43 PM)
You mind explaining what's going on in the 2nd picture of yourself in the first post?
I'm praying - performing a ritual to invoke my gods, summoning them to partake of the offerings I will serve.

The costume is a symbol of my allegiance.
arthur88
post Dec 29 2014, 07:48 PM

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i guess not many dare to replies or have the knowledge to participate in ur thread since this is in serious /k, and the pics u posted means u are in serious business...
there is a thread about PJ ghost stories, why dont u go there take a look...

i have encounter spirit few years back in uni time which i hope dont want encounter again...always bring along my azimat with me....


btw, just now back from penang botanical garden jogging, while i was about to finish my jog, i walk the big round of the botanical garden...
at top, i saw one leave, yes, only one leave keep swinging and waiving up and down like there is someone or something holding it...
i tot it was wind...then i check surrounding, all other leaves/plants/flowers not moving like got wind blow...
only this one particular leaves keep moving...i guess its something waiving it...i just act duno and keep walking...
nachtsider
post Dec 29 2014, 07:59 PM

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QUOTE(arthur88 @ Dec 29 2014, 07:48 PM)
i guess not many dare to replies or have the knowledge to participate in ur thread since this is in serious /k, and the pics u posted means u are in serious business...
Not daring to reply? Aw, man. I don't bite, you know. And neither do the gods - unless you're a bad person, of course. tongue.gif

Maybe I should've created this thread in the regular /k section, lol. All the other threads on ghosts, gods and devils seem to be located over there.

QUOTE(arthur88 @ Dec 29 2014, 07:48 PM)
there is a thread about PJ ghost stories, why dont u go there take a look...

I might swing by, thanks. I'm not a PJ resident, but enjoy listening to ghost stories of all kinds.

QUOTE(arthur88 @ Dec 29 2014, 07:48 PM)
i have encounter spirit few years back in uni time which i hope dont want encounter again...always bring along my azimat with me....
btw, just now back from penang botanical garden jogging, while i was about to finish my jog, i walk the big round of the botanical garden...
at top, i saw one leave, yes, only one leave keep swinging and waiving up and down like there is someone or something holding it...
i tot it was wind...then i check surrounding, all other leaves/plants/flowers not moving like got wind blow...
only this one particular leaves keep moving...i guess its something waiving it...i just act duno and keep walking...
You and me both, haha. I've had several encounters myself, most of which were nothing serious. In fact, I can say that only ONE of my encounters was truly extreme/nasty, and it was this encounter, which took place during the Hungry Ghost Festival many, many years ago, that started me on my current religious path, because one the gods whom I pray to probably saved my life then.

Most ghostly beings are usually quite content to keep themselves to themselves. I believe we generally have more to fear from other humans than ghosts.
arthur88
post Dec 29 2014, 08:11 PM

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QUOTE(nachtsider @ Dec 29 2014, 07:59 PM)
Not daring to reply? Aw, man. I don't bite, you know. And neither do the gods - unless you're a bad person, of course. tongue.gif
cause at there most just bullshiting...some are true...some are just entertaining....u will notice that as u read on more and more..

QUOTE(nachtsider @ Dec 29 2014, 07:59 PM)
Maybe I should've created this thread in the regular /k section, lol. All the other threads on ghosts, gods and devils seem to be located over there.
I might swing by, thanks. I'm not a PJ resident, but enjoy listening to ghost stories of all kinds.
You and me both, haha. I've had several encounters myself, most of which were nothing serious. In fact, I can say that only ONE of my encounters was truly extreme/nasty, and it was this encounter, which took place during the Hungry Ghost Festival many, many years ago, that started me on my current religious path, because one the gods whom I pray to probably saved my life then.
i'm not pj resident also...but hearing from them...it keeps getting more and more ridiculous...
same with me...i also kena at the same time...14th of hungry ghost festival..some more zhun2 12am sharp...
but for me, 心要正 then okay ady...this is what i keep mentioning in my heart back in botanical garden just now...
i keep saying, 一横,一竖,一横,一竖,一横...心要正....that walk by it...
some might say, u should go over there and check it out..but the timing also zhun2 during sunset time, when ghost starting to lurk around....i prefer let it be...

QUOTE(nachtsider @ Dec 29 2014, 07:59 PM)
Most ghostly beings are usually quite content to keep themselves to themselves. I believe we generally have more to fear from other humans than ghosts.
*
mana ada ghost tell stories about themselves?
those 占童 needless to say la...those...some are real and minority are real...
nachtsider
post Dec 29 2014, 09:04 PM

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QUOTE(arthur88 @ Dec 29 2014, 08:11 PM)
cause at there most just bullshiting...some are true...some are just entertaining....u will notice that as u read on more and more..
It's all about separating the wheat from the chaff, I guess. The more authentic ghost stories usually don't involve anything too outlandish.

QUOTE(arthur88 @ Dec 29 2014, 08:11 PM)
mana ada ghost tell stories about themselves?
those 占童 needless to say la...those...some are real and minority are real...
Haha - what I said is that ghosts usually KEEP themselves to themselves, meaning that they usually mind their own business and leave humans alone.

It's not always easy to tell which mediums are real and which are fake, unfortunately. But there are a few pointers - real mediums do not charge fixed monetary fees, do not make any illegal demands (such as sexual favours) and do not perform any illegal services (such as placing curses on people).

And at the end of the day, the proof is in the pudding. Fake mediums cannot produce any real results, the same way a fake doctor cannot heal sick people.
tension_fedup
post Dec 29 2014, 09:18 PM

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TS u worship hell deities. Is it for protection purpose? Are the ritual got any different's with other's heavenly deities?

nachtsider
post Dec 29 2014, 10:09 PM

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QUOTE(tension_fedup @ Dec 29 2014, 09:18 PM)

TS u worship hell deities. Is it for protection purpose? Are the ritual got any different's with other's heavenly deities?

Hello Tension, the Hell deities are the spiritual police force and justice system of Chinese folk religion. They deal with matters concerning death and the afterlife, are involved in the punishment of sinners, and are good at subduing evil spirits.

I worship them because they been very kind to me, protecting me from harm and guiding me throughout my life. My line of work involves regularly dealing with people who are either close to death or already dead - I used to work in a funeral home, and currently work as an emergency room doctor.

Hell-based chants and talismans are somewhat different from those associated with Heavenly deities. For instance, Hell talismans may contain dark or death-related images, such as skulls and bat's wings, and are often green in colour, instead of the usual yellow (see below).

user posted image

user posted image

Incense/joss sticks are normally offered to them in multiples of seven rather than the usual three. Seven is a number that is closely associated with the Hellish or Yin side - the moon, a Yin heavenly body, has seven phases; a newly departed soul can stay on earth for up to 49 days before leaving for the next world (49 is made up of seven sevens); and the Seventh Month is when the Hungry Ghost Festival takes place.

Also, Hell deities prefer 'rougher' offerings such as roasted meat, alcohol, opium and cigarettes (see below).

user posted image
tension_fedup
post Dec 29 2014, 10:20 PM

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QUOTE(nachtsider @ Dec 29 2014, 10:09 PM)
Hello Tension, the Hell deities are the spiritual police force and justice system of Chinese folk religion. They deal with matters concerning death and the afterlife, are involved in the punishment of sinners, and are good at subduing evil spirits.
I worship them because they been very kind to me, protecting me from harm and guiding me throughout my life. My line of work involves regularly dealing with people who are either close to death or already dead - I used to work in a funeral home, and currently work as an emergency room doctor.
Hell-based chants and talismans are somewhat different from those associated with Heavenly deities. For instance, Hell talismans may contain dark or death-related images, such as skulls and bat's wings, and are often green in colour, instead of the usual yellow (see below).
user posted image
user posted image
Incense/joss sticks are normally offered to them in multiples of seven rather than the usual three. Seven is a number that is closely associated with the Hellish or Yin side - the moon, a Yin heavenly body, has seven phases; a newly departed soul can stay on earth for up to 49 days before leaving for the next world (49 is made up of seven sevens); and the Seventh Month is when the Hungry Ghost Festival takes place.
Also, Hell deities prefer 'rougher' offerings such as roasted meat, alcohol, opium and cigarettes (see below).
user posted image
*
Thanks for sharing notworthy.gif


"" You and me both, haha. I've had several encounters myself, most of which were nothing serious. In fact, I can say that only ONE of my encounters was truly extreme/nasty, and it was this encounter, which took place during the Hungry Ghost Festival many, many years ago, that started me on my current religious path, because one the gods whom I pray to probably saved my life then. "


Mind to share story above?? pm also can.. seem interesting

arthur88
post Dec 30 2014, 09:41 AM

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ts, those spirit have been nice to u cause u have been nice to them or how?
share ur story how u end up in this religious path..

from my understanding, u need to give something for them to protect u...
nachtsider
post Dec 30 2014, 06:48 PM

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QUOTE(arthur88 @ Dec 30 2014, 09:41 AM)

ts, those spirit have been nice to u cause u have been nice to them or how?
share ur story how u end up in this religious path..

from my understanding, u need to give something for them to protect u...


QUOTE(tension_fedup @ Dec 29 2014, 10:20 PM)

Mind to share story above?? pm also can.. seem interesting


Hi Arthur/Tension, 'giving something for them to protect you' is behaviour usually associated with beings that are either neutral or evil in terms of alignment. The Hell deities are of a lawful good alignment, and will selflessly help the needy.

My story goes along these lines.

Ever since I was a small child, I was always interested in Chinese myths and folklore, especially classic Chinese ghost stories like those in the 聊斋志异. I would be very curious whenever I went to temples; I would often run off and explore on my own, plus try and find out whatever I could about the gods there. The interest was more academic than anything else, though. I didn't TRULY start believing until I was about eight years old.

It was the Seventh Month. Being my usual naughty self, I went out on a walk to a friend's place all by myself, at about eight-thirty p.m. or so. Didn't care about the old folks' warnings to stay in so the wandering spirits wouldn't get me; I was one of those kids who thought that bad things only happened to other people.

As I walked through the night-time neighbourhood, I passed by one of those candlelit roadside altars for the wandering spirits. It was specially dedicated to the spirits of dead children. There were two dolls on the altar, representing male children and female children, plus lots of sweets, milk bottles and other 'kiddy' offerings.

Something like this.

user posted image

The dolls creeped me out. In the candlelight, it almost looked as though their eyes were watching me. I hurried away. And as I hurried away, I felt as though I was being followed. Like there were a pair of eyes staring into the back of my head. I walked faster, not daring to look behind me. The sensation remained. I started running. Now I felt like I was being chased.

I ran and I ran, not coming to a stop until I reached the grounds of a nearby temple. There, right in front of me, was a huge paper statue of Da Shi Ye/大士爷, the King of Ghosts (he is the commanding officer of all the soldiers of Hell, a former demon king who was subdued by Guan Yin, and he keeps an eye on the wandering spirits during the Seventh Month, destroying any who try to escape or harm humans).

user posted image

The moment I came face to face with the statue, the sensation of being followed/chased stopped. Only then did I dare to look behind me (there was nothing there). I stayed near the statue for quite a while. I felt so safe, so calm, standing there in the shadow of the King of Ghosts. When I was satisfied that everything was okay, I went straight home.

Could I have been imagining things? Anything's possible, I guess. But I remain firmly convinced that Da Shi Ye saved my life that night. Those kids probably desired a playmate, and may have been willing to kill me to make me one of them.

Ever since then, I've been a believer, praying to Da Shi Ye out of gratitude for being saved. I did this in public to begin with, then pondered the idea of worshipping him at home. I did not know how to set up an altar for home worship at first, though.

So I asked around, and through a family friend, I got to know the man who became my spiritual teacher.

user posted image

He was a veteran medium, the real deal - very knowledgeable but nevertheless humble and always willing to help. Not only was he a good mentor in all matters concerning Chinese folk religion, he was practically like a dear uncle to me.

Through him, I consolidated my relationship with not only Da Shi Ye, but the other Hell beings, as well. I've seen all kinds of things go down at his temple, that have more than convinced me that there is more to this world than just the physical.

But those are other tales for other days.
arthur88
post Dec 30 2014, 07:55 PM

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then now u can see those spirits?
nachtsider
post Dec 30 2014, 08:00 PM

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QUOTE(arthur88 @ Dec 30 2014, 07:55 PM)
then now u can see those spirits?
I don't have the second sight, no.

They make their presence felt to me via mediums (such as my teacher), dreams, and certain other events/signs.
Seager
post Dec 31 2014, 09:42 AM

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QUOTE(nachtsider @ Dec 30 2014, 06:48 PM)
Hi Arthur/Tension, 'giving something for them to protect you' is behaviour usually associated with beings that are either neutral or evil in terms of alignment. The Hell deities are of a lawful good alignment, and will selflessly help the needy.
My story goes along these lines.
Ever since I was a small child, I was always interested in Chinese myths and folklore, especially classic Chinese ghost stories like those in the 聊斋志异. I would be very curious whenever I went to temples; I would often run off and explore on my own, plus try and find out whatever I could about the gods there. The interest was more academic than anything else, though. I didn't TRULY start believing until I was about eight years old.
It was the Seventh Month. Being my usual naughty self, I went out on a walk to a friend's place all by myself, at about eight-thirty p.m. or so. Didn't care about the old folks' warnings to stay in so the wandering spirits wouldn't get me; I was one of those kids who thought that bad things only happened to other people.
As I walked through the night-time neighbourhood, I passed by one of those candlelit roadside altars for the wandering spirits. It was specially dedicated to the spirits of dead children. There were two dolls on the altar, representing male children and female children, plus lots of sweets, milk bottles and other 'kiddy' offerings.
Something like this.
user posted image
The dolls creeped me out. In the candlelight, it almost looked as though their eyes were watching me. I hurried away. And as I hurried away, I felt as though I was being followed. Like there were a pair of eyes staring into the back of my head. I walked faster, not daring to look behind me. The sensation remained. I started running. Now I felt like I was being chased.
I ran and I ran, not coming to a stop until I reached the grounds of a nearby temple. There, right in front of me, was a huge paper statue of Da Shi Ye/大士爷, the King of Ghosts (he is the commanding officer of all the soldiers of Hell, a former demon king who was subdued by Guan Yin, and he keeps an eye on the wandering spirits during the Seventh Month, destroying any who try to escape or harm humans).
user posted image
The moment I came face to face with the statue, the sensation of being followed/chased stopped. Only then did I dare to look behind me (there was nothing there). I stayed near the statue for quite a while. I felt so safe, so calm, standing there in the shadow of the King of Ghosts. When I was satisfied that everything was okay, I went straight home.
Could I have been imagining things? Anything's possible, I guess. But I remain firmly convinced that Da Shi Ye saved my life that night. Those kids probably desired a playmate, and may have been willing to kill me to make me one of them.
Ever since then, I've been a believer, praying to Da Shi Ye out of gratitude for being saved. I did this in public to begin with, then pondered the idea of worshipping him at home. I did not know how to set up an altar for home worship at first, though.
So I asked around, and through a family friend, I got to know the man who became my spiritual teacher.
user posted image
He was a veteran medium, the real deal - very knowledgeable but nevertheless humble and always willing to help. Not only was he a good mentor in all matters concerning Chinese folk religion, he was practically like a dear uncle to me.
Through him, I consolidated my relationship with not only Da Shi Ye, but the other Hell beings, as well. I've seen all kinds of things go down at his temple, that have more than convinced me that there is more to this world than just the physical.
But those are other tales for other days.
*
Fascinating read indeed.
This may seem out of topic but there seems to be a couple of huge statues on top of the Guan Yin temple in Penang. Is this something that you're somewhat related to as well?
loud
post Dec 31 2014, 11:37 AM

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QUOTE(nachtsider @ Dec 30 2014, 06:48 PM)
...
The moment I came face to face with the statue, the sensation of being followed/chased stopped. Only then did I dare to look behind me (there was nothing there). I stayed near the statue for quite a while. I felt so safe, so calm, standing there in the shadow of the King of Ghosts. When I was satisfied that everything was okay, I went straight home.
Could I have been imagining things? Anything's possible, I guess. But I remain firmly convinced that Da Shi Ye saved my life that night. Those kids probably desired a playmate, and may have been willing to kill me to make me one of them.
Ever since then, I've been a believer, praying to Da Shi Ye out of gratitude for being saved. I did this in public to begin with, then pondered the idea of worshipping him at home. I did not know how to set up an altar for home worship at first, though.
So I asked around, and through a family friend, I got to know the man who became my spiritual teacher.
user posted image
He was a veteran medium, the real deal - very knowledgeable but nevertheless humble and always willing to help. Not only was he a good mentor in all matters concerning Chinese folk religion, he was practically like a dear uncle to me.
Through him, I consolidated my relationship with not only Da Shi Ye, but the other Hell beings, as well. I've seen all kinds of things go down at his temple, that have more than convinced me that there is more to this world than just the physical.
But those are other tales for other days.
*
What will be his advice for non-believers?
nachtsider
post Dec 31 2014, 12:01 PM

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QUOTE(loud @ Dec 31 2014, 11:37 AM)
What will be his advice for non-believers?
Be as virtuous as you can.

You don't necessarily have to be religious to be a good person.

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