December 19, 2012


(Many may not like what is written in this article especially those whose faith and belief encourages praying … so, please read at your own discretion and approach with an open mind)

While talking to a family friend, she asked me did I go pray to my late father (at the temple where his ashes are kept) on the recent anniversary of his passing … my father passed away 4 years ago last month.  I said … “No, I did not”. She was surprised by my reply and she then asked … “Do you remember the date he passed away?” I said … “YES, of course”.

“Then why you didn’t go pray to your father?” … she asked again. And before I could reply, she teasingly said to me in Cantonese … “Lei tou ng how soon yau ng chuin chung lei low tou” … loosely translated, it means that I don’t have a sense of filial piety and respect for my father. Then she went on to say I should have at least go pray to my father on the anniversary of his passing.

I did not say anything then but let me say this now … I DISAGREE.

I totally disagree with the opinion that to show I am a good filial son and to show respect to my father, I will have to go pray to him on the anniversary of his passing … as well as on other traditionally observed days and events too.

I don’t believe that praying to my father will show anything … he is dead. What can I show him? What can I tell him? Maybe you will say I have no respect for him … oh no, I respect my dad, I just don’t think that respect is to be shown by praying in front of his ashes at a temple.

If it was solely my decision, I would have had my father’s ashes washed away by the waves of the ocean. … I don’t need any ashes to remember or respect anyone. OK, I did not go pray to my father … so, I am a bad unfilial son? So be it … my father is not here anymore … do you think it makes any difference?

Hey, you want to show you are a filial son? Show it when your old folks are alive. You want to show that you respect them when they are gone? You do whatever they taught you and you do it well … that is the greatest respect you can show.

I have done whatever I need to do for my father … maybe not a lot but I have done whatever that is in my capacity as a son for his father. I have done it for him when he was alive. Now that he is no longer with us … I don’t think whatever I do now can show anything good for him … least of all, pray.

I DON’T PRAY … I don't believe in praying. To me, praying is just a way of doing absolutely NOTHING but still think you have helped.


Ramachandram said...

This is the best message I read in the New Year. Completely in line with what I believe. Thank You!