This is my 1st sharing of a personal witness of Buddha’s efficaciousness in protection.
But before that, let’s take a look at some pictures.
If you travel to Taiwan, you may come across these 6 Chinese characters by the roadside, on banner, painted on walls, etc. They are not traffic signs but a religious chant that translate into Namo Amitabha Buddha.
These signs are usually placed for 2 purposes.
1. To counter negative energy at fatal traffic accident site.
2. To educate humans and spirits on the pure light of Amitabha Buddha.
Countering bad energy
When traffic accidents occur frequently at a particular spot, people believe that it is more than just coincidental. Suspecting negative energy at work, they place the holy name of Amitabha Buddha to counteract spiritual negativities.
Surprisingly, those signs may be placed by non Buddhist. Due to their efficaciousness, people simply use it like a talisman. According to supernaturalist, the holy name of Amitabha Buddha emits rays of positive energy.
Modern scholars opined that the presence of such symbol on the road, naturally warns the drivers of a fatal accident. Consequently, people will drive with more care and thus reduce the accident rate. This is a very valid reason and I subscribe to this logical deduction too.
Educating people and spirits
We believe that seeing Amitabha’s holy name is like inputting a sacred data into the mind of the perceiver. In Buddhist terminology, we call it planting a positive karmic seed.
Upon first perception, different people may have different reaction. To the non-believers, it might be glaringly irritating and troublesome. To a Buddhist scholar, it may be an embarrassment, pointing towards Buddhist superstition. To a Pureland practitioner, it may be a reminder to chant.
No matter what reaction, Buddhist believes that the shape and form of the holy name had entered one’s mind; Awaiting the right condition to blossom into enlightenment.
This benefit is not limited to human beings. It is believed that any beings (including spirits) will benefit similarly. Since this 6 sacred characters emit positive energy, it is believed that wayward spirits can be positively influenced too; Thus changing their evil nature for the better. That way, they will stop causing trouble. Such as traffic accidents.
I had mixed feelings when I first saw those signs littered along the road in Taiwan. I felt a bit embarrassed when my friends inquired about them. They looked a bit untidy to me, back then. (20 years ago) I found myself explaining along the line of the scholars. Worried that friends will label me as superstitious, if I talked about Buddha rays and spirits.
Then something happened during my military service period.
We stayed in a 6 storey building, 10 to 20 guys living in each bunk room. I was on the 4th floor.
It happened suddenly after section Alpha returned from their training. They occupied a bunk room opposite mine and we started to notice something unusual about them. Over the next couple of days, they appeared worried and tired. It seemed like, people living in that room did not sleep at all.
Initially, everyone in section Alpha was tight lipped, whispering amongst themselves. Perhaps fearing ridicule from others. However, news of haunting soon broke out. Everyone living in section Alpha was experiencing the same thing.
Mysterious thumping on the wall from outside the building, door opening by itself, door handle turning on its own. Sound of footsteps caused by invisible being. They were stressed by the unusual happenings and it wasn’t something that could be reported. People were losing sleep.
Then someone from section Alpha approached my buddy (Vege) for help. (Me, being the sceptical scholastic buddhist wasn’t of much help, trying to rationalize everything away with logic ……)
Vege was really into Buddhism and you would see him reading Buddhist text all the time. He was more forward in faith.
Vege wrote Namo Amitabha Buddha – 南无阿弥陀佛 on a piece of masking tape, with a marker pen and gave it to that guy. Miraculously, that piece of masking tape stopped the haunting (for him) and he could sleep peacefully.
Unfortunately, it seemed to work only for him. Soon, a few other guys also requested the holy masking tape from Vege. Perhaps it is a placebo effect. Those with the masking tape inscribed with Amitabha’s name were not haunted and could sleep well.
After that episode, I no longer doubt the power of sacred words. Until today, I am still amazed by the efficaciousness of Amitabha’s name. How could an unceremonious scribble of his name on a piece of masking tape have such positive effect? No ringing of bells, no chanting whatsoever!
Amazing isn’t it? May all be well and happy.