To: Pure Life Society
From: T.A Chew on behalf of I Kuan Tao or Tao of Heaven.
Date: 17/7/04
 
TOPIC – Prayer and its purpose
 
 
                                                                             The sign of the end of the
                                                                             world?
                                                                             Can we escape the final
                                                                             catastrophe?
Bomb.jpg (15173 bytes)                                                                             Is this the beginning of
                                                                             the great flood (tsunami),
                                                                             fire from the sky and the
                                                                             killer wind "Gang Feng?"                                                                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                  
  Nuclear Bomb Killing Earth
 
With the grace of God, I would like to thank Heaven, the Chief Reverend of Malaysia and the Vihara, Pure Life Society, brothers and sisters, a very good afternoon.
 
My name is T.A Chew, an accountant by profession, my house is an I Kuan Tao temple and I have been a vegetarian for 9 years. As a temple keeper, I have to pray every morning before 7.00am and evening before 7.00pm according to the rites and rituals of I Kuan Tao following the rites and rituals of the Chou Dynasty, which was about 3,300 years ago. Confucius lived during that period and he greatly praised the rites and rituals and the spiritual ceremony of the Chou Dynasty.
 
‘Prayer and its purpose’ have different meaning to different people at different time and occasion.
 
I would like to relate an incident 22 years ago when I took my first flight to Tawau, Sabah with a business partner of mine to set up a branch office. From Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu, it was a wonderful flight where I could see the blue skies, white clouds and the earth below. After touching down at Kota Kinabalu, we had to transit to a much smaller plane and after 10 minutes into the air, the captain announced to fasten our seat belts because we would be encountering an air turbulent.
 
Seconds after that and as I was seated beside the window I could see the heavy downpour splashing against the windows and the roar of thunders and flashes of lightning every few seconds. It was like riding in a bus going through a very bumpy road. I took a glance at my business partner who was seated beside me and I could see the fear in his face. I was quiet, he was quiet and the whole plane was quiet. As a Christian at that time I prayed to God for our safety. I believed every one of us prayed for the same purpose, our safety.
 
There were about fifty of us in the plane and regardless of race and religion I believed all of us prayed to God by whatever names.
 
In another incident in the temple of I Kuan Tao, when the Goddess of Mercy descended from Heaven to teach us about Tao, someone prayed to her for mercy and her answer was, ‘Show mercy, in return you shall receive mercy’     
 
I Kuan Tao is also known as Tao Of Heaven or ‘Tien Tao’ in Chinese.
 
In our prayer, let me explain who we pray to and the purpose of our prayer. First we have to understand what is Tao and who is God.
 
This is the meaning of TAO and GOD according to I Kuan Tao.
 
In the beginning, the cosmos was a void without form or substance. However in this state, there existed an indescribable energy beyond the comprehension of man. Without beginning or end, it is ever changing and continuously self-rejuvenating. This energy created billions of galaxies, stars and solar systems. It also created billions of life forms on Earth, including humans, animals and plants. Observable forms and substances make up the material world: others that cannot be observed make up the spiritual world. This mystical energy that exists in all shapes and forms fill the universe with vibrant vitality. Hence it is the origin of all lives and the Lord of all beings. We called this energy TAO.
 
How do we describe God?
 
When a man dies, we say he becomes a spirit. The spiritual energy of TAO, we called GOD and we addressed GOD as ‘Lao Mu’ or ‘Ming Ming Sun Ti’ in Chinese.
 
The full title of Lao Mu is: ‘ The infinite Bright God, who is absolutely pure, is the utmost supreme and divine, reigns the three domains and ten directions, and is the Lord of all souls’.
 
‘Mu’ in Chinese means Mother. Lao Mu in short means the Mother of all Souls.
 
The three domains are the domain of desires, domain of images and domain of non-images. The ten directions are all the directions that fully surround us.
 
We pray to Lao Mu.
 
Our prayer has two main purposes, one is internal and the other external.
 
Internal
 
For internal prayer, Lao Mu said that she had ordained Maitreya Buddha with the Holy Mission to rescue the good people on earth and JiGong, a Heavenly being as our Heavenly Teacher to show us the spiritual path and how to cultivate and purify our lives according to Tao. Lao Mu said that she had bestowed JiGong with the Heavenly Decree to initiate human with Tao. By the initiation of Tao, that person is classified as a family member of Maitreya Buddha and a disciple of JiGong.
 
Initiation means to wake up our inner divine nature, to realize our true nature or self and GOD. We will know how to restore our true self that has been lost. The true self cannot be destructed. The indestructibility of this divine true self will emerge when we are initiated with Tao. We shall find it easier to overcome emotions and desires that have covered our true self and we shall know how to pray to get rid of the human and animal nature in us and restore the true self. As we pray the divine wisdom shall slowly come into us and wisdom is bestow by Heaven. Wisdom is like a chest of treasure. Once we open it, there are many precious and invaluable gems that we can gain. Within it, gives the answers to the many mysteries in life and the universe. With it the Saints and Sages were awakened and enlightened to the understanding of the truth.
 
Lao Mu said that there are three natures in every one of us; the divine nature which is always good, the human nature which is sometimes good and sometimes bad, and the animal nature which is bad most of the time. A real example that I would like to relate to you about is a fat chicken.
 
A man was driving to a market place and along the way a chicken suddenly ran out to the road and immediately his reflect action made him slammed on the brake and he did not kill the chicken. He was much relieved that he did not kill the chicken. Upon reaching the market place few minutes later, immediately he went to a chicken stall and asked the chicken seller to choose a fat chicken because his wife asked him to buy a fat chicken. He pointed his finger towards the chickens that were caged and immediately all the chickens started to jump with fear and made all the noises. A fat chicken was caught, slit at its throat and dumped into a machine and within a minute it was well done without any feathers.
 
His conscience which was the manifestation of the true self was not to kill the poor chicken but just minutes later he had forgotten and wanted the chicken killed for food. The instinct of not to kill is our divine self but when the human nature takes over, he requires food that needs killing. The instinct is pure but unfortunately it is so short. Lao Mu told us to unite the true self and life into one and we shall realize the mystical nature of our true self.
 
Another example is when a child suddenly fell into a river, whether the man who saw it was good, bad or a criminal, his instinct was to jump into the river to save the child. On second thought which was the human thought, he might not jump into the river due to reasons like I can not swim or I may get myself drown because the current is too strong.
 
Mencius said that a superior man, when he sees a living being he cannot bear to see it died, when he hears its crying voice, he cannot bear to eat its flesh.
 
To get rid of the human nature is very important to us. This nature, which is sometimes bad will get us into a lot of troubles. By prayer it helps us to gain divine wisdom and get rid of the human nature which is always full of desires.
 
A Saint is without desire
A sage is with little desire
An ordinary person is full of desires
An ignorant person is always overwhelm with desires
 
Our prayer will lead us to realize the divinity of our true nature and have God realization and consciousness in our life. We can unite our true nature and life into one and bring out the divine wisdom in our daily lives and see through life more peacefully. Our hearts will become nearer and nearer to God and we will become kind and compassionate people with inner holiness and outer kindness.
 
With all the tragic deaths of so many unfortunate people almost daily reported in the paper, our hearts feel their pains before they die. It can be someone burnt to death, raped and murdered, execution of the innocence etc. We learn to accept and live with the sufferings of ourselves as well as others.
 
As Confucius said, ‘Do not do unto others, what you do not want others to do unto you’ we also realize that others also extend to animals and other sentient beings seen and unseen. We have to show mercy, in return we shall receive mercy. If we spare someone the fear and pain, maybe one day in one form or another, someone will also spare us the same fear and pain in return.
 
External
 
1] Cultivating in short means to purify our body, mind and the soul.
For the body – Speak wholesome words and take food that do not required any form of  
                        killing.
For the mind – Suppress and overcome all wrongful desires
For the soul – No sin
 
The first step towards Buddhahood is to take only vegetarian foods. Knowing the importance of this cultivation, devotees of I Kuan Tao set up vegetarian shops and stalls all over the country to give convenience to cultivators and to promote the non killing of animals for foods.
 
2] The way we hold our hands during prayer symbolizes the Chinese word ‘child’ and indicates that presently there are 81 calamities and the coming of the last catastrophe. The word child tells us the innocent child longing to go back home to Heaven. The last catastrophe will cleanse the entire earth with the fire from the sky, the water from the sea and ocean and the wind called ‘ Gang Feng’ which is worse than the hurricane, tornadoes and the nuclear bomb. The face of the earth will be changed and rivers and mountains will be reshaped.
 
Lao Mu said that 5,000 years ago, a Buddha by the name of Dipankara Buddha or ‘Lan Thean Fo’ was in charge of the Heavenly court for 1886 years; during this time there were only 9 calamities. After this Guatama Buddha or Sakyamuni Buddha was in charge of the Heavenly court for 3114 years; during this time there were 18 calamities. Now is the time of Maitreya Buddha or ‘Mi Le Fo’ in Chinese with 81 calamities and he will be in charge of the Heavenly court for 10,800 years.
 
All these are indicated by our two hands with ten fingers which also symbolize one cycle of Heaven and earth of 129,600 years per cycle. Now we are at the peak of human civilization with great sins committed by man and the Heavenly Tao or I Kuan Tao at the same time also descend from Heaven to save the good people through Maitreya Buddha.
 
Maitreya Buddha wrote a Sutra called ‘The True Sutra of Maitreya Buddha on Rescue of Suffering’. This sutra told us how Lao Mu ordained Maitreya Buddha with the Holy Mission. As devotees of I Kuan Tao acting on behalf of Maitreya Buddha in the thousands and millions, we pray everyday to plead to God to delay the final catastrophe so that we have more time to search for our brothers and sisters who have the affinity with Tao and to practice Tao.
 
3] Tao of Heaven is not a religion and it is different from Taoism. The final goal is to unify all religions and faith so that the world can have peace through non-killing and cultivation of the restoration of the true self.
 
Conclusion
 
Lao Mu said, if we can overcome emotions and desires and restore our true self, we will be able to return home. We pray to defer the last catastrophe and the unification of all religions and faith.
 
Life is to seek a permanent home to go to. Prayer is to let us walk this path of Tao through our daily reflection of our words and deeds, to repent and plead to God for forgiveness and to nourish our souls with wisdom with the aim of attainment of Tao meaning to go home to the land of bliss.
 
Flower that falls cannot return atop the tree
Likewise the spring water that streams by cannot return to its source.
The beautiful scene of sunset will disappear upon the advent of the night
Time waits for no one.
Time will definitely makes us old men and women.
 
Thank you and may God bless you with deep wisdom and good health.
 
   
T.A Chew
Email: chewtao@yahoo.com