Monday, December 5, 2011

Hock Soon Temple (福顺宫) Part 3 - Of Gods and Ancestors

Location: Teluk Intan, Perak, Malaysia

Truth is, these items drawn my attention the most when I saw them in Hock Soon Temple: a few props more suited to Chinese medieval courts than a temple. Still, it was quite a memorable sight to see a few stylized weapons standing along with some announcement boards which were employed in those courts to warn the crowd that court is in order.

Does these not remind you of all those Chinese or Hong Kong movies featuring medieval courts?

I guessed that these were the weapons used by court marshals of medieval Chinese courts; these signboards were announcement boards warning the crowd that court is in order.

Quite a sight looking at this array of weapons. The dragon head was the most stylish, although it seemed the most useless weapon of all four...

Not sure when these signboards will play their role, but they definitely made a nice photo shoot for my camera.

As with most Chinese temples in the South-East Asian countries, Buddhism and Taoism are mingled with each other. Most people rarely differentiate between both, and will pray to whichever higher entity he believes in, maybe even to multiple deities. 

I am no expert when it comes to Chinese deities, and I admit that I have no idea to whom is this space dedicated to, but that does not diminish the sense of simple grandeur imparted by this image.

Although 斗母宫 is dedicated to Taoism, it is quite common for both religions to be mingled within the same temple, coveting worshipers for their blessings. Notice the 八卦 plaque seated on the golden throne, emphasizing its harmony as promoted by Taoism.

The seat of the Jade Emperor (玉皇大帝) stands majestically before the devoted lot.

More often than not, ancestors and the deceased beloved are invoked in prayers, with the devoted seeking blessings both for and from the departed. To the Chinese, the deceased require guidance in their way to afterlife, hence the blessings for them, and the deceased in return will confer blessings of their own over the living who were once family and beloved.

Tired citizens in their Golden years nodding off to slumber under a hot afternoon sun. This hall may be the place where the selected Hokkien elders made their decisions and pass judgments when the temple was young.

The fading plaque for 广泽尊王 opened my ignorant eyes to the deity before me. I am not very sure of this deity's blessings, but it seemed that He is revered throughout most Chinese inhabited areas beyond China.

For readers who had their interests in Buddhism and Taoism piqued after visiting my article or the temple proper, here are some links for more information, which unfortunately are in Mandarin.

斗母宫: 百度百科

Environment:         Riverside; colonial era Buddhist architecture
Suitable for:            A walk down memory lane, and for prayers and blessings.

View Teluk Intan in a larger map

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