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Discussion about Star Offering Relieving Ones’ Run of Bad Luck

Update: 09/03/2015
On some days of the beginning of Lunar New Year, many people come to pagodas or horoscopes to find out which “stars” would “shine” them in the year. The folklore sayings Rahu star for male, Ketu star for female-”, “White-Venus- running out all assets” etc. Make these people worry and nervous when they have badly “stars” shining for this year. Understanding the credulous people’s feeling, fortune-tellers, soul-catchers have the opportunities to guess their “future” that makes them fear; as a result, they are willing to spend their money to find the “solutions” so that they can overcome bad circumstances happening in the future. Sometimes, the fortune telling causes many people to have the terrible situations with “losing money, having physical disability”. Since they have the nervous mood, their daily and working schedules have been affected fatally; having some disadvantages in their lives increases their beliefs about what fortune tellers said. Therefore, on first days of Lunar New Year, we need a clear understanding about the customs “offering stars, finding solutions”.
 

Discussion about Star Offering Relieving Ones’ Run of Bad Luck

 

Stars are the celestial spheres which are self-luminous like\r\nthe sun. It is formed through the condensation of the gravity of cosmic dust\r\nand gas. The distance of the nearest star and the Earth is 4.2 light years; the\r\nspeed of light is 300,000 kilometers per second. If we use a spaceship\r\nwhich its speed is the same with the speed of light to fly from the Earth to\r\nthe nearest star, we have to spend 4.2 years. With the naked eyes, looking up\r\nat the night sky, we can observe 5,000 stars. If using the large telescopes, we\r\ncan see billions of stars in the universe. However, Chinese astrologers have\r\nbeen chosen 9 stars to put in the horoscope books including Venus, Moon,\r\nAditya-Sun, Rahu,  Ketu, Mercury, Saturn, Jupiter and Mar. The\r\nastrologers thought that depending on the age, each person had the\r\nstar shining respectively which brings advantages or disadvantages to people.\r\nAmong 9 stars, there are some stars bringing people good luck, opportunities in\r\ntheir business, prosperous life and happiness while some stars will make people\r\nsick, have accidents, lose all their assets or even their lives (bad stars). As\r\na result, we wonder why the Chinese astrologers selected 9 kinds of stars; and\r\nhow are about other stars.

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Scientists have confirmed that those stars are the\r\ninanimate objects, so why people offer stars for worship. It is supposed that\r\nthere is a deity. If we offer and pray him/her with our pious\r\nbehavior, he will bless us. If someone does not worship the\r\nspirit, they will be hated and punished. (According to the\r\nBuddhism’s view, there is no god who can bless or punishes people.)\r\nAlso, we should understand clearly that stars are objects, not a spirit; so how\r\nobjects can “shine” to people and bring the good or bad things to people.\r\nHowever, sometimes, we have blinded belief without understanding the root of\r\nthe matter. Believing something without understanding is called superstition.

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  Science proved that the distance from the Earth\r\nto the nearest star is 4.2 years of light. Therefore, when we pray to the star\r\nin the sky, how long our sayings come to the star. Our prayers need 4.2 years\r\nto come to the spirit if its speed is as same as speed of light,\r\n300,000 kilometers per second. If that star would like to bless us, we\r\nwill receive that blessedness after 4.2 year; perhaps we will pass away at that\r\ntime.

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 As a result, stars are objects that we cannot pray to\r\nget something from them. For examples, the oil floats on the water. Can we pray\r\nfor the oil to sink to the bottom of water? Certainly we cannot do it. Can we\r\ngo and pray for the rock floating if there is a big rock falling to the river\r\nand sinking to the bottom of river? Also, we cannot do it. Because\r\na rock is an inanimate object, it cannot feel what we pray and wish. Only\r\nthe divine being can feel and hear what we say; however, actually,\r\nthose stars are not the supreme being. In fact, the divinity cannot\r\nbless or punish anyone; stars are not celestial beings so stars cannot\r\nreceive our prayer as well as not bless or punish us.

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 We should deeply believe in cause and\r\neffect, try to perform good deeds, be away bad things, and cultivate to receive\r\ngood consequences; we should not believe any star shining that makes us lucky\r\nor fortunate. “Offering stars, finding fortune” is only the product of\r\nChinese astrologers. Buddhists should not believe in it and\r\nfeel nervous. We only waste money and do not receive any\r\nbenefit from this. If we want to believe something, we should find out\r\nclearly; as a result, we are not tricked by others. Buddhism does\r\nnot spread this superstition. Therefore, we are not worry about “good star\r\nor bad star” and we are not afraid of any star shining us in this year.

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(Extract from the Chapter Forte of Monk/Nun of Senior\r\nVenerable Thich Chan Tinh)

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Translated into English by Ms. Huynh Thi Khanh Phung.

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