Traditionally, Chinese people revere filial piety. Whenever one of their elderly relatives passed away, they would place a wooden tablet in the house and pay their respects as if he or she were still alive. They would offer incense in the morning and evening, just like making morning and evening calls. At festival time, they would offer fruits, food and drinks, at the tablet to show that he or she is still remembered and held in loving memory.
To place a tablet in an ancestral hall in a Buddhist temple is more meaningful than having the tablet in one's house-hold. The ancestral hall in Tung Lin Kok Yuen is housed in a separate dedicated building, which is elegantly designed and with exquisitely sculpted repositories for tablets.
The sounds of chanting and liturgy in the Main Buddha Hall are transmitted directly to the ancestral hall. The transcendent virtues of the Dharma Masters and the pious devotion of the worshippers will convey the true meaning of the Buddhist Sutras to the hearts of the deceased ancestors named on the tablets. No matter what state of existence they are in, their spirit will receive the purifying influence of the prayers, resulting in the growth of their virtuous roots and wiping our all evil thoughts, thereby receiving blessings and averting calamities.
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