When it comes to Taoism funeral, many people might have heard of the ritual called “Breaking the Hell Gate,” but what is it about, and do you need to do this all the time? Does it have to be done “that” way with all the flames and such? We will explain it in this post so that you can understand it better and see what Saam Law Taoists do for this ritual.
What is the Hell Gates?
Hell-gate is a metaphor. Its deeper meaning is the blockages or obstructions of the person. Not only do ghosts have hell gates, but even human beings alive also have their hell gates. When our souls are not settled, it moves around and shifts from left to right, forward to backward, as if we cannot settle down with a decision.
The human beings alive also have their hell-gates from time to time when we have mental blockages or obstructions. When we face problems and hardships, our hell gates will make us unable to move on to the next phase; we cannot make decisions, we feel stuck, and our time froze. Imagine what happens if you are dead now, as a ghost; how do you feel if you are stuck in your hell gates?
Why Break the Hell Gates?
When a ghost is not settled, because of fear, panic, frustration, regrets or even sorrow and all sorts of emotions, the ghost cannot move on to their next phase and cannot be to travel to another place they should go. The hell gates are the obstructive forces that prevent them from moving on to their new destination, and therefore, they must be broken for their heart to settle and their soul to be released. Once their souls are relieved, they can move on to the next phase and their new destination.
As Taoists, we have the power to find the dead person in the spiritual realm and give them help to free them from this hurdle. By “breaking” their hell gates, it allows us to set them to a new destination, which is what the whole ceremony is for – moving onto a new life in a new world.
The New World
Every religion has a destination for its believers or followers to go to as the ultimate goal. Be it called heaven or a paradise or whatever you want to name it. However, every religion doesn’t go to the same place; it is a place that is unique and exclusive to that religion or even sect of its own. To help a dead person, we as Taoists can offer them a chance to choose again, and if they want to go our way, we can open the pathway for them and give them a chance. After breaking their hell gates, the soul is settled and calm down; they can finally feel themselves again and make decisions. By then, we show them our way and have the gods go to them and lay out the options for them to choose. If they choose a YES, then they will be led to go our way and move on to the destination of our path, which is Daai Law Tin.
To understand more about the phases that the dead one must go through to get to the destination, you can read our book on the lineage’s structure; it does have a very detailed section talking about it there.
Ordain today to learn more!