Walking towards the Main Queue
Blessing ceremony held for Anita Mui in Penang
BY SIOW YUEN CHING
PENANG: While fans of Anita Mui paid their last respects in Hong Kong, a group of her friends gathered at a simple blessing ceremony here for the late Canto-pop diva.
Among them was Mui’s close friend and fellow artiste Eric Tsang.
With hands clasped and head bowed, Tsang joined about 15 others in the Vajrayana prayers led by His Eminence Lho Bongtul Rinpoche of the Lho Long Kar Monastery in Qinghai Province, China, and four other monks.
Mui, who died on Dec 30 after a battle with cervical cancer, was a Buddhist devotee of the Vajrayana tradition.
Following the prayers, Rinpoche presented a packet of blessed sand called Sand Mandala to Tsang to apply on the top of Mui’s head before her funeral in Hong Kong today.
The Sand Mandala, which means circle in Sanskrit, represents the pure land palace of the Buddha and symbolises his wisdom and strength.
Tsang and Rinpoche were here for Journey of MANI 8 – The Grand Medicine Buddha Lamp Lighting and Blessing Ceremony of the Year of the Monkey 2004 held at the Penang International Sports Arena (Pisa).
Apart from Mui, the blessing ceremony was also performed for Taiwanese actor-singer-stuntman Ko Shou-liang, nicknamed Xiao Hei, who died on Dec 9.
After a 25-minute chanting, the group observed a few minutes of silence, with Tsang standing by a table and looking solemnly at photographs of Mui and Ko placed behind three rows of oil lamps.
Reverend Ti Zheng, the abbot of Tai Zhong Dong Fang Jing Wan in Taiwan, and another monk subsequently performed a blessing ceremony in the Mahayana tradition.
Tsang, who was also one of the speakers at a dharma forum at Pisa, flew back to Hong Kong after the blessing ceremony.
In his speech, Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon said the event provided an opportunity for devotees in Penang and other northern states to learn about the Tibetan healing sciences.