Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Bull Head and Horse Face

As mentioned in the previous post, the Angel of Death comes in many forms according to the different beliefs and religions; and as believed by the religious folks themselves.
The Chinese version of the Angel of Death is the more popularly known Bull Head and Horse Face; the two soldiers of these appearances who appear with a trident in their hands and probably some heavy metal chains when they perform their duties to collect a dying person at their deathbeds.
The Chinese called them 'Ngau Tau Ma Min' (cantonese), 'Gu Tau Beh Bin' (Hokkien), 'Niu Tou Ma Mian' (Mandarin)

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They were believed to be the messengers from the King of Hell (Yan Luo Wang); and follow the orders from his majesty himself who guards the book of life and death and gives instructions to his soldiers or messengers to perform their duties when the inscribed person's name appears when their time is due.
(This is from what I have heard from my grandmother and some elderly folks)

After the messengers have collected the dying person back to Hell, they will await their judgement by the King before deciding their next location or their reward/punishment. There are 10 judges who are also known as the Kings of Yama where the sinful person will need to go through if they are found guilty, etc.

I have shared on the stages of hell earlier in this blog; which was based on my visit to the famous Haw Par Villa in Singapore.

Now, how true is this about the two messengers? Let's see in the following story I am about to share...

This story came from a close colleague of mine; who told me about her close friend's story which fascinated me.

Her friend was a Christian as was her sick mother who was lying in the hospital at her deathbed.
Her mother was gravely ill and she was really worried and anxious about her mother's condition.

Deep down inside, she had that same fear that her mother is probably not doing so well already as mentioned by the doctor.

Late one night, as she was sleeping by her mother's bed during her night watch and accompanying her sick mother, she awoke to some sounds of bells and metal chains clanking.

When she opened her eyes, she saw two tall figures; bearing the head of an ox/bull and with the face of a horse standing at the end of her mother's bead.
They were ringing the bells and suddenly, she saw her mother waking up from her bed and followed them.
She could not believe her eyes, as she saw with her very own eyes how her mother followed the two figures and slowly disappeared from sight.

She turned back and saw her mother still lying down next to her; and instinctively, she touched her mother's hand which was right beside her.

To her shock, it was icy cold and when she held her finger nervously to her mother's nose, she realized that her mother had stopped breathing.

She called for the doctors and nurses; and her mother was confirmed dead a few minutes ago which coincidentally was the time she saw the two figures.

She could not believe this till this very day; especially when she is a staunch Christian as is the case with her whole family.
She has heard of this story of the Ox Head and Horse Face from her Buddhist and Taoist friends and she never did take much notice of it as she was skeptical of their beliefs, but now when it happened to her personally, she could not understand it anymore.

In Christianity, we believe that when we die, our souls go to Heaven and reunited with God.
It is natural that we would have imagined an angel or God who came to bring us along on our way (if we are dying).

This is a strong contrast to both beliefs and religions; perhaps we have been wrong in what we believed or assumed we believed?

My friend suggested that probably the messengers are the same in collecting the dying person to their judgement and they are brought to a place (probably Purgatory or limbo) while they are sorted out by their religion, before they are sent to their respective judgement places by their God?

But there is only ONE GOD; as all religions perhaps, there is a truth to this after all?
Anyone who has any further explanation?


Anonymous said...

I think ur friend has very strong chinese culture embedded in her even though she might be a christian. Come to think of it, how come there were never any accounts like this from the western world?

alejandro barahona said...

i thin k that this could imply that our belief could be errated