How is Tien-Tao transmitted to souls of the deceased ancestors?

 

In ancient times, the rule set by God is if one child attains Tao, nine generations

of ancestors can transcend from the underworld and the cycle of birth and death. 

Initially, when Tien-Tao was made available to everyone, God would only permit

Tien-Tao be transmitted to the living, not the deceased.  Subsequently, San-guan

Da-di (Deity Emperor of Heaven, Deity Emperor of Earth, and Deity Emperor

of Water) and Di-zang Buddha (Ksitigarbha Buddha) begged for mercy, and

God granted their request.  After then both the living and the deceased can

receive Tien-Tao.  From then on, the Lecture Hall of the Underworld was

established for the souls of the deceased to listen to the lectures of Buddhas

and to wait for the livings to bring Tien-Tao to them.  Once the descendants

of the deceased bring Tien-Tao to the deceased, the souls can ascend to the

Monastery of Heaven and wait for a position.  If the descendants accumulate

enough merits and achieve good virtues, the souls of the deceased are ranked

in the upper echelon.  If the descendants do not accumulate enough merits or

do not have good virtues, the souls will be sent back to the mortal world and

either be born again so they get a new chance to practice Tao or be born

again to enjoy a good life.

 

Filial devotion can be divided into two categories.  The first one is the filial

devotion of the ordinary, and the second is the filial devotion of the Saint. 

To serve one’s parents with propriety for as long as they live, to bury one’s

parents with propriety upon their death, and to pay respects with propriety

in remembrance ceremonies fulfills the filial responsibility of a descendant. 

However, this type of filial devotion cannot redeem the sins committed by

the parents and relieve them from the cycle of birth and death, so the parents

will still be born again.  Thus, this kind of filial devotion is minor.  For those

who are sincere about filial devotion, who would like to repay the parents for

their loves and nurtures, and who would like to redeem their parents from the

ycle of birth, death, and rebirth, they must practice Tao.  It is also possible to

bring peerage to ancestors.  For every sixty-four persons one initiates to receive

Tien-Tao, one rank is added to ancestors and one generation of ancestors can

be redeemed, starting from one’s deceased parents.  A total of nine generations

of ancestors can be redeemed.  If one wants to bring blessing to descendants, it

is considered as a special grace, and one must have accumulated a lot of merits

and must have achieved very good virtues.  In the year of Ja-Zi (1924), the rule

was changed to a more lenient one.  Whenever an entire family has received

Tien-Tao and practices Tao, the deceased parents can be redeemed.  If one

wants to bring Tien-Tao to the grandparents, the original rule still apply and

one must have initiated one hundred and twenty-eight persons to receive Tao

In general, redeeming every generation of ancestor would take another

sixty-four merits.