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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Finding Peace with Tradition: Nirvana Memorial Garden’s Taoist Funeral Packages

Each unique culture has a very special traditional funeral means of marking the Moveable or Fixed events, yet each person throughout all strolls of life wishes for their loved ones to remember them in a meaningful and beautiful way. To respect tradition as well as to ease the pain of the living, Taoist Funerals are events that greatly stress traditional elements. Rites are not only beneficial to the dead but also meaningful to the mourners’ state of well-being. What is more, they are commonly observed as a dignifying practice that is to be upheld. The process of a Taoist prayer ritual includes an hour or more of chanting at the screen where the portrait of the deceased is placed. The priests also perform more formal rites during a taoist funeral package. However, by staying true to tradition, these can often be elaborate ceremonies where families are exhausted by the end of the session.

In this modern age, there are people who yearn to simplify their lives, minimize the distractions of the world and find a haven of peace, who in abiding by the aesthetic of anti-materialism, seek a quiet corner to escape the hustle and bustle of it all. Situated in Semenyih, Nirvana Memorial Park unveils a visual canvas that is as tranquil and stunning as when it was first created, as we strive to become the greenest deathcare operator with 50% of the area designated as green landscaping. Despite these efforts to maintain the above through a commitment to the utmost standards, friendly service and one-stop facilities with environmental preservation, still there are presuppositions that we don’t care and respect Chinese calls for sympathetic fireworks traditions. Here at Nirvana we try our hardest to merge the beauty of tradition with the tranquility of our esteemed grounds by offering a sophisticated alternative.

Overview of Taoist Funeral Packages

These packages include everything needed for a person’s last journey: Last Prayer Service and Tio Sio prayer. Even during the lifetime of the insured, the family can come to pray at any time for their other ancestors as long as they inform Nirvana a day before. They also provide a 3-day, 2-night personal retreat tour, including sightseeing around Nirvana (not including flight tickets and other personal travel expenses). With the accommodations and plans designed for the deceased, the mourners will not have to plan all the details of the funeral. Therefore, if you have a young family member who is already far from you and you wish to have a complete and sincere glory ceremonial prayer after someone has passed away, coffin burial, or cremation, you should consider this package because it is worth it. For children, pre-planning their funerals is a way to protect them. It is a form of love as they will feel the love of the parents.

In Taoism, people believe that life and death should be considered together. They believe that life is just one segment of a person’s life. After life, there is another realm that the dead go to. This belief encourages Taoists to prepare their funerals while they are still alive. Therefore, many Taoists approach Nirvana with their living parents to apply for the lifetime Tio Sio Pray Plan. Then the parents will additionally apply for the Tio Sio Diamond Package for the children. After signing on these packages, they enjoy the peace of mind. They promise to have a superior, serene, and tranquil last journey due to Nirvana Memorial Park.

Importance of Traditional Taoist Funeral Rites

As an important supporting part of Chinese traditional culture, traditional Taoism not only satisfies people’s needs from individual desires to family needs and gives the deceased a chance to understand Chinese traditional culture, but also has a profound impact on the descendants and relatives to enhance the unity of the family and the test-rational gravity of the government and the elderly. Even the broader society plays an important supporting role in the communication and reassurance of the public with the afterlife. More and more scholars believe that the development of traditional mortuary culture is not only a macrophenomenon of the continuous improvement of the national cultural level and ability, but also the overall performance of the coordinated development of economy, society, culture, and even the subtle psychological influence. Therefore, we have been deeply aware of the practical value of the traditional mortuary system in nourishing modern people’s lifestyle, individual values, and moral feelings, and in significantly promoting the construction of a harmony-building society, especially in the context of contemporary people being overwhelmed by the material development and the atmosphere of homogeneity of mainstream values, showing a connotation of “vitality in a hurry”.

Since ancient times, the concept of birth, aging, sickness, and death has been an eternal topic for mankind. In the current era, the general public’s understanding of the issue of death is that everyone will die one day and will have to face the afterlife. However, since no one knows what happens after death, service staff has gotten into people’s hearts with superstitions that the ancient sages set up a fairytale-like heaven. Such customs of seeking good luck and avoiding evil spirits, no one can escape death. It can be said to be an empirical necessity, and it is the most direct response of the public to death. Therefore, in the process of self-evolution and self-improvement, mortuary culture can develop more diversified and pluralistic funeral rites, so that the common experience of modern mortuary services can play a double-edged role and promote the further development of contemporary mortuary culture. Our life, including the process of coping with death, is full of vitality and increasing the fun of participation in rituals. The glamour of rituals is mostly shown in traditional culture and religious ceremonies. This way of coping with death allows us to rediscover the value of life and break the inherent communication dilemma in the world through a forbidden touch between the human world and the afterlife.

Fu Gui Shan Zhuang: A Tranquil Setting for Taoist Funerals

The location serves as a fitting place for the final resting of loved ones. It is also an all-encompassing end-of-life hub for senior citizens, retirees, and aged persons who desire to be closer to nature. The park was constructed and designed closely following the Taoist principles, offering memorial service preplanning, ancient architectural traditions, Taoist final commemoration rituals for loved ones, digitally scenic accommodations, a “Tao Family Theme Hall” for the Taoist community, a dedicated Taoist ritual complex, and a Crypt Hall, in addition to thriving green surroundings. With a commitment of 100% of the land dedicated to complexes, sanctuaries, and greenery, Fu Gui Shan Zhuang is truly unique.

Ideally located in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, situated at the edge of the city, Nirvana Memorial Garden’s Fu Gui Shan Zhuang Taoist Memorial Park is a tranquil and serene place ideal for end-of-life needs. With its unique positioning, atop a picturesque hilltop surrounded by lush tropical greenery, the park embodies Mother Nature at its finest. By standing on one of its grand terraces, one is able to witness and marvel at the majesty of the city skyline from afar, forgetting about the hustle and bustle of daily activities. A place that allows you to dissolve into the serenity of nature and continue every personal thought without any distraction.

Features of Fu Gui Shan Zhuang

A sophisticated Taoist funeral service can be conducted by renting a “Fu Fei Shan Zhuang” suite, complete with a separate cargo bay, outdoor altar, and dining area. The spacious design of the Fu Fei Shan Zhuang suite fee area provides for all Buddhist traditions. It is an integrated hall with a kitchen, living room, family room, with an annexed cargo bay and outdoor dining area for the convenience of all guests. Transparent glass panels lead to a panoramic view of the garden overlooking serene lily ponds surrounding the Fu Fei Shan Zhuang suite. If purchased, the entire set of 5 to 7 days ancestral rites package, Nirvana Columbarium will be complementary for 1 year.

2.1. Features of Fu Gui Shan Zhuang. Fu Gui Shan Zhuang is an elegant Taoist funeral facility. Equipped with quality facilities and amenities, the comfort of the family members of the deceased is ensured to be well taken care of during their stay. It has all the modern amenities required, including prayer halls, guest rooms, kitchen, dining areas, and cargo bay under one roof for a hassle-free blessing ceremony. A tranquil environment conducive to the most sincere and tranquil blessings provides a rewarding ceremony with pleasant memories for the family.

Services Offered at Fu Gui Shan Zhuang

This case study adapted the SPFS and TTCI to characterize the funeral services offered at FGSZ, a not-for-profit Taoist funeral home in Penang, which were then populated with 104 ‘post-interment feedbacks containing specific mentions of FGSZ and their services. The participants are referred to in this study as consumers purely because they belonged to the consumer sector; the business in question is a not-for-profit organization registered under the Company Act 1965. The end result is FGSZ’s offerings’ and choir services’ taxonomies that provide an in-depth understanding of the factors that prompt Penangites to engage the services of this not-for-profit Taoist death planner.

We aimed to identify the services offered at Fu Gui Shan Zhuang, an alternative to the more expensive traditional Chinese funeral services. The aim was achieved through the following objectives: to review the traditional Chinese funeral services offered at Fu Gui Shan Zhuang (hereafter referred to as FGSZ) and to identify the factors which drive the adoption of these services: the influence of religion on adoption; and the factors unique to adopting a funeral service as a consumer. The authors conducted a deductive content analysis of FGSZ’s website identifying five main services with a multitude of options and 3 reasons consumers support the enterprise: cost-effectiveness, unique anthropogenic elements, and reduced environmental impact.

Benefits of Choosing Fu Gui Shan Zhuang for Taoist Funerals

According to the Taoism theory, by holding a Taoist ceremony upon the Taoists favorable date and phase, the soul of the descendant of Taoism will be guided toward being born into a high cultural class family. It is believed that the more lavish the ceremony, the higher the family the progeny will be born into. Shaping a good birth and destiny for the future descendant will also bring fortune to the descendants after death. The package provides the ritual services of holding a grand Taoist ceremony, a complete set of altering clothes and the making of an effigy for the departed, the facilitating through prayers, Dao trainings and the Karmic impediment crossing ceremony (also known as the “Kingdoms Crossing Ceremony”) for the deceased. The design and decoration is so grand in every detail including a grand cloud-patterned golden liter on a high gilded coffin, as well as an area arranged for the baguas (eight trigram mirrors) so that they can be properly positioned for the coffin. It symbolizes a grand southern Song dynasty style Taoist funeral ceremony. Most importantly, the ceremony is carried out by a professional Taoist Master and a team of Taoist disciples along with the necessary ritual items commemorating the era when the Mother of Nine Heavens were assisting the ascension of souls towards Heaven.

Beside its first-class and exclusive services, Fu Gui Shan Zhuang is decorated with carefully chosen ornaments including gold bamboo, bamboo basket, man and ox, the three priceless treasures, as well as peach, calla lily, Rhododendron simsii, tiger lily, white plum blossom, narcissus, dish, biscuit, and Chinese celery. The design and decoration is so comprehensive that even the restaurant is named “Fu Yun Zhai Restaurant”, meaning that it’s the perfect place for all the family members to a united life in enjoyment and happiness. The entire building is designed and decorated according to the principle “light in the south, water in the north, and plain in the middle”, the fengshui layout required for a prominent residence according to Wenguixin Qinxue. The design and decoration in Fu Gui Shan Zhuang complement the Chinese saying “A good environment will bring good luck”.

Nirvana Memorial Garden: A Revered Final Resting Place

Leoa Tze Guan and Low Chi Ko engaged a professional geomancer to select the best feng shui locations in Malaysia. Finally, the professional Zhou Yi Shi Bo helped them to locate the boundaries of a superlarge dragon vein. The experts and professionals of astrology and numerology from Taiwan also utilized the wind-driven technique, Yin-Yang Time Theory, and the Smeda-Smeo Theories to study the adjacent soil, water, mountains, and roads, and finally they agreed that the dragon vein had been the external prosperous star of Southeast Asia all along. It is known as a very important location of the super prosperity star in Malaysia! All the well-known and capable ancient and modern masters believe that the feng shui layout of Nirvana Memorial Garden is exceptionally good according to their experience. Lively veins, water star, prosperity star, man’s spirit and art are at their best, which enables the five elements to be in harmony and where the living life is plentiful.

Nirvana Memorial Garden is the prime offering of Nirvana Asia Group, the biggest Asia-integrated bereavement care provider. Founded in 1990 in Bukit Gombak, Singapore, Nirvana traces its management to a team of professionals with a combined experience of half a century. The company is now Bill Gates’ personal investment in Asia. Nirvana seeks to educate people about important life lessons and prepare themselves for grieving, promoting the concepts of low-cost, high-quality, professionalism, and advanced technology to reach the goal of “Who Can Afford It Will Return the Favor to the Society!” Nirvana Memorial Garden. When it comes to our ancestors’ final resting place, we hope to choose a location in the fresh air, surrounded by mountains and rivers. We still hope that they will be resting at the best feng shui location, thus allowing the future generations to be successful and prosperous. Our greatest wish is that they can have peace in the afterlife.

Overview of Nirvana Memorial Garden

As a publicly traded company on the Bursa Malaysia and the overruling market leader in Malaysia in the industry, Nirvana Memorial Garden strives to provide funeral service packages in line with the specific customers’ ethnic requirements, including Buddhist and Taoist traditions. This article was prepared within the framework of the demand-oriented model. Therefore, supply-side orientation involves researching the activities of the business entity. To start with, an in-depth examination of Nirvana Base is proposed to expose the company’s business activities. Based on both supply and demand-oriented models, this research is set to discover what negotiation problems the Malaysia Ministry of Tourism and Nirvana Asia Group might face when promoting Nirvana Memorial Garden to the Taoist community in the Chinese market segment. Further, cultural and social characteristics of the Taoist community, requirements of the Malaysian Chinese guests for Taoist funeral packages, and Nirvana Memorial Garden’s funeral services feature are another aim for the research conducted.

Incorporated in 1990, Nirvana Asia Group is Asia’s largest integrated bereavement care provider. Since the opening of its first memorial park – Nirvana Memorial Park in Sungai Besi, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in the 1990s, Nirvana Asia Group has expanded to other countries including Hong Kong, Indonesia, Taiwan, and Thailand. The final destination for approximately 23,890 departed persons was provided by various Nirvana Memorial Gardens in 2010. According to the 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP), Malaysia is moving towards becoming a high-income status nation by 2020. This ambitious aim, coupled with the fact that Malaysia was declared an ageing nation in 1997, with the number of deaths estimated to reach 51,343 in 2020, has made the death care business a potential growth industry.

Types of Burial Options at Nirvana Memorial Garden

For the truly wealthy clientele, there is a separate, luxury building called the Nirvana Room which features velvet support couches for the family members, private meeting areas, and a covered walkway for the private motorcade. The room is air-conditioned and an audio-video member feature, like a ‘watch on your mobile phone’ web-based subscription, can both advise on the ceremony in the main area of the city and upload video from the family room or private parking area. The Nirvana Room was unavailable during our research since it was still under construction. The most popular grave option at Nirvana Memorial Garden would be the hillside memorial lot, in a range of prices and numbers. A family that wishes to show off its wealth can choose either the red dot, the yellow spot, the green spot, or the gold spot. For the 1% super-wealthy in Hong Kong, Nirvana has a 300-square-meter family plot available at several million USD.

Upon arrival at Nirvana Memorial Garden, a family can generally choose between different burial options, depending upon financial standing and personal background. If the deceased is a Christian, the family can opt for an underground burial in one of the many sections available on garden or hillside lots. They can also have an underground burial within the Christian Memorial building. A Buddhist or Taoist would normally prefer an above ground columbarium or an underground lot. Even within the denomination, one must match the level of the columbarium to the level of one’s status. The cheaper solutions can be found within the Memorial Tower, the Upright Columbarium, and the Slant Columbarium; more expensive are the multi-story Pedestal Columbarium. Some of these columbarium can be models of architectural design and feature the latest technology for conserving the ashes, like ultraviolet treated air and zero emission systems.

Unique Features of Nirvana Memorial Garden

In the second stage, the family members try to reach a compromise. They would decide to employ the minimal areas deemed essential by their parents, and not areas that they feel are non-essential. An example of this is only hiring the ritual master and not having the rest of the Taoist customs. Alternatively, they may elect to use a TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) physician to be the ritual master. In another case, they may employ their family’s associations and organizations to help conduct the bulk of the Taoist customs without a Taoist priest. Other families may choose to utilize a Taoist priest for the crucial rituals. These compromises have minimal coverage in the Taoist customs if the deceased is a high-ranking Taoist. Therefore, the children further educate themselves and their families on Taoist customs and eventually reach a state of acceptance. This is the third stage.

After understanding how and why a Taoist funeral differs from a Christian funeral, families typically undergo three stages when deciding to hold a Taoist funeral. The first stage is that of non-acceptance. Family members reject the idea of holding a Taoist funeral. Some reason that hiring the ritual masters would be a waste of money. Others strongly demand the use of Christian customs instead of Taoist customs. However, as Taoism dictates filial piety, the children must find a way to fulfill their deceased parents’ wish to have a proper Taoist send-off.

Significance of Nirvana Memorial Garden for Taoist Funerals

Several other Chinese competition companies also offer Taoist funerals and small tombstones, with a limited range of traditional Taoist rituals and offerings. This dearth of technology in the religious space is disappointing. As for the younger people who place a high value on self-expression and being able to express themselves in rituals and funeral items, they appear to have been overlooked. However, this was an area that Nirvana Memorial Garden was willing to invest significantly in, to demonstrate its value and commitment to the customers. As an example, after the purchase of Taoist funeral rites, online burn-paper offerings, and memorial tablets, the customers were able to live-stream chant prayers and play the Taoist funeral music at the Nirvana Memorial Garden Centre.

The management team at Nirvana Memorial Garden realized that today’s Buddhist i-funerals were being held throughout the world, yet the Taoists had been rather slow to bring their funeral traditions into the digital realm. Hence, every effort was made to develop the online Taoist funeral offerings to assist Taoists in navigating their grief at this difficult time, during the pandemic, when religious activities were restricted and lockdowns were rampant throughout the evolved countries. Because of the dearth of i-funeral services for Taoists as well as for other Asian faith communities, Nirvana Memorial Garden increased its online service offerings to universal Buddhists.

Conclusion

Little is known about the death practices in the Chinese community, so the goals of this research are to expand the body of knowledge and understanding about Taoist death, the value of traditional Chinese death practices, and how a growing immigrant community practices recently introduced rituals and how death is celebrated in the Taoist community. The purpose of this research is to investigate, identify, study, and discuss the history of the Taoist funeral services and events that are carried out by Nirvana Memorial Garden and the principles of performing Taoist funeral ceremonies. By Hari Buddha’s compassionate heart, Nirvana assists customers and their families during the rituals and activities that accomplish Nirvana Memorial Garden’s spirit of eliminating the sea of miseries. The result of this study discusses the role of Chinese funerals in moving to modernity after their arrival in Malaysia in the 19th century and the main elements of the ceremony of a Taoist funeral. In conclusion, societal influences that affect how Chinese funerals are performed will be highlighted.

In view of the continuous growth of Taoism in Malaysia, Nirvana Memorial Garden has set up a series of Taoist funeral packages that it believes will cater to the various aspects of funeral needs. The aim of these packages is to provide simple, convenient, and cost-effective pre- and post-funeral services, ultimately allowing customers to achieve the compassionate vow of filial piety in practice. Building on Buddhist compassion and the principle of allowing families to transcend the sea of worldly suffering, Nirvana’s service mission focuses on supporting all parents and unfortunate customers in facing their final rites and the obstacles they may face, and providing attention from Nirvana so that all classes of society can have a proper and dignified final rite. This research used qualitative survey methods to identify and discuss basic funeral procedures, while the data used were mixed.

M Asim
M Asim
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