The Past and Present Life of the “reincarnated”persons in Dong village of HunanTongdao

Updated 2016-05-25 10:03:14 China.com

The Past and Present Life of the “reincarnated”persons in Dong village of HunanTongdao

They said a lot of things calmly, but I think they should have told the stories for many times. Fortunately, they saidnot much adjectives, and the words are very simple, which made me believe them a bit. They said they feared at the beginning, but then they got used to it, since they had come back to the former family, and then just live a good life now. After said these, their faces showed faint smiles.

The Past and Present Life of the “reincarnated”persons in Dong village of HunanTongdao

In addition to the human reincarnation, there are also many examples of animal or insect reincarnation. There is a legend in Tongdao saying that someone was a pig in last life and he reincarnated into human in this life. It is said that when this young man was more than ten years old, his mother took him to the mountains and saw someone cut ragweed, then he told people that do not cut that grass, because that grass is not that good tasting. Later, he saw a butcher with surname as Rong in the village, and he said, "It was you who killed me", which frightened the man and he would no longer kill pigs. (The story was contained in the fifth issue of Cultural Heritage in 2013, “The Dong Reincarnation Legend - Souls and Hidden Virtue Practices" by XuGan Li), while all the heroes of these regeneration stories died unnaturally.

The Past and Present Life of the “reincarnated”persons in Dong village of HunanTongdao

I chatted with some local young guys in Tongdao town at night, and asked them if this story was true, they all looked at me and said firmly that it was true. And then they told me the stories of their close friends, the cores of the stories are that how could a two-year-old childprecisely confirm the relationship between relatives, the attributing relation of home goods, as well as ordinary moments between people of previous generation, and then they asked me, if the story was not true, how could a child know so clearly? And if it was not true, why does everyone say so? The elder people are convinced so deeply but most of them do not like that, because it would break the seniority order of thefamily, as well as the ethics relations. The local custom is to drink a bowl of red carp soup, and then the child would forget the things of the past. Both Yang Richun and Yang Gailiu drunk such bowl of red carp soup, and they would not remember many things happened in their childhood.

The Past and Present Life of the “reincarnated”persons in Dong village of HunanTongdao

There are no temples in Dong town, so we could not prove that if reincarnation is subject to the influence of Buddhism. But theconcept of reincarnation in Buddhism is also absorbed from Brahmanism and even from more ancient religions in India. Dong people advocate animism, and primitive religions such as shaman, they believe in the existence of the souls, and the body and the soul could be separated. When it comes to the soul, then we can talk about the ghost thing. It is believed that ghost can be divided into good and evil. The paradise of ghosts is called “Gaoshengya'an”, which “shares the same land with the ancestors, where people play the Sheng and live in paradise." (Look through the Dong, edited by XianGuangwei, Guangxi People's Publishing House, 1995, p. 207).In that place, the ghosts still play the Sheng, dance and sing like the young men and women in this world, and they live the same life like the Dongs in reality. The Dong people also believe that the ghosts often live in the same space with us. For example, when the young peoplesing till midnight, there are always ghosts who sing together with the people, and at midnight, people would sing a dissipation song to ask the ghosts go back and do not stay long, it sings that “it's getting late, we're going home, you (the souls) also go back."And then the ghosts sitting around would go. Similarly, when dramas are played in the village, the gods and spirits would also be welcomed and sent away.

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