Temples and the Deities

There are many kinds of Gods in Taiwan and people tend to build different statues for followers to worship. We believe there are spirits from Gods stay inside statues after the master had rituals for inviting the one we need. Usually the deities inside temples came from real persons in the past history such as Guān Gōng or Kuan-im. Aboriginal people used to pray to the nature including rocks and trees for protection. The common Goddess here is Kuan-im, both Taiwan and Japan have people worship it, except different ways to pray. In Japan, Kannon(Kuan-im) is worshipped with water flowing the statue, believing the pain and sickness will be washed away. Some people believe Kuan-im is the most efficacious God here, as long as you call the name, Kuan-im will come to rescue you.

We call the deity kuan-sè-im in Taiwanese, whereas in Japan people call it Kannon.

Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva is believed to control devils in the hell, and once vowed not to be a Buddha until the hell realm is emptied. We call it tē-tsông-ông, whereas in Japan people name it Jizo Bosatsu. No matter the shape of statues and how people like to call it, there is no doubt that Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva is popular in Asia and Korea, Taiwan, Japan are included.

Statues of Jizo Bosatsu in Japan.
The statue of Tē-tsông-ông in Taiwan.

Some people here do believe each deity does their own jobs. If you want to have better relationship, you need to pray to the Cupid, which we call Guat-ló. If people feel depressed and lost their track of life, they could pray at the temple and throw wooden moon blocks to the ground for receiving permissions from the deity. If the result of blocks is one up with another down, the answer is yes, and you could pick the fortune stick from the box. Each fortune stick has its own number and the inscription to go with. The inscription will be the answer for your question, and if people do not understand the meaning, there are staffs who are responsible for answering it. In ancient time, when the medical system was not so prevalent, people even came to temples for medicines.

Guat-ló, the Cupid.
The answer is yes from the deity, now you could pick your fortune stick to find your inscription.
The fortune sticks

Some people believe we will visit the no-return bridge after death, and drink the soup to forget everything in this life. If you have done good deeds in this life, you will be raised at nice family for next life. If not, you will be animal or stay in hell for suffering every bad things that you had done to others.

I think every ritual or temples are a good way to help mankind in any situation. You can look around any one in Taiwan and see if you are lucky enough to find answer for your question.

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