Burning of joss papers


Today’s story is to answer a question by Toh Yong Soon in the “Post a question” section on 29th March 2013.

The question posted was “It will be good for you to share whether burning of joss papers to the dead helps and how it works for the dead. and what’s the difference between burning for the deities and the dead”.

Apologies to Toh Yong Soon for my late reply to your question.

Before I answer your question, I will like to introduce how Yin Fengshui views on a person whom passed away. According to the Yin Fengshui theory, the spirit of the dead will be posted either to a good place (in Chinese we call 天) or a not so good place such as 地狱 or 孤魂野鬼… or at times become another human form (start from baby again – reincarnation). All these are purely guided by karma of the person whom had passed on.

If the spirit goes to the good place, probably in the same dimension with deities, they “enjoy” life. As such, they live in a world beyond monetary stress or burden. In other words, they do not need “money” to survive. So giving them money by “burning joss papers” may serve no purpose. However, in the view of the living person, burning joss papers to deities is a form of respect.

For those spirits who go to the not so good place – probably their karma may not be good enough to go the good place; this is probably a form of “punishment”. Now at this instance, if the living person burns joss papers to them and they are able to receive them, they will be very rich. As such, they may also enjoy life as “being rich” while being in the not so good place. Thus, this defeats the very first reason why they are being posted to the not so good place. In other words, they are meant to be “punished” and not “enjoy life” in this dimension (not so good place). Hence, burning joss papers to them = they cannot receive them. The burning of joss papers is created by Chinese to make the living ones “feel better” at heart. I regret to say that it is for a psychological effect.

However there is such existence as authorized money changer personnel in this world – meaning to say that some priests are able to convert these joss papers into a form of monetary (legal tender) in the “not so good” dimension. However, if they are able to convert these joss papers into legal tenders in the other dimension, there is a rule that the individual recipient (spirit) can only a super small portion of it – probably like a 10cents worth of value in our world – the rest of the converted legal tenders will be taken by “officials” probably to use as “donation” eg. building a temple to educate the spirits, etc.

In conclusion, burning of joss papers acts as a comfort for the living party. It serves very very minimal (close to no) purpose to both the dead and the deities.

Again, this is based on the Yin Fengshui theory. Should your religion or teaching is otherwise, please do follow your belief and theory. I am merely just sharing the point of view under Yin Fengshui and its reasoning behind. Please do not feel offended. I sincerely apologise if I have offended in any way to you as a reader.

This story I will not ask you for any support as I afraid that I may have offended some readers. As such, I am selling this 3 legged frog keychain (the picture below) at a good price of $8.88 (retailing at $28.80). There are only 20 pieces available for this story. I will send it to you through post. Please enter your address when making the online payment.


3 legged frog is a symbolical meaning of attracting wealth. It presents that the frog will leap out, find and accumulate wealth and then bring the wealth back to you. You may either put this frog on your wealth bowl in your house with the frog facing the main door or keep this frog in your bag.  *Sorry: All sold out as at 5th April 1825hrs…

Next, I will be Auntie Fong who is also a “murderer” talking more on the karmic effect (under Yin Fengshui theory) of abortion. Please stay tuned. It is interesting and “educational” :-)

As at for now, this is Fong Chun Cheong, signing off…

**************sign off***************


3 thoughts on “Burning of joss papers

  1. Master FONG, what abt
    1. e burning of joss sticks? It’s mean as food for e spirits by smelling them…??
    2. As for the burning of joss paper, won’t it b good that e more we burn for ‘them’, more temples can b build for their benefits plus taken care of by e ‘officers ‘…?
    3. Even though they received 10 cent, it will accumulate and become a silver/golden mountain..?
    4. Can we human burn for ourselves to pay for our past bad karma?


  2. hi fong. since now is the period of qing ming. i had a burning qn to ask. for tombstone, is it appropriate or wise to grow things on top or decorate? nowadays the tombstones they hve a small patch of grass on top. there are pple saying to grow yam on it to bring luck n bliss to the younger generations. there are pple who plant flowers. put windmill or using fake flowers.

    for the place where ashes are located. there are pple who stick fake flowers or decoration to the plauge. are all these appropriate?

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