By A BORNEOTODAY READER
PENAMPANG: Chai Shen Yeh – the God of Fortune, is probably one of the most, if not the most, popular deity for the Chinese community.
However, this wealth-conferring deity comes in various versions according to the Feng Shen Bang (The Investiture of the Gods), and one of them is Zhao Gong Ming, who is especially well-known in China and Taiwan.
Also considered as a “Martial God of Wealth”, while he is not tasked directly in overseeing the management of wealth, Zhao Gong Ming is nonetheless in charge of four deities who bestow people with different forms of good fortune and wealth. His four assistants are Chen Jiu Gong, the God of Attracting Wealth; Xiao Sheng, the God of Collecting Treasures; Cao Bao, the God of Collecting Valuables; and Yao Shao Si, the God of Profitability.
Together with Zhao Gong Ming, they are popularly known as “Wu Luk Chai Shen” which means God of Wealth of the Five Directions i.e. east, west, north, south and centre.
All these while, there wasn’t any Chinese/Taoist temple in Sabah which is dedicated to Zhao Gong Ming. However, history was created recently, when a group of Taoist devotees led by Ben Lee, a well-known local Taoist medium, decided to set up one and named it the Sabah Wei Ling Gong.
Located along the Jalan Bundusan here (adjacent to the now-closed Dowish Seafood Restaurant), since it was opened to the public on 6 January, 2017, the makeshift temple has successfully attracted a sizable number of new devotees.
This was after news of some of its devotees had had good fortune shined on them, in various forms, after making offering to Zhao Gong Ming or contributed to the setting up of the temple.
The temple’s popularity was evidently reflected in the encouraging turnout of worshipers at the simple-yet-warm-and-fun-filled celebration of the Jigong deity’s birthday organized by the temple, on Monday night.
Meanwhile, Ben who is also the protem chairman for the temple revealed that the idea of setting up the temple was inspired by the legend and spirit of Zhao Gong Ming who is well known for his immeasurable compassion towards the poor and the needy, especially those who are always kind to others despite their own condition.
“Through this temple, we will strive to instill in the people the spirit of Zhao Gong Ming towards promoting a caring society, especially in this trying time of economic downturn.
“With his (Zhao) blessing and guidance, we shall strive to conduct some charitable programs and activities from time to time, to assist those who are really in need,” said Ben.
He then noted the temple also provides free ‘spiritual consultation’ to the public nightly, usually from 8pm onwards, where he will act as the medium for both Zhao Gong Ming and Jigong, in the state of trance.
The temple which also houses other popular Chinese/Taoist deities like the Guan Yin Goddess of Mercy, Taishang Laojun, Jigong, and General Guan Di, among others, is currently in the midst of preparing for its registration with the Registrar of Societies (ROS).
“This temple is a temporary one while we look for a suitable piece of land to build a permanent one,” he added.
He also hoped that more people would come forward to support the temple’s aspiration and endeavor of reaching out to the underprivileged members of the society.