Zamkar’s Passing

20 Nov

My furry little white housemate Zamkar is 14 years old and that’s 98 years in doggy years. Although he is a perpetually youthful looking little fella but he has cataract in his right eye. In fact, Paul Yap his owner could not bear to have Zamkar put under the knife for this so he became partially blind and that made him a bumbling little doggy and rather afraid to venture into unfamiliar places.

Zamkar had a really good life. living the good life, lots of hugs, kisses, sweet words, some scoldings cause he is a mischievous little fella and good food from Paul and occasionally Paul’s sister. Paul gives him a mixture of sweet potatoes, carrots, boiled eggs, broccolis and other veggies while his sister and her family gives him all manner of human food. He shuttles back and forth between two homes, one in Bentong town and another back in PJ. And when Paul is busy or travelling, Zamkar gets to stay with his sister’s and is spoiled rotten with lots of love, attention and good food by Paul’s sis and kids.

Unfortunate for us, death and impermanence are always around the corner. Zamkar passed away last past Sunday midnight after falling ill due to pancreatitis and then, he succumbed to Tick fever. His blood platelet level kept falling and was given blood plasma and then a blood transfusion. He was very weak and had high fever and although his fever was controlled with medicine but his condition never abated. Paul’s niece stayed over and assisted in caring for the sick lil fella. Finally on Sunday, I came down from Bentong to my house in PJ to take a final visit and perhaps to perform some prayers for Lil Zamkar. At around 11pm, my car suddenly could not start and so, I never made it back to Bentong.

Then I went back into the house only to find everyone was asleep except Zamkar. He lifted his head and was staring at something, which was unusual because was too weak to do so earlier. I patted him and told him to “Sleep sleep”. He put down his head and after awhile, he lifted his head again. I repeated the pat on his head and stroked him gently. I fell asleep nearby and 20 minutes later, Paul woke me up. He and his niece were chanting Dorje Shugden’s mantra over Lil Zamkar’s body and he was breathing laboriously. Paul said he was dying.

I rushed to Zamkar’s side and his little body was writhing and he was breathing in long and increasingly slower breaths. I asked Paul if he was having a seizure but Paul didn’t think so.  I rushed to get a vial of Medicine Buddha blessed water (that i collected from Kechara Forest Retreat’s Medicine Buddha fountain) and poured some onto his mouth and took my Pastor’s Je Tsongkhapa statue (consecrated with various Dorje Shugden relics) and placed it on his head. Then, I instructed Paul and his weeping niece not to touch his body and to pull a tuff of his fur on his head along with a small statue placed on his head while we continue to recite Dorje Shugden’s mantra.

Paul who is Zamkar’s beloved owner spoke to him and thanked him and asked him to follow Dorje Shugden. We continued to recite mantras and just as Zamkar breathed his last, some blood came out of his little mouth. I checked to see if he was alive and when I was sure he was really deceased before I took his body and placed him on a small table, opened his little mouth and placed some Dorje Shugden blessed rice in it and closed his mouth. After that, I messaged my friends working and residing in Kechara Forest Retreat to help offer 108 candles to Dorje Shugden in dedication of merits for Zamkar’s fortunate rebirth. Then we prepared to do a Dorje Shugden puja complete with Juniper incense offering (Sangso) and tea offering (Serkym). I performed an extended Dorje Shugden from the Diamond Path prayer book and I visualised Dorje Shugden coming in the form of a monk with round hat to hold Zamkar and take him to his next rebirth.

The reason for pulling the fur on his head, placing a blessed statue on his head and pouring blessed water into his mouth is to make sure his consciousness is guided by stimulation with sacred objects to leave his little body through his head. When an animal or person passes away, he or she can leave via any part of the body and when grieving loved ones touch, stroke or hold onto the person’s clothes and body, it can lead the mind of the dying to leave through the lower part of the body. Therefore, where we touch on a dying person is very important.  In fact, the best place is to stimulate the crown of the head, which is the top of the dying animal or person. In Buddhism, that is the best way to die or leave the body because that would indicate a positive rebirth. If he was stimulated by touching or stroking on the lower part of his body, then he would be guided towards a negative rebirth. During this time, if a loved one or someone who is very close spoke to the dying, it will help to calm the mind of the dying. This is also very important.

The death process is the same for humans as it is with animals and so at this moment, it is very important to be as calm as possible and to the right thing along with recitation of sacred mantras. There’s plenty of time to weep and cry later. Naturally, the blessed statue can also be replaced by a Lamrim book or any consecrated object of the Three Jewels. Even the blessed water can be replaced by Dorje Shugden rice (Sometimes known as Protector Rice), Dorje Shugden rilbu pills or any other consecrated rice or pills. For the next 49 days, Paul would be reciting 10 malas of Dorje Shugden mantras to usher Lil Zamkar to his next rebirth. Not long after, Paul seemed to have some dreams that Zamkar would take a good rebirth.

                                         May Zamkar take a good rebirth! 

One Response to “Zamkar’s Passing”

  1. Jacinta November 20, 2018 at 5:05 am #

    It’s very fortunate for Zamkar to have you all, or maybe the other way round? Having pet around really teaches us “humanity” . Seeing someone passing away is really a painful moment and this memory will stick in our head. From time to time, the memory of the last moment will come back to “remind” us. Thank you for letting us know how we should perform the last rite for our pet or our loved ones.Happy to know that Zamkar will have a good rebirth.

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