JOURNEY NO 12   -   31st October 1976

 

Touring Hades of the Hungry Ghosts
 
JiGong: For the purpose of writing this Book, we have been put to so much inconvenience traveling from Earth to Hades and return. For who? On Earth there are so many people, so many vehicles and traffic, so many types of pleasures, so much so, that moral decadence has set in – getting worse everyday. But in Hades the souls of sinners are howling so terribly that even the mountains can vibrate. Sheng Xian Tang has been directed to write this Book, firstly to inform people about the sufferings in Hades and secondly to teach them to do good whenever possible. So, do not regard this Book lightly and treat it as an amusement book for the purpose of killing time. I hope that people will take it seriously and regard this as a matter of importance. Yang Sheng, quickly prepare yourself for the journey.
 
Yang Sheng: I am ready, dear Master, let’s proceed.
 
JiGong: It’s a very privilege for you, a human being, to have the unique opportunity to sit on this lotus flower platform and so you must regard this with great pride….We have arrived; quickly get out. Today we will visit the Hades of The Hungry Ghosts.
 
Yang Sheng: Wow, this place is like a vast wilderness with no human beings. Which direction shall we take?
 
JiGong: Not very far from here there is a small mount beyond which is the “Hades of The Hungry Ghosts”.
 
Yang Sheng: This place is so very empty; where then are the souls of the dead?
 
JiGong: If you walk on the left side you will soon know.
 
Yang Sheng: Ya, truly on the left side there is a small path where I can see the soldiers of Hades having ox head and horse face, catching some souls with bound hands walking ahead.
 
JiGong: We will follow them.
 
Ox-head-horse-faced General: (Shouting) You Earth person, who are you to come here so freely.
 
JiGong: If you open your eyes widely before scolding this person, it will not be too late.
 
Yang Sheng: This Ox-head-horse-faced General looks very ugly and frightening. He holds a chain and fork and looks fierce as if wanting to use force on us.
 
JiGong: Don’t be afraid; I will explain to him.
 
Ox-head-horse-faced General: You two, who are you; quickly explain, otherwise I will arrest you and bring you before my Officer.
 
JiGong: General, how long have you been a soldier of Hades? Why is it that you don’t know me?
 
Ox-head-horse-faced General: I’ve been on this job a little more than two months. I carry out my job according to the law. I can arrest anyone who has no pass – this is my duty.
 
JiGong: I am JiGong the Living Buddha and this person is a human being on Earth of Sheng Xian Tang, a follower of Guan Sheng Dijun and has received orders to travel to Hades in order to write a Book to advise human beings on Earth to do good. Today we are here to visit Hades of The Hungry Ghost. We have the permit on our body; do not hinder us in our pursuit. Otherwise you will have to suffer the consequences.
 
Ox-head-horse-faced General: That being so, I will now kneel down to pay respects to you. Oh! you are what the human beings on Earth refer to as JiGong Huofo. I departed from Earth not very long ago but during my lifetime I had never seen or known you. Please may I beg you and this man to kindly pardon me. If you want to visit Hades of The Hungry Ghost, you have to pass the small mount; I can lead you there.
 
JiGong: Very well, Yang Sheng, we will follow this General.
 
Yang Sheng: Good, we will follow him. This path is strewn with small sharp loose stones under which there is water and when we walk, the sharp stones prick the soles of our feet. I can see two Generals forcing a woman who appears quite dressed but she is bound with chains. What offence did she commit?
 
JiGong: Nowadays, rich human beings want to enjoy their lives fully. They do not value cereals and edibles and they throw them away. This woman had enjoyed herself too much and wasted foodstuff; that is why her soul is here to make her realize what hunger is and to suffer.
 
Yang Sheng: This mount is not high, but there are abundant trees, rushes, rattan and is more or less like our hills on Earth. There is a narrow path which can just allow three persons to walk abreast.
 
JiGong: After passing the small mount then you can see the Hades of The Hungry Ghosts at its foot.
 
Yang Sheng: Yes, I can see. The Hades of The Hungry Ghosts is surrounded by steel spikes and the roof is brown in color….Now we have arrived.
 
Ox-head-horse-faced General: Please remain here while I go in and report your arrival.
 
Yang Sheng: The words “Small Hades of The Hungry Ghost” are carved convex on wood nut are not very clear. At both sides of the doorway are soldiers of Hades standing on guard. The woman we just saw, has now been given a pass and been led inside.
 
Ox-head-horse-faced General: I have reported to the Officer-in-Charge. Now please follow me inside.
 
Officer: Welcome, JiGong Huofo and Sheng Xian Tang’s Yang Sheng for coming here. Should I fail to entertain you sufficiently well, please be good enough to pardon me.
 
JiGong: Oh, don’t mention it. I am afraid we have come to bother you. Because Sheng Xian Tang has received the order to write a Book “Journeys to the Underworld,” I have brought Yang Sheng here so that he can personally see what is happening in Hades and on returning, write the Book. Now that we have arrived, I hope you will be good enough to conduct Yang Sheng accordingly.
 
Officer: This place is a section of the Second Tribunal. I will show Yang Sheng the works in this Hades of The Hungry Ghosts. Please have a rest here and in the meantime drink tea.
 
Yang Sheng: Very well, I will follow Officer….In this block there are rooms inside each with three pieces of Japanese floor straw mats; the people inside these rooms are very well dressed but their faces are very pale and they are all moaning.
 
Officer: All these were businessmen when they were alive; they were very well dressed, ate well, spent lavishly, enjoyed themselves to the fullest but had no pity whatsoever on the poor, needy and deserving. When dead, their souls are sent here to suffer. I will call one male soul and you can question him.
 
Yang Sheng: Mister, why are you suffering here?
 
Male Soul: When I was alive, I owned a factory. Business prospered very much and I mixed socially to a great extent and entertained lavishly – money was no problem, but I was very, very stingy to my workers who later became very unhappy and dissatisfied with me. I did not do charitable and welfare work and the highest donation I would give was not more than $500/-. I did not think much about charitable deeds. If any poor person or poor relative came to ask for assistance or money, I would tell my staff to say I was not in. This is not all. In the house, I did not think of saving up on expensive foodstuff and delicacies but threw them away. Outside the house, I maintained a few mistresses and provided them with luxurious houses and maintained them with several thousand dollars monthly. Two years ago, I had high blood pressure and died. Now I am sent to this Hades of The Hungry Ghosts to suffer for the sins I committed on Earth. Although I am dressed very well in Western fashion, yet I do not have anything good to eat. Once a week, I have only meal of vegetable broth. On the third day I feel ‘infatuate’ and faint and the Ox-head-horse-faced General splashes revival water on my face to revive me. My stomach is still empty and I feel very hungry. Have you any food for me to eat?
 
Officer: You brute! Get in quickly; don’t take too much liberty. What you had done before, now you have to suffer. You had enjoyed too much and now don’t cry. Go inside and ask the woman to come here to inform this good man Yang Sheng what she had done on Earth to make her come to this Hades of The Hungry Ghosts.
 
Woman: When I was alive, I was a rich man’s wife. My husband was a building contractor and earned a lot of money. At first we stayed in a small house and when business prospered we stayed in a big bungalow. Because we had plenty of money, we acquired the bad habit of lavish spending and gambling, playing mahjong day and night, not taking care of the home. Very often, I invited my friends to dance halls to enjoy ourselves, going to mid-night restaurants and eating places to have grand feasts. All my life I was never frugal on eating, drinking, gambling and enjoying; money was no matter. When it came to doing welfare and social work, I did not donate even a single cent. Now that I am dead my soul is sent here to undergo suffering. The Head of this Second Tribunal is very heartless. That is why I am now very hungry and in great pain.
 
Yang Sheng: From the look of her face, this female soul is suffering very much; she is constantly biting her fingers as if she is very hungry.
 
Officer: Woman, go back quickly.
 
Yang Sheng: I want to ask Officer, please inform me why every male and female is so very well dressed here yet all of them are looking like beggars at the roadside, moaning and hair undone, stretching their hands out begging for food.
 
Officer: When they were living, they were reckless and misused God’s gift of foodstuff, squandering money, spending money for their own enjoyment rather than caring for charitable and welfare work to help the poor and needy, or in the case of wealthy men they abandoned their own wives in the house and maintained women outside or in the case of women who became wealthy and famous like singers, dancers and film stars etc, they separated from their husbands and families to suit their vanity.
 
When people attain wealth and fame their hearts often change and they tend to do worthless and infamous deeds; when these people die, their souls are sent here to suffer. I hope that those living people who are better off and wealthy, will use part of their money to help the less fortunate and poor fellowmen. Do not be too showy. You must remember that if there is too much enjoyment, drinking, eating, gambling, merry making and excessive expenditure without helping the needy and doing charity, bad luck will surely come. Those who are now in a happy and honorable position had accumulated virtues and meritorious deeds in their previous lives. Therefore, in present life you must do charitable and good deeds to help those in need, or printing and distributing moral tracts to advise people to do good. Not only will your name be known for a hundred years, but your good and meritorious deeds will be remembered and your souls will also go to Paradise.
 
JiGong: Time is up, let us prepare to return.
 
Officer: Good. In case I have failed to entertain you sufficiently well, please excuse me.
 
Yang Sheng: Thank you very much Officer, for explaining in detail to me. I am returning now.
 
JiGong: Quickly get up on the lotus flower platform …..We have arrived at Sheng Xian Tang. Yang Sheng, get down. Soul, return to your body.    
 
End of Journey No 12