JOURNEY NO 16   -  9th December 1976

Touring the Third Tribunal.

“The Prison of Scooped Eyes”
JiGong: The cold air currents are blowing and the cold weather is very intense and most unbearable. I observe that your members of Sheng Xian Tang are so hard working that you do not seem to be affected by this severe cold weather. I am very impressed by your devotion and zeal. When this Book is ready and published for circulation, your names will be enshrined in the memories of future generations. Yang Sheng; now get ready to tour Hades.
Yang Sheng: Tonight it is so cold here and I don’t know how colder it will be when we tour Hades. I am wondering if dear Master will be so good as to give me a magic pill to keep me warm during the tour.
JiGong: This is a small matter; I will give you three additional magic pills to keep your body in good shape and to retain your vitality.
Yang Sheng: Thank you so much, dear Master….I have swallowed the pills and I can instantly feel the warmth circulating inside my body. I am safely seated on the lotus flower platform and we can now start.
JiGong: We have arrived. Quickly get down.
Yang Sheng: What is this place? I see a few Generals walking on the stone steps.
JiGong: This place is the Third Tribunal and is under the jurisdiction of Ming Di Wang. Inside there are many prisons where sinners are punished for their sins they had committed when alive. Quickly go and pay your respects to the Generals.
Yang Sheng: Our humble respects to you Officers. We have instructions to tour Hades and we hope that you will kindly accommodate us.
General: That’s right. I invite JiGong and Yang Sheng to come inside for a rest. This is the main office of the Third Tribunal and behind are located the various prisons of this Tribunal.
JiGong: As our time is rather limited, there is no need for us to have a rest. Will you, therefore, conduct Yang Sheng round the various prisons for a look?
General: This is quite O.K. We already know that Sheng Xian Tang have instruction to write the Book and we have also received a letter from JiGong informing us of your coming today. Please be good enough to follow me by the left side.
Yang Sheng: Wow! This place is so vast – all buildings are made of wood. When we go near we can hear voices in agony. In front of the prison and on top are the words “The Prison of Scooped Eyes”.
Officer of Prison: Welcome both of you to have a look, do come in and should Yang Sheng be not cleared on any matters, do not be shy to ask questions.
Yang Sheng: Oh, I observe that all the souls have both their eyes scooped out, blood oozing from the eye-sockets, and everyone crying with both hands covering the eyes – very cruel indeed. On the left side, a middle-aged soul is being roughly handled by a soldier of Hades who is poking an iron fork into the left eye socket and the soul is struggling and crying loudly; at the same time the left eye-ball fell down and the soul fainted straightaway but did not fall down as his body was strapped to a post, his head sagged down from his neck. After that the soldier of Hades worked on the remaining right eye, the eye-ball of which also dropped down. It is such a horror that I dare not look at.
JiGong: Yang Sheng, you should not be so softhearted that you talk too much. This is the law of Hades for the re-compensation of past sins. Why are you so impolite in remarking on what you see? You have made a great mistake.
General: It does not matter. Yang Sheng, you are at liberty to ask any question on matters you are not clear about.
Yang Sheng: If I had been discourteous in my remarks, I request Officer and General to pardon me. Can I ask Officer to explain to me the various processes of scooping the eyes?
Officer: Well, when a sinful soul comes here, he is first of all strapped to a wooden post; then both eyes are scooped out one after the other; thus making the soul scream loudly and subsequently faint. This scooping process is carried out three times daily on each soul. After the first scooping, the eye-balls are retrieved and fitted back into the eye-sockets, then washed with magic water; this will have the effect of reviving the soul from fainting. Sometime later in the day, the second process of scooping and reviving is gone through and then the third process. This punishment is to make the soul realize the extent of bitter suffering.
Yang Sheng: Actually, for what kind of sins are the souls sent here for this punishment?
Officer: I will summon a few souls for you to ask them why they are here. General, please refit the eyes of the three souls who are in front. Wash them with magic water to revive them. Tell them to speak out what sins they have committed on Earth that they are sent here so that Yang Sheng can understand and write the Book for human beings to read.
General: Yes, Sir. This first soul, will you tell Yang Sheng why you are here, and what sins you had committed when alive so that when he writes that Book he can tell human beings about your case.
First Soul: Ouch! Both my eyes are so painful like a knife piercing them and yet you want me to tell Yang Sheng my story.
Officer: General, quickly give him magic water to wash his eyes to relieve the pain and make him steadier.
JiGong: Never mind, I will perform a few passes with my hand….
First Soul: Now I feel much better! Thank you, Monk for rescuing me. When I was alive, I was very proud; I graduated from a university, my family was wealthy; consequently, I despised people who were poor and less educated. I mixed only with people higher up the social strata and the wealthy. When I died, my soul was sent to Ming Di Wang of the Third Tribunal. Song Di Wang sentenced me because “my eyes were born high” i.e. I was very proud and despised and looked down on the poor and lower people. I have been in this prison for 2 years and three months now, and will have to remain here for another 2 years. This is not all; because when I was alive, I had committed other sins for which I will have to be punished in other prisons of Hades. I request you good fellow Yang Sheng that when you return to Earth, you will advise people especially the rich, not to despise, insult and neglect those who are less fortunate because if they do not follow your advice, when they die, they will surely suffer the same punishment as I am now suffering. Can I ask you good fellow to speak to Song Di Wang to pardon my sins?
Yang Sheng: Can I ask General; this soul has requested me to advise human beings not to follow his example but to do good; so he has merit which speaks good of him – therefore, can his punishment be lessened?
General: I am sorry I have no power to recommend.
Officer: On this request, I can report to Song Di Wang but I don’t know if Song Di Wang can lessen his punishment. Quickly escort this first soul back to prison and bring the other souls here so that they too can tell their own sinful stories.
General: Yes, Sir. I have brought the two souls out, washed their eyes with magic water and they have revived. The soul on the right side; can you relate your past life and be frank about it.
Second Soul: When I was alive, I was very fond of looking at girls and women. On Earth, there were many types of “social sightseeing”. I took pleasure in peeping at neighbor girls and women bathing. Often, my friends and I gathered to look at sex films and pictures; I was very happy with such activities. Once my friend and I visited a hotel room where a woman pimp introduced me a call girl who performed strip-teased acts and we enjoyed ourselves very much. A year ago, I met with an accident and died, my soul was sentenced by Ming Wang to this Prison of Scooped Eyes for punishment. Everyday, my eyes are scooped out – very much suffering which my children who are still living, do not know. I hope that when you good man returns to Earth you will tell all human beings that they must not think that the Deities in Heaven do not know what they do on Earth. After death, when the soul appears before the “Magic Mirror” nothing can be hidden because every deed is reflected on this Magic Mirror and we cannot deny anything.
General: You dirty old man, when you were alive and had money, you did not think of saving for old age but you took pleasure in seeing obscene things thus making your eyes become dirty; that is why you have to be sent to this Prison to have your dirty eyes dug out and washed. Now, soul on the left, quickly tell your sinful story.
Third Soul: This is my sinful story. When I was a student in school, I often cheated and copied in examinations and in class work; I copied from my friends and from books. I enjoyed reading obscene books and looking at obscene films and pictures. When I died, Song Di Wang sentenced me to this Prison. I have been here three months now and I have three more years to go.
Yang Sheng: Oh! this is quite terrible. When I was studying, I used to copy from my friends but was never spotted by the teachers. When I die, will my soul be sent here for punishment?
JiGong: By copying, you had gone against the principles of the school. Why are you afraid now? Heaven will not punish those who, realizing their own mistakes, have repented and reformed their conduct. You have become a firm believer in Sheng Xian Tang and are now doing a job for Heaven and therefore you have earned merit which will atone for your past mistakes, with meritorious services. There will then be no need for you to come to this Prison of Scooped Eyes.
Officer: General, quickly escort these two souls back to Prison. In case I have failed in my duty towards you, JiGong and Yang Sheng, please, excuse me.
Yang Sheng: How can that be?
Officer: Male human beings have “dirty eyes”; they like to peep at girls and women; they like to read obscene books; or they like to despise people. After death, their souls will be sent here for punishment. If those who, after reading this Book, can realize their past mistakes and can turn over a new leaf leading a new life, and can make up their minds to print this Book for distribution to all and sundry so that everyone can do good deeds, then, after death any of their previous sins will be cancelled.
JiGong: We cannot spare anymore time, so we have to return. Thank you both, Officer and General. Yang Sheng, quickly say goodbye and prepare to return to Sheng Xian Tang.
Yang Sheng: Thank you Officer and General, goodbye.
Officer: I wish you a pleasant journey back.
JiGong: Yang Sheng, quickly step on the lotus flower platform and we will return to Sheng Xian Tang.
Yang Sheng: I am safely seated.
JiGong: We have arrived at Sheng Xian Tang. Yang Sheng, get down. Soul, return to your body.
End of Journey No 16