JOURNEY NO 20   -   18th January 1977  

 

Touring the Office of “Four Stages of Reincarnation”

(Second Visit)
 
JiGong: Who says that Moral Principles are not compensated? Look at the four types of creatures – in their previous lives they had committed many grievous sins thus causing them to be reborn as beasts, animals, fowls, fishes and worms. Of all the earthly creatures, human beings are considered the most enlightened and intelligent; therefore it is most advisable that being regarded as on a higher plane, human beings must put into practice more moral and ascetic deeds. I would, out of pity, urge the souls of the four types of creatures to change for the better so that their previous sins can be cancelled and ultimately they can return to their earlier human forms on rebirth. They should not be like the spider at the corner of the wall where it spins a web of its own and quietly and contentedly remains there oblivious of what happens outside its web. Yang Sheng, prepare to tour Hades again.
 
Yang Sheng: Yes, Sir; I am ready.
 
JiGong: We have arrived. Before us is the Officer of the Four Stages of Reincarnation. His Highness and Officers are ready to receive us.
 
Yang Sheng: I pay Your Highness and Officers my humble respects. I hope you will kindly show us around.
 
Highness: Arise; don’t stand on ceremony. During your previous visit we did not have much time to discuss many things but I sincerely hope that this present visit will be more interesting and informative. Do you feel tired after your journey? Why don’t you take a rest inside?
 
Yang Sheng: Sitting on the lotus flower platform was not tiring but the strong wind playing against my ears was most disturbing and deafening.
 
JiGong: Let us follow His Highness inside for a short rest.
 
Yang Sheng: Thank you, Your Highness for taking so much trouble to make us feel comfortable.
 
Highness: Please drink tea; do not be shy.
 
Yang Sheng: Sheng Xian Tang has received an order to write the Book “Journeys to the Underworld” and choosing me to undertake this tour has made me feel most honored but my moral philosophy is not of a high standard. I am not very familiar with what goes on in Hades so, therefore, will you please explain to me the various aspects of the Prison here so that when human beings read this Book they can realize the advantages and merits of doing good and avoid evil deeds.
 
Highness: It is better that I bring you to the place so that you can see for yourself and understand what is happening here.
 
Yang Sheng: Thank you again, Your Highness.
 
Highness: Then follow me to the Central Hall.
 
Yang Sheng: I will follow you. Oh, I see a stag standing in front of the altar and nodding its head as if paying respects to Your Highness or trying to say something.
 
Highness: That is so. In its previous life this stag was a monk; because he had contacted a certain disease he started blaming the Goddess of Mercy for not protecting him from suffering. Consequently he refused to be a vegetarian and broke the Buddhist Commandments, got married and raised a family. He continued to scold the Deities. In due course he died. This is his third rebirth and he became a stag living in the mountain, eating green grass, drinking spring water and dew, exactly like a hermit. This can be called his retribution. He has thus repaid for his past sins and at his death, the energies of Hades sucked his soul here. By his nodding of his head he is appealing to me to help him to be returned to human form.
 
Yang Sheng: This is most disturbing. Because of a sudden lapse of reasoning when he was alive, this soul has to be punished and to suffer so much. The laws of Hades are inexplicable and cannot be avoided. I am still not very clear why, after death, the souls of the four types of creatures are automatically sucked in to this Prison by the energies of Hades.
 
Highness: The Universal Law is that, the Heavens produce their energy, the planets produce their energy and human beings also produce their own energy; these energies revolve and intermingle to create existence. If the energy of Heavens stops, the Heavens will not exist; if the energy of the planets stops the planets will disintegrate; and if the energy of human beings stops human beings will die.
 
Human beings know that the Earth has gravitation but they do not know the Heavens and Human beings also have gravitation. Anything that is pure will be attracted by the gravitation of the Heavens but anything that is impure will be attracted by the gravitation of the Earth. Human desires are the creation of one’s heart. The energies of the three identities revolve to create existence. When any of the four types of creatures dies, his soul is attracted and sucked by the energies of Hades to be judged by The Tribunals.
 
If you are an ascetic person, your spirituality is pure and will float and will be attracted by Heavenly energies; even if the soldiers of Hades want to catch your soul, they will not succeed in their effort. It is like a balloon floating towards Heaven and even if people want to stop it from floating, they themselves will be dragged up. Those of you who aspire to attain Buddhahood or Sagehood in the future must, from now onwards in this present generation, cultivate morality and practise ascetic deeds. It does not mean if one spends money for prayers to be said for salvation of the soul of one’s departed ancestors, the souls will be saved. Instead of wasting good money to pay for such prayers the descendants will save the souls of their ancestors if they do good deeds and print and distribute religious books, leaflets, tracts, so that people can read and thereby do good deeds.
 
These ascetic practices will really go a long way towards the salvation of the souls of the ancestors and also enhance their own virtues. In fact when the Buddhas and Sages were alive their main objective was to teach people to lead a good life. They even caused books to be written to teach people to do good. Therefore by printing and distributing religious books, leaflets and tracts, you will be following the footsteps of the Buddhas and Sages. Moreover, this will be much better than paying for prayers to be said for the salvation of souls of ancestors, and also in the end the ancestors will benefit and their souls will be saved. Human beings must not deny that they are not aware of the method (of printing and distributing religious books etc) of salvation of souls of ancestors. Another method is to help the poor, needy and deserving.
 
Yang Sheng: Your Highness, every word you said is very true and enlightening. Buddhas and Sages had all along urged human beings to do good, either by speeches, preaching and discourages, actions or by books. If one pays for the printing and distribution of religious books and tracts, it is also like helping the Buddhas and Sages in their missions to save humanity. In this way their spirituality will ultimately be attracted by the energy of Heaven towards Heaven.
 
JiGong: What Yang Sheng has just said is very appropriate. If a person tries to be benevolent and just, these attributes added to his personality will ultimately make him become a Buddha or Sage, after death.
 
Highness: This stag here has undergone three rebirths and has therefore repaid for his previous sins which can now be regarded as cancelled. I will accordingly ask General to lead him to the “Revival of Spirit Pavilion” to drink “Revival of Spirit Soup”.
 
General: Yes, Sir. Yang Sheng, please follow me to see what happens.
 
Yang Sheng: Yes, thank you very much General. Very true, here is a pavilion with the words: “Revival of Spirit Pavilion”. Inside is an old man distributing cups of soup to every soul inside to drink. Immediately they finished drinking the soup, the souls suddenly transformed into human form, viz; male, female, old or young.
 
General: Yang Sheng, please stand aside and watch. I will offer one cup of soup to this stag to drink.
 
Yang Sheng: Yes, Oh It’s just like magic. The stag on drinking, suddenly changed its shape into a 50 years old man with short-cropped hair on the head and there were marks of joss-sticks scars (marks of monkhood). It appears that this person when alive had no intention of becoming a life-long monk.
 
General: That is true. This person did not have the intention to remain a monk all his life. He did not want to be a vegetarian and subsequently got married, and raised a family. As punishment, he underwent three rebirths as animals. Now that he has drunk the revival soup he has returned to human form.
 
Yang Sheng: Since he has now returned to human form, will he have to undergo any more punishment?
 
General: Now that he has returned to human form, we have satisfactorily carried out our duty but he will have to be sent to the Tenth Tribunal for “Juan Lun Wang” (King of Revival) to arrange for him to be reborn a human being. As far as I know, all souls transferred by our Third Tribunal to the Tenth Tribunal will be reborn as one of the following types of human beings; poor, maim, blind, deformed so that they will have to undergo further sufferings as human beings unless in their new lives they realize the necessity and benefits of ascetic practices so that on their next rebirth they will not be afflicted with any such deformities.
 
JiGong: We are running out of time. Yang Sheng, please say goodbye to His Highness and Officers.
 
Yang Sheng: Thank you very much General, for your kind assistance. Our time is up and we have to leave.
 
JiGong: Thank you very much, Your Highness, we have to return now but I hope to see you again soon.
 
Highness: Don’t mention; I hope to see you again next time.
 
JiGong: Human beings are not aware of the existence of this Office of Four Types of Reincarnation. So it is my intention that Yang Sheng becomes more acquainted with this Office to enable him to mention it in more detail in the Book. Therefore, I will bring Yang Sheng here again at some more convenient time to receive further instruction from Your Highness.
 
Highness: You are welcome here. All of you, General and Officers, stand in order to send off JiGong and Yang Sheng.
 
Yang Sheng: I am afraid I cannot accept this honor. Thank you very much. Your Highness, Officers and General for your great help. We are returning.
 
JiGong: Quickly step on the lotus flower platform.
 
Yang Sheng: I am properly seated; so we can start.
 
JiGong: We have arrived at Sheng Xian Tang. Yang Sheng, get down. Soul, return to your body.
 
End of Journey No 20.