- JiGong: In one’s
life there must be occasions of sorrow, happiness and anger,
meeting and parting. It is not an easy matter to be involved in
ascetic practices. The person must maintain a sincere, free and
easy heart and must also perform moral deeds. It is useless for
one to speak about morality and not to carry out or put into
practice. Today we will tour Hades. Yang Sheng, step on the
lotus flower platform quickly.
- Yang Sheng: Dear
Master, why is it that you are constantly heaving sights today.
- JiGong: Human
beings’ hearts are not the same and their intentions also are
different, and also are their speech. Let us take the example of
pickled plum: some say they are sweet, some say they are sour,
some say they are saltish, some say they are neither sweet nor
sour, while others say they are tasteless. Therefore, when
people hear this and hear that their hearts get confused and
don’t know what to do.
- Yang Sheng: Ah! You
being virtuous, and indulge in ascetic practice, need not bother
too much about things; instead you should quiet down the heart
and stand obediently to Heaven’s decree. That will be OK.
- JiGong: You are much
smarter. I seem to have suddenly become infatuated and
bewildered. Let us not talk too much but please get up on the
lotus flower platform.
- Yang Sheng: Yes,
- JiGong: We have
arrived, get out.
- Yang Sheng: Officer
and General are coming. I am Sheng Xian Tang’s Guan Di Gong’s
disciple and have arrived here with JiGong to pay you a visit.
Will you please help me?
- Officer: Welcome.
The name of this place is Mouth-Piercing Prison and is under the
control of the Fourth Tribunal. We have received instruction
from Wu Guan Wang that JiGong and Yang Sheng are visiting us
today. Should we fail to entertain you properly please pardon
- JiGong: Officer,
please don’t be so humble. We are touring Hades for the purpose
of writing the Book and we are here now to request Officer and
General to help us in our mission.
- Officer: Yes. Sir;
please follow me to the Prison to see what goes on.
- Yang Sheng: On the
gateway are words: “Small Mouth-Piercing Prison”. I am afraid
the souls are suffering.
- Officer: Let us
- Yang Sheng: True
enough; inside this Prison I can hear voices crying in pain like
the clash of thunder to the ears, making my ears deaf. Some
souls are strapped to pillars and the soldiers of Hades, using
sharp skewers are piercing the cheeks with great force as if
wanting to murder them. The screaming by the tortured souls is
like the screaming and screening coming from the animal
slaughter house. I don’t know for what kind of sins they had
done to warrant such cruel punishment?
- Officer: I will
release a couple of souls so that you can ask them.
- Yang Sheng: Thank
you very much, Officer.
- Officer: Here, I am
ordering you, sinful soul, to tell Yang Sheng why you are here.
- 1st Soul:
My mouth is very painful. I had already confessed my sins to Wu
Guan Wang and now you want me to repeat my confession.
- JiGong: I am a monk
and have to beg for alms; and now I am like begging you to let
us hear your story. Why can’t you oblige?
- Officer: This monk
you see here is none other than JiGong Huofo who has been
ordered to tour Hades and write a Book. If you don’t quickly
relate your story; that would amount to disobeying orders; and
do you know what punishment is? You will be sent to the deepest
Hell where there will be no escape at all.
- 1st Soul:
Oh, so after all, this monk is JiGong Huofo. When I was alive, I
used to hear about him. Please pardon me for not knowing you
earlier. Now that I know your identity, I will tell frankly what
I had done on Earth. I had very good voice and was a talented
singer. My service was in great demand especially in night
clubs, restaurants and places of entertainment. I was often
requested by pharmacists to sing in various localities to help
advertise their products. To retain the interest of the audience
and customers, I restored to singing indecent and obscene songs,
suggestive gestures and mimics. When I died, my soul was brought
before Wu Guan Wang who said that I had committed sins, those
types of undesirable and objectionable songs and actions instead
of singing ordinary, descent or patriotic songs, etc, thus
exciting the audience and injuring public morals. That is why I
am here in this Prison for 10 years. Everyday I have to undergo
piercing of my cheeks which pains me very much – really,
although I have a mouth, I find it difficult to speak. Again,
when I was alive I was very romantic and for this, I have to
undergo another type of punishment as what the Officer tells me
that I feel very sorry. I hope that the existing living singing
stars will not sing dirty and obscene songs but will sing songs
which teach people to be good. Otherwise when they die their
souls will be sent to this Mouth- Piercing Prison and they will
have to sing songs of a different tune(crying) everyday.
- Officer: I wish to
send a message to the existing singers to sing only decent songs
and songs which will be of use to the public and patriotic
songs. They should not sing songs which are dirty and obscene.
If my advice is not heeded, an oral sin has been committed and
their souls will be sent to this Prison. I will now summon a
second soul to tell her sinful story to Yang Sheng.
- 2nd Soul:
My mouth is very painful and the wound is dripping blood. To
begin with, when I was alive, I had bad temper and when I got
married I very often quarreled with my husband. Every time I
opened my mouth, I cursed Heaven and Earth. I also frequently
quarreled with my neighboring womenfolk. My greatest sin was
instigating the neighbors to quarrel thereby breaking up their
families. In one instance, I quarreled with a neighbor and to
get revenge, I spread unfounded rumours that the woman of one
house had an affair with a male neighbor. From one mouth to
another, the rumour spread until nearly everyone came to know
about it, ending with the parties concerned divorcing. Because
of my sin in spreading false rumours, at death, my soul was sent
to this Prison for 8 years. There are other sins which I have no
desire to talk about.
- Officer: That is
well and good – you see, your mouth has produced through the
wounds so much dirty blood water already. No need to say too
much now, because your own mouth has confessed the damaging
rumours you had spread.
- JiGong: It is
getting late and so we must prepare to return to Sheng Xian
Tang. Yang Sheng, have you any more questions to ask?
- Officer: You, tell
your story to Yang Sheng quickly.
- 3rd Soul:
When I was alive, my father was a Chinese physician using herbs
to cure the ailments of his patients. Observing my father’s
methods of practicing medicine I soon picked up bits and pieces
appertaining to his profession. When my father died, I naturally
took over and told the patients that I had acquired the
knowledge of curing patients. I said that I was able to cure all
sorts of sicknesses but had to collect the rare herbs and
medicines from distant places, so the medicines would be very
expensive. They believed what I said; some were actually cured
while others were not cured although I had collected money from
them in advance. Some even wanted the prescription slips
themselves but I told them that were hereditary, being handed
down from my forefathers; if they wanted, they could buy the
ready-made medicines from me but not the actual prescription
slips. In this way I made good profits by selling the ready-made
medicines at high prices. When I died, Wu Guan Wang sentenced my
soul to this Mouth-Piercing Prison for punishment.
- Officer: You did a
good job by selling prepared medicines to cure people but you
sold them at very high prices. On the other hand you charged too
much thus damaging your morality. Therefore you had committed
sin. I would advised those who have hereditary prescription
slips for curing various types of sicknesses to make them
available to people who really need them for their own use,
instead of keeping them secret or making plenty of money by
selling the prepared medicine themselves. Another thing is that
people must not make huge profits by selling common medicinal
herbs at high prices. If my advice is not followed, when such
sinful people die, their souls will be sent here for punishment
in this Mouth-Piercing Prison.
- JiGong: Time is up;
we have to return. Let us thank Officer and General and say
goodbye to them.
- Yang Sheng: Thank
you very much, Officer and General, for entertaining and
instructing me so well.
- Officer: If you do
not think that we have entertained you properly, than I wish to
invite you to our place on your next visit.
- Yang Sheng: Thank
you very much.
- JiGong: Step on the
lotus flower platform quickly.
- Yang Sheng: I am
safely seated, dear Master, we can now proceed.
- JiGong: 1] Human
beings must stop telling lies and talking bad about others
behind their backs.
- 1] Women and girls must be gentle and virtuous and must
cooperate among themselves.
- 3] Do not disturb or instigate other families.
- 4] Do not scold elders behind their backs.
- These four maxims everyone must understand. Otherwise when
they die, their souls will be sent to the Mouth-Piercing Prison.
It is always appropriate to say “Thank you” or “I am sorry”
where and when applicable so that misfortune can be avoided and
good luck takes its place. We have arrived at Sheng Xian Tang.
Yang Sheng, get down; Soul return to your body.
- End of Journey No 25