- Second Tour of
Prison of Poisonous Bees
- JiGong: When Deities
visit Earth their intention is to recruit suitable disciples for
the furtherance of ascetic practices so as to cultivate the
divine element within oneself to revert to the original
condition at the beginning of time, so that eventually, human
beings can attain future bliss towards becoming a Deity, Saint
or Sage. Ascetic practitioners should consider themselves very
lucky to be able to receive the divine instructions from Deities
and must put what they have learnt into practice; but there are
quite a number of them who, instead of following the right path
to Paradise use the good name of the Deities to swindle and
bluff innocent and God-fearing women. Such people have committed
great sins. It does not matter what religion an ascetic
practitioner embraces but he must diligently follow the
instructions dictated by his chosen religion. Yang Sheng, today
we will tour Hades again. So, step on the lotus flower platform
- Yang Sheng: I am
securely seated, which part of Hades are we visiting today?
- JiGong: We will
re-visit the Prison of Poisonous Bees. Quickly close your eyes…
We have arrived, get out.
- Officer: Welcome to
both of you, JiGong and Yang Sheng; we are very pleased to see
- JiGong: Nowadays
there are many people who use the good name of Deities to get
money, especially from ignorant women, thus spoiling the
splendid and solemn respect due to Deities. Therefore, we have
come again to this place to investigate further other aspects of
the pretence so that we can include factual stories in our Book.
- Officer: Very well;
please follow me inside and I will summon a few sinful souls to
tell Yang Sheng their stories.
- Yang Sheng: Thank
you very much Officer. There are so many poisonous bees flying
about as if the sky is covered black by them and stinging on the
sinful souls until the bodies become swollen and the eyes seem
to be swimming in their sockets on the head.
- Officer: Not only
the bodies get swollen and the heads go swimming but the sinful
souls will feel feverishly hot and will fear the cold because of
the poison produced by the bees. General, quickly summon a
couple of sinful souls so that they can tell their stories.
- General: Yes, Sir… I
have brought three sinful souls.
- Officer: Here,
sinful souls, listen very carefully. This is JiGong Huofo and
this is Yang Sheng, who had received the Order to write the
Book, Diyu Youji (Journeys to the Underworld) for human beings
to read and learn thereby. I want all of you to tell your
stories as to why you are sent here to be punished – remember to
be truthful and don’t hide any facts.
- Yang Sheng: Can I
ask this Mister why you are suffering in this Prison?
- 1st Soul:
I should not have committed the sin for which I am now being
punished. When I was alive, I was one of the Elders of my
village. When there was a proposal to build a temple in our
village, I undertook to collect money from the villagers for the
good cause. I was not very careful about the accounts and so I
put aside a certain portion of the contributions for my own use.
Not until I was dead, did I know that making use of part of the
religious contributions for my own personal purpose was a very
big sin for which I am now sentenced to this Prison to be
punished. These poisonous bees have no pity for us and in my
case, they sting me until my body is swollen. I would,
therefore, advise human beings on Earth that they cannot play
about with monetary contributions which are intended for
religious purposes. They must be honest and straightforward in
such dealings. Now that I am stung by these poisonous bees, this
is truly my recompensation. I think in my lifetime I had not
committed any other sin except this one only.
- Officer: As a
village Elder, it was your duty to help the villagers as best as
you could but you helped them to help yourself. The erection of
the temple was to provide a place for the villagers to worship
the Deities but you took the opportunity to make money out of
the good purpose. Really your sins cannot be forgiven. Second
Soul, come up and tell your story quickly.
- Yang Sheng: Can I
ask you, holy man, why being of the religious order, instead of
going to the Western Paradise, you are now thrust into this
- 2nd Soul:
Amitabha! Sinful, Sinful. I was ordained as a priest at the age
of 15 after having received the necessary Buddhist teachings and
instructions but I had no respect or regard for the Buddhist
culture. When pious people contributed money to the temple, I
stole some which I privately set aside for my personal use –
some money I used for the temple and some I used for myself.
When I was employed to say prayers for the souls of the dead to
get rid of the calamities, I did so anyhow, not following the
prayer books in detail. The length of the prayers often depended
upon the amount of money paid – more money, longer the prayers;
less money, shorter the prayers. I was not too eager to say
prayers for the poor, giving all sorts of excuses like having
prior engagements, etc. In the case of wealthy patrons, I was
very happy to be of service and worked very hard to recite the
prayers. Because of my greed for money when I was living, at
death, Buddha did not care for me and so I was sentenced to this
Prison. This is why I am suffering greatly here.
- Officer: Belonging
to the holy order, you should have been as ascetic practitioner
and should have improved your morality instead of which your
canal thoughts never died, always craving for worldly gains. You
worshipped money instead of worshipping Buddha – altogether
different methods of worshipping. That is why you are suffering
in this Prison.
- JiGong: To become a
follower of Buddha, one has to discard one’s natural-born name;
that is why all monks are given the common surname “shi”. This
is a very solemn practice. Once a person renounces the world and
joins the monkhood, one should think differently, concentrating
on ascetic practices and doing good, but in your case, you still
had worldly intentions and inclinations, forsaking the Buddhist
teachings. I must impress on some holy people that if they still
stick fast to worldly pleasures and inclinations, they will have
no chance whatsoever of entering the Western Paradise after
death. Time is rather limited, Yang Sheng, we have to return and
we will come again next time.
- Yang Sheng: Thank
you, Officer and General, for giving us so much assistance – we
now have to return.
- Officer: In case we
have not entertained you sufficiently well, do please excuse us.
Please come again.
- JiGong: Yang Sheng,
quickly step on the lotus flower platform.
- Yang Sheng: I am
safely seated, Master, we can proceed now.
- JiGong: We have
arrived at Sheng Xian Tang. Yang Sheng, get down. Soul, return
to your body.
- End of Journey No 28