JOURNEY NO 38   -   18th October 1977

 
Touring the Small Prison of the Sixth Tribunal
For Reckless Drivers of Motor Vehicles
 
JiGong: Summer has just passed and Autumn is now with us. The weather is turning colder and people are buying warmer clothing. The birds are growing more feathers to keep themselves warm. This rotation of the four seasons continues unabated, year in and year out, making me recall my young days and now I see my house full of the younger generations. My eyesight is failing and limbs getting unsteady making walking rather slow. Now, to think of it, I regret very much how quickly my younger days had eroded. Human life is like a dream. Therefore, I would advise human beings to make the best use of their time; one inch of time passed is like one inch of life cut short! Consequently you must seize the first opportunity to take ascetic practice so that you can be a worthy member of society and become law-abiding citizens. Then only can you be a man worthy to be admitted into the “School of Sages” after death; there will be no vacancy in the Prisons of Hades for such people, you will be only like tourist there, no need to undergo any suffering. Time has now come for us to tour Hades; so Yang Sheng, get up on the lotus flower platform.
 
Yang Sheng: Where are we going this time?
 
JiGong: You will soon know.
 
Yang Sheng: Yes, yes. I’m safely seated, we can start now…
 
JiGong: We have arrived. Yang Sheng get down.
 
Yang Sheng: Dear Master, why have you brought me to this hillside? I can hear at a distance, voices crying and calling for help. The crying is like one being beaten or being slashed. Before us, I see the soldiers of Hades herding sinful souls along the roads. Can we follow behind them to see what will happen?
 
JiGong: Today we are visiting the Sixth Tribunal’s Small Prison at the hillside, so quickly follow the soldiers of Hades.
 
Yang Sheng: We have managed to catch up with them and the soldiers are turning their heads as if to greet us. Don’t know what kind of sins these souls had committed and don’t know what punishment they will have to suffer.
 
JiGong: These sinful souls were previously drivers of motor cars, lorries, riders of motor cycles; because when they were alive, they were involved in fatal accidents causing death to others, their souls will have to come here to repay for their past actions.
 
Yang Sheng: But when they were still alive, these irresponsible drivers had already been punished by the human law courts, so their worldly mistake can very well be said to have been adequately settled from the point of law.
 
JiGong: Because these souls had caused the death of other human beings, they will now have to face another punishment in Hades. We have now reached the gates of the Prison. If you are in doubt on any matter, you are at liberty to ask the Officer to enlighten you.
 
Yang Sheng: There is a guard at the gate and it does look as if there is some measure of security. At the top of the gate are the words “Prison for leaner Drivers”. The Officer and Generals have come out to receive us.
 
JiGong: Yang Sheng, quickly go and pay your respects.
 
Yang Sheng: To you Officer and Generals, I humbly pay my respects. Today I follow my dear Master, JiGong, to visit your Prison so as to find out the reasons these souls are sent here. Hope you will kindly give us every assistance.
 
Officer: Yang Sheng, there is no need to stand on ceremony. Please both of you; follow me inside for a look.
 
Yang Sheng: Which Tribunal controls this Prison?
 
Officer: This Prison is called “Prison for Learner Drivers” and is under the control of the Sixth Tribunal. This Prison is a totally new establishment and very few human beings are aware of its existence. We have been informed earlier of the Book “Diyu Youji” which Sheng Xian Tang is now compiling and just today, we received notice from Bian Cheng Wang to say that you will be visiting us here. We are indeed very glad to welcome you. If you have doubt on any subject here, do not hesitate to ask and I will be only too glad to try to explain.
 
Yang Sheng: How do you punish these sinful souls here?
 
Officer: Careless motor car drivers and those who cause death or severe injuries to others through reckless driving, or those who, by their driving hazards cause the other party to be disabled irrespective of what types of motor vehicles they were then driving, their souls will be sent here to be punished. Please follow me.
 
JiGong: Thank you very much.
 
Yang Sheng: There are so many souls at the hillside all occupying the small sloping narrow roads which are strewn with rough stones, dust and sand. Each sinful soul is pulling a cart very much like the old-fashioned rickshaw. Each cart is fully loaded with red bricks; because of the weight each soul experiences great difficulty in controlling the loaded cart and at the same time trying to negotiate it down the small narrow sloping road of the hillside. The road is narrow, just wide enough for the two cart wheels to move along; a little lack of care will land both the puller and the loaded cart or just the cart, tumbling sideways down the hillside into the drain. The pullers are bare-footed. Because the cart fully loaded, is heavy, the puller must control the sliding down momentum by means of the pressure grip of the soles of his bare feet, thus causing bleeding and blisters to form at the soles, the blood staining all over the narrow road. In case of the unfortunate soul who happens to lose control of the cart thus allowing it to tumble down sideways into the drain below, he has first to remove the bricks to lighten the cart which he will have to bring up to the road, place the bricks at the wheels to prevent the cart sliding down again, then he will have to bring up the bricks from the drain and stack them up on the cart after which he will have to pull the cart down to the foot of the hillside. Where the puller is not strong enough, both puller and the cart will tumble down sideways into the drain, the body of the puller being rolled over by the loaded cart, causing him to scream and subsequently to faint, exactly like what happens when a car accident happens, blood oozing out. This is a novelty punishment to suit these modern times and is very severe.
 
JiGong: When reckless vehicle drivers on Earth (who cause the death of other road-users) die, their souls will be sent here to be punished. This is true retribution – cause and effect.
 
Officer: I will summon a few souls to come and tell you their stories.
 
Yang Sheng: Thank you very much.
 
Officer: The sinful souls are here.
Look here, sinful souls, quickly tell JiGong and Yang Sheng what sins you had committed on Earth that you are here to suffer punishment. Tell them truthfully so that they can include your stories in the Book they are writing for human beings to read thus avoiding pitfalls.
 
1st Soul: When I was alive, I was an omnibus driver. One day, while rounding a corner, a small girl rushed out from a side lane on to the path of my bus but because I could not stop in time, the poor girl was rolled over and died on the spot. In my career as a bus driver, I was involved in quite a number of accidents, sometimes causing slight injuries to others but my bus was usually damaged. Because of these frequent accidents, I was sacked by the bus company. When I died, my soul was sent to this Small Prison to be punished for one year – every day I have to pull the loaded cart down the hill slope, using my feet and toes to control the sliding cart. Although my body can stand this punishment, I have to make the trip 100 times a day resulting in my feet bleeding profusely and sores forming plentifully.
 
Officer: Now, soul no 2, your turn to tell your story.
 
2nd Soul: I was a taxi driver when I was alive. One day I went with a friend for a drink at the bar which made me somewhat drunk in spite of which I continued to drive my taxi. I drove it rather fast and because of my drunken state, my vision was rather impaired and not being in full control of my taxi, rolled over a pedestrian killing him on the spot. I was sentenced to a jail term and had to pay indemnity. After death, when I appeared before Bian Cheng Wang, he scolded me saying, “When drunk you continued to drive your vehicle thus playing with someone’s life causing him to die.” He then sentenced me to serve three years in this Prison, everyday pulling the loaded cart downhill and being insulted by the soldiers of Hades; the soles of my feet are bleeding and in great pain. Because I have to make use of all the strength I have, you can now see that my body has shrunken until it is like a stick! I hope human drivers will not drive at all when under the influence of liquor.  
 
Officer: Come here 3rd Soul and quickly disclose your side of the picture.
 
3rd Soul: I was a businessman when alive, riding my motor cycle daily to deliver goods. As I take pleasure in exceeding the speed limit and ignoring the usual road regulations, one day I knocked down a man inflicting on him severe injuries while I sprawled on the road and was hurt with a leg injury. The unfortunate man among other injuries also had his head bashed. I recovered after 6 months but, although the victim survived, the head injury made him an idiot of him when he recovered! I had to dish out a lot of indemnity to settle matters. On account of this accident, after my death years later, my soul was sent to the Sixth Tribunal before Bian Cheng Wang who sentenced me to a 3-year term of punishment in this Prison. The suffering here is so terrible that it cannot be expressed by word of mouth.
 
Officer: The stories narrated by these three souls should teach human beings to be very careful when driving motor vehicles; they should value the lives of others as much as their own. In this Prison, there are various severity of punishment – some light, some heavy. To those who were involved in accidents unintentionally, the punishment is light whereas, to those who deliberately drove motor vehicles while under the influence of liquor, the punishment dished out is more heavy than to those hit and run drivers who did not even stop to investigate, or render assistance or at least stop to find out the extent of the damage he had caused. Therefore, I would advise drivers to stop and render every assistance in any accident they are unfortunate to be involved in; this should clear their conscience.
 
JiGong: This is a new establishment Prison, very much like the “motor driving institutes” of Earth. Those new souls who come here for “refresher course” must start all over again to learn the correct and recognized methods of driving motor vehicles so as not to endanger lives. This Prison serves as a warning to human beings never to drive when under the influence of liquor, not to exceed the speed limit and to follow rigidly the official road regulations. If they ignore this warning, when they die, they will have to be sent to this Prison to be retrained and to obtain another certificate of proficiency. Time to return has come. Yang Sheng, prepare to get up on the lotus flower platform. Thank Officer and Generals for the help they have so kindly given.
 
Yang Sheng: I am very grateful to Officer and Generals for your really great help; we have to return now.
 
Officer: Should I fail in my humble duty to entertain you, I hope you will pardon me. I must instruct my Generals to line up for a hearty send off.
 
Yang Sheng: I am safely seated, dear Master, we can start now…
 
JiGong: We have arrived at Sheng Xian Tang. Yang Sheng, get down. Soul, return to your body.
 
End of Journey No 38.