- Touring “Prison of Forced
Opening of Mouth
- to insert Iron Pin”
Nowadays, very few people take ascetic practices seriously.
Of those who take up ascetic practices, quite a number who
profess to be devout are in fact not sincere, yet there are
others who are in earnest, do not know actually the
rudiments of this practice – their hearts are willing; and
there are others who take pride in broadcasting their
practice but they are like the floating weeds at the pond
and have no firm roots. When the wind blows, the weeds
follow the direction of the wind. We should pay more
respects to those who, while being devout ascetic
practitioners, never go bragging about themselves. The Sages
have often said that the sincere and devout ascetic
practitioners will reap all the good benefits exactly as
what the ancient sayings have it that those who are ascetic
will be blessed and their descendants too will be blessed
but those who are not sincere will meet with calamity, so
will their descendants. I hope that human beings will
conform to the saying “the net of
Heaven stretches everywhere, its meshes are wide but nothing
escapes them.” So, therefore, human beings must be
aware of this. Today, we will tour Hades again; so Yang
Sheng, step on the lotus flower platform.
- Yang Sheng: Yes,
Sir. But dear Master, excuse me for asking why today you are
so drunk with wine? I observe that when you were speaking,
your face was flushed with anger.
- JiGong: I feel
great pain in my heart when I see so many human beings going
all out to acquire materialistic gains which they think is
the sole purpose of the whole duty of mankind. This has
caused me to drink bitter wine beyond my usual limit, not
worrying what happens to such human beings when they die and
their souls are eventually cast into the Prisons of Hades. I
do not care whether in future Heaven and Earth are involved
in primeval darkness.
- Yang Sheng: By
nature you have a merciful heart.
- JiGong: Step on
the lotus flower platform. Wine cannot cause the drinker to
get drunk but the drinker gets drunk because of too much
wine; lewdness cannot arouse the desire for women but it is
one’s inclination that causes lewdness; money does not run
after people, it is people who run after money. The cold
wind now starts blowing causing me to feel awakened. Let us
now go touring Hades….We have arrived, get down.
- Yang Sheng: The
Officer has come to welcome us. Today, my dear Master and
myself have arrived and I do hope Officer and Generals will
please give us every assistance.
- Officer: Arise,
no need to stand on ceremony. The name of this Prison is
Prison” which comes under
the jurisdiction of the Sixth Tribunal. We have received the
Notice stating that both of you will be coming here to have
a look for the purpose of writing the Book, the name of
which is “Diyu Youji.” I do not think I can be of much
assistance but please forgive me for any short-coming.
- JiGong: Please
do not be so humble; I would appreciate it very much if you
would give whatever assistance you can.
- Officer: Please
be good enough to accompany me inside.
- Yang Sheng: I
see this Prison is so full of sinful souls. The soldiers of
Hades are forcing the mouth open with iron forks and forcing
spiked iron pin cushions into the mouths. All the souls are
in so great pain that they jump about. Blood oozing out of
the mouths until the souls become unconscious.
- JiGong: The
purpose of forcing the iron pins into the mouth is to create
a situation that having a mouth, the sinful soul will not be
able to speak – a punishment for talking too much; in other
words “the soul has a hard mouth” thus making him have a
mouth which pains and cannot speak.
- Yang Sheng: This
type of punishment is indeed very cruel. If one is stuck in
the throat or mouth even by a small fish bone, he feels
uncomfortable; just compare with a soul having iron pins
forced into his mouth, it is like a dumb person who has
taken bitter medicine and cannot express the bitterness! Can
I ask Officer, what sins did these souls commit on Earth
that they are sent here to be punished?
- Officer: On
Earth there are many people who, although they have no
principles, talk as if they are fully justified to do so, or
use sugar coated words to entice innocent women, or who
speak untruths to swindle others, or those who take drugs,
or those whose speech is like sharp knife piercing the
hearts of others. All such people after death their souls
are sent to this Prison for punishment. I will summon a few
of such souls to come and tell you their stories.
- JiGong: All
these souls are unconscious. I will use my rush-leaf fan to
revive them. Quickly get up; quickly get up. General,
quickly remove the iron pins from their mouths; if not, how
can they speak?
- General: I have
removed the iron pins as instructed.
- JiGong: Here,
sinful souls; listen carefully. Today, I bring this human
being, Yang Sheng, here to see what sufferings are being
inflicted on you. You must tell your stories truthfully what
sins you had committed when you were alive, causing your
souls, after death to be sent to this Prison.
- 1st Soul:
When I was alive, I had the gift of the gap. My eloquence
was so impressive that everybody liked to hear me. I was
also quite beautiful. Even after my marriage, many male
folks used to chase after me. Once a man fell head over
heels in love with me and seeing that he was a rich man,
with my flexible tongue I told him that my husband did not
care very much for me; would he therefore take care of me?
Eventually there were many intimacies between us, because I
was endowed with a pliable tongue, I tried to get as much
money from him as I could. After I had obtained what I
wanted, I changed tactics. Every now and then I used sharp
words to offend and attack him. He felt much insulted and
not looking to the future, took the short cut and committed
suicide. I found out (only after my death) that this chap
after he died had complained to Hades about me. The chief of
Hades told him that because I, being a woman, was so sinful
that he was at liberty to take revenge. When I was still
alive, his soul constantly came and wrapped round my body
making my health run down, falling sick every now and then
and after 7 years of this mental torture, I died. Then both
our souls confronted each other in front of Wang Si Cheng
(the city of those who die unnatural deaths). The man
because he had affairs with me, a married woman, had to
suffer for his sins, whereas I was sentenced to be punished
in the various Tribunals until I reached this Sixth Tribunal
when Bian Cheng Wang scolded me saying that my mouth was
dirty and cheated people. He sentenced me to have the iron
pins forced into my mouth, causing me great pain.
- JiGong: You made
use of false love to attract men, thus deceiving your own
husband and also used your mouth and tongue to “kill”
people. Now that you are dead, your soul has come here to be
punished. You deserve it, you deserve it. Now 2nd
Soul, tell your story.
- 2nd Soul:
When I was alive I was a loafer. I took pleasure in taking
drugs and liked morphine injections. To get money for my
purpose, I had to resort to thieving. When I died, my soul
was sent to this Prison; everyday, iron pins were forced
into my mouth. On account of this suffering, I hate my
previous life on Earth.
- Officer: Those
souls who indulge in drug taking on Earth, when sent here
will have to undergo long-term punishment to eradicate the
drugs which are inside the bodies because there are still
traces of the harmful drugs; souls cannot be reborn if there
are still traces of drugs in the bodies. The laws on Earth
are very severe against drugs addicts but here in Hades, the
punishment is even more severe. In the case of those souls
who are too deeply involved in drugs, they are sent to A-Bi
Diyu (the lowest Hell according to Buddhism where there is
no escape). I would therefore urge those people who are
already involved in drugs, to stop their bad practice and
immediately find all remedies to get rid of the drug habit.
- JiGong: 3rd
Soul, come and tell what sins you had committed when you
were on Earth.
- 3rd Soul:
I was a well-educated man when I was living. I was able to
quote idioms and proverbs readily. When speaking to my
friends and relatives, I was able to convince them to my way
of thinking, even though the statement was actually
inaccurate. I often talked to them on heretical doctrines
and quoted the sayings of Sages to slander people. When I
died Bian Cheng Wang said, “You
did not use the sayings of Sages to tell people to do good,
but by twisting the quotations, you cheated them; you used
your mouth to harm, therefore, I sentence you to have spiked
iron pin cushion forced into your mouth to punish it”.
Now I am suffering because although I have a mouth, I
cannot utter a word.
- JiGong: A
reasonable sentence can travel anywhere and everywhere, but
an unreasonable sentence uttered cannot even take half a
step. Human beings must speak with reason, for example, if
one, after killing a person, twists and turns and says that
the man rightly deserves to die, then this speech is
distorted. The soul of this person, after death, will surely
be sent to this Prison to be punished. Now, 4th
Soul, it is your turn to say why you are in this Prison?
- 4th Soul:
When I was alive, I had some money which I lent others at
high rates of interest. Those who had difficulty in paying
the interest regularly, I had interest added to the
principal amount borrowed and charged compound interest on
the new amount, thus getting a lot of money. In the case of
those who were not able to pay anything, I employed loafers
to confront them. When I died, Bian Cheng Wang said that
because I had lived on high interest rates, (like blood
sucking), now coming to this Prison, the iron pins have to
be forced into my mouth causing me so much suffering. I now
realize my past sins but too late to repent.
- Officer: The
heart of rich people is as hard as iron or copper; some rich
people depend on high rate of interest for a living. When
they die, their souls will be sent to this Prison so that
they can experience the taste of the iron pins. I would
advise such people not to squeeze money from the poor and
needy by charging high rate of interest; instead they should
help the less fortunate by charging lower rate of interest.
Helping others is an enjoyable and self-satisfying matter;
why not do it?
- JiGong: We have
little time left. Yang Sheng, prepare to return. Thank you,
Officer and Generals for entertaining us. We have to say
- Officer: All
Generals, line up and bid goodbye.
- Yang Sheng: I’m
safely seated, dear Master, we can proceed…
- JiGong: We have
arrived at Sheng Xian Tang. Yang Sheng, get down. Soul,
return to your body.
- End of Journey No 39