JOURNEY NO 39   -   10th November 1977

Touring “Prison of Forced Opening of Mouth
to insert Iron Pin”
JiGong: 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 “Iron Pin 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 goodbye now.
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