JOURNEY NO 42   -   26th December 1977

Touring the Seventh Tribunal
Interviewing Tai Shan Wang of the Prison of Red Hot Bricks
JiGong: In the ancient book called “Yu Li Bao Chao Quan Shi Wen,” the author was ordered by “Tian Di” that his soul should tour Hades. Tian Di instructed him to write the Book after he had completed his tour of Hades in order to teach human beings to do more good than evil. Nowadays, the world has changed for the worse; so accordingly the mode of punishment in Hades will have to be changed to meet present day sins. The purpose of writing, printing and distributing this Book, Diyu Youji has the advantage of doing good deeds because those who read it will be influenced to do more good deeds than evil deeds. Those who devotedly read this Book and endeavour to follow the right path will eventually attain the correct moral philosophy. We must prepare to tour Hades again today and so Yang Sheng, get up on the lotus flower platform.
Yang Sheng: Yes, Sir, I am securely seated. Dear Master, we can start….
JiGong: We have arrived; get down.
Yang Sheng: Where are we going today?
JiGong: Look, before us is the Seventh Tribunal. Tai Shan Wang has seen us and has stood up to receive us. Quickly go and pay your respects.
Tai Shan Wang: I welcome both of you, JiGong and Sheng Xian Tang’s Yang Sheng; do come inside and have a seat.
Yang Sheng: Thank you very much, Tai Shan Wang. Today we have come here on a visit and I am honoured that both your Civil and Military officials have lined up to receive us. I can also see many sinful souls inside this place and Tai Shan Wang, on seeing us approaching, has stopped temporarily dealing with those sinful souls to come and receive us.
Tai Shan Wang: I am aware of the hardships and inconveniences which both of you are going through to visit Hades in order to write the Book and I accordingly offer you my greatest respects. I will ask the General to serve Heavenly Tea.
General: Yes, Sir…Tea is served, respected Sirs.
Yang Sheng: Thank you for your kind hospitality.
Tai Shan Wang: No need to stand on ceremony. The present day world is on the decline. Fortunately, Sheng Xian Tang of Taiwan, through planchette writings has issued and distributed so many books to urge people to do good deeds. Today, you have come here to gather data for the Book, Diyu Youji so that human beings can read and thereby try and do good deeds – this is no small matter. Now that you are here, it is my humble duty to do everything I can to make your mission a complete success it deserves.
JiGong: Thank you very much, Tai Shan Wang for instructing us. The intention to help and redeem humanity is in the hearts of everyone. In case we have not conducted ourselves properly, I pray that you will forgive us.
Tai Shan Wang: Do not be so modest. It is customary that when a person dies, his family will observe the 7 by 7th day death ceremony prayers by employing monks to chant prayers hoping to release the soul from sufferings. The living tend to believe that the observance of the first 7th day ceremony will help to lead the soul through the 1st Tribunal, the second 7th day ceremony will help to lead through the 2nd Tribunal, and so on and so forth, until the seventh 7th day ceremony which should lead the soul through the 7th Tribunal. It is not easy as all that. The kith and kin do not know that during the lifetime of the deceased he might have committed a lot of sins, and by observing the 7 by 7th day ceremonies, within 49 days they expect the soul of the deceased to reach the 7th Tribunal. They think that after passing through the 7th Tribunal, the soul would automatically pass through the 8th, 9th and 10th Tribunals and then be ready for rebirth. I would therefore, advise the living not to waste so much money in paying for chanting of prayers in connection with the 7 by 7th day ceremonies; rather, when one is still alive it is better that he does more good deeds than evil deeds. Therefore, when one is alive, one must endeavour to do good whenever possible so that the accumulation of good deeds done during one’s lifetime will result in the “lucky saints” coming to guide the soul on its journey at death. No need to waste money by paying for chanting of prayers because no amount of chanting can help a sinful soul to escape the punishment that awaits him in the various Tribunals in Hades. I hope human beings will take note of this very important point.
Yang Sheng: Why do the living always talk of 7 by 7th day, why not 8 by 7th or 9 by 7th or 10 by 7th day?
Officer: In Hades the most important Tribunals are the first 7 Tribunals; it is in these 7 Tribunals that most sins are punished and the 8th, 9th and 10th Tribunals will only dealt with any leftover sins not dealt with by the first 7 Tribunals. It is good that descendants of dead persons should observe filial piety after death but it is definitely preferable that all parties, while still living should do good deeds.
JiGong: When a person dies, his soul will have to undergo punishment in the various Tribunals until his soul is due for rebirth. The descendants naturally wish the soul to be released from much sufferings. They, therefore, must do good deeds so as to influence the Heads of the various Tribunals to remit the sins of their forebears, this is a better method of approach. If the descendants want to engage monks to chant prayers, the prayers will be effective only when chanted by monks who are very pious, otherwise the prayers will not have any effect and money will be wasted. I would suggest to human beings that it is very much better to respect their elders when they are still alive, e.g. to feed them with a grain of rice when they are living is much better than offering them a feast or wine after they are dead. Another way to relieve the suffering of the soul of a dead person is for the children to print and distribute religious books. By doing this kind of good deed; the soul of the dead will not suffer so much. This is one way of thanking the deceased.
Yang Sheng: Dear Master, what you have just said is like a needle poking the flesh of a person and immediately blood oozes out and is very effective and valuable. There are many people who do not care much for their parents when they were alive but when the parents die, they realize the usefulness of the dead, very much like the leaves of a tree which we want to see remain still and motionless, but a sudden gust of wind comes and blows to move the leaves – the children now want to be filial to their parents but alas, too late as the parents have died. Can I ask dear Master, why is it that when a person dies, his soul in Hades takes the shape and form of the person himself although his earthly body has already decayed?
JiGong: That is the illusory form of the dead person. As time is rather limited, can Tai Shan Wang please conduct us for a look of the Prison here in the Seventh Tribunal?
Tai Shan Wang: The most important Prison here is the Prison of the Red Hot Bricks and there are also 16 small Prisons. When sinful souls are sent here, I judge them with impartiality – there is no question of gratitude or pity. Now I will bring both of you to see what goes on here.
Yang Sheng: This is most kind of you; I wish to thank Tai Shan Wang.
Tai Shan Wang: All Civil and Military Officers please get ready to escort both of them inside to see the works.
All Officers: Yes, Sir…..
Yang Sheng: When I follow behind Tai ShanWang, I have a sense and feeling of awe because he is so very strict and righteous.
JiGong: In Hades, there is no such thing as favour or favourites or any other consideration – the only governing factor is dependent on the amount of good deeds a deceased person had done when he was alive. If a person leads an evil life on Earth, when he dies, his soul in Hades will be disturbed and tormented by evil spirits, but if he leads a good life, when he dies, his soul in Hades will be protected and escorted by angels.
Yang Sheng: My body is feeling very hot as the flames here are glowing skywards. At the top of the gate are the words “Prison of Red Hot Bricks.” The wall is made of red bricks.
JiGong: These bricks are called “fire bricks” – the stronger the fire burns, the harder the bricks become.
Prison Officer: Welcome Tai Shan Wang.
Tai Shan Wang: I have brought JiGong and Sheng Xian Tang’s Yang Sheng here for a look around. All of you line up to receive them.
All Officers: Yes, Sir.
Tai Shan Wang: This is the “Red Hot Bricks Prison.”
Yang Sheng: Because of the great heat here, I find difficulty in breathing. The floor is paved with red bricks and the fire underneath makes the floor bricks red hot; sinful souls walking the length of red hot brick floor keep tumbling and rolling on it, wailing loudly because of the pain. Outside, new sinful souls before entering, on seeing the suffering inside, start crying as if their dear ones have just died and are afraid to enter. The soldiers of Hades do not stand on ceremony but just push them in. At the beginning, the floor is not hot but it gets hotter and hotter as the journey progresses until when the bare feet of the souls cannot stand the heat of the floor, they start to jump and lose their balance, roll on the hot floor, the more they roll, the more feet and bodies get burnt. What sins are they being punished for?
Tai Shan Wang: This Prison is specially for punishing the following types of sinners:
1] Those who over-aspire for fame and gain, with the sole aim of enriching themselves.
2] Those who are more inclined towards the opposite sex but are heartless and unhelpful to those of their own sex.
3] Those who exploit or take undue advantage of the misfortunes of others.
4] Those who are hot tempered and often curse Heaven and Earth.
5] Opportunists who use stealthy means for their own selfish ends and benefits.
6] Those who worship the rich and influential but despise and look down upon the poor and less fortunate.
7] Those who are partial and without virtue in all their dealings.
All these types of sinful souls will have to be sent to this Prison for punishment which is comparatively light because if a sinful soul can manage to walk the whole length of this red hot brick floor for 300 (li); then only can his sins be mitigated. But to complete this distance depends upon the gravity of the sins committed on Earth, some taking as long as 5 years. Those who are less sinful do not feel the bricks so hot because the temperature is automatically regulated to suit each individual soul, whereas for those who are more sinful, the temperature is automatically adjusted and increased. Those who manage to complete the walk-through and still have some other types of sins awaiting punishment will have to be sent to the 16 Small Prisons which can be reached by a side road but the heat of the red hot bricks is much reduced. On entering the 16 Small Prisons the sinful souls will have to undergo punishment depending upon the nature of their sins.
JiGong: As we are running short of time, we have to take leave but we will visit again; so we must say goodbye.
Tai ShanWang: Since you have to leave, we don’t want to hold you any longer. I will order the Generals to line up and bid goodbye.
Yang Sheng: Thank you, Tai Shan Wang, for personally entertaining us.
JiGong: Yang Sheng, quickly get up on the lotus flower platform.
Yang Sheng: I’m 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 42

















The Seventh Tribunal
Tai Shan Wang