JOURNEY NO 47   -   11th March 1978
Touring “Pulling-Out-Tongue and Piercing- Cheek” Small Prison
JiGong: Human beings must understand that life is not forever. The biggest and tallest buildings are only for the temporary shelter of people because people cannot live forever; if one’s limb becomes stiff, i.e. life is extinct, the children will have to remove the body to another place. In China’s Yangtze River the waves behind push the waves in front into the sea; so likewise, in society the elders must make way for the youngsters. Therefore, this awakening of reality must be present and must be pretty soon and so, everyone must try to do good deeds at the earliest opportunity. Today, we must prepare to tour Hades. Yang Sheng, get up on the lotus flower platform.
Yang Sheng: Yes, Sir. I can hear loud prayers coming from a nearby temple – prayers for the souls of the dead.
JiGong: These prayers are intended to awaken human beings but those who are dead cannot return. We are touring Hades……we have arrived; Yang Sheng, get down.
Officer: Welcome to you, JiGong and Yang Sheng, for visiting us today. This Prison is called “Pulling-Out-Tongue and Piercing-Cheek” Small Prison and is under the control of the Seventh Tribunal. Both of you Deities have received the Order to write the Book, “Diyu Youji.” The honor is very great and we extend to you our respects.
Yang Sheng: Officer, you praise me too highly and I don’t think I am worthy to receive your praise. The purpose of this Book is all through the efforts of our dear Master and it is our duty to give full support and my humble thanks go to all of you Officers here. Today, we come to this Prison and I beg you to kindly afford us the fullest facilities.
Officer: It is my duty to assist in every way; so therefore follow me inside.
Yang Sheng: Thanks a lot….We are now outside the Prison gate, the guards line up to receive us. Inside this Prison, I can hear voices wailing loudly. The soldiers of Hades are using iron hooks to prise open the mouths to pull out the tongues of sinful souls who immediately scream loudly. Then the soldiers of Hades, using sharp knives sever the extracted tongues; fresh red blood oozes out splashing on the chests of the victims. Then the soldiers use sharp iron augers to pierce through the cheeks of the sinful souls, using iron wire to thread through the cheeks and tie the heads backwards to iron poles. At first the souls moan in pain and then faint. This kind of punishment is really very terrible.
Officer: The tongue is connected to the heart and when the tongue is cut off, the heart feels very painful. With this punishment the hands and legs begin to tremble, and urine and dung are forced out from inside.
Yang Sheng: It is but right that sinners must be punished here but I don’t know for what type of sins these sinful souls are being so punished?
Officer: All these sinful souls are brought here because their mouths have no morality. I can call up a few of them so that you can have a talk with them and publish their stories in your Book to advise human beings to do good.
Yang Sheng: Thank you very much, Officer, for your help.
Officer: Some sinful souls are here for you, Yang Sheng to interview.
Yang Sheng: Can I ask, Old Lady, why are you sent here to undergo such suffering?
1st Soul: I did not commit any great sin. It’s just my mouth was discourteous when I was alive, nothing serious.
JiGong: Your mouth and tongue killed people, wasn’t it a sin? If you don’t tell your story, you will be punished more.
1st Soul: Very well then, I’ll tell the truth. When I was alive, I was of a very jealous nature, very often setting variance and intrigue, causing trouble to families and setting one member of family against another. I also caused older folks to be left uncared for in the family. Truly, I was not a very bad person.
Officer: You can be considered a “long tongued” (long-winded) woman on Earth. Being a woman, you failed to cultivate the morality of your mouth, you caused trouble in families and also, you liked to smoke heavily and drink intoxicating liquor. Very often when speaking, you did not observe politeness and decorum and liked to shout loudly. Sometimes you liked to whisper at the ears of men folk, often talking things which were unlawful and indecent. In this way, you had a poisonous tongue which deserves your tongue to be cut off to make you dumb and not talk too much thus making you realize that you should cultivate morality of your mouth.
JiGong: A poisonous tongue is very much like a sharp knife. In this Prison, the majority of the sinful souls belong to the female species because females like to talk, whisper and instigate and also they have a petty mind. Some females are not, in the least, gentle; they speak loudly, offending people without realizing. Such females when they die, the Ox-head-horse-faced soldiers of Hades will sever their tongues. I hope that female will be more gentle and kind-hearted.
Yang Sheng: Can I ask, Mister, what sins did you commit on Earth that you should be sent to this Prison to be punished?
2nd Soul: When I was alive, I had a very bad temper. When I came across incidents which I did not like, or heard anything which I detested, I let off a string of abuses, not caring for honored personalities, or elderly people, or other people’s ancestors or those of the gentler sex. I used obscene language to lash out. In fact, other than the above, I did not do any other evil deeds. After I died, Tai Shan Wang scolded me saying that I had a dirty mouth which was evil-smelling. He sentenced me to this Prison to have my tongue severed and my cheeks pierced. I am now in great pain! I hope people on Earth will not follow my bad example.
Officer: People say that a wound caused by a knife is easy to heal, but one caused by a slander is very hard to heal. When a person starts to scold, his eyes are not aware of his surroundings; he tends to be uncouth, impolite and insulting and not considering the five aspects of human relationships [(1)parents/children (2)husband/wife (3)brothers/sisters (4) friendship and (5) government/citizen ]. This in itself is a very great sin; especially those who embark on ascetic practices, when they speak, they must respect reason and truth, otherwise they cannot succeed in ascetic practices and when they die, their souls will be sent to this Prison.
Yang Sheng: Can I ask this Reverend Mister if you come here to chant prayers?
3rd Soul: Amitabha. Chanting bitter prayers, chanting bitter prayers! When I was alive, I greatly respected Buddhism and entered the monkhood. At first, I was very interested in reading the Scriptures and I wrote many Buddhist books and went out to preach Buddhism. Very often, I criticized other religions, saints and deities saying that they were not the true religions and therefore, should not be worshipped or followed. Those who heard my preaching believed me and stopped worshipping their original religions, etc. Some resorted to slander. When I died, my soul was tied up and I had no means of escape. Oh! I suddenly realize my wrong preaching because so many saints and deities came to tie me up, saying that my slandering sins were very great. They dragged me to Hades not allowing me to go to Western Paradise. I now beg Master JiGong to help me out.
JiGong: You silly fool! Lord Buddha does not have such disciples like you. The Laws and Doctrines of Buddha aim at equality. Although deities and saints reside in different localities and at different periods, yet the main purpose is to help humanity. There is one group of ascetic practitioners, who, although they write books which harp on their partial views, others distort the true meaning of the Scriptures, all confusing other religious beliefs. These sins are totally unpardonable. I hope that religious teachers, monkhood and ascetic practitioners will realize the true purpose of such religious practices, i.e. primarily to understand your heart which will lead you to understand your spirituality. You should not teach to upset other religious beliefs. Now everyday you chant the bitter prayers; this is to let you taste, for yourself, the damages you had done when you were alive. Time is up, Yang Sheng, prepare to return.
Officer: In case we failed to entertain you sufficiently well, I hope you both will kindly excuse me. All Generals, line up and say goodbye.
Yang Sheng: Thank you, Officer and Generals, we have to return. Dear Master, I’m safely seated on the lotus flower platform; we can start…
JiGong: We have arrived at Sheng Xian Tang. Yang Sheng, get down. Soul, return to your body.
End of Journey No 47