JOURNEY NO 51   -   5th May 1978
 
Touring the Ninth Tribunal
Meeting Ping Deng Wang
 
JiGong: Now that we have finished touring the Eighth Tribunal we will next tour the Ninth Tribunal to see the punishment being meted out to sinful souls. Yang Sheng, quickly get up on the lotus flower platform.
 
Yang Sheng: Today we commence touring the Ninth Tribunal and soon we will finish writing the Book, Diyu Youji and then our burden will be lifted.
 
JiGong: After we have surmounted the nine big obstacles you think your worries will be over but do not be too quick to enjoy or feel elated. The burden is heavy and the journey long; therefore we will have to be cautious. After we have finished writing our Book, Diyu Youji and printed it and distributed to all, you will then have earned the highest merits. I hope you will be modest about it and be humble. Quickly get up on the lotus flower platform.
 
Yang Sheng: Yes, Sir. I am safely seated, we can start now…
 
JiGong: We’ve arrived; get down.
 
Yang Sheng: I’ve alighted. I see a big gathering as if there is a delegation to welcome us.
 
JiGong: Ping Deng Wang of the Ninth Tribunal has received earlier notification of our visit today. Therefore he has specially set up a delegation to welcome us as if entertaining a long-lost friend. Listen, the drums are producing a loud sound and all manner of music can be heard.
 
Yang Sheng: Among the music pieces, I can hear a classical music as is played by the common people on Earth.
 
JiGong: You are right.
 
Yang Sheng: Is it true when Heavenly music is heard, some human soul is being made a Saint in Heaven?
 
JiGong: That is so. The Heavenly music can be heard only by one who is a very devout ascetic practitioner; those who are just ordinary ascetic practitioners cannot hear this music. On Earth there is the earthly music, and in Heaven there is heavenly music. When a sinful human being is about to die, he can hear the wailing of devils or can hear the clanging of iron chains. This is the omen of the arrest of a sinful person by the soldiers of Hades. We must walk faster as the Officer and Generals are coming our way.
 
Yang Sheng: My respects to Ping Deng Wang and Generals. I’m Sheng Xian Tang’s pupil and have received the Order to follow dear Master JiGong to tour Hades and to write the Book to urge human beings to do good. Now that I am here today, must thank you all for this wonderful reception.
 
Ping Deng Wang: Yang Sheng, do not stand on ceremony, please arise. I’m extending to you today a special entertainment (special entertainment here means cleansing the body and dresses of all dust and dirt accumulated along the journey). Quickly follow me to the hall inside.
 
Yang Sheng: Thank you very much, Ping Deng Wang, for receiving me so graciously.
 
JiGong: Let’s follow Ping Deng Wang inside for a short rest.
 
Ping Deng Wang: Both of you. Please be seated. Don’t be shy. Your task of writing the Book after touring Hades, from the 1st Tribunal right to the 9th Tribunal, was very difficult. Therefore, today, I’m giving you very special entertainment.
 
JiGong: Thank you, Ping Deng Wang for your kind thoughts and reception. You are so kind to cleanse us of dust and dirt but my lotus flower platform has also accumulated much dust and dirt.
 
Ping Deng Wang: Old Master, your heart is very pure, only your dress and feet are dirty. The lotus springs from filthy ponds but the flower is nice and pure. Nature is pure and exulted. All in all, your feet, after walking so long, are dirty and so must be washed to make clean. Both of you; please do not stand on ceremony; on top of the table are heavenly fruits which you can partake heartily.
 
JiGong: My dear pupil, don’t be shy. This chance is hard to come by, eat what you like, eat; eat.
 
Yang Sheng: Thank you very much. This fruit is very much like the grapes we have on Earth, red until it looks like purple, the smell is very good and sweet and tastes sweet too.
 
Ping Deng Wang: These are black grapes and are self-grown on Kun Lun Mountain. They have absorbed the supernatural powers of Heaven and Earth; that is why the color is blackish. Please eat a lot of them.
 
JiGong: We can discuss while eating. Yang Sheng, if you have any enquiries, you can ask Ping Deng Wang.
 
Yang Sheng: Very well. I don’t know the meaning of your name Ping Deng Wang. Is it the same meaning as what we say on Earth “ping deng”?
 
Ping Deng Wang: Why am I called “Ping Deng Wang”? The reason is, “All souls (sinful souls) receive punishment starting from the 1st Tribunal right up to the 8th Tribunal according to the nature and severity of their sins but there are others whose sins are much greater – such more sinful souls are sent to my Tribunal to be judged with impartiality. If, after due consideration, I find that the sin is not too great or serious, I will direct that the soul be sent to the 10th Tribunal to await rebirth. I deal with sinful souls impartially. That is why I am named Ping Deng Wang.
 
Yang Sheng: Oh! is that so? Can I ask you, Ping Deng Wang, what Prisons are you taking charge of?
 
Ping Deng Wang: The first is A-Bi Diyu. There are also 16 other Small Prisons.
 
Yang Sheng: Some have asked after death the sinful souls descend to 18 Diyu (Hell or Hades). What does this mean?
 
Ping Deng Wang: Human beings say jokingly that after death the soul descends to the 18 Diyu to drink coffee which actually means being sent to A-Bi Diyu for punishment. There are 18 levels descending to A-Bi Diyu which is the centre of Hell. The darkness is so intense that the out-stretched fingers of the hand cannot be seen; the floor is mire and black like coffee. Do you wish to drink a cup of black coffee?
 
Yang Sheng: Oh no! I would prefer to drink tea. If I drink black coffee, I will get stomach trouble.
 
Ping Deng Wang: Don’t be shy, eat the fruits quickly.
 
Yang Sheng: Your cold weed (jelly) is like the “nine-tier pagoda weed” of our Earth which when eaten, gives a sweet smell and is cooling and sweet; much better than our earthly variety. What is this?
 
Ping Deng Wang: You are right; this is also called “nine-tier pagoda weed” and is produced only and specially in our Ninth Tribunal. It can strengthen your kidney and your bones and make you healthy. Because our nine-tier is the extremity of “yang” element therefore the “nine-tier pagoda weed” takes care of the male element in nature which, by its interaction with the female element, produces all things.
 
JiGong: Ha! Ha! It’s therefore better for us to climb up the nine-tier of the pagoda instead of dropping down into the A-Bi Diyu.
 
Ping Deng Wang: You two do not mind partaking our serving of eatables and I hope you are satisfied, but the dust still remains with you. Now I will bring Yang Sheng to the Nine-Spring Waterfall to wash away his dust and dirt. How do you like this idea?
 
Yang Sheng: I am a bit afraid. Will dear Master kindly accompany me?
 
JiGong: Very well.
 
Ping Deng Wang: Both of you; please follow me there.
 
Yang Sheng: Thank you, Ping Deng Wang and Generals, for accompanying us there. The surroundings are so fresh. I’ve never seen such freshness in my various visits to Hades. The road is flat and easy to walk.
 
JiGong: This road is intended only for ascetic practitioners to use. Also, any Deity in Hades who is required to go to Earth to invite any Deity in Heaven for discussion must first use this road so that he can be cleansed at the Nine-Spring Waterfall. You are indeed very lucky to have this rare opportunity to be cleansed and so, why not seize it? Look, three Deities are going for the cleansing after which they will go to Earth for their appointed mission.
 
Yang Sheng: They seem very happy and their faces appear to be shining with golden brightness.
 
Ping Deng Wang: Please walk faster.
 
Yang Sheng: In front of us is a high hill and the trees are verdant green. The column of water falling from the cliff side looks like a waterfall from high up. The water is rather warm and I think that taking a bath from the water of this waterfall will make one look and feel very happy.
 
Ping Deng Wang: We have arrived at the Nine-Spring Waterfall.
 
Yang Sheng: Really, at the top of the cliff are the words “Nine-Spring Waterfall.” Nine columns of water can be seen above the cliff gushing down.
 
Ping Deng Wang: Yang Sheng, prepare for the cleansing. All guards move away.
 
General: Yes, Sir.
 
 Ping Deng Wang: Yang Sheng, you alone go under the tumbling waters of the Waterfall.
 
Yang Sheng: The water is very forceful, I dare not go. May I invite dear Master to accompany me?
 
JiGong: No objection. I’ve not cleansed my “Buddha’s body” for three years and I must seize this opportunity to cleanse it now. Let’s proceed.
 
Yang Sheng: It’s very cold. I cannot open my eyes.
 
JiGong: Open your eyes quickly; the water can wash away your trachoma.
 
Yang Sheng: Very well. It’s very cold and refreshing but my whole body is wet. What to do?
 
JiGong: Not to worry. I’ll wave my fan and your whole body will become dry as if a drying machine has been used. Quickly wash the soles of your feet because the effects of the water cannot cleanse the soles which are the dirtiest.
 
Yang Sheng: Master, you need not be sarcastic.
 
JiGong: Any part which cannot be seen, that part is the dirtiest; examples, soles of the feet, bottom of the bed and underneath the table. These are the dirtiest places. If they are not often and properly cleansed, do you want bugs and fleas to breed? If the soles of the feet are dirty how can you expect to mount on the heavenly clouds and travel?
 
Yang Sheng: I quite understand it now, dear Master. There is sense in what you’ve said.
 
JiGong: Your cleansing is about through. The water of the Nine Springs comes from the water which gushes out from Nine Dragons. If there is any dirt, this water is most effective – no need for soap or cleansing powder! Human beings must maintain clean hearts and clean bodies. Then only they will not have to be sent to Hades at death to suffer punishment….. Come up quickly, the cleansing is over.
 
Yang Sheng: Dear Master, please wave your fan to dry me.
 
JiGong: I’m sure my fan is more effective than a drying machine.
 
Yang Sheng: Surprise, surprise, surprise! My dress is perfectly dry now. I also find that my heart and body are very cheerful. Thank you, dear Master and Ping Deng Wang.
 
Ping Deng Wang: I hope Yang Sheng will faithfully and sincerely serve Sheng Xian Tang.
 
Yang Sheng: Yes, Sir, yes, Sir. I beg Ping Deng Wang to bless me with plenty of divine light.
 
Ping Deng Wang: When the dark clouds pass away, brightness must surely come. There is no need to wash anything and yet it can be clean. You can be aware of the presence of Divine Light.
 
JiGong: It’s now time for us to return; we’ve to say goodbye. It’s not necessary to escort Ping Deng Wang back.
 
Ping Deng Wang: That’ll be quite O.K. Order all Generals to line up and say goodbye.
 
Yang Sheng: Thank you very much, Ping Deng Wang, for giving us such entertainment and for bring us to the Nine-Spring Waterfall for cleansing. I’ll remember this occasion throughout my whole life. Hope to see you all again….
 
JiGong: We’ve arrived at Sheng Xian Tang. Yang Sheng, get down. Soul, return to your body.
 
End of Journey No 51