JOURNEY NO 53   -   25th May 1978
Touring the Red and Purple Venomous Snakes Prison
JiGong: Heaven is intended specially for those who are virtuous and ascetic practitioners. Hades is just the opposite of Heaven. Those who had led evil lives on Earth, after death, are sent to Hades for punishment. These two places are poles apart. Generally speaking, it all depends upon what actions you do on Earth that decides which direction your soul will take, either Heaven or Hades. Today, we will tour Hades again. Yang Sheng, step on the lotus flower platform.
Yang Sheng: Yes, Sir; I’m safely seated, dear Master, we can proceed…
JiGong: We’ve arrived; Yang Sheng, get down. You see in front of us one group is coming to welcome us. They are officers of the “Red and Purple Venomous Snakes Prison.” Quickly go and pay your respects.
Yang Sheng: My humble respects to all of you, Officer and Generals.
Officer: There is no need to stand on ceremony, arise. Today we have received the Order to welcome both of you here. Please follow us inside to have a look.
Yang Sheng: Thank you very much, Officer. Ah! I see many huge snakes on the ground. I’m very frightened. There are red colored snakes and purple colored snakes everywhere on the ground, wriggling about. I observe a snake entering the mouth of a sinful soul and coming out through the navel. I can also see the body of a sinful soul being bitten by a snake, blood oozing out from the wound. All the faces of the sinful souls are death-pale in color. Some sinful souls simply faint away and drop to the ground. The sight of these sufferers causes a shiver in my heart and my limbs become numb. Can I ask Officer why these souls are suffering thus?
Officer: This place is called the Red and Purple Venomous Snakes Prison. In Hades, there are only two types of snakes – the Red Venomous Snakes and the Purple Venomous Snakes which instead of boring the ground, prefer to bore the bodies of sinful souls. On Earth, there are people who, instead of following the true and righteous path, prefer to find loop-holes in the laws to obtain undue advantage over others for their own selfish gains, exactly like the poison of these snakes. Also, there are people who take pleasure in instigating others and thereby causing people to be at variance with one another. Then there are others who secretly carry knives and bearing scrappers and will not hesitate to use them at the slightest provocation. Again, there are house building contractors who cheat by poor or substandard construction of houses which soon collapse thus causing death to occupants. All these types of people are not sincere thereby causing hardships to others; when they die, their souls, after undergoing punishments in other Tribunals in Hades, will ultimately be sent to this Prison for further punishment by the Red and Purple Venomous Snakes.
Yang Sheng: Besides the various types of sinful souls you have just mentioned, are there any other types who are also sent here to be punished?
Officer: The types I just mentioned are general. In the more complicated cases, the punishment meted out will of course depend upon the severity of the sins committed.
JiGong: The life-span of you human beings is not long; it is comparatively short. The why don’t you human beings make the fullest use of your intelligence, talent and compassion for the benefit of others? I have seen human beings ignoring their chances of doing good and now their souls have to undergo such suffering in Hades – it is really not worthwhile. I sincerely hope that those who have the good luck to read this Book, Diyu Youji, will turn over a new leaf and will, henceforth, endeavor to do good deeds whenever possible. Those who choose to ignore my advice can be likened unto a person who goes to a pond, thrusts his hand into the mud-hole hoping to catch a yellow eel but, instead bitten by a poisonous snake. Isn’t he courting trouble? Our time to return is up and so Yang Sheng; prepare yourself.
Yang Sheng: Thank you very much, Officer and Generals for taking the trouble to explain to us what goes on here. We have to return now, thank you again.
Officer: All Generals, line up for the send-off….
JiGong: We’ve arrived at Sheng Xian Tang. Yang Sheng, get down. Soul, return to your body.
End of Journey No 53