JOURNEY NO 7   -   2nd October 1976

Touring ‘BU JING SUO’

Rehabilitation of Taoist Monks and Nuns
 
JiGong: It is now time to travel to Hades. Do not be afraid.
 
Yang Sheng: Yes, you are perfectly right, Master; I am not particularly eager to go because I have seen so much sufferings of the souls there.
 
JiGong: Do not have sympathy for those souls. They well deserve the punishments. Let us go now. We have arrived. Quickly alight from the lotus flower platform.
 
Yang Sheng: This house is rather dark and yet I can hear a lot of moaning coming from inside.
 
JiGong: This place is called ‘Bu Jing Suo’. We will have a look.
 
Yang Sheng: Yes, we will go….At the doorway there are three words which reads ‘Bu Jing Suo’. I saw two generals walking this way. Who are they?
 
JiGong: These generals are the Door Keepers.
 
General: Welcome JiGong and Yang Sheng of Sheng Xian Tang.
 
JiGong: Do not stand on ceremony. Today I bring Sheng Xian Tang’s medium, Yang Sheng to visit Bu Jing Suo. I hope you will be kind enough to show him about.
 
General: Yes, yes, please follow me. Please enter by the side door because the front door will be opened only on every 1st and 15th day of each month. Every month, on these two days, the Western Buddhas, Patriarch of Taoism, various Sages and Prophets and Prelates will come here to give sermons to the souls of dead priests, monks, nuns and Taoists.
 
Yang Sheng: It is already a great honor to be allowed to come here and therefore it does not matter by which door we enter. Inside this Bu Jing Suo it is dark and gloomy. It is already good enough to see it from outside; not necessary to enter.
 
General: Never mind, don’t be afraid. I will conduct you inside.
 
Yang Sheng: Good. This building is made of wood and appears rather old. Some pieces of wood have already decayed and there are many holes as if the building is about to fall down. I see there are a few thousand Taoist monks and nuns inside reading the prayer books under the peanut-oil prayer lamps. It looks very laborious this repeating ‘namo, namo, namo’ endlessly.
 
JiGong: During the lifetime of these Taoists, monks and nuns, they were engaged by people to say prayers for the relief of the souls of the departed, to get rid of calamities but these Taoists, monks and nuns did not pray sincerely – they just wanted to get money quickly. Some cut short the prayers by skipping the sutras and did not recite them page by page. Also some prayed incorrectly. Now that they have died, their souls are sent to Bu Jing Suo to make up for what they had cheated in praying. Here, they pray by the light of the firefly and if one word is omitted the culprit must repeat the prayer 100 times. After everything is over, they will be judged for merits or demerits of their prayers.
 
Yang Sheng: If you say about this harsh punishment, who dare recite the two prayer books of our Sheng Xian Tang, namely Yu Huang Pudu Sheng Jing and Tai Shang Wu Ji Hun Yuan Zhen Jing? Many people are eager to read these prayer books but if the pronunciation is not correct, do they have to come here after death, to receive the punishment?
 
General: You are mistaken. The souls who come to Bu Jing Suo belong to those people before death who received payment for saying prayers for the release of souls from calamities but did not say the prayers earnestly or correctly. That is why they are here. If you say prayer free of charge or say any prayers for yourself this is a different matter. If there is a mistake or mistakes, the Heavenly Law will excuse you.
 
Yang Sheng: It is indeed a great pity to see these souls of aged Taoists, monks and nuns straining their eyes to read the small writing of the prayers by means of the light of the firefly and small peanut-oil prayer lamps and also with the cold wind of Hell blowing about.
 
General: If one receives money for praying, one must recite the prayers properly and cut short or cheat, otherwise one must deserve the proper punishment.
 
JiGong: Therefore, I would advise all Taoists, monks and nuns living on Earth to recite prayers correctly and properly so that they can understand these prayers, thus carrying out ascetic practice. Those who cheat and pray for money will surely have to be sent to Bu Jing Suo eventually to be punished for their sins and greed for money.
 
General: When every 1st and 15th of the month comes, the founders of Taoism, and Buddhism bring their personal assistants to Bu Jing Suo to instruct the souls here in the correct pronunciation and rendering of their prayers. In spite of the previous doings of the souls, the founders and their assistants are very generous to come here every 1st and 15th day of the month to teach the souls the correct way of reciting the prayers. I would further advise human beings that whatever deed they do, they cannot escape the Laws of Heaven.
 
Yang Sheng: I now fully understand and I  must thank General for your good teaching.
 
JiGong: Yang Sheng, you can ask this Taoist why he is here.
 
Yang Sheng: Yes, Dear Reverend, why are you here?
 
Taoist: Please do not address me as Reverend. I was just as ordinary Taoist priest wearing the red cap. My job was to conduct services for the departed for which I received payment in money. My education was not good and I did not know much about the Doctrine. I just mumbled something to keep much with the drums, gongs and cymbals; the people did not know if I was saying the prayers or not. Sometimes there was a rush for time and I skipped pages of the prayer books. So far as there was money to earn, I did not care whether the soul of the dead reached the Western Paradise or not. Now that I have died, my soul is sent here to the First Tribunal and sentenced to Bu Jing Suo where I have been here for more than one year and two months. Because of my many past sins on Earth, now I am here to receive punishment. Although I have not yet completed the prayers, my eyes are already giving me pain. If I finish reciting the prayers here, probably I will be sent to the Second Tribunal to be tried again because when I was alive I did some charms to harm people. It is now too late for me to repent. I hope that on your return to Earth, you will tell the Taoists, monks and nuns to perform their religious duties properly, correctly and sincerely. Otherwise, like me they will have to undergo punishment and will have to depend on the instructions of the founders of Taoism and Buddhism to help out.
 
Yang Sheng: It is most pitiful to hear this story, my dear Master. Can you in any way help this soul?
 
JiGong: This is a case of well-deserved punishment; he should receive the punishment for his own past sins. When he was alive he enjoyed himself and now he has to undergo punishment. Yang Sheng, do not meddle in other people’s affair. We have been ordered to tour Hades; therefore do not interfere in this matter. This is the Law of Hades. Time is running out and we have to return. Thank you very much, General.
 
Yang Sheng: Thank you very much, General. All of you, Taoists, monks and nunsbe good and undergo this retraining.
 
JiGong: Quickly climb up the lotus flower platform…. We have arrived at Sheng Xian Tang. Ynag Sheng quickly get down. Soul, return to your body.
 
End of Journey No 7