|JOURNEY NO 9 - 12th October 1976|
JiGong: The present day trend of human beings is towards science and they do not believe in temples, spirits, faiths and religious beliefs. They do not understand the substance and composition of eternal life. To go to Paradise or Hades depends on the actions, intentions and deeds of oneself. Paradise is not far and can be reached as quickly as the turning of one's head. Hades however is not so near as Paradise and can be avoided through ascetic practices. Inside Wang Si Cheng there is a lot of sufferings and the surroundings are very gloomy. Yang Sheng, today we will tour Hades again; step on the lotus flower platform.
Yang Sheng: Dear Master, I am already prepared; let us proceed...
JiGong: We have arrived.
Yang Sheng: It looks as if we had previously visited this place. Why is it that we suddenly enter this place Wang Si Cheng just like this, unlike the previous visit when we had to enter stage by stage.
JiGong: Because we possess the 'Four Virtues of Buddhism' we can enter this place without the gate of Wang Si Cheng having to be opened for us. When we first came here, you had to pass through so many procedures so that the gate could be opened and we could enter. But now as we cannot afford to waste time such procedures have to be scrapped and so you find yourself here inside very quickly. I hope that human beings on Earth will realize that through ascetic practices they need not have to pass through the sufferings of Hades and can move about freely like me.
Yang Sheng: Dear Master, what you say is according to Buddhist teaching which I fully accept. I see that the Officer of Guard and General are approaching.
JiGong: Quickly go and pay your respect to them.
Yang Sheng: I humbly pay my respects to both of you, Officer of Guard and General. I thank you very much for conducting me previously and this time we have to bother you again.
Officer: No bother, we are pleased to entertain you again. What you have seen here you should record in a book for human beings to read so that they can understand and realize that it is to their advantage and future well-being to do good deeds whenever possible.
Yang Sheng: Thank you very much. Dear Master, let us follow them.
JiGong: As I have some business to do now, you can follow the Officer and General around.
Yang Sheng: Where are we going? Later on who is going to bring me back?
JiGong: Do not worry. When the time comes, I will bring you back.
Yang Sheng: These buildings contain so many young souls, some of them have so long unkempt hair and they look very miserable. They are looking at us. I will ask the Officer why they are being detained here.
Officer: When on Earth these young male and female made love privately with one another and when not successful, committed suicide by killing themselves in various manners. When dead their souls are brought here. I hope the youngsters will not be infatuated; by committing suicide it is not the end of everything on Earth and that their souls will be married in Hades.
Yang Sheng: Here I see so many people, some without hand or leg, some with broken heads, some with bodies covered with blood, all moaning loudly. It is a pity to see them in this condition.
Officer: When these people were on Earth they were knocked down by vehicles. They were not really due to die yet but because of accidents they died and so their souls are sent here to wait until they are destined to die a natural death; then only will their souls be sent to the Tribunals for 'trial'. This shows that there is fairness on Earth and in Hades.
Yang Sheng: Where is fairness? It is already too bad that a person should die as a result of accident, his soul has suffered and now being sent here to Wang Si Cheng for detention to wait until his natural life span to die and then be tried again. I see that there is no benevolence and justice in this method of treatment and punishment.
Officer: You know only just a little but there are a lot more which you don't know. It is true that all the souls here belong to accident victims. Some of them were already due to die a natural death but because of what they had done in the previous life, they now had to die suddenly through accident. That is why so many human beings blame Heaven when some good people die through accident. God in Heaven is unjust, they say, by punishing some good people. I want to ask why "Yan Hui" who was very smart and was kind-hearted, should die when still in his prime of youth? And again, Buddha was a very pious person, why did he have to experience so much sufferings? That means that Heaven has no eyes to see properly. You do not understand that this is all the will of God which is to test the moral nature of the person. The body or flesh is finished but the spirit still lives.
Yang Sheng: It seems that the three existences (past existence, present existence and future existence) must obey the Law of Cause and Effect - Karma. Why then must there be such things as accidental deaths of various types. This does not stand to reason. Basing on this, human beings will not believe in Karma. Please therefore, Officer of Guard, explain clearly to me because I am rather slow.
Officer: From the beginning of Time, there has been a chain of three cycle cause and effect (karma) rotation in human existence and these Karmas have been continuing and will continue in human lifetime. Buddha himself had also mentioned this Karma. The meaning of "past existence" is not the immediate past existence but the accumulation of all the three-cycle past existences of each individual. Take the case of a present short three-cycle existence for consideration. Life is governed by 70% past existence and 30% present existence. Therefore the life span of an individual cannot be changed but his luck can be changed depending upon his behaviour and everyday actions.
Yang Sheng: Oh! I did not know it is like this. As a matter of fact, human beings believe that everything is destined by Heaven and therefore it is a case of live and let live but actually it should not be this way of thinking. I observe that inside the prison just opposite, there are many souls in despair; why are they here.
Officer: All of these souls, when on Earth, died because of fighting, murdering and slaughtering one another.
Yang Sheng: I am not very clear; they murdered people, all must die anyway according to their Karma and why then should their souls be sent here to Wang Si Cheng?
Officer: According to your reasoning it is correct but some of those who died through fighting were in accordance to the law of retribution as demanded in their Karma; and also there were others who did not practise moral and ascetic deeds thus causing others to fight to fight and murder one another, thereby bringing about accidental deaths. I therefore entreat all human beings to understand the doctrine of retribution that this is not the matter of revenge in this existence. Grievances, if any, must be dissolved and not prolonged. If it is true that you have some grievance, you should not prolong that grievance but must try your very best to forget it or lessen it. Then only will you attain much merit. If there is no greed on Earth, the situation will be like in the Heavens where there is no selfishness and then there will be no cause and effect. We must understand that to live is not an easy matter. For example, parents have to encounter many obstacles, hardships and sacrifices to bring up their children. So, therefore, everyone must have a sense of morality and must do good whenever possible. Present day human beings are very fond of womanizing, thinking that females owe males "flower debt" in the previous life. That is why females must repay and males must womanize, they think. It cannot be argued that this action is to offset the previous Cause and Effect. The true meaning of retribution according to Karma is the happening of actions unintentionally; therefore the present intentional action or womanizing on purpose, is a great sin which will have to be repaid in the future existence.
General: Everything the Officer of Guard has just said is all very true. The reason why human beings do not believe or follow is because they think that only those who are born with "immortal bones" need not have to practise morality. Another argument they give is that if one is fated to be rich it will not be necessary for him to work anymore for money. This is all wrong thinking.
JiGong: I have now returned from my mission. What the Officer of Guard and the General have said are all very true and correct. They have explained the illusion and have awakened human beings from their wrong thinking. In the beginning, from time immemorial all souls were indeed very good and saintly but through the process of innumerable transmigrations of souls, on rebirth became involved in Earthly sins. That is why present day human beings cannot return to the original pure state of their souls. Therefore, all the Sages appeal to human beings to do good deeds and to engage in ascetic practices in order to save their souls. Let this be a warning to all human beings to try and do good with the expectation to be reborn into a better life, otherwise they will have to undergo six stages of transmigration of souls (reborn). Saints and ghosts are the products of human beings' thinking, not destined by Heaven. Now after seeing the inside of Wang Si Cheng, you are convinced of the need to do good whenever possible. Time to return has come and so, Yang Sheng prepare to depart. We are very grateful to Officer of Guard and to General for helping us to compile the book which we have been commissioned to write. We have to take the example existing in Wang Si Cheng to dispel the wrong belief of present day human beings about doing good deeds.
Yang Sheng: The doctrine is very deep like the depth of the ocean. If Officer of Guard and dear Master had not explained in great length the advantages of morality and doing good deeds, human beings will still be in the dark. I hope that dear Master will every now and then educate human beings by giving such kind of lessons and lectures so that they can remember to do good deeds. Even until when they die they will still do not understand the meaning of the doctrine of doing good deeds.
JiGong: This is my duty and I have constantly taught and educated them in the doctrine of doing good deeds. Sheng Xian Tang also has Heaven's decree to save all human beings so that they will understand and follow the true religion. Quickly prepare to go home.
Yang Sheng: Yes, I am steadily seated on the lotus flower platform. Let us go back now, dear Master....
JiGong: We have arrived at Sheng Xian Tang. Yang Sheng you can go down. Soul, return to your body.
End of Journey No.9