JOURNEY NO 54     1st June 1978


Touring ďA-Bi Diyu"

(The Lowest Hell in Buddhism from where there is no escape)
JiGong: Sheng Xian Tang building has now been renovated and extended which augurs well and the inhabitants can conveniently congregate. The atmosphere and the feeling of easiness, peace of mind and satisfaction make one feel much better than living in a luxurious house. If there is no peace of mind and sense of satisfaction, even if an imperial palace is given to you, you will not feel happy.
Yang Sheng: Dear Master, there is much truth in what you have just said.
JiGong: Quickly step on the lotus flower platform so that we can tour Hades again today.
Yang Sheng: Iím safely seated; we can start nowÖ
JiGong: Weíve arrived; get down.
Yang Sheng: Now that weíve arrived, where is this place?
JiGong: Today we will tour A-Bi Diyu.
Yang Sheng: A-Bi Diyu is such a horrified place; it makes me very frightened. Can I suggest that we visit another place instead?
JiGong: You need have no fear when Iím here and so there is nothing to be superstitious about. If you have no confidence Iíll give you a heavenly pill to make you steady and you can follow me around.
Yang Sheng: Thank you, dear Master, for the heavenly pill which Iíve swallowed and now, suddenly, Iím surer of myself. I see the Officer coming to receive us.
Officer: It is our privilege to extend a warm welcome to you, JiGong and Yang Sheng. This place is called A-Bi Diyu and comes under the jurisdiction of the Ninth Tribunal.
Yang Sheng: Thank you, Officer, for welcoming us. A-Bi Diyu is so vast that it is limitless.
Officer: A-Bi Diyu is like a personís nose, to say it is big, it is not big, yet the nose controls a personís being and extremities because the breath passes through the nose. Those sinful souls who are sent to A-Bi Diyu are most sinful, so much so, that the measure and seriousness of their iniquity is of the fullest.
Yang Sheng: In front of us is a big cave. Iím afraid to go near to see it, the interior of which is extremely dark. Sounds of wailing and bubbling water can be heard coming from the inside. Can it be that all sinful souls are sunk inside this cave?
Officer: All the souls inside are sinful souls. There are 18 levels each studded with up-pointed sharp spikes and the floor is covered with hot mud. When a sinful soul nears the entrance of the cave, a General pushes the soul inside by means of his sharp spear and as the soul falls down, the centre of the cave sucks him in and he utters a shriek and, after a while, wailing sounds are heard. The inside of the cave is so very dark that one cannot see the fingers of his hands out-stretched. The suffering is so great inside that it can be called capital punishment.
Yang Sheng: Human beings often say that the worst punishment a soul can experience is that handed out at A-Bi Diyu. Why is that so?
Officer: The majority of these souls who are sent to A-Bi Diyu to be punished cannot be saved from death, i.e. no chance for a rebirth or reincarnation. This is like a life sentence imprisonment passed by a law court on Earth.
Yang Sheng: Can you please summon a couple of sinful souls for me to ask a few questions?
Officer: As you folks in Sheng Xian Tang have been instructed to write the Book Diyu Youji, the Emperor of the Ninth Tribunal has ordered that some sinful souls can be allowed to come out to relate their past lives. Generally, no sinful soul is allowed to come out of this cave for any reason. Iíll chant a spellÖ You can see that the inside of the cave has now become bright and all implements of punishment have stopped functioning. General, quickly get a few sinful souls out.
General: Yes, SirÖ Iíve brought out some sinful souls.
Yang Sheng: I observe that the bodies of all the souls brought out are covered with wounds, blood stains and mud, eyes jutting out of their sockets. There is no resemblance of the human shape. A truly pitiful sight indeed!
JiGong: Iíll use my magic art to make them more presentable and lively and also reduce their suffering in order to enable them to tell their stories clearly.
Yang Sheng: Dear Master, your admirable plan is very good. Surprisingly, each soul now looks 70% human and 30% devil, more presentable, and can speak.
Officer: Look here. Quickly tell these two Masters here what sins you had committed when alive so that they can record in their Book for human beings to read and thereby refrain from leading sinful lives on Earth.
1st Sinful Soul: When I was alive, I was not filial. I usually spent everyday in idleness. Whenever I stretched my hand out to my parents to ask for money and when I was not given any, I started shouting and scolding them. I often punched and kicked them. I was not a filial son. After death, I was sent to all Tribunals to be punished and lastly, to this A-Bi Diyu never to be reborn. I beg you two Masters to plead on my behalf. If I can come out of this A-Bi Diyu, I do not mind being reborn as an ox or a dog. You donít know that this is a very terrible place.
JiGong: Of all virtues, filial piety takes the first place. Not respecting your parents was bad enough, but you went a step further by punching and kicking them; in fact your sins were very great. In Hades, lack of filial piety is considered a very great sin and is unforgivable. I cannot plead on your behalf.
Officer: Those human beings, who because of marriage, property distribution, or lust, go against their parents and ill-treat them, have committed great sins and unless they correct their behavior or errors now, when they die, their souls will surely find a vacancy in A-Bi Diyu. Second sinful soul, now is your turn.
2nd Sinful Soul: During my lifetime, I took the pleasure in debauchery, sensuality, viciousness and disturbing women folk, abducting widows and their adopted daughters. How was I to know that with all these evil-doing my soul, after death, would be sent here for punishment, never to be reborn? Dear Master, if you can help me out of my misery, I will be too willing to be your horse or your dog.
JiGong: I have no use for either a horse or a dog. When you were alive, you enjoyed yourself to the fullest with the opposite sex instead of taking the right road. You must understand that of all evils, obscenity occupies the first place. It serves you jolly well right that you are now sent to A-Bi Diyu for repentance.
Officer: Third sinful soul, your turn to speak.
3rd Sinful Soul: When I was alive, I earned my living by imitating western medicines, distilling and imitating wines and brandy, imitating ajinomoto and other edible stuff. As a result, I made very good profits at other peopleís expense. Because of my immorality, after death, I am now sentenced to this A-Bi Diyu to suffer. Can you, JiGong please plead to the Emperor of this Tribunal to set me free? If I can be reborn, I promise Iíll do charitable works and be a good man.
JiGong: It is very great sin to imitate medicines and liquor. Because of your immorality thus causing harm to others, it is like giving poison to people to eat. Sentencing you to A-Bi Diyu is for you to drink the mud water to cancel the poison inside you. Does it taste good? You, yourself will know. I cannot help you.
Officer: Fourth sinful soul; now is your turn to speak.
4th Sinful Soul: I was a smuggler when I was alive and I indulged in smoking and injecting drugs. I was deeply addicted and eventually I was head-over-heels involved in drug business, causing many innocent people to become drug addicts. After my death, my soul was brought before the Emperor of this Tribunal who gave me a good scolding and sentenced me to this A-Bi Diyu to suffer everyday. Although I deeply repent for my sins everyday, whatís the use?
JiGong: Smuggling is an offence against the countryís law. Drug business endangers the lives of people. You cannot go against the laws of the Earth and also you go against the laws of Hades. But there is still a gleam of light and salvation. Those human beings who indulge in smuggling and deal in drugs business still have time yet to change their ways to lead a better life, otherwise after death, their souls will surely be sent to A-Biyu Diyu to suffer; even unto a million years they will never be reborn.
Officer: These four sinful souls have just related their stories. I hope that human beings who have committed any or all of the above mentioned evil deeds, after reading the Book will make up their minds to turn over a new leaf and try to do good whenever possible. Then only, is there every possibility that their evil deeds will be forgiven. Repentance is salvation and everyone must give it some thought.
JiGong: Time is now up for us to return to Sheng Xian Tang.
Yang Sheng: I must now say goodbye to Officer and Generals. Thank you very much.
Officer: All Generals, line up and say goodbye.
JiGong: Yang Sheng, step on the lotus flower platform.
Yang Sheng: Iím safely seated, dear Master, we can startÖ
JiGong: Weíve arrived at Sheng Xian Tang. Yang Sheng, get down. Soul, return to your body.


End of Journey No: 54