PROMENADE ON THE FRONTIER BETWEEN THE WORLDS OF THE LIVING AND THE DEAD VISIT TO THE SOUL REGISTRY HALL Buddha Tse Kong who manifested on August 20th, 1976. Leap year of the Dragon (1976). POEM No waves, no dust, calm and clear is Buddha’s sea. Turn within, search for the natural Immortal’s sphere Sunlight and moon waves synchronize in unison To free mankind from the six ways of transmigration.
Buddha Tse Kong
: Hey! Yang Ts’ien, my son. Get ready for another trip to hell! Yang Ts’ien
: At your request, sir. I’m on the lotus dais with my eyes shut. TK
: Here we go!... Fine, come down, son.
YT: There is a noisy group of people at the turning of the road. What are those men of the
living world doing here?
TK: This is the frontier between the worlds of
the living and the dead. That group of men is the souls of deceased people who just came down to hell. No more questions! I’m going to take you to the Soul Reception Hall. You’ll ask the Mandarin Chief any questions
you may have. The Mandarin: Welcome, welcome!
Venerable Buddha Tse Kong and Mr. Yang Ts’ien. Please come into the Hall. Excuse us for our insufficient reception, last time. Won’t you sit down? Due to the lack of time, we haven’t yet announced your visit to all
of our personnel in the Hall. Mr. Yang Ts’ien, may I ask what we can do for you?
: Would you mind telling me where the frontier between the two worlds lies? The M.: The frontier between the two worlds is the place where the two worlds of the living and the dead meet, but this is
closer to hell. After their death, the humans, or rather their souls, must come here to report to our Registry Office. After their registration, the good and virtuous souls are led by the Genius of Grace to visit
the palaces of hell, whereas the wicked souls are escorted by the black- and-white-faced demons and handed over to the Mandarin of the Demon-Portico where they will be judged and punished by the First
: How many records are kept of the names and ages of the souls?
The Mandarin: Three registers. The first, called “Origin Register”, is kept for inscription
of the origin of souls when in paradise. That is the time preceding their incarnation on earth. The second records the existences of the souls when they lived on earth. It is called “Transience Register”, and the
third, reserved for the souls when they come down to hell, is called “Portion Register”. Those who didn’t do any charitable work in their lifetime will have to come to hell. Their souls can’t rise to paradise. Hell
is similar to jail in the human world. It’s a place for penance of sinful souls. It is not man’s paternal country. He can return to paradise, his ancient lodging and his genuine native country, only if in his
lifetime he knows how to regenerate in the light of religious virtue.
YT: When a
person died, it was a custom for the family to burn paper-money and light an oil lamp placed at the corpse’s feet, calling it the “lamp at the dead’s feet”. I wonder what their intention was.
The Mandarin: Upon a
man’s death, his soul is free from his carnal body. First, the soul is led by infernal guards because he is in state of drowsiness. It is hard for him to control himself. For this reason, the relatives of the
deceased fear that the roads in hell are too dark for the soul. So they burn paper-money and light an oil lamp to provide the soul with pocket-money and light on dark paths. All of these efforts, derived from a good
sense of filial piety, deserve credit. However, one should know that bribery and corruption are non-existent among the authorities of hell, and the verdict in hell is easy or severe depending on how the souls
behaved in their lives. If they had a cruel heart when living, they cannot count on any action of their relatives to redeem their sins and insure their salvation.
YT: For the time being, the
living standard on earth is improving because of the progress of science. Being eager to offer to their dead the modern commodities of life, people produce with paper and glue, imitation-gadgets such as color TV,
electric fans, automobiles, furniture, beds with soft mattresses, even tall buildings which they burn as offerings. I don’t know if these will enrich the dead.
The Mandarin: In hell, there is no opportunity to drive cars, use
electric fans, water beds or any other comforts. So there is no need for the relatives of the dead to attempt to provide those things.
YT: Gracious Master, the
last time you took me to hell, I saw Mount of “Heart-Summit”. I see today, at the same place, only the frontier between the worlds of men and of demons. I’m at a loss to know why.
: Follow me. You’ll know why. Excellency, my disciple and I have to take leave of you. The M.
: Excuse my shortcomings, if any.
: There is no need to be ceremonious, Excellency.
YT: I thank Your Excellency for having taught me about the harbour of illusions. With your
permission, I wish to say good bye. (To Tse Kong) Please, master, I’m impatient to hear your explanation about the Mount of Heart-Summit, and the two-world frontier.
: All right. I did take you to this place the last time, didn’t I? Now, look! YT: Grace! I see again the characters “Mount of Heart-Summit” reappear in streaming light, while the
scenery of the frontier vanishes.
TK: Well, the Mount and the frontier are one. The people who were evil doers in their life have their souls escorted to this place by the infernal
guards. Because of the impurity of their souls, they are dazzled by the blinding light on the top of the mountain, and can hardly open their eyes. They fall to their knees and drop down into the grotto on the slope
of the mountain. This grotto communicates with the frontier, and with hell. On the contrary, the soul of religious man with great virtues who accumulated merits in his life will see this magnificent light appear on
the top of the mountain which directs him to paradise. He will be welcomed by angels and fairies at the Gate of Heaven. As for the people of medium or little merit, their souls will be led on an eight-meter-wide
road by the Genius of Grace to the frontier of two worlds to report their arrival. The genius will then take them to hell and hand them over to the king of hell for investigation. If they acquired good merits in
their life, they will be sent to the bureau of “acquiring good deeds”. In case they have the opportunity to have the protection from immortals and buddhas, they will be admitted to a higher astral plane for
continuing to evolve in their improvement and self-perfection. It’s quite late, I believe. Let’s get going. YT
: I’m settled, Master.
TK: Here we are. Get down from the lotus dais and regain your body, my boy.