Chapter 1-10
Chapter 5

                                                                                 CHAPTER 5                                                                                                                        ARRIVAL IN THE FIRST PALACE OF HELL                                                                                       DISCUSSION WITH THE KING OF PALACE                                                 Buddha Tse Kong who manifested on August 29th, 1976. Leap year of the Dragon (1976)        POEM                                                                                                                                                                   The spiritual man disengages himself from desires                                                                                   In one existence, he may detach from fame and position                                                                         By directing himself towards spiritual perfection                                                                                     Leisurely, the ascetic reaches enlightenment.                                                                                             Buddha Tse Kong: Let’s prepare for another trip to hell. Say, Yang Ts’ien, you seem out of sorts today. What’s amiss?                                                                                                                                         Yang Ts’ien: Venerable Master, I have some personal affairs that leave me pensive. My mind is sort of troubled and my thoughts are scattered.                                                                                          TK: Voyages to hell are not child’s play. If your spirit isn’t pacified, your soul enters hell with difficulty. Now, if we don’t go today, the writing of our book is delayed. I give you this soothing-tablet. Take it, and be ready for the trip.                                                                                     YT : I appreciate it, Master. I’ve taken it, and feel much better. All worries are gone, for good.        TK : Come quickly on the dais. Here we go!... Here we are.                                                                      YT: What is this place, Master? I see a big palace and an animated group of people which is quite a mess.                                                                                                                                                        TK : This is the First Palace of hell. We’re going to meet the King of the Palace.                                  The King: Really delighted to meet you, Buddha Tse Kong and saint-scribe Yang Ts’ien of the Temple of the Sages.                                                                                                                                         YT: Please accept my most respectful greetings, Your Majesty. Today, I accompany my master, Buddha Tse Kong, to your palace, and we will disturb you greatly. I count on your kindness for my disturbing you.                                                                                                                                           The King: Not too much civility, Mr. Yang Ts’ien. Now, if you don’t mind following me into the palace. Please, take a seat in the reception-hall. General, would you mind serving some gods and fairies’tea?                                                                                                                                                           The General : At your request, Sir.                                                                                                                  The King : Help yourselves to some tea, Buddha Tse Kong and Mr. Yang Ts’ien.                              TK : Hey! Yang Ts’ien, you act a bit faltering. Drink that tea! Nothing to worry about.                       YT: I just dare not, sir. I’m told that humans can’t return to the world of the living, if they eat or drink something from hell. I wish His Majesty and you to have it.                                                        The King:  You’re mistaken, Mr. Yang Ts’ien. Many rumors have it that one should not eat any foodstuffs in hell. This is true for humans in general. The world of the dead and that of the living each have their own Lord. Their laws and regulations should by no means be trespassed. But you, Mr. Yang Ts’ien, appertain to the class of living people who come down here by order of God, and you are my guest of honor. Besides, you have the presence of Buddha Tse Kong who led you to my palace. Do you think he can’t do anything to restore you to the human world? TK: Set your mind at ease, Yang Ts’ien. You are a bearer of the Celestial Edict. I should wonder if any devil has the temerity of obstructing your way home. Should such an incident occur, the troublemaker will be chastised properly. Have no fear, son. Drink all you like.                                The King: Humans have a thirst for living and an apprehension of death. The attitude of Mr. Yang Ts’ien who did not dare drink the tea is understandable and quite natural. But we should say that among the mortals of the living world, there exists a category of men who do know their bad actions and infamous misdeeds will necessarily lead them to death, but they still refuse to walk on the right path. They continue to rush headlong forward, and precipitate in their tombs. How really pitiful!                                                                                                                                            YT: I have drunk my tea. It quenches my thirst, indeed. Now, please Sir, outdoors, I see many persons approaching in lines. May I ask you the reason for their coming?                                         The King: The reason is this. I am in charge of the first palace. After their death, humans have to come first to the Service of Public Relations, at the frontier of the two worlds, for declaration. After that, the infernal guards escort them to my palace. Those concerned and their curriculum-vitae will be sent to the court of hell for me to examine them closely, and separate the good from bad elements.                                                                                                                                    Those who did good acts will be led to different palaces for a visit and observation. Others who benefit from protection of gracious-geniuses are permitted to accede to a higher astral plane so they can continue to regenerate. In some cases, they are led to the service of retribution for good actions, or to the center of perfection. On the other hand, the ones who committed too many sins are escorted to the second palace, or to the service of registry of sins committed. If their sins are too serious, they will be sent first to the Memory Hall where the “Mirror Revelator of Past Crimes” will reflect their images in flawless precision, making them bow their heads and confess their crimes. Then, they will be led back to the second palace.                                                                      YT: Incessant cries and moanings are heard from outside, mournful and heart-rending. Why should all those people, young and old, big and small, be that miserable?                                          The King: Well, these souls realize they have left the living world only upon their arrival in my palace. In their lifetime, they believed neither in the existence of genii and demons, nor in the law of cause and effect with its retributions and sanctions. Upon their arrival here, they understand that everything is not annihilated after their death.                                                               A commandment has stipulated as follows: “A fine morning is enough to change the multitude of things to a nought, and the seeds of evil alone will pursue one on the road to hell”. The sinful souls now know they will be judged by the laws of hell and will have to endure punishment. A large number of them, with chilled hearts and trembling limbs, are crying bitterly, meanwhile inquiring about their fate. Back on the earth, they have left all their estates, riches, beautiful wives, wise children, storied houses, precious gems, gold and silver. Also, they have cut short all that is love, affection, and passion. At present, nothing is left for them, except for a forlorn soul on the river of Styx. Every moment reminds them of their past, they can hardly contain bitter tears.                                                                                                                                                                     YT: Can you tell me, Sir, why the infernal guards show so little respect toward those souls? They strike them fiercely with weapons and whips, which makes them cry out and sob like winter cicadas. It’s really deplorable!                                                                                                                         The King: These souls are immoral elements on the earth. They don’t deserve any respect from the infernal guards who mistreat them to the extent of their sins. You might well say it: “Some day, the wicked is castigated by another wicked”. How could such people as speculators, profiteers or swindlers, hope to be succoured by the deities? On the other hand, if they knew how to sympathize with the miseries of their fellow men and gave them some relief, they are certainly admired now by the infernal guards. The latter would treat them with deference and consideration. It is therefore useless to plead for the souls’ cause.                                                          YT: If people fail to cultivate their hearts and conduct while in life, they are extremely pitiable when in death. Had the descendants of the dead known that their fathers would be ranked among culpables, despised and beaten by the infernal guards, they would feel deeply pained. The only way to express our gratitude to our ancestors is to engage in the religious way and to do works of charity. Through our merits and virtues, we shall deliver our ancestors from suffering.                                                                                                                                                             TK: If humans fail to maintain order and discipline within their families and act mischievously, their ancestors are jointly responsible for their misdeeds. Thence, this saying: “Nine successive generations, seven ancestors of the same blood support mutually the consequences of the cause and effect cycle”. This is the reason for one to watch prudently over one’s deeds. Well, it’s time for us to depart.                                                                                                                                                  The King : Bon voyage, gentlemen.                                                                                                               TK : Yang Ts’ien, be seated on the dais... We are back. Dismiss and reintegrate into your body.