Chapter 11-21
Chapter 13

                                                                               CHAPTER 13                                                                                                              VISIT TO THE BRIDGE OVER THE PIT OF SNAKES                                                                                 AND TO THE BURNING DANCING GROUND                                          Buddha Tse Kong who manifested on September 19th, 1976                                                                   Leap year of the Dragon 1976                                                                                                                           POEM                                                                                                                                                                 Sinful souls, gone astray, gather beneath the bridge                                                                               Falling into the karmic net for not going straightway                                                                               They should have followed the right direction                                                                                         Toward self-cultivation, good deeds to avoid dismay.                                                                            Buddha Tse Kong: The disciples of the Temple of the Sages have recognized the path of truth and have converted to religious faith. In spite of pain and trouble, they persevere in their devotion, and this is a most encouraging sign. They have received an order from God to write a book on hell to educate humans. I am happy to participate in Yang Tsíienís sacred mission by accompanying him.                                                                                                                                          Yang Tsíien: I express my deep gratitude for what you have taught me, Venerable Master. All of the disciples in the Temple of the Sages have been offering soul and body for the recovery of virtuous culture, by printing books to teach morality to men. I pray to God to provide protection and reduce the pains for my co-religionists.                                                                                               TK : A devout religious person is always thwarted by obstacles. From the remotest of my hiding places, I have always tried to alter and soothe the scheme of the celestial mechanism in order to help you proceed with less discord. Now, weíre going to have a visit in hell.                                    YT : Iím on the dais, Master.                                                                                                                           TK : Here we are. Get down.                                                                                                                           YT: Where are we, Master? Why those unceasing wails, cries, and laments? Before us, there is a bridge. People walk on it. They slip and fall, uttering deafening cries.                                               TK : This bridge is called ďBridge Over The Pit of SnakesĒ. Most of the dead have to pass over it.  YT: But itís swinging terribly. One could say itís a suspension bridge. Buffalo-headed and horse-faced demons are seen escorting sinful souls to the middle of the bridge, and pushing them off Why, itís cruel!                                                                                                                                  The General: (guarding the bridge): Iíve just received a message from the Pontiff-King of the Underworld announcing the visit of living Buddha Tse Kong and the saint scribe Yang Tsíien from the Temple of the Sages. Excuse me delay.                                                                                       TK : Donít mention it, General. We are ones who disturb you.                                                              The General : Follow me, please. Iíll lead you to the bridge.                                                                    YT : I shall not come up. To look at it from below is enough.                                                                 TK : Come, come! The General will not push you, you know that. You have nothing to fear.      YT: So be it. But hold my hand securely, will you, Master? This bridge is swaying. I may fall. TK : Of course, Iíll hold your hand. Letís go!                                                                                              YT: Mercy upon me! Here below, vipers and serpents are teeming. There are thousands and thousands of snakes of all kinds! I also see a dragon the size of a pillar. It is gaping its steel-like jaws, and sticking out its blood-red tongue. As soon as a man falls in the pit, the snakes rush and devour him in no time. The screams of the victims are horrible. I canít stand it. Can we go, Master?                                                                                                                                                                The General: Calm down, Mr. Yang Tsíien. Below this bridge is a pit full of venomous snakes. All those people with wicked hearts who misused other peopleís money, or damaged young girlsí chastity, created scandal or intrigue, killed or caused disasters to others for amusement, have their entrails transformed into vipers, after their death. Sinful souls who reach this bridge are petrified and paralyzed, and two guards push down as prey for the serpents. The victims struggle to find a means of escape, but the dragon is there to snatch and crush them to shreds with its iron jaws.                                                                                                                                              YT: Itís frightful. The mere sight of those vipers is enough to make a timid man swoon at the middle of the bridge and fall into pit. Any push would be superfluous. He canít control his senses, and falls down the way a ripe fruit does.                                                                                      TK: Letís walk to the other end. Today, there are too many sinful souls. They fill up the bridge, some crying, others lamenting; the sight is sickening. Well, itís their own fault. They committed sins when alive, and now they are seen trembling and falling into the vipersí jaws.                        YT: Letís hurry to the other end. I am chilled with fright. Now I know about the bridge over the pit of snakes. There is no bannister to lean upon; the sinful souls, with numbed hands and tottering legs, have no strength left at the sight of the vipers.                                                                TK: Your liver and your bile are too weak. Iím going to give you three of my soothing pills. Swallow them and youíll regain your color, and you will stop perspiring. Say goodbye to the General. We are to go elsewhere.                                                                                                                   YT : Your information is really interesting, General. We have to go. And thank you, General.      The General : Good bye, gentlemen.                                                                                                             YT : Iím ready to follow you, Master.                                                                                                           TK: We have arrived. Get down. This prison, called ďPrison with Burning Dancing-GroundĒ, was recently constructed. It is under the administration of the 2nd Palace.                                        The Mandarin Governor: My greetings to the living Buddha Tse Kong and to the saint scribe Yang Tsíien. Iíve just received instructions from the Pontiff-King of the Underworld about your visit. Please come in.                                                                                                                                       YT: Please accept our thanks, Excellency. This hall is well-lit by a soft colourful light, and I hear the noise of feet jumping, accompanied by piercing shrieks and heart-rendering cries. May I ask you what it is about?                                                                                                                                        TK: The people detained in this prison were professional taxi-girls and inveterate dancers. Letís go have a look.                                                                                                                                                  YT: The house is full inside. I see men, young and old, decently dressed in western clothing, and young ladies in thin, gaudy silk gowns. There are also many foreigners of different nations and races. Each time they set their feet on the dancing ground, I see them bounce up, screaming at the top of their voices. All those couples are clinging to each other and they hop, and jump the best they can. May I ask who they are?                                                                                                 The Mandarin: Well, the women were professional dancers in their lifetime. They did not behave correctly and made dancing a means for illicit behavior. After they died, they were detained in this prison where they can enjoy the pleasure of dancing in hell. The difference here is that the dancers donít have the same feelings of ecstasy and self-satisfaction nor the rapture of enjoying feminine beauty and bewitching perfume as they did before, in the living world. In this prison, the dance floor is made of iron heated to a high temperature which produce a red glow. The men and women setting their feet on it bounce and gambol pitifully while roaring with pain. They had enjoying such a good time in their dancing nights on earth. Itís quite normal for them to dance here, in hell. They donít have to give up their amusement for yore. The soles of their feet are roasted on the dance floor, swelling and putrefying. They are doing wonderful dance-steps.                                                                                                                       YT: You have repeated the teachings of morality, Excellency. If people adore dancing when in life, they can dance to their heartís content when in death. Justice is done. But there is one thing to notice: as times change, vogues change accordingly. By itself, dancing is no crime. It is also an exercise to preserve oneís body and spirit. Now, if ever dancer is to come here for chastisement, donít you think the laws of hell are unjust!                                                                                               The Mandarin: I said it. Not every dancer has to come here. Only those people are punished who dance in debauchery, not as a means for exercise, but rather for enjoying womenís beauty are punished. Those young women who adore mundane flirtations, offering their bodies to the embraces and caresses of men and gaining foul money; those who accept offers after dancing, to go to hidden dens for fornication; also those young girls who disobey their parents by frequenting illreputed amusement-houses and spending whole nights dancing and forgetting themselves in lust and love games. On the other hand, for the practice of good style of dance, choreography, ballet, and quadrille, for instance, for the sake of fortifying the body and spirit, or for esthetics, this prison is not for them. In a word, the detainees are lustful people and had elements of immorality. I advise the human beings to reserve their money and health for wholesome entertainment, if they want to avoid dancing on this burning dance floor.                  YT: Well said, Excellency. As fashions change with time, one should adopt them with lucidity. We have our methods of strengthening our bodies, and foreigners in various nations have their own. Only detained in hell are the people who take advantage of dancing for dishonest acts.  TK: Time is up, Yang Tsíien. Well, I appreciate your hurry up to the lotus dais, Yang Tsíien. Yang Tsíien, the dais.                                                                                                                                       YT : Iím coming. My sincere thanks to you, Excellency.                                                                            TK: Here is the Temple. Come down, son. Your body is waiting.