CHAPTER 40 VISIT TO THE PRISON WITH BARBED NETS, FAMISHED LEECHES AND LOCUSTS Buddha Tse Kong who manifested on October 9th, 1977. Year of the Snake. POEM How boring are the illusions of life But how pure and sweet that light, unscanned by eyes Life failure is wedded with disaster Why bother with fleeting torments and desires?
Buddha Tse Kong: The Temple of the Sages is in perfect order, and bears a more peaceful
atmosphere after all these recent arrangements and renovations. The Immortals prefer tidy and quiet places. If humans wish to see them, they must purify themselves and achieve serenity. The agitation of the
terrestrial world has prevented man from opening his third eye of clairvoyance, and from perceiving the spiritual world. Now, the trip to hell. Yang Ts’ien, we must go.
: I am ready, Sir. You look happy today. May I ask why, Master? TK: I feel so relieved to see that the Temple is a quiet place and its altar is free from worldly agitation.
YT: Master, a saying goes like this, “you don’t get agitated about it if you don’t see and hear it”. What do you think about that?
TK: Well, the Immortals and Buddhas don’t need to see things with their eyes, but their spirit stays lucid and clairvoyant. Mortal beings cannot do so. Men can’t pretend
not to see things then permit themselves to commit perverse and immoral acts. They cannot act, and then pretend not to see the danger. Do they think they can live in peace and tranquility after that?
: You are perfectly right, Master. I am ready to go.
: We’ve arrived. Come right down.
YT: Tonight, we see only infernal guards escorting the sinful souls. We don’t hear any
crying or moaning as we used to. What is the reason?
TK: We’re going to visit the prison with barbed nets, famished leeches and locusts. Here, the souls must silently extreme
pain and torment. Later, you’ll know why. We are getting close to the prison door. His Excellency the Mandarin-Governor and his Generals are waiting for us. YT: I present my greetings to His Excellency and to the Generals. My Master and I pay you a visit and we would appreciate
your giving us precious information.
The Mandarin: Our prison, named “Barbed Nets, Famished Leeches, and Locusts”, is placed
under the control of the 6th Palace. Your Temple in Tai Chu is renowned in propagating the Tao. At present, by divine order, it attempte to unveil the secret of hell and write the book of the “Voyages to Hell” to
awaken mankind. We highly admire your work and feel greatly honored to have our prison portrayed in the golden book. Do you mind stepping in?
YT: Thank you for
your good will. In the prison, I see many barbed nets just like the ones we see on earth. A layer of barbed wire is laid in the flooded cellar. Then another layer is found on the ground. In order to move from one
place to another place, the souls have to creep flat with their faces down. They cannot raise their heads. Otherwise, the barbed nets will prick them atrociously and shred their skin and their ragged clothing. They
groan and moan terribly. I can see some bulging deformities on their heads and bodies. Excellency, may I ask you why they are in such conditions?
The Mandarin: Those bumps are starving leeches and locusts sucking the blood and brains of the
: Let’s come a little nearer to see better.
YT: Whew! Leeches are sucking their blood! What a loathsome sight! Their heads are
thickened with insects. What could they suck from those bodies?
TK: These famished blood-suckers or the hirudin-leeches live in marshes. When they succeed in sticking to a man’s body, they draw off all of the blood in it. These dreadful yellow insects
are locusts. They used to fly together like a mass of clouds, and when seeing a rice-field, the whole swarm would descend and devour the rice plants to their stubs. Here, in this prison, they suck the cerebral fluid
of the sinners.
The Mandarin: These yellow insects are fond of tender rice ears of which they suck the juice. But in hell,
they live on convicts’ brains whose whitish fluid and that of rice ears are alike. YT: This sight makes my flesh creep. I have vertigo, and my trembling legs can hardly carry me. I am on the verge of fainting.
TK: Don’t be alarmed, my son. We’ve come to hell by order of God. What’s more, I am always by your side. Be courageous.
The Mandarin: Honorable visitors, be patient for a few more minutes. I shall have some of the sinners come
to tell you of their misdeeds.
YT: Thank you, Excellency. But I would be terrified at the sight of their leech-thick bodies.
The Mandarin: O, I see! Have no fear, Mr. Yang Ts’ien. They will be cleaned of those
parasites before they come. I order these two souls to discuss the wicked actions that led them to this prison. These are Venerable Buddha Tse Kong and Mr. Yang Ts’ien who have come to hell to gather information.
You have to confess your crimes with sincerity. Your accounts will serve as a warning for the living people.
First soul: I was a magistrate in my life. I took charge of civil-court. I used to render unfair judgements everytime I was bribed by a defendant. I also handed down exaggerated sentences on the
culprits, and in this way, destroyed justice. I thus amassed a great deal of money, though I was often warned of the punishment of hell endured by dishonest judges. I sometimes ask myself, “Now, I possess honor,
riches, authority and a high position in this life. And what will become of me in my next existence”? But I couldn’t resist bribery. After my death, I was led to the Memory Hall and made to stand before the Mirror
Revelator of Past Crimes that projected, just like a movie screen, my past acts of bribery and my unfair verdicts. My misdeeds were undeniable and I was condemned to the Prison of Mire, Excrements and Urine. Later
on, I was transferred to the 6th Palace. The King reprimanded me of the violation of laws and justice. Because of my heavy sins, he condemned me to this prison with barbed nets, locust with leeches. Everyday, when
crawling under the barbed net, my body is pierced all over, and I am attacked by the parasites that suck my cerebral fluid. I suffer from indescribable pain all over my body and my vital energy is exhausted. I am
the most miserable, now. The Mandarin: You knew the laws only too well, but you violated them. It is true that you made a game of justice and
laughed at God. I advise the holders of justice in the terrestrial world to follow the example of Pao Kong who gave impartial judgement with neither exaggeration nor weakness. They will acquire great merits because
they assist God in expanding moral law. They serve society by suppressing bad elements and eliminating evil. If they fail to observe the regulations of justice, and think only of their individual interests through
bribery, then they violate the law and will be severely punished in hell. Their descendants will inherit the negative consequences of their bad acts. Since time immemorial, a host of examples have proven that the
karmic law is just and inevitable. Now, it’s time for the second soul to make you declarations. Second soul: I was a robust fellow with a big chest and strong limbs. When I was in charge of protecting the game houses and pleasure-dens, I occupied unlawfully a large plot of ground. I made a
lot of money and enjoyed a great deal. I hadn’t dreamed that upon my death, I would be condemned to this prison. Now I am enduring unbearable torment.
TK: Usually, the people who don’t exercise a legal trade but live on dishonest profits, are condemned to this prison. I hope that man awakens himself as soon as possible to avoid
committing these sins. It’s quite late. Yang Ts’ien, we will go home.
: I say goodbye to His Excellency and to the Generals.
: Generals, render honors to our guests.
: I am ready to leave, Master.
: Here is the temple. Get down and return to your body.