VISIT TO THE PRISON OF STONE-LOAD CARRYING
Buddha Tse Kong who manifested on December 9th, 1977 Year of the Snake
Respect toward your master is a path to virtue Fallen, then revolving, nature return to its cause To know your source is to know your genuine nature But infidelity, ingratitude have no excuse.
Buddha Tse Kong: The year of the snake is drawing to an end. Everyone expects to see the
year of the horse bring forth success and change. Being anxious for success, people hope that the horse will not slow its pace but will endeavor to advance. I also hope that people know how to make good use of the
new year for spurring their horses to a gallop, or else these beasts will remain slow, in spite of the gee up and haws of their riders which leave the horses as indifferent to them as towards the wind blowing past
their ears. When a man wants to be renewed, he must possess the qualities of a horse, that is, an undaunted and fearless spirit despite difficulties and obstacles. On the contrary, if he relaxes his efforts and only
sails with the wind, one fine morning his old age is at hand, he will have no time to catch up, even with a team of four horses. Tonight, weíre to take a trip to hell, Yang Tsíien. Come quickly to the dais.
Yang Tsíien: Iím ready, Master. We can start. Which prison are we going to visit? TK: The prison of the 7th Palace where the sinners are forced to carry a heavy load of stones on their
heads. Weíve arrived. Come down.
YT: How marvelous! We come to our destination in the twinkling of an eye. I climb on the dais at the Temple. I close my
eyes. I have the impression of being aboard a jet plane. And whoopee! Here I arrive.
TK: Man is comparable to an obstacle. For the slightest imprudence, he drops from an altitude of thousands of meters and is
reduced to crumbs before disappearing completely. The calmer he is, the lighter he becomes, and the higher he rises. Therefore, the ascent and descent depend entirely upon his perseverance that allows him
to reach the most sublime serenity. The one who adopts the Spiritual Way doesnít get distracted easily in the face of danger. But if he neglects to cultivate himself toward spiritual perfection, then he can easily fall into temptation and be condemned to hell within a fraction of a second. Therefore, human beings are advised to keep their spirits as calm as possible, in order to be on the right path. They may go astray on a foggy day, or in a maze, but their hearts will serve as a compass. If they can control themselves, then they will succeed in every enterprise. When seated on a lotus flower in the middle of mire and turbid water, they must meditate to attain the fixation of mind and tranquility of the soul. If they donít, the slightest imprudence may push them down to bottomless depths. Yang Tsíien, you wouldnít be able to sit steadfastly on this dais of lotus if you werenít granted a special blessing. Make sure to preserve that favor. Quick! Letís go salute His Excellency the Governor.
YT: At your request. I present my respectful greetings to His Excellency and to the
Generals. I am Yang Tsíien of the Temple of the Sages. Tonight, my Master and I are coming here by divine order to collect information. We count greatly on your assistance.
The Mandarin: You are welcome, Venerable Buddha Tse Kong and Mr. Yang Tsíien. It is a glorious mission of yours to write a book on hell. I invite you to
step inside. YT: Thank you, Excellency. We are inside. The sinners, sturdy and frail, are doing their work. They are carrying big blocks of stone on their heads. Are these intended for
the construction of new prison-cells?
The Mandarin: Far from it! They are forced to carry the blocks of stone for punishment. YT: With such heavy blocks of stone on their heads, they are lamenting so loudly. The loads bend their backs while they
hold the stones securely with their arms. Painfully, they advance with staggering short steps. Some of them are exhausted. They sink down and get crushed or have their legs fractured by the blocks of stone. The
guards hurriedly sprinkle resuscitative water on them and exhort them to put the blocks back on their heads and continue to walk. This kind of chastisement was adopted in old times and is still efficient as a
torment inflicted on sinful souls.
: These sinners are punished with the iron-head exercise, because in their life, they were obstinate and arrogant people. They liked to play the
professor over their fellowmen. They detested everything noble and virtuous and disdained the holy doctrines as well as their masters. Because of these defects, they have to come here for reform.
: If possible, I would like to have some of them come to talk.
The Mandarin: As you see fit. Iíll have them come. Their declarations will serve as
examples and warnings for humans. Here they are. You can ask them questions.
: What had you done in your life to be condemned to this prison?
The soul: Iím really embarrassed when I have to discuss my misdoings. I was a high school
teacher in my life. I took advantage of my position to seduce pretty students and entice them to sexual impropriety. My bad actions were not revealed when I was alive, but they were easily disclosed by the 3rd eye
of the King of Hell. Upon my arrival in hell, the King of Palaces ordered the guards to whip me unmercifully before they transferred me to the 7th Palace where the King of the High-Mountain called me a beast. He
accused me furiously of having lost the dignity of a master when leading my students astray. I was therefore inflicted the chastisement of carrying a load of stones which forces me to bend my head in shame.
The Mandarin: Arenít you ashamed of what you have done by getting involved
in illicit relations with your girl students? Your sin is very grave and you have to endure this torment which prevents you from holding high your head before the people. I advise every master, whether they are
school teachers, religious masters, or technical institute instructors, to preserve their dignity and professional conscience. Master and students are like father and child. They owe each other adequate respect and
should not surpass the limits of morality, if they want to avoid the punishment of God. Mr. Yang Tsíien, go on with your interrogation.
YT: You look like a buddhist monk with a close-shaven head.
Why are you detained here and get punished with an iron head exercise?
The soul: Donít make fun of me, please. I had to shave my head because my hair hurts me terribly while I
carried a block of stone. When in life, I was a disciple of the Spiritual Way. Prior to attending the clerical school, I had read a good number of canonical books, and prided myself on my knowledge of truth and the
Way. When in school, I considered my teacher as having an inferior level of religious instruction, and used to criticize him in the presence of the other seminarians. After my death, the infernal guards arrested me
and led me to hell. The King of Hell condemned me for having learned the holy teachings from my master, but betraying him with an offence to his virtuous prestige. It is normal to teach oneís fellowmen the knowledge
one acquires from canonical books, but one should avoid displaying vanity and pretending to act as a haughty and pedantic teacher. If this piece of advice is neglected, one will be forced to suffer the torment of
carrying a block of stone in hell in order to purge oneís bad karma. The Mandarin: A student should do his best to improve and develop his knowledge. From time immemorial, there has been a good number of students excelling their masters, but they are not
vainglorious and they continue to respect their masters. Good instructors are needed in every trade. Without their guidance, no one can succeed alone. Nowadays, there are many people following the learning program
halfway, then drop it to look for a job. They neglect and ignore their former teachers. This is ingratitude! The spiritual disciples should have respect toward their Masters. If they betray their Masters and the
religious teachings, then they must repent right away in order to avoid carrying the heavy stone.
: Now, to the third soul. Tell me what you have done in your life.
The soul: I was a rich man gifted with great eloquence in oration. Each time I spoke in
public, I liked to disparage the poor people, and overwhelm others with my grandiloquence. In my conversations, I insulted this one, scolded that one, uttering rude words without reserve. Now, I think that itís so
unfair to condemn me in this place, because what I did before was not so serious. May I implore you, O Buddha Tse Kong to plead for me in the name of justice.
TK: Good, good. But first of all, you have to pay me my stipends, or else I will not plead
for you. Without money, my words would be weightless, and no one would hear me. With money, I shall whisper in the Governorís ears to lessen your pains.
The soul: I feel grateful for your intercession, but right now, I have no penny left. I left all my fortune to my children
who are wasting it. How could I pay your fees now? TK:
Whatís an illusion! ďMan must lower his head in front of those with money and power. But when deprived of money and power, in return he must lower his head.Ē So, why were you so proud and haughty before? Do money and power follow you after death? Alone, you must now carry heavy stones to pay back for your sins.
The Mandarin: How paltry of you! In moments like these, you still seek to overcome other
people with power. You can never corrupt the iron-faced king. Donít you realize that Buddha Tse Kong wanted to tease you? So, donít speak nonsenses or your pains will be aggravated. TK: We should always cede three fourths of a passage to other people and should not occupy the entire
passage for ourselves. A man canít always maintain a high position; when misfortune happens, he may loose his power, and influence on others. If he despises his fellowmen and holds his head too high, then after
death, he certainly must lower his head to hide his face. Thatís what you are doing now. Well, itís time to return. May we thank you, and goodbye. The Mandarin
: I order the officers to stand on ceremony to greet the guests. TK
: The dais, Yang Tsíien.
: Iím seated, Master.
TK: Here is the Temple. Go back to your body, son.