Chapter 41-50
Chapter 49

                                                                               Chapter 49                                                                           VISIT TO THE PRISON WITH CRUSHING-WHEELS                                                                           Buddha Tse Kong who manifested on March 1st, 1978. Year of the Horse                                         POEM                                                                                                                                                                 Through the aperture of cranial chakra, he is awakened                                                                         His meridians are free flowing, his energy brightens                                                                               With harmony and watchfulness, he is poised and peaceful                                                                 When leaving behind all desires, he is enlightened.                                                                                Buddha Tse Kong: As stipulated by the Celestial Edict, we must complete the book “Voyages to Hell” by mid-autumn of this year. This term is going to expire and I begin to feel anxious. If we don’t visit hell more frequently in order to grasp the situation, young Yang Ts’ien will be deprived of any means to accede to hell: the doors of hell will be closed for good, after the term fixed by the Edict draws to an end.                                                                                                              Yang Ts’ien: The trips to hell are far from pleasant. But I am really afraid that the book can’t be completed before the due date. We will be in trouble if we don’t finish it on time. I must be more active, now.                                                                                                                                              TK: The one who pays off his debts, feels relieved. Such is my case. I must fulfill my responsibility in regard to human beings before I can have some leisure time. Men don’t understand about my mission of salvation. If I don’t fulfill my task of rescuing mankind, then my title of a living Buddha will have no meaning.                                                                                  YT : I wonder why?                                                                                                                                          TK: Well, because the Buddhas should never forsake the living creatures. If they abandon them, then they will no longer be Buddhas. The title of a Buddha is just a name. So are the names of living creatures. Therefore, we should not be trapped by exoteric forms. Time is getting late. Let’s prepare ourselves for the trip. Come quickly on the lotus dais.                                                    YT : I’m ready, Master.                                                                                                                                     TK : Here we arrive. Get down, son.                                                                                                             YT : Which prison do we visit, tonight?                                                                                                       TK: See that fire coloring a whole corner of the sky? It’s the fire of the Big Prison With Blazing Heat.                                                                                                                                                                    YT: It’s a prison worthy of its name. Its expanding waves of heat give me the impression of being roasted. What if we go elsewhere?                                                                                                    TK: Agreed. We have already visited the Blazing Heat Prison, haven’t we? This one is similar to it, except that this fire is much more violent. Let’s go to another prison.                                              YT: Yes. I see the infernal guards coming back and forth, escorting sinful souls. While on the way, they continue to insult the souls. Over there, it appears to be an execution ground. Tell me, Master, why do the guards of hell change their forms so often? Sometimes they wear buffaloes’ heads and horses’ faces. Sometimes they recover their human forms.                                                 TK: These soldiers of hell are called by several surnames: “the impermanent black-and-white (they are now black, now white) then, “the bastards” (born from unknown fathers, and from mixture of races) and also “the redoubtables”. Everytime they meet the sinful souls, they show off a livid green face with pointed yellow fans to frighten and menace them. At their sight, the sinful souls get distracted and tremble like an aspen leaf, as if they are chased by the devil. On the contrary, if the honest souls confront them and say that they are not scared of the devils, then the infernal guards will let them go freely. You may indeed say, “whoever has tranquil conscience fears nothing, even if his door is knocked upon late at night”. In the world of the living, the guilty men turn pale at the sight of policemen. They may even urinate in their trousers as if they confront the devil. While policemen have manacles and pistols, the infernal guards have cutlasses and spears. Honest citizens feel reassured when seeing police, sensing they are fully protected by the latter. Wrongdoers, on the other hand, flee the policemen just as with the demons. Therefore, virtuous souls don’t flurry before the infernal guards, whereas wicked souls are frightened to death and shiver at their sight. Here, we come to the prison with crushing wheels. Let’s come in.                                                                                                                    The General: What audacity to have brought a profane man here who is neither a genius nor a saint. Stop there!                                                                                                                                               TK: I am Tse Kong with the order of the Celestial Emperor; I take this profane man to visit hell on a mission. Go to the Mandarin Governor and inform him of our visit.                                           The General: So, is that the old monk, the living Buddha Tse Kong? Will you wait a moment? I’ll let the Governor know about your arrival.                                                                                           YT : Why are they unaware of our coming?                                                                                                  TK: My decision to visit this prison was spontaneous. Therefore, the General did not know about our arrival.                                                                                                                                               The General: Please apologize for my carelessness. The Governor and his staff will come soon.   The Mandarin: Welcome to Buddha Tse Kong and Mr. Yang Ts’ien. I wasn’t forwarned of your visit, so we fail to welcome you properly. Just come in, please.                                                             YT: We thank you greatly, Excellency. I see the horrible spectacle of sinful souls being mashed to paste by the wheels of a cart.                                                                                                                    The Mandarin: Our prison is called “Crushing Wheels”. After being purged by the first seven palaces, many sinful souls are sent here to be punished on account of their remaining sins.        YT : This cart, with sharply rugged and unequal wheels, is drawn by four mules. The sinful soul is laid on the ground. As soon as the mules receive the swish of a whip, they dash forward. The sinful soul can only utter a scream of terror before his body is reduced to paste. On my God! the pain is certainly atrocious!                                                                                                                             TK: Look at that heap of bone and flesh! When a gust of wind blows past, the souls recover back the form of their bodies, and then the punishment is renewed.                                                   YT : What crimes had they committed?                                                                                                        The Mandarin: They were adulterers, impious sons, assassins. After being punished by the first seven palaces, they are transferred here to endure the Crushing-Wheel. These adulterers, undutiful sons, and murderers have no more human dignity. They are all sent to our prison for reformation. To accomplish this, their flesh must be crushed to paste.                                                 TK: We understand the goal of your prison now. I hope that human beings will repent soon if committing errors. If they have committed the above sins, they must quickly regenerate themselves to avoid the punishment of the Crushing-Wheel. Time is over, Yang Ts’ien. Let’s go back to the temple...