SECOND VISIT TO THE CITADEL OF PREMATURE DEATH
Buddha Tse Kong who manifested on the 19th of the second 8th month. Leap year of the dragon (1976)
Tse Kong: The men in this world are rushing toward scientific
studies. To them, metaphysics, spiritualism and religion are utopian
speculations. Never have they harboured the thought that material things
disintegrate and disappear, while the spirit alone is eternal lasting.
Whether paradise and hell exist or not depends totally on the whims of
our thoughts. Paradise is not far away. It suffices that we turn our
heads to see it. As for hell, is it near? To improve ourselves
religiously is to get away from it. What we saw in the Citadel of
Premature Death was really disgusting. Well, Yang Tsíien, how about a
trip to hell? Raise your morals, son, quick to the dais.
Tsíien: Iím on the dais, Master. Letís go...
Please, Sir, this place doesnít look like the one we came to
the other day. Why donít we simply park our lotus dais outside the
walls of the Citadel as we did? We can take only a few steps to be
After Buddha, the four phenomena of the void are materialization,
stabilization, destruction and annihilation. Even the door of hell is
subjected to annihilation by the phenomenon of the void. Therefore,
coming in and going out is free, without any restrictions. The last
time, we had lots of time so we landed our lotus outside the Citadel and
walked in. Tonight, time is short, so we land right in the heart of
hell. I hope this is a lesson for the men who know how to regenerate and
follow the teachings of Tao. They will be freed from every material
thing, and wonít be attached by the bonds of hell; they will be
entirely free to come and go as I am now.
Master, youíve just taught me the Buddhist law of the Greater
Vehicle. I piously recognize it. Here come the Mandarin-Governor and the
Kneel down and greet them.
My respects to His Excellency and to the General. The last time,
you gave me precious teachings. I wish to express my profound gratitude.
Tonight, I am coming to solicit more instructions from you.
honor me greatly, Venerable Buddha Tse Kong and Mr. Yang Tsíien. I
invite you to come into the Citadel of Premature Death to observe what
is going on, and get more information for your book.
Thank you very much, Excellency. Letís go with them, Master.
You go ahead with the Governor and the General. I have some
affairs to settle. I will leave you for a little while.
Master, if you leave me, who will take me home?
Donít worry. Iíll be back in due time.
Just relax, Mr. Yang Tsíien. Follow me, will you?
In each of these two rooms separated by a partition, I see young
people of both sexes packed together. They have dishevelled hair, and
their looks are deplorable. Excellency, may I ask you the reason for
their detention here?
These young people, when in life, loved each other passionately.
But something negative happened to them. They were deeply affected, they
mourned their lost love. Then, yielding to a foolish resolution, they
took poison to put an end to their lives. Upon their death, they were
locked up in here. Humans should not allow themselves to be carried away
by foolish passions that destroy their lucidity and their lives. If they
sense they cannot live together as two birds flying wing against wing,
why do they continue to hope that they can further their union like the
branches of a single tree?
In that far jail, I see many people with mutilated arms and legs,
cracked heads, and their bodies covered with blood. Their wails, groans
and cries are heart-breaking. Who are they, Excellency?
They are the victims of traffic accidents in the world. Since
they have not yet come to the age determined by their destinies, they
rank in the category of premature death. Their souls, when arriving in
hell, are temporarily detained here, until they attain the limit of
their longevity. They will then be at the disposal of the Pontiff of
hell who will apply the impartial laws of the two worlds to judge them
according to their merits and their wrongs.
What a strange conception of justice! A man is killed under wheel
of a vehicle. That misfortune alone inspires a lot of pity. Now the
victim is put in jail and prevented from entering heaven. I find such
justice a bit inhuman.
Young man! You see only one aspect of the matter. Itís not
necessary that every person killed in a traffic accident come here.
Those people who have attained their predestined age and are killed in
an accident because of the karma of their previous life, donít come
here. Many people curse heaven and earth for the misfortunes that fall
upon them unjustly. All of their lives they have tried to regenerate and
accumulate virtue and good acts. With all these merits, they still have
to die under the wheel of a vehicle! Could we say therefore that the
celestial scheme is unfair? Look! Yen Hoei was an honest and virtuous
man. He died very young. Take Sikya Muni, the founder of Buddhism who
was wholly dedicated to his religious ideal. He has been the target of
unceasing misery and misfortune caused by devils and demons. Whoís
will is it? Who is incorrectly accused of having no clairvoyant eyes
upon human affairs. Isnít this the will of God the Supreme? Manís
physical body is a trifling thing. It is perishable. Only his spirit
counts: That is immortal.
If the principle of three successive lives is well-established to
define good, evil and causality, how do you explain the cases of
premature death? Isnít there some contradiction that leads men to
doubt the theory of cause and effect? Can you give me some explanation
about that matter, Excellency?
The three successive lives usually alluded to only a short spell
in the long march of time. Since scores of millennia, whose beginning
was lost in time immemorial, man has passed through so many incarnations
that the causes and effects of his former lives become uncountable.
Buddha only referred to three existences in the principle of causality.
They consist of the former life, the present life, and the future life.
The karma does not merely result from the causes of oneís former life.
It is the outcome of the whole causal process that has been developing
from the yet hazy apparition of the spiritual soul until the time it is
completely condened, then, until now. Men used to believe that their
present fate inherits all the karmas of their previous life. With this
conception, they fail to take into account the crede of faith. They
should know that their conduct in the former life affects only seven
tenths of their present destiny, while the other three tenths is
influenced by their moral conduct in this life. This axiom is justified:
ďDestiny is hard to modify, but luck may deter its courseĒ.
Now, I begin to realize how things are. A great number of people
believe that all of the things that happen to them are the consequence
of the actions of their previous life. And some believe that everything
is disposed for them by God, the Supreme Being. All such conceptions are
negative and in contradiction with reality. Now, Excellency, from the
cells of the jail opposite come poignant screams. What crimes have those
They are the victims of assassination or of mutual slaughter.
Thatís really unthinkable! The assassin and the assassinated
are under the impact of the law of retaliation and account settlement.
How natural they should die! Why then are they sent to the Citadel of
Premature Death after their death?
Your argument is quite plausible. It is true that some people
kill each other because they are governed by the law of retaliation and
account settlement. But there is still another category of men who in
this life refuse squarely to improve morally, or to acquire new virtues.
They are the root of every quarrel and disorder that impairs the
celestial cause. It is because of them that the motives for premature
death are created. Humans in the world must be permeated with this
truth. One couldnít say: ďI kill this fellow, because in his former
life, he owed me some deptĒ. A proverb goes like this: ďOne should
get rid of a vendetta rather than nurture itĒ. If someone owes you
money but he cannot repay it, when you donít force the payment, you
will benefit infinite grace from God. If in the human world one
doesnít nurture in oneís heart a selfish craving but lives
fraternally with all fellowmen, just as heaven and earth donít protect
any particular individual, hell will exist no longer. The theory of
causality will fall into disuse. Man must understand that the mere fact
of possessing a body to live in is already a blessing he obtains with
difficulty from the All-Mighty. He has the duty to educate his heart and
improve his conduct. If a man inconsiderately loves every flower
(implying the fair sex), telling himself that a given flower owed him a
debt of love in her former life, and that in this life he is entitled to
claim his due, he commits a heavy error. He cannot act likewise by
picking every flower he finds on his way. His actions are in no way
justified by the principle of causality, nor are they included in the
law of retaliation and account settlement. The cause created by his
former life can only be justified when his encounter with the girl is
sudden and spontaneous. On the contrary, the one who intentionally
commits dishonest actions creates for himself a heavy karma with
disastrous effect in his future life.
General: Each of His
Excellencyís sentences is a truth. Men should assimilate them and come
out of their illusions. If they fail to grasp this truth, they will
remain callous to the teachings of religion. They will argue that the
persons with angelic and buddhistic essence are the only ones to attain
enlightenment and reach nirvana. More erroneous are the idle remarks of
those men who pretend to be exempt from any type of work, once they own
a fortune worth tens of thousands of dollars.
Tse Kong: (back from a short absence, talking
to Yang Tsíien) I am back. The sayings of His Excellency the
Governor and of the General are perfectly correct. They will eliminate
all manís errors. Think of the times when all men were Immortals and
Buddhas. Later, they fell in this world here-below, became imbued with
the dust of illusion which created passions in them, blinded them, and
made them lose their genuine nature. Thatís why they canít return to
their origin. Now that heaven proclaims the great doctrine of the Tao,
this is an era when the principle of causality draws to an end, giving
place to the convergence of Void. Thus enlightened by the grace of God,
mankind should not fall back in error. Those who patiently convert to
the Way will become immortals and buddhas; those who donít will return
as before to the six ways of transmigration. Immortals and buddhas are
born from a manís heart. Destiny is not determined by heaven, but by
man himself. All this is confirmed by the spectacles we saw in the
Citadel of Premature Death. Yang Tsíien, be ready for the return. We
thank you, Excellency and General, for the assistance you afforded us by
giving explanations about the Citadel, and the necessity for combatting
manís erroneous beliefs.
The way of the Tao is as deep as an ocean. Without the
explanations of the Governor and of yours, Master, humans would not have
an accurate idea of things. It is desirable that you give ample
teachings on the Truth to instruct men, guide the devotees in the right
direction, and help them make correct decisions about things concerning
the Tao. Only under these conditions could men avoid erroneous thinking
that makes them ignore the Truth even until their death.
This is precisely my responsibility. Henceforth, every effort is
exerted for the propagation of the Truth. The Temple of the Sages is
assuming the task of accomplishing this work for menís salvation and
directing them to the right way, and thence, to sanctity. Now, we must
Yes, Master. Iím seated. Shall we go?