VISIT TO THE PRISON OF UPSIDE-DOWN-HANGING
Tse Kong who manifested on November 9th, 1976. Leap year of the
Tse Kong: We are in mid-winter, and the cold is almost
unbearable. With thick woolens and furs,
the wealthy people feel comfortable near their fire-places, relishing
hot meals and exquisite dishes. Meanwhile, the needy and the wretched
are exceedingly miserable. They shiver in their thin, ragged clothing,
their teeth chattering. Their present suffering results from a
malevolent karma they created in their former life, and they will suffer
the cold of each winter during this life. The people who are living in
affluence should think of providing for the miserable homeless. By so
doing, they practice their virtue of charity, amass merits and will
acquire happiness and wealth in their next reincarnation. If they are
content with their lot, and lead their lives egoistically without doing
any good actions, the happiness and wealth they are enjoying from the
good karma of their previous life will disappear, preparing them for an
unhappy life as children of poor families. Let intelligent, wise men be
aware of this fact. Yang Ts’ien, come along to the dais. We go to
Here we are. Get down, son.
Sharp screams and wailings are heard resoundingly from here, they
remind me of the cries of a hog which the butcher ties up by the legs
for slaughtering by throat-cutting.
Keep quiet, son. Here come the Mandarin-Governor and the General.
Let’s go greet them.
Our greetings, Excellency and General. Buddha Tse Kong and I are
coming here by God’s order. Please assist me to write a book entitled:
“Voyages to Hell”.
Please, don’t be too formal. For a long time, we have been
admiring the renown of your Temple with its merits in propagating
religion, printing precious canonical books that teach virtue and
salvation for mankind. Its achievements have stirred up the three worlds
(heaven, earth, hell) and awakened man from ignorance. It is great to
meet you here. We invite you to come in and have a look.
Thank you, Excellency. So, this is the prison of “Upside Down
Hanging” as it is written on the panel above the door.
Yes, it is. Let’s follow the Mandarin and the General inside.
I hear loud cries just as at a funeral. The grass on the large
prison grounds is covered with blood.
This is our prison, placed under the administration of the Third
On the grassy ground, I see a row of stakes. They are joined to
each other by high-strung steel wires.
The sinful souls are hung head downwards, their feet pierced through by
the wire, from where blood is streaming. They howl and writhe, which
makes their pain worse. Several of them have their blood dripping from
their faces. They remain motionless. The sight of these rows of
suspended bodies evokes the image of noodle-drying. Excellency, for what
sins are these souls being punished?
They are the people who overturned morality and corrupted
virtues, disciples who despised their masters, people who disregarded
the traditions or disdained the five cardinal precepts of ethics
(humanity, fidelity, civility, rationality and loyalty). They come here
in increasing numbers. Their contaminated, dripping blood gives birth to
a species of bacteria which produce a kind of red mushroom. This same
kind of mushroom can be found on earth.
It’s shocking, that nauseous smell of blood. I just can’t
stand it, and feel like vomiting.
Try to be as calm as possible and get rid of any feelings that
might jeopardize your writing of the book.
I will have some sinful souls come here to tell you of their
I am obliged, Excellency.
General, bring down one of the sinners and have him come here.
At your request. He is untied now.
Sinful soul, what have you done to be hung upside down in this
place amidst icy blasts of wind?
God! I’m suffering from intense and unbearable pain. This hanging
upsets my bowels and makes me feel nauseated. In my lifetime, I lived in
the southern region of Formosa. My uncle, who was childless, adopted me
as a baby, and I took him for my father. He fed me, brought me up, sent
me to school where I finished my secondary studies. As his only son whom
he loved dearly, he entrusted me with the management of his big
grocery-store. When I was 37 years of age, one of my neighbors revealed
to me that I was only a foster-son, not a legitimate child of my uncle.
I had a sudden idea of going to live with my proper parents, and at that
time, I began to embezzle my uncle’s money and transferred it to my
parents. My proper father did nothing to prevent my misdeed. I found
ways to sell all of my uncle’s valuable wares, and signed many checks
to pay the suppliers. After that, I joined my parents and prepared to
live an easy life. When my uncle learned of my dishonesty and my evil
doings, he went into a rage. He dwelt on his losses, insulted heaven and
earth and grew somewhat insane. When the checks bounced, and the
creditors came in throngs to reclaim their money from my uncle whose
bank account bore his name. Confronted with such a situation, and not
being able to pay off his debts, my uncle committed suicide. Arriving in
hell, his soul lodged a complaint against my father and me. The King of
Hell accepted his request. One year after his death, my father and I
were possessed by malicious spirits and we paid out all our fortune. In
the end, the spirits impregnated our hearts and lungs and we died.
Arriving in hell, we learned that our life span had been cut short
because of our crime. The King of Palace was in a fury. He condemned me
to this prison of “Upside-Down Hanging”. As for my father, I’m
told he is being detained in another prison.
How ungrateful you are! Your uncle had fed you and brought you
up. You should have felt indebted to him. You betrayed him instead. You
deserve the torments of this prison. What are you pleading for? General,
send him back to the stakes, and bring down two others on the left so
they can tell their stories to Mr. Yang Ts’ien who will describe them
in his book.
At your request.
Here they come. Confess your sins to Mr. Yang Ts’ien who is
from the Temple of the Sages in the living world.
Right now, I experience much pain. Everyday, I undergo this
torment of being hung by the feet. I have a mouth, but I’m not allowed
to complain, my eyeballs are protruding from their orbits. I was a
married man, and we lived in Tai Chu. However, I was also involved with
a young girl. After a certain time, our romance was discovered. The girl
was fatherless. Her mother lived alone, and though the latter was
already in her forties, she looked quites attractive. Using various
excuses, I managed to pay her frequent visits and seduced her with sweet
words. I conquered her and slept with her. At last, we lived together
openly, fully enjoying our carnal pleasures. I was somewhat blinded by
pleasures, and could hardly control myself. And then, in a traffic
accident, I was run over by a car and lost consciousness. At that
moment, my soul was tied up by the chains of buffaloheaded and
horse-faced demons. With their spears in hand, they escorted me to the
Mirror-Revelator of Past Crimes where I shamefully witnessed the
totality of my vile acts. I dared not look anybody in the face, as I was
so ashamed of myself. The King of Palace, very angry, condemned me to 30
years’ imprisonment in this jail with the punishment of upside-down
hanging. I have had two years, and still have many lengthy years to
suffer. I try not to think of the time I shall be delivered from my
You are no better than an animal. Lust is the gravest sin of all.
The fact of committing adultery with a young girl was already a crime.
More than that, you sought to destroy the chastity of her mother too.
You are worthy of capital punishment. After you serve your term in this
prison, you will be condemned again to the Eternal Prison. You can no
longer reincarnate in the world of the living.
You have violated the natural law of social relationships and
corrupted the ways and customs. Those who disrespect their masters, are
rude toward their superiors, commit adultery with both mother and
daughter, and are condemned to this prison. The punishment here is easy
compared with those of the Eternal Prison, where they will never return.
May human beings awaken as soon as possible and may they avoid
committing the sins that lead them to this prison of upside-down
hanging, after their death. Yang Ts’ien, it’s getting late, think of
My deepest gratitude to His Excellency and to the General. You
have taught me a great number of things. We would like to say goodbye.
Please forgive our mistakes.