Voyages to Hell

translated by

Nguyen Khang & Bui H.Huu

CHAPTER 27

VISIT TO THE PRISON WITH VENOMOUS WASPS

Buddha Tse Kong who manifested on March 6th. Year of the Snake(1977) 

O God, in whom manís hopes securely dwell
The butcherís cutlass frightens, even the devil himself
When man is advancing through meditation
Immortalís sphere is opened, splendor is felt. 

Buddha Tse Kong:     It is no easy thing for a man to regenerate until he attains the plane of genii and immortals. More difficult is to know how to keep his heart pure and his soul sane to attain it. In the world, the different religions open wide their doors to spread religious teachings. Magnificent churches, synagogues, pagodas, and temples are constructed to propagate faith. In these places, lectures of holy scriptures are given, religious dogmas are discussed, adepts are trained, meditation is practiced to illuminate men, in a word, every effort is exerted for the salvation of humans. They are a kind of minute paradise in the bosom of the earth. Unfortunately, a number of people recently took advantage of Godís name to commit perverse actions. They commercialize the geniuses and saints, make up wooden statues, and utilize all kinds of stratagems and guiles to cheat the trusting and gullible folks just to earn money. By so doing, they disgrace the deities, and their crimes are innumerable. For having scorned the world and done harm to the people, they will be punished by the laws of hell, as their crimes are unforgivable. Yang Tsíien, I accompany you to hell tonight so you can see with your own eyes what is going on and relate the facts that serve as examples for men. Come quickly on the dais. 

Yang Tsíien:       Iím seated, Master. Where shall we go? 

TK:      To the Prison with Venomous Wasps. Close your eyes and letís go! 

YT:      The prison with venomous wasps is over there. Sinful souls are numerous. The demons are driving them in with heavy blows of whips and canes along the road. The souls yell terribly and shed bitter tears. Itís heart-breaking to look at them. What sins have they committed? 

TK:      These souls made their living at the expense of deities. They enjoyed their dishonesty so fully that they are now at the mercy of the laws of hell. Letís come in to see things more closely. The Mandarin-Governor and the General are waiting for us. Letís go greet them. 

YT:      I have the honor to present myself as Yang Tsíien, a disciple of the Temple of the Sages. I received the order to visit hell with my master, Buddha Tse Kong, in order to write a book. I hope to be granted your assistance. 

The Mandarin:    With great pleasure, gentlemen. This prison called ďPrison with Venomous WaspsĒ is newly constructed and placed under the administration of the 4th Palace. Because the number of sinners has been increasing rapidly these recent days, the Pontiff King of Hell ordered the construction of this prison to reform and reeducate them. Please come inside for a better look. 

YT:      Thank you, Excellency. Help, Master! All these redoutable wasps! I just canít go farther. There are so many of them, as black as ebony, as big as a thumb, they look like tiger-head wasps in the world. They fly in all directions, attacking the sinful souls with their stinging. The latter are moaning painfully, and try in vain to dodge. At last they succumb in the corners of the rooms. Here are some of the wasps flying in our direction. I think weíll have to find some shelter for hiding, Master. These wasps are dangerous. Their sting could be deadly. 

TK:      Donít be panicky, Yang Tsíien. These insects have souls. They know how to discriminate between good and bad men. The trunks of these souls exhale a vicious odor that attracts them. They are like the flies which alight on dirty things, and fly away from what is clean. These wasps are coming to greet us. Just relax, son. 

YT:      Queer, isnít it? They are just like firecrackers which burst without hurting anybody. They are noisily welcoming distinguished guests. 

The Mandarin:      Just come a little nearer to see better. Have no fear. If these wasps attack anyone who is in their way, we would be the first ones to flee. They are different from those of the world. They are genius-wasps. They only attack the swindlers who hide behind the saints and immortals to do bad acts for a living. Now the sinners try to flee but they canít. The more they seek to hide, the more the wasps chase after them. Look at their bodies swollen with lumps, especially on the heads. The venom tortures them to the extreme, they utter ear-splitting shrieks, covering their heads and running like ducks. 

YT:      I find this torment cruel. The cell is quite narrow, the souls try to get away, but they have no means. Neither a door, nor an exit. They donít have anybody to turn to. Excellency, what have they done to endure this torment? 

The Mandarin:      I shall have the door opened and some of the souls come out to tell you their stories. This will help you take notes for your book and warn humans. 

TK:      Itís perfect. Say, Yang Tsíien, it seems to me that every prison of hell is instructed of our mission. They all know that we come to hell to gather information to warn humans. Please, Excellency, we would like to know the crimes of each of them. 

The Mandarin:      This is precisely the job of our personnel to help you know. Iíll have two souls come, and you are going to hear their confessions. 

YT:      What had you done in your life to be condemned to this prison? 

The soul:     I am really bashful, and I lack the courage fails to look other people in the face. I was a disciple of the Temple of the Sages located in Central Formosa. After many years of study the Tao, I was elected assistant to the President of the Temple. At one time, for the sake of religious expansion, I had written and published several books and distributed them to believing circles. I exerted great effort in persuading the virtuous hearts to pool money for printing these books. In over two months, I succeeded in collecting more than 30,000 dollars. At that time, I had incurred a debt and the creditor pressed me to pay it on the day it was due. Having in hand a big amount of money, I used it to pay my debt. Finally, I only gave 20,000 dollars to the president, keeping for me 12,456 dollars. My debt paid up, I kept the remainder for my personal expenses, thinking my deed was unknown. From then on, however, the voice of my conscience often reproached me, remorse racked me and I didnít feel comfortable with my boss. The latter made no reference whatever to my crime when we were together in mediumistic sessions. Three years ago, I died of stomach disease. Buffalo-headed and horse faced demons came to arrest me and led me to hell. Right then, I saw my chief come and he teased me in these terms, ďyou had had dark thoughts, and you didnít repent until the day you died. Why didnít you confess your problems and errors to me? The immortals and Buddha manifest on earth to exhort men to do good and shun evil. The entire truth consists in practicing the Tao and teaching men how to behave virtuously. You had received a good religious education, but you didnít practice it in your life. Itís now time for punishment, and you have to endure itĒ. Then, not content with reprimanding me harshly, he insisted that the King of Hell strengthened the torment. The King of Hell was furious at the sight of me. He gave the order to lead me to the Mirror Revelator of Past Crimes which reflected all of my acts, from my clandestine embezzlement of money to the details of my other misdeeds without exception. This fact astounded me and I trembled with fright. After that, I was escorted to the 4th Palace. There, the King pronounced my sentence of 28 years of detention in the Prison with Venomous Wasps. Upon completion of my term, I will be transferred to the 5th Palace for judgment again. Right now in this prison I am daily tormented by the wasps whose stings are extremely painful. All my body is swollen, while the wasps keep on the their attacks. The cell is too narrow for me to find a refuge. I regret that I did not take seriously the lessons I received at the Temple. Although my fault is single, I am granted no tolerance. My case is quite grave, because I was a disciple who disobeyed the counsels of his master. I hope that my colleagues in the world will behave cautiously with their deeds and speech, as their negligence wonít pass unnoticed by the eye of God. Now, I am repentant, but itís too late. I am sorry for having betrayed the good lessons of my master and the fine recommendations of my brethren. I am really ashamed of myself. 

The Mandarin:      You were within the enclosure of the holy door, but you neglected the religious teachings. You are blamed for having belittled your master and your colleagues. You were ungrateful to your master, and unworthy of the people who disbursed money for printing the canonical books. While offering their money, they didnít know that it would fall into the hands of a false priest or a false monk. All they knew was to contribute to the strengthening of the religious faith. Their merit was not reduced. The only guilt was that of the one whom the sight of money incited to possess it, and led to commit a sin. Once people pass over the threshold of the holy door, they must have careful hands for each penny, each shilling, or else they will soil the pure, sacred clime of the same door. Hell is all the more severe to them. Humans must be warned of this fact. 

TK:      All those who under estimate the value of religion and prove to be dishonest in monetary matters deserve the unforgivable chastisement of hell. As religious men, they must observe the regulations of sanctity, if they want to avoid descending to hell and undergoing painful torment without the possibility of repentance. We donít have much time left. Yang Tsíien, how about going home? Weíll come back another time. Excellency, please accept our thanks. 

YT:      I thank His Excellency and the General for your information about your prison. We have to leave. 

The Mandarin:      General, muster your men for the salute. I am longing for the honor of welcoming you again. 

YT:      I am ready, Master. Shall we go? 

TK:      Here is the Temple. Go to your body, son.

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CONTENTS

Forward
Introduction
Preface
Summary
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24
Chapter 25
Chapter 26
Chapter 27
Chapter 28
Chapter 29
Chapter 30
Chapter 31
Chapter 32
Chapter 33
Chapter 34
Chapter 35
Chapter 36
Chapter 37
Chapter 38
Chapter 39
Chapter 40
Chapter 41
Chapter 42
Chapter 43
Chapter 44
Chapter 45
Chapter 46
Chapter 47
Chapter 48
Chapter 49
Chapter 50
Chapter 51
Chapter 52
Chapter 53
Chapter 54
Chapter 55
Chapter 56
Chapter 57
Chapter 58
Chapter 59
Chapter 60
Chapter 61
Celestial Edict
Postface

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