Voyages to Hell

translated by

Nguyen Khang & Bui H.Huu



Buddha Tse Kong who manifested on August 19th, 1977. Year of the Snake 

The moon, its reflection, splendor of the night
Let’s visit the infernal regions, Yang and I
To write a book, following the order divine
Which serves as admonition to three spheres of mankind.

Buddha Tse Kong:    An entire year has gone by since your honorable temple, obeying the divine order, began to write the book “Voyages to Hell”, and I have had the honor to guide the holy-scribe Yang Ts’ien to hell for observation and encounter with the sinful souls who relate to him their misdeeds. This is a hard mission, and as the paths of hell, in bad repair, render the travel painful and tiring, it is all the more precarious. The book “Voyages to Hell” will be a rare masterpiece dedicated to humans, written by the order of God. The devout men and women of the Temple of the Sages are also ordered by the Celestial Edict to propagate the Tao. With the participation of the holy-scriber Yang Ts’ien whose spirit is extremely lucid, I am completely confident that this sacred mission will certainly be accomplished. Until now, the book is only half-finished, and I expect that the disciples of the temple will make a great effort to finish it without delay. Once the book is completed, Yang Ts’ien will have acquired great merits for the benefit of his descendants for the next three generations. Time for departure, Yang Ts’ien. Get seated on the dais. 

Yang Ts’ien:    At your request, Sir. I am deeply grateful with all my heart for the things you taught me. But I am really sorry, because as a novice, I haven’t been able to assimilate all of your valuable instructions. Venerable Master, will you give me one of your miracle-pills to back up my morale. I just came quickly back from the Southern Temple and feel very tired. 

TK:      Regardless of your painful work, you have known to keep your faith intact. Once more, I am willing to give you my miracle-pills. Have you by chance noticed that your health has been improving greatly since we began writing this book on hell? Well, it’s because the immortals and Buddha have blessed you with more fluid of vital energy. Tonight, I give you three additional miracle-pills. Swallow them quickly and ready yourself for the trip. 

YT:      I am greatly touched by your kind gesture, Master. I had had stomach pains for many years, but from the day I received the divine order, my distress decreased gradually and has disappeared completely without any recourse to medicine. At present, with the effect of your pills, I feel physically and morally revived. Thank you infinitely, Master. 

TK:      The time is growing late. Come on! 

YT:      I’m settled. Start now, Master. 

TK:      We’ve come to our destination. Get down. 

YT:      Please, Master, what’s that prison we see over there? I hear dismal crying and squeaking of rats, too. 

TK:      It is the 6th Palace governing 16 small prisons with the torture of kidney-lopping and casting to rats. The mandarin-governor and his officers are coming. Let’s go salute them. 

YT:      Yes, Sir. I present my greetings to His Excellency and to the Generals. My name is Yang Ts’ien, I am a disciple of the Temple of the Sages in Tai Chu. Tonight, I follow my master to visit your honorable palace, and am greatly obliged for any assistance you will lend me. 

The Mandarin:    Take it easy, please. This prison has received the order of the King of the 6th Palace and I was instructed of the arrival of Buddha Tse Kong and Mr. Yang Ts’ien. Please, come in after me. 

YT:      Thank you for your warm welcome, Excellency. At the bottom of the cells, I see gigantic rats attacking the sinful souls, who writhe on the ground, their arms desperately protecting their bodies against the famished rodents. Distressing screams and maddening cries are prevalent. What sins did these souls commit? 

The Mandarin:    In this prison, there are only male detainees. In their lifetime, they either indulged in lustful behavior or transgressed the rules and commandments of their religion by behaving immorally. As a result, they are having their kidneys and sexual organs chopped off for the giant rats to gnaw, in order to exterminate the roots of their vice. 

TK:      This torture is extremely painful. There is a saying that: “In order to destroy an herb, its roots must be unearthed, or else it will grow anew when the wind starts blowing”. This group of men so greedy for “spring wind” have to endure corresponding torture. 

The Mandarin   I shall have some souls come to relate their evil doings engendered the punishment of this prison. 

YT:      Very fine. Here are the sinful souls. Their arms are bound together while they are attacked by the giants rats. Some shriek and cry, the others roll on the ground, twisting with pain. The rats seem extremely ferocious and hostile. They bite the victims the way a cat devours a mouse. 

TK:      This sight is similar to the one of an old-rat nibbling at a jute-sack and eating the grains of cereal in it. The sight of streaming blood arouses my pity for those men addicted to carnal pleasures who are bearing such dreadful punishment. 

The Mandarin:    Two sinful souls are coming. (to the souls) These gentlemen are Buddha Tse Kong and Mr. Yang Ts’ien who have, by order of God, come to visit hell. You are ordered to tell them your crimes and furnish them necessary information for writing a book on hell that serves as a moral guide for humans. 

The soul:   When alive, I was converted to a religious order, decided to obey the religious commandments and not to marry a wife and have children. Some time later, being unable to resist the lust of the flesh, I maintained illicit relations with a religious woman. After my death, far from rising to paradise, my soul was arrested by the black-and-white demons and led to the Memory Hall where I witnessed in the Mirror Revelator of Past Crimes the detailed misdeeds of my life. I found it useless to deny my crimes before such a miraculous mirror. After that, I was sent to the 6th Palace where the irate King reprimanded me in these terms: “As a religious, you were well taught on the religious law, but you violated it. Your sin is all the more grave”, and I was condemned to the prison of kidney-lopping. First, I was castrated by the demons. Then, I was tied up and thrown to the attacks of the rats. Every day, the sharp pains of torture render me mad. I regret having made a false step that led me to eternal suffering. I advise all those who are converted to the religious way to seriously observe the divine rules. Otherwise, they will obtain no merits after their death, but instead will have to pay for their crimes in hell. 

TK:      A commandment specifies, “once engaged in observing the religious rules, one must be on guard against the temptation of the flesh”. If people don’t try to regenerate but infringe upon the commandments by committing the sin of lust, the demons and rats will help them make payment in hell. Karma demands that the sinners be forced to pay. 

The Mandarin:    The second soul will declare the evils you did in your life. 

The soul:    When I was a student of lower high school, I was led by bad school companions to patronize the brothels. Every time I had some money I went to those dens. Finally, I encouraged other comrades to join in the adventure with prostitutes. A few of us caught venereal diseases. After my death, I was arrested and sent to this prison. The pains I suffer now are too severe to be described. During my lifetime, I engaged in immoral pleasures, and now I am spending long months and years of suffering. I am too late for repentance. 

The Mandarin:     While you were young, you didn’t apply yourself assiduously to studies, but indulged in sensual pleasures. Your body was soiled prior to your formal wedding, and this is a grave sin. Again, you sowed a bad karma by leading your friends into immoral paths. So it is obvious why you are now condemned to hell. 

YT:      It’s pitiful to see them in this situation. Detainees are crowded in this prison. What crimes did they commit? 

The Mandarin:    Everyday, our prison provides hospitality for over a thousand newcomers. Our domain is rather varied. As a rule, most of them have committed the sin of lust, maintained sexual relation with dancing girls, lost their male virginity in public brothels, or indulged in illicit sexual relations or adultery. Religious people (Buddhists, Confucians, Christians or others) who committed lustful sin, incest, gang rape and the like are condemned here. 

TK:      I advise humans not to commit the sin of sex which is very grave, particularly for the religious. Once this sin is committed, it can’t be forgiven. They will be condemned not only to the Heart Wrenching Prison of the 5th Palace, but also to other prisons for further punishment. Nevertheless, God is merciful, as ever. He always reserves for them a salvation-outlet. To the one firmly determined to repent and change, He grants a reasonable reprieve. After reading this book on hell, if he has copies of it printed and distributed free to his fellow-beings as a warning, he can obtain partial reduction or total pardon for his sins. It’s growing late, Yang Ts’ien. Let’s return to the temple.

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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