Voyages to Hell

translated by

Nguyen Khang & Bui H.Huu



Buddha Tse Kong who manifested on October 29th, 1977. Year of the Snake 

Worldly matters are illusory as a flickering lamp
Once alarmed by cold, once frightened by rain
Then one day, our relatives will depart
Leaving us behind, helpless, their souls wane.

Buddha Tse Kong:    Mr. Houang Wen Da, husband of Mrs. Lai Sheng Kíouan just died this afternoon. He was a pietist of the Temple of the Sages and I am greatly saddened while thinking about manís life being so short. Would it be necessary to have recourse to ruses and subterfuges forliving in this world? Once God takes away the vital breath he gave to man, it is the end of everything: fortune, children, real estate, nothing is left. All of his properties, splendid houses and luxurious rooms are but temporary things he borrowed from his children and grandchildren. After his death, he is buried in a cemetery on the slope of a mountain or in solitary, deserted plot of ground. What things can he take along with him? 

Yang Tsíien:    Dear Master, where will Mr. Houangís soul go after his death? 

TK:      A somber path with lengthy months and years of gloom. Thatís where the dead will go. Our mission to write a book on hell is to reveal to humans the secrets of the life beyond. 

YT:      How timely! Itís the big question humans used to ask themselves! They vaguely know they will go to hell, and thatís nearly all they know. Can you explain it clearly with more details, Master? 

TK:      Agreed. Come first on the dais, and Iíll show you. 

YT:      Iím ready, Master. Shall we start? 

TK:      Here we are. Get down, son. 

YT:      But I know this place perfectly! Itís Mr. Houangís residence. I came here frequently. 

TK:      Exactly. Look at Mr. Houangís corpse in the uncovered coffin. In front of it, the disciples of the Temple of the Sages are making preparations for the mass of requiem. Here are the children of the deceased. They look miserable. 

YT:      Please, Master. Why can I only see his body? Where could his soul be? 

TK:      Now, come back to the dais. Iíll take you to the Temple of the Tutelary Genius, and youíll have the answer. 

YT:      I am up. Letís go. 

TK:      Weíve arrived. 

YT:      There is a muster of soldiers and horses parading back and forth before the tempel of the Tutelary Genius. Human eyes would never view such a spectacle. 

TK:      Letís come in to salute the Genius. 

The Genius   I wish to welcome the Living Buddha Tse Kong and Mr. Yang Tsíien. Your visit is a surprise! How can I be helpful to you? 

TK:      The vice-presidentís husband of the Temple has just died. Our mission is to write a book on hell, so I wish to take advantage of this opportunity to have my disciple witness what becomes a human after his death. It is the purpose of our special visit to your temple tonight. 

The Genius:    All my compliments, gentlemen. Please serve us some tea, General. 

The General attending:     At your request. Have some tea, gentlemen. 

YT:      Thank you, General. May I ask the Tutelary Genius to explain to me his function in this region. 

The Genius   I am the Tutelary Genius of Tai Chu, who supervises the inhabitants of the Central Market. I assume the responsibility of surveying their activities. The majority of people ignore the official position of a Tutelary Genius which is akin to that of a Police High Commissioner. I am in charge of watching people, warning, advising them, and observing their actions. The Gracious Genius of Happiness and Virtue is my assistant. When a human comes to the limit of his earthly life, the infernal guards are summoned to a gathering at my temple. Then, they attend a council presided over by the Gracious Genius of Happiness and Virtue before going to the deceasedís residence to lead his soul to hell. 

YT:      I have some further questions that require explanation. For instance, how do the infernal guards treat the virtuous and the wicked souls when they come to get them? 

The Genius:    The emissaries of hell, such as buffalo-headed, horse-faced, or black-and-white demons merely give a slight tap on the corpse of virtuous men to render them unconscious before leading their souls away. As for the wicked souls, they torture them, deal heavy blows on them, and shackle them like people treat criminals on earth. Then, they lead their souls to the temple of the Tutelary Genius for registration to be entered in the registry-book of the dead. 

YT:      How about honest or religious people? Are they treated with benevolence? 

The Genius:    They surely are. If they did good acts in their lives and acquired great merits, the infernal guards only present to the Tutelary Genius the order notice, and it is the Gracious Genius of Happiness and Virtue himself who is in charge of taking them to hell. In the case of the persons with great religious merits or masters of numerous disciples are involved, they are highly welcomed in hell, and are invited to be presented to the Service of Merit Registry for examination. On the other side, the enlightened persons rise directly to heaven. 

YT:      Are there different means of returning to heaven for people with different faiths and religions? 

The Genius:    Religions may differ from each other, but the religious cause is unique. In order to evolve to a higher astral plane, people must regenerate in the Right Way, and be devoid of partiality and stubbornness. Otherwise, their ascension to heaven will meet with problems of delay. 

TK:      What the Genius said is correct, Yang Tsíien. The people who are devoted to the religious path, have to get rid of stubbornness, discrimination and haughtiness. Otherwise, they will become restless. Because of their excessive aggression and imbalance of mind, they need to go to hell for reeducation. 

YT:      May I ask you where Mr. Houangís soul is now? 

The Genius:     I shall take you inside and you will see him. 

YT:      Well, well, there he is together with five or six strange souls in a hall which is decorated like a place of cult. He is seating on a chair and greets me as I enter the room. Venerable Genius, may I talk to him? 

The Genius:    Of course, you may. 

YT:      How do you feel, Mr. Houang? 

Houangís soul:     I thank you greatly for remembering me. 

YT:      Tears come to his eyes, and he canít utter a word. 

TK:      Donít be sad! Your children are grown up, and they are pious and honest. Your wife is also kind and virtuous. So, why are you anxious? 

YT:      Your words make him weep more bitterly. 

TK:      Listen! Manís life is compared to a pedestrian walking along the road. He walks through life, and one scenery after another one goes by. Thatís all about. So, why do you feel such regret and attachment? 

Houangís soul:    I thank you for your enlightened words. Please give advice to my children and urge them to follow the path toward spiritual perfection. Please tell them to come frequently to the Temple of the Sages and do more charity deeds. I am treated well here by the Tutelary Genius and the Gracious Genius of Happiness and Virtue, owing to my wifeís merits. However, I canít help being agitated. 

YT:      Calm down, Mr. Houang. Even though, you left the world, you still continue to lead the path toward spiritual perfection. So, donít be distressed. 

Houang:     I regret that I didnít do more charitable deeds before. May I thank you now for remembering me. 

TK:      Time is too limited for longer talk. We have to go to the Public Parlor for further information. 

The Genius:    Letís go to the parlor for discussion. Please, have a seat, Mr. Yang Tsíien. Do you have other questions? 

YT:      I am often asked questions about the fate of humans after their death. Can you explain the matter more clearly? 

The Genius:    Donít be reserved. Please feel free to ask questions. If itís a difficult question, then the Living Buddha Tse Kong will answer you. 

YT:      What becomes the soul after he leaves his physical body? 

The Genius:    Many people have the premonition of death even before getting ill. The end of manís life is just like an old tree with fallen leaves which will soon be uprooted by the next storm coming by. Manís lifetime is recorded in the Registry-Book of hell which is similar to a tree of life. When man begins to reach his end, his tree of life in hell changes its color to notify the dignitaries about his coming death. Those officers of hell will open the Registry-Book to verify again. When the time comes, they will send the black-and-white demons to the world to pick up the soul of the dying person. When the demons arrive to the personís residence, the tree of life is about to die and so is the man. Thatís called death. Manís soul, which resides in the physical body for a number of years, is comparable by a growing tree with its various branches. When he dies, it is like a turtle shedding its protective shell. Everyone has his own manner of dying, no one looks the same. Some people gnash their teeth when dying. Others bulge their cheeks, strain and roll their eyes. The expressions on their faces change constantly: those are unhappy people whose karma is heavy, whose death is restless. Meanwhile, the people with peaceful mind will experience peaceful death. 

TK:      When a man ceases breathing, it doesnít mean that his soul is completely gone. Take the example of an electrical battery. If the contact is switched on but the bulb doesnít light, the battery is not necessarily ďdeadĒ. Its voltage is only too low to ignite the bulb. So it is for man. During these moments, his breath is very weak. Apparently, he looks dead, but in reality he is still conscious of what happens around him. His descendants should avail of these moments to whisper in his ears their words of consolation and encouragement, something like this: ďLetís leave behind your terrestrial self. Free yourself from earthly attachment. Think positive and nothing elseĒ. By doing so, the descendants will help their dying relative to recover their stability in order to release the bonds with the living world and avoid moral suffering. Then, they may pray for the defunct. Usually, the soul of the defunct is very agitated like a man walking in the dark. With prayers, he will feel more confident and relieved. During the period of mourning time, the descendants are advised to be vegetarians, to keep their bodies pure and clean and to abstain from alcoholic drinks, expensive meals and carnal pleasures. If they do so, the Tutelary Genius will report to the King of Hell about their filial piety towards the defunct and the latter will certainly feel moments of consolation. This piece of advise must not be neglected, because it is the duty of the defunctís children to prove their filial piety toward their parents. Now, itís time to go home, Yang Tsíien.

YT:      Just a couple of minutes, Master. I would like to know where Mr. Houangís soul will go?

The Genius:    After the recommendations of the Saint of the Fine Arts from the Temple of the Sages, Mr. Houang will go first to hell for judgment. 

TK:      Donít ask too many questions about that matter. The case of Mr. Houang is still pending, and no details can be revealed. Be ready for the return, son.

Back ] Next ]




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