Voyages to Hell

translated by

Nguyen Khang & Bui H.Huu



Buddha Tse Kong who manifested on March 29TH, 1978. Year of the Horse 

It’s difficult to avoid the Portico of Demons
A band of lost creation enters successively
Glory and wealth are as a stage of illusion
Simplicity without dreams is happiness

Buddha Tse Kong:    We are through with our visit to the 8th Gate. Now, we’re going to enter the 9th Gate and visit the Gate of Yin, alias the door of hell. Yang Ts’ien, let’s depart. 

Yang Ts’ien:   Our duty consists of entering the 9th Palace in order to complete the book “Voyages to Hell”. My heart is so enthusiastic that my words fail me. 

TK:      It is extremely important to pass over the sill of hell’s door. Don’t underestimate it, and don’t be too optimistic either. We are assuming a heavy responsibility that compels us to go up hill and down dale in order to accomplish our mission. We have to be cautious in our work. The publication of the book, when done, will bring you a lot of spiritual merits, owing to its educational value to humans. I hope you’ll do your best to complete your task. Now, come quickly on the dais. 

YT:      At your request. I’m ready, Master. 

TK:      We arrive now. Let’s come down. 

YT:      Before us, a crowd is gathering. They’re organizing a solemn welcome in our honors. 

TK:      The Metropolitan King was informed of our visit. An exceptional reception is reserved for us. Let’s dust our clothes neatly. Look ahead! Deafening sounds of cymbals and drums are accompanying the musical instruments to form an harmonious symphony for our welcome. 

YT:      The melodious music is heard like the traditional folksong titled “Harmonious flute notes of South and North”. 

TK:      You’re right! 

YT:      How blissful this divine music is! I’m filled with happiness when hearing it: my soul soars as though I reach the realm of Immortals. Could this spectacle be real? 

TK:      Why couldn’t it? Any earthly being who accomplishes meritorious deeds will hear the same divine music, when he receives the vermilion-sealed letter of heaven inviting him to the Kingdom of Gods. As for the people whose meritorious deeds are mediocre, they aren’t honored with this exceptional grace from the heavens. When prizes are distributed on earth, there is music too. The earthly world has its earthly music; the celestial world has its divine music. The rumor about this fact isn’t false. The man who commits crime in the course of his life will hear no music other than the wails of demons and the clankings of sword bayonets, cutlasses and shackles. When on his way to hell, he won’t have the courage to complete the trip. The tragic infernal music would urge him to stop halfway. He will be recaptured for sure, and will be tied up, and finally led to hell by the infernal guards. Let’s hasten forward. The dignitaries of the 9th Gate are patiently standing in line and waiting for us. 

YT:      I humbly present myself to His Majesty the Metropolitan King and to the Mandarins. I am the disciple of Saint Kouan-Chen of the Temple of the Sages in Tai Chu. Carrying out the Celestial Edict, my gracious Master Buddha Tse Kong and I visit hell to write a book. May I thank you for your warm welcome, and your useful information that will help me in preparing the book. 

The King:   I dispense you from ceremonials, Mr. Yang Ts’ien. Tonight, I particularly invite you to a feast. Please follow me to the reception hall for some rest. 

YT:      Thank you for your generosity, Sir. 

TK:      Let’s follow His Majesty to the reception hall. 

The King:   Please take a seat. You must have visited nearly all gates, from the 1st to the 9th. For the achievement of your book, you have experienced a great deal of labor and pain. In honor of your arrival, may I give you something very special to purify yourself from worldly dust. 

TK:      We appreciate greatly y our benevolence, Sir. After riding the dais of lotus for an entire year, our bodies are soiled with so much dust. 

The King:   Your hearts are as pure as the lotus, which are not impregnated by the stench of mud while growing amid a miry lake. The lotus flower preserves its nature in perfect purity. Only your earthly feet need to be carefully washed now. The fruits of the Kingdom of the Gods are on the tray. Please help yourselves, without reserve. 

TK:      Dear disciple! Go directly ahead. This is the rarest occasion you will ever experience. 

YT:      Thanks a lot, Master. These fruits resemble the grapes of the living world. They are purple-red, and their flavor is exquisite. 

The King:    True. The trees of these ebony-colored fruits grow naturally on the mount of K’un Lun. By absorbing the pure breath energy, the skin of these fruits is velvet black and their pulp is exquisitedly sweet. Please help yourself. 

TK:      Can we talk while eating? Yang Ts’ien, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask His Majesty. 

YT:      Yes, Sir (to the King). May you kindly explain to me the functions of your 9th Palace? 

The King:   I am assuming a heavy responsibility. To see one group after another group of sinful souls suffering painfully, I really can’t talk without emotion. However, my duty consists of judging them impartially and I cannot allow myself to be sentimental. All I hope is to see human beings return quickly to the right path. I can then free myself of my moral obligation. All organisms of hell function correctly and smoothly. Like the magistrates in the living world, the infernal judges maintain this judicial maxim of morality, “Act virtuously to give examples to others. And teach other people with uprightness”. 

YT:      So that’s it! What prisons are governed by your palace, Sir? 

The King:    My place governs the Eternal Prison. We also establish 18 smaller prisons for the sinful souls. 

YT:      Suppose someone asks me, “Why do people usually say the dead have to pass by 16 prisons?” How shall I answer them? 

The King:   People have the habit of joking with this sentence, “Gosh! men have to pass through the 18 prisons of hell after their death”. By saying so, people only refer to the Eternal Prison, which consists of 18 floors reaching as deeply as the core of the earth where the breath of the Yin is dense and completely black. The prisoner can’t even see the fingers of his raised hand. A liquid as dark as coffee overfloods this place. There, night and day, the sinful souls quench their thirst with this liquid. Do you like having a cup of this coffee, Mr. Yang Ts’ien? 

YT:      On, no! May I abstain from it! I prefer some tea! 

The King:   You are Yang Ts’ien, the cautious. Now, try these heavenly fruits. 

YT:      This kind of fruit has the form of a 9-floored tower on earth. They are savoury, aromatic and cooling. What do you call them? 

The King:    This is a specialty of the 9th Palace. The fruit is called “Nine-Floored Tower”. Whoever eats this fruit, will have his bones strenghtened. It is also the tonic for the spirit and vital energy. The nine towers symbolize the absolute Yang. Therefore, once eating these fruits, the vital breath energy of man will be reinforced. They are really good for your health, Mr. Yang Ts’ien. 

TK:      Most people prefer the ascent to the 9th floored Tower than the descent to the Eternal Prison with its 18 floors. It’s quite strange. 

The King:    Please serve yourself and relax. You still look covered with ashes and dust (to Tse Kong). Now, I’m going o take Yang Ts’ien to the “Cascade of Nine Streams” for a genial bath. 

YT:      I fear to go there by myself, gracious Master. Please, accompany me. 

TK:      All right. I’ll go with you, son. 

YT:      I thank you very much, for your kindness in accompanying me. Here, the roads are new, clean and even, which are quite a rare sight to be found in hell. 

TK:      These roads are particularly reserved for the spiritual Immortals who want to return to the terrestrial world to attend the Memorial Ceremony. You are indeed lucky to have a chance to behold this scenery. Profit from the coolness of the cascade. Do you see those three genii that are coming in our direction? Well, they are purified of all dirt, and are going to receive the celestial order for returning to the living world and assuming their functions. 

YT:      These genii look high-spirited. They are crowned with aureoles. 

The King:    Please, go ahead. 

YT:      That Mountain before us is pretty high. It is covered with verdant trees. High up from the rocks of the slope, the water of the cascade is gushing out, looking like gigantic ribbons of silk. Amidst this scorching heat, the refreshing nine streams are pouring down freely, and the earth seems to revive at their contact. 

The King:    Here we are at the Cascade of Nine Streams. 

YT:      On the slope of the mountain, engraved characters of glittering golden color are seen: “Cascade of Nine Streams”. From a lofty height, the nine streams are unfurling their waters, just like a picture of spread strips of silk. 

The King:   Young Yang Ts’ien is going to take a cleansing bath. Order the Generals and escorting officers to withdraw. 

The Generals:   At your request, Sir. 

The King:    Mr. Yang Ts’ien, go straight to the end of the cascade. 

YT:      The current is too swift. I am reluctant to go there alone. Please keep me company, Master. 

TK:      With pleasure. For three years, my Buddha’s body hasn’t been bathed. I should take this opportunity to purify myself at least once. Let’s go. 

YT:      What coolness! Hey! I can’t open my eyes! 

TK:      Try hard to open them to wash your profane eyes. 

YT:      How happy I am! I feel completely refreshed. But I am all wet. What should I do? 

TK:      Don’t worry. In a moment, with my rush-fan I shall dry you, just the way a drying-machine does. Wash your dirty feet with the water. 

YT:      You’re making fun of your disciple, Master. 

TK:      The places people can’t see are usually dirty, such as the soles of the feet, the undersides of beds and desks. They are like “fortresses”. If we don’t launch a mopping-offensive against them, they can serve as refuges for fleas and bugs. How could you ride the winds and mount the clouds with these parasites with you? 

YT:      You are absolutely right, Master. 

TK:      As its name indicates, the Cascade of Nine Streams resembles nine dragons spouting water with which one gets washed without recourse to soap or detergents for cleansing the filth. Human beings should take care of their bodies and souls; keep them all clean to avoid the punishments beyond life. You look clean and neat, son. Come up to the bank. 

YT:      Master, can you give me that blow of your rush-fan so I can get dried quickly? 

TK:      Look at this rush-fan. It outdoes a drying-machine. 

YT:      In fact, my clothes are dried while my body and soul are purified. I thank you very much, Sir, and Venerable Master. 

The King:    I hope you’ll have enough courage and patience to endure the pains and to accomplish your mission. 

YT:      I’ll try my best, Sir. May I wish to be blessed with more spiritual energy? 

The King:   When the clouds are clear, the sun will appear. At that time, there will be no need to be leased anymore. Do you understand? 

TK:      It’s growing late. We must leave now. And we apologize for not accompanying you back to your palace. 

The King:   Never mind, Venerable Buddha. Line up your men for the salute, Generals. 

YT:      Your generosity will never be forgotten, Sir. I am thankful for the party and for the cleansing bath at the Cascade of Nine Streams. Please accept my greeting and my gratitude, Sir. 

TK:      Here we are at the door of the temple. Go to your body, son.

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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