Voyages to Hell

translated by

Nguyen Khang & Bui H.Huu



Buddha Tse Kong who manifested on May 19th, 1978. Year of the Horse 

Misery fills the six paths of transmigration
Why not turn to goodness at an early age?
Always respect bad and good, and remain kind
Only by repentance, can man become wise.

Buddha Tse Kong:   The six ways of transmigration are like the rotating wheel that never stops. Those caught in the wheel without way to escape will become a “demon of the wheel” for life. I hope that within death, man will discover life. Therefore, when being rotated by the Reincarnation-Wheel, the soul must know how to survive, and not be like a blind man who walks into the tiger’s jaws. The best solution is to avoid hell, or have sufficient time to repent for previous errors. In this manner, he will have a chance to proceed further, to the exploration journey into the future. Let’s prepare to visit hell, son. 

Yang Ts’ien:    I am ready, Master. 

TK:      Tonight, we’re going to the 10th Palace to visit again the King of The Reincarnation-Wheel. 

YT:      The king is waiting for us. 

The King:    It’s an honor to have you as my guests. On your last visit, since your time was limited, I couldn’t provide into more details. Today, I will guide you to inspect the places. 

YT:      I am grateful for your precious instructions. 

The King:    This Gate of Reincarnation is operated with absolute impartiality. The destination of each soul is based on his karmic affinities. The decision that he will be sent east or west, south or north depends on his action in his former existence. Let’s visit the Reincarnation Center. 

TK:      Tao and destiny are two antipodes. Those who earnestly pursue the Tao, and attain enlightenment are exempted from passing by the Reincarnation Center. On the contrary, those who run counter to morality and to the teachings of the Tao are subjected to the judgment of this service. 

The King:    Please move quickly, because this Reincarnation Center has various functions. It is divided into eight offices. There are officers in charge of verdict files for each individual soul. Please step inside and you will be informed further. 

YT:      This building is the Reincarnation Center. The prisoners, being escorted by the infernal guards, are coming in large numbers. Their files are being submitted to the judges. What could be the latter’s decisions? 

The King:    Just come in. I shall explain to you! 

YT:      Upon seeing us, the high officials interrupt their work to welcome us. 

TK:      Please take a seat. And don’t be intimidated, Yang Ts’ien. 

The King:     May I introduce the Service-Chief to you? 

The Service-Chief:    Welcome to Buddha Tse Kong and to Mr. Yang Ts’ien. We are aware of the effort you have expended for preparing your book. You have already gained many credits. 

The King:     Please, have some tea. I’m going to explain to you the work of the eight bureaus in this center. This will enable humans to comprehend the process of reincarnation that governs their destinies. First of all, the souls are guided to the Portico of Demons either by the tutelary genius, the gracious genius, or by the infernal guards. From here, they are led to the registry-office for establishing their curriculum vitaes. When a person comes down to hell, regardless of his being only a visitor or a prisoner subjected to punishment, he has to successively pass from the 1st to the 9th Gate. The souls who have completely atoned for their sins are transferred to this 10th Gate so we can work for their transmigration. The most important office of our place is the reincarnation center composed of eight bureaus:

1)            The bureau of judicial control
2)      The bureau of good-actions
3)      The bureau of bad-actions
4)      The bureau of debts, gratitude and vengeance.
5)      The bureau of longevity and destiny
6)      The bureau governing familial ties
7)      The bureau governing to-be-reincarnated existences.
8)      The bureau governing births (by reincarnation)
  1. Bureau of Judicial Control: This office is in charge of controlling the sinful souls after they are judged and punished by the other places. This is a necessary formality for the guilty soul to be freed and acquitted. Before he is allowed to transmigrate, the soul is forced to make his declaration at the judicial control office that delivers him a certificate of discharge. If a defect of any kind is discovered, the soul is ordered to return to his respective prison. This procedure is required in order avoid inconsiderate and erroneous performance of the responsible personnel.
  1. Bureau of Good Actions: This bureau establishes the list of meritorious souls and examines the good actions they have done before granting them rewards corresponding to their merits. The souls having of a virtuous past are promoted to reincarnate in the form of children of wealthy families, and will become Mandarins, illustrious lettered men with honors and celebrity, or children of rich businessmen with sumptuous residences and abundant riches. They may also be reincarnated into those men who start empty-handed from zero in their life, then succeed with the sweat of their brows to secure some property and a home in their old age; men who inherit the merits of their ascendants, enjoying a life full of affluence and honor. As for the female souls, they will be married to men of high society, will have an excellent heir, and will be surrounded by pious children who insure them tranquility and good welfare in their old age. All the above-cited cases concern the souls who acquired great merit by doing good actions in their lifetime, and it is now the moment for them to be rewarded. All this work is relevant to the Bureau of Good Actions, which doesn’t permit it to omit the least detail.
  1. Bureau of Bad Actions: The work of this bureau consists of considering whether the to-be-reincarnated souls have or have not committed some crimes in their earlier life. If they have had performed only a few good actions but committed a few negligible sins, they will be reincarnated in a materially adequate existence, living under the protection of their parents, and later enjoying an harmonious matrimonial life and a wise, pious progeny. For the men whose bad actions balance good ones, they will become people of mediocre condition; will have a long life, sufficient eating and clothing, and a united family. However they will have to work hard all their lives and enjoy little leisure in their old age. Now, comes the category of souls whose merits are none but whose crimes are many. They will be reincarnated in an existence full of misery, and suffering hunger and cold. They will be separated from their parents, or their siblings, and spouses. Heavy sinners are to be reincarnated in extreme misery, infirmity or without complete limbs. They will be born with lame legs, mutilated arms, deformed heads, or will suffer from deafness, blindness, and muteness and will live as beggars. The youngsters who neglect the five cardinal virtues, the women who fail in their three subjections (to their parents, their husbands, their parents-in-law) also to the feminine virtues (occupation, bearing, speech, character) and those who commit heavy sins will be reincarnated in the forms of animals, insects or worms. This is the causal law of evil adopted by the Bureau of Bad Actions: Evil deeds will lead to bad consequences.
  1. Bureau of Debts, Gratitude and Vengeance: This bureau decides on the sex to be attributed to the reincarnated soul so he or she can proceed to a settlement of accounts with his or her previously connected partner. A person who receives a favor from a dear friend this time, will have to pay it back in the next life if the karmic accounts are not yet cleared. A person who provokes other person with insults, offences and scorn, or creates violent disputes, will have to settle the accounts with his victims in the following existence, if hatred is not yet dissipated after death. From this fact, the following adage is justified, “good deeds appeal to good actions, vengeance engenders revenge, and injustice gives birth to unfairness”. There exists a category of women who are very passionate in their life but are betrayed by their lovers. They become mortified and ready for revenge. Because of sorrows and anger, they prefer to become ferocious demons to take revenge against their treacherous partners after their death. The angry souls will haunt their partners and may lead the latter to an accident or to get involved into a tragic death. In these cases, our bureau will allow them to settle these types of accounts to calm their anger.
  1. Bureau of Longevity and Destiny: This bureau deals with the longevity and destiny of the people. There are many categories of people: some people have both talent and reputation; some others are wealthy and live a long life. Others again are rich but their life is short, then people who are poor and have short life or vice versa. There are also people who die in the tragedy, in sufferings or in sadness, and infants who die a few days or months after they see the daylight. All these are various cases. On the earth, we often see the guilty being executed or people being murdered by others. All such apparently casual things are determined by destiny. But we shouldn’t fail to mention the cases of people who commit suicide due to failure in life, or those who kill themselves out of carelessness in their work. Their death is not predestined but it’s caused by their own imprudence.
  1. Bureau Governing Familial Ties: This bureau is concerned with the bonds that tie the members of a family together. Whether people give birth to a pious son or an ungrateful one, marry a loyal, mild wife or a wicked, unfaithful spouse, it is not at all a coincidence, but rather the effect of a former debt. Their encounter is predestined. Consider this example: one A by name lends money to a certain B who is unable to pay the loan before he dies. Surely, he is not guilty as far as human law is concerned. But the infernal law demands that B must reincarnate as A’s very pious son to pay A his due. Thence, this dictum justifies the fact, “the children acquit their debts toward their parents”. Take another example: Through crafty subterfuge, C appropriated the possessions of D. He misused his power to seize the portion of fortune, which should legally go to D. The latter’s despair was so deep that he died. He sued C before the infernal court that ordained that D must reincarnate as C’s wasteful, vain, sexually overactive child who would squander away his father’s properties. This case is called “the child reclaims his due from his parents”. This is also true with nuptial ties. Some people are married to hardworking, mild, faithful matrons who become loving, and devoted mothers. Others have pernicious, unfaithful, saucy, lustful wives. The good or bad fate reserved for each person is determined by the actions committed in his former life. This fatality suffers no errors, and such is the work of the Bureau Governing the Familial Ties.
  1. Bureau Governing To-Be-Reincarnated Existences: This bureau keeps records of the number of times and on the conditions that cause the souls to have to be reincarnated. For instance, how many successive existences will this virtuous man live in opulence and honors; how many lives of misery will that cruel person have to bear; and that one whose sins are extremely severe, will be reincarnated in a beast for how many lives? Can he return to human life or will he remain eternally an insect or a worm? There is a proper norm for each category and it is very apparent that predestination is unrelenting and inevitable. However, a man’s life is liable to variations if he runs counter to his destiny. For a man predestined to live in opulence who creates malefic karmas, another man damned to tribulations who knows to regenerate and accumulate merits: good and evil will counter-balance and the poor man’s misery will be curtailed whereas the rich man’s wealth will dissipate while he will be waiting for a future life in wretchedness. From this fact is inspired this proverb, “man is always compensated for his efforts whereas the sluggard wastes his time”. It is also worth stating that, by order of the Celestial Emperor, three observatory posts, commanded by the genius-king of the “Great Bear” are constantly keeping an eye on the humans and report their deeds to the King of Hell who will alter their fates either favorably or unfavorably. That is the work of the Bureau Governing To-Be-Reincarnated Existences.
  1. Bureau Governing Births: (by reincarnation) that takes charge of the process of soul transmigration. This bureau provides necessary testimonials for reincarnation to be based on. Every soul having made amends for his crime will have his file transmitted to this bureau for complementary formalities. Once all procedures are compeled properly, he is accepted to pass to transmigration. A certificate is delivered to him, and the Mandarin in charge begins to process his reincarnation. Each one will be given the tools corresponding to his trade. The lettered man receives his pen and inkstand, the merchant his calculator, the husbandman his farming implements, the animals and birds their furs and feathers. Thus, they all have their proper trades as their fates want them to, but since their karmas are not alike, they received different certificates before they can reincarnate. And that’s the work of the Bureau Governing Births.

            The eight bureau offices issue the certificates to the souls for reincarnation. Once they are admitted to transmigration, they are considered as having changed their fates. Well, gentlemen, I think it’s quite late. We can discuss this matter in more detail next time. 

TK:      Speed up, Yang Ts’ien. Please accept my deepest expression of gratitude, Your Majesty. 

YT:      We have taken much of your time, Sir. With your permission, we ask to take leave. 

TK:      Arrival! Go rejoin your body. 

(1) Translator’s note: six ways of transmigration: the world of deities or devas, world of human beings, world of combatant devil or asuras, world of hungry devils, world of hell, world of brutes.

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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