PROMENADE ON THE FRONTIER BETWEEN THE WORLDS OF THE LIVING AND THE DEAD
VISIT TO THE SOUL REGISTRY HALL
Tse Kong who manifested on August 23rd, 1976. Leap year of the
Tse Kong: Hey! Yang
Ts’ien, my son. Get ready for another trip to hell!
your request, sir. I’m on the lotus dais with my eyes shut.
Here we go! ... Fine, come down, son.
There is a noisy group of people at the turning of the road. What
are those men of the living world doing here?
This is the frontier between the worlds of the living and the
dead. That group of men is the souls of deceased people who just came
down to hell. No more questions! I’m going to take you to the Soul
Reception Hall. You’ll ask the Mandarin Chief any questions you may
The Mandarin: Welcome, welcome! Venerable Buddha Tse Kong and Mr. Yang Ts’ien.
Please come into the Hall. Excuse us for our insufficient reception,
last time. Won’t you sit down? Due to the lack of time, we haven’t
yet announced your visit to all of our personnel in the Hall. Mr. Yang
Ts’ien, may I ask what we can do for you?
Would you mind telling me where the frontier between the two
The frontier between the two worlds is the place where the two
worlds of the living and the dead meet, but this is closer to hell.
After their death, the humans, or rather their souls must come here to
report to our Registry Office. After their registration, the good and
virtuous souls are led by the Genius of Grace to visit the palaces of
hell, whereas the wicked souls are escorted by the black-
and-white-faced demons and handed over to the Mandarin of the
Demon-Portico where they will be judged and punished by the First
How many records are kept of the names and ages of the souls?
Three registers. The first, called “Origin Register”, is kept
for inscription of the origin of souls when in paradise. That is the
time preceding their incarnation on earth. The second records the
existences of the souls when they lived on earth. It is called
“Transience Register”, and the third, reserved for the souls when
they come down to hell, is called “Portion Register”. Those who
didn’t do any charitable work in their lifetime will have to come to
hell. Their souls can’t rise to paradise. Hell is similar to jail in
the human world. It’s a place for penance of sinful souls. It is not
man’s paternal country. He can return to paradise, his ancient lodging
and his genuine native country, only if in his lifetime he knows how to
regenerate in the light of religious virtue.
When a person died, it was a custom for the family to burn
paper-money and light an oil lamp placed at the corpse’s feet, calling
it the “lamp at the dead’s feet”. I wonder what their intention
Upon a man’s death, his soul is free from his carnal body.
First, the soul is led by infernal guards because he is in state of
drowsiness. It is hard for him to control himself. For this reason, the
relatives of the deceased fear that the roads in hell are too dark for
the soul. So they burn paper-money and light an oil lamp to provide the
soul with pocket-money and light on dark paths. All of these efforts,
derived from a good sense of filial piety, deserve credit. However, one
should know that bribery and corruption are non-existent among the
authorities of hell, and the verdict in hell is easy or severe depending
on how the souls behaved in their lives. If they had a cruel heart when
living, they cannot count on any action of their relatives to redeem
their sins and insure their salvation.
For the time being, the living standard on earth is improving
because of the progress of science. Being eager to offer to their dead
the modern commodities of life, people produce with paper and glue,
imitation-gadgets such as color TV, electric fans, automobiles,
furniture, beds with soft mattresses, even tall buildings which they
burn as offerings. I don’t know if these will enrich the dead.
In hell, there is no opportunity to drive cars, use electric
fans, water beds or any other comforts. So there is no need for the
relatives of the dead to attempt to provide those things.
YT: Gracious Master, the last time you took me to hell, I saw Mount of “Heart-Summit”. I see today, at the same place, only the frontier between the worlds of men and of demons. I’m at a loss to know why.
Follow me. You’ll know why. Excellency, my disciple and I have
to take leave of you.
Mandarin: Excuse my shortcomings, if any.
There is no need to be ceremonious, Excellency.
I thank Your Excellency for having taught me about the harbor of
illusions. With your permission, I wish to say good bye. (To Tse Kong)
Please, master, I’m impatient to hear your explanation about the Mount
of Heart-Summit, and the two-world frontier.
All right. I did take you to this place the last time, didn’t
I? Now, look!
Grace! I see again the characters “Mount of Heart-Summit”
reappear in streaming light, while the scenery of the frontier vanishes.
Well, the Mount and the frontier are one. The people who were
evildoers in their life have their souls escorted to this place by the
infernal guards. Because of the impurity of their souls, they are
dazzled by the blinding light on the top of the mountain, and can hardly
open their eyes. They fall to their knees and drop down into grotto on
the slope of the mountain. This grotto communicates with the frontier,
and with hell. On the contrary, the soul of religious man with great
virtues who accumulated merits in his life will see this magnificent
light appear on the top of the mountain which directs him to paradise.
He will be welcomed by angels and fairies at the Gate of Heaven. As for
the people of medium or little merit, their souls will be led on an
eight-meter-wide road by the Genius of Grace to the frontier of two
worlds to report their arrival. The genius will then take them to hell
and hand them over to the king of hell for investigation. If they
acquired good merits in their life, they will be sent to the bureau of
“acquiring good deeds”. In case they have the opportunity to have
the protection from immortals and Buddhas, they will be admitted to a
higher astral plane for continuing to evolve in their improvement and
self-perfection. It’s quite late, I believe. Let’s get going.
I’m settled, Master.