VISIT TO THE PRISON OF THROAT-STAVING
Buddha Tse Kong who manifested on the 6th day of 2nd month. Year of the snake
Tse Kong: Human life is a combination of
joy, sadness, anger, and pleasure that takes shape, then vanishes. The
religious man finds it hard to educate the people because of such
constant change of things. In order that his speech influences men’s
hearts, he has to practice contemplative meditation and possess a serene
spirit and great virtues serving as the basis for his cause. For want of
such conditions, his words are nothing but withered flowers floating on
the rivers currents. Good! It’s time. Be hasty. We’re to go.
I just caught you sighing. You don’t seem happy tonight either.
Well, it’s because the men’s hearts are not in perfect
harmony, the religious tongues are not agreeable. To one, a prune is
bitter to the taste, to the other it is sweet. In the long run, religion
is discussed in vague terms, which sows confusion among the adepts who
don’t know which way to turn.
I think that a regenerated man should keep his heart flawless.
Even if the outside ambiance can be upsetting, he should remain calm and
Well said. You’re pretty smart as you are. With only one single
erroneous thought we can fall into a maze. The great religion, I mean to
say the universal religion, is unique, it is always clear and radiant.
Now, no more discussions. Climb on the lotus.
Look! We’ve arrived. Get down the lotus.
Here are the Mandarin-Governor and his officers coming to welcome
us. This is my Master, the Venerable Tse Kong, and I am Yang Ts’ien, a
disciple of the Temple of the Sages. Tonight we pay a visit to your
prison. We wish to be given detailed information.
with pleasure. Our prison, named “Throat-Staving” is placed under the
administration of the 4th Palace. The King of Palace has instructed me
of your visit. Please forgive us for any deficiencies.
Your welcome is thorough, Excellency. Our visits to hell enable
us to acquire facts for writing a book on hell. We will be deeply
grateful if you can lend us your assistance.
Mandarin: Very good, Venerable Buddha Tse Kong. Please follow me to witness
the torment and listen to the accounts of the sinful souls.
The signboard “Throat-Staving” really turns me head over
heels. I am truly at a loss for words. As we advance nearer, the moans,
cries and howls of pains are deafening. The demons are rushing
ferociously upon the stakes where sinful souls are fastened, and staving
their mouths with iron stilettos. The victims yell frightfully. The
spectacle is identical with the sight of cutting hogs’ throats in a
slaughter-house. May I ask what crimes the sinners have committed?
Mandarin: Tell us your criminal acts.
soul: My mouth and throat are heavily injured, so I can’t speak.
Besides, I already made my confessions to the king. Why do I have to
repeat them again?
We are here, by order of GOD, to communicate with you. Why do you
refuse to tell us the misdeeds of your life?
Mandarin: We are in the presence of the Venerable Living Buddha Tse Kong.
He is carrying out a divine mission that consists of writing the book
“Voyages to Hell”. If you refuse to talk, you oppose God’s will.
Do you think you can endure the torments of the Eternal Prison? In other
words, do you want to go there?
soul: I have been impertinent, and I humbly apologize, Venerable Buddha
Tse Kong. I had heard of you in my life, and my lack of respect deserves
a death penalty. Now, I’m going to relate the bad karma of my life. I
was gifted with an excellent voice and the talent of singing. I gave
frequent performances at the opera in renowned restaurants. The
drugstores often invited me to sing for the publicity of their drugs...
In my activities as a singer, I tried to satisfy the vulgar taste of the
audience with lewd songs composed by myself, and performed interludes
with obscene gestures. I was warmly applauded by the spectators. After
my death, the King of Hell let me know that my songs were neither
patriotic, nor educational. They were incapable of evoking noble and
sublime feelings in mankind. Their lyrics were shocking, harmful to
society, and corruptive to the ways and customs. He condemned me to ten
years of torment in the Prison of “Throat-Staving”. The
Mandarin-Governor also told me that I led a depraved life and committed
other sins. I will have to undergo other punishment in another palace. I
am greatly remorseful now, but I think it’s too late for remorse. I
propose that the singers be on their guard not to follow my example.
They should participate in charity work and sing educational songs.
Otherwise, their mouths and tongues will taste something bitter and
she said is true. The evolution of mankind needs the songs that raise
the youth’s morale, and inspire courage and beauty. Whimpering and
romantic lyrics are good only for weakening men’s good will, creating
a karma of the mouth and entailing corresponding punishment. Good. Now,
the second soul. We are all ears.
My mouth is still suffering from bloody wounds. In my life, I was a
housewife. Instead of caring for my household, I preferred to meddle in
other’s affairs. I picked frequent quarrels with my husband and my
neighbors. I cursed heaven and earth. I libeled the people of my
neighborhood and sowed discord in their families. I had a next-door
neighbor with whom I was in constant conflict. One time, to revenge the
wrong done me, I gave him the hint
that his wife had a lover, and that I had seen the two together. The
rumor spread fast, multiplied by ten, by the hundreds, and a storm took
place in the spouse’s family. I had also disrupted the engagement of
many other couples, I said the false for the true and reversely. After
my death on earth, I was condemned to eight years of imprisonment in the
“Throat-Staving” Prison. I also committed other misdeeds which I
prefer not to discuss.
As a matter of fact, your venomous tongue has created a lot of
Do you have any more questions to ask?
I would like to hear from another soul before we go.
fine. Go ahead, the next soul.
father was an oriental physician and a pharmacist of Chinese medicine. I
used to watch him do his job, noticing the methods of preparation, the
dosage utilized, also the way he treated the patients. Little by little,
I acquired much experience in the treatment of various diseases. After
my father’s death, I replaced him. Then, I busied myself with diluting
my drugs rather than thinking of my professional conscience. I over
charged my clients instead of treating them. I raised the cost of my
medicines, asserting that they were rare and difficult to find. I
charged extravagant amounts to my clients for my medical care,
pretending a high cost of living. I kept secret the formulas of
drug-preparation and only made them available for large sums of money.
As you can guess, I got rich rapidly and never did I think that, after
my death, this punishment would be reserved for me.
present punishment is the consequences of your selfishness, misuse of
confidence, lack of professional improvement, and excessive publicity.
The fact that you did charitable
deeds has partly reduced the gravity of your sins.
It’s growing late. Yang Ts’ien, be ready for the
homebound-trip. Excellency and General, my deep appreciation and
We are grateful, Excellency.
In case you need something
else, just come back. You are always welcome.
YT: I’m ready, Master. Shall we go?
TK: The people who like to pretend, falsify stories to libel others, whose words do harm to others’ matrimonial peace, and was show little respect toward superiors, should improve their conduct. Otherwise, the torment of throat-staving is waiting for them. If they know to repent, they will obtain happiness instead of misfortune. We’ve arrived. Get down, Yang Ts’ien, enter your body.