VISIT TO THE PRISON OF STONE-LOAD CARRYING
Tse Kong who manifested on December 9th, 1977 Year of the Snake (1977)
Tse Kong: The year of the snake is drawing to an end.
Everyone expects to see the year of the horse bring forth success and
change. Being anxious for success, people hope that the horse will not
slow its pace but will endeavor to advance. I also hope that people know
how to make good use of the new year for spurring their horses to a
gallop, or else these beasts will remain slow, in spite of the gee up
and haws of their riders which leave the horses as indifferent to them
as towards the wind blowing past their ears. When a man wants to be
renewed, he must possess the qualities of a horse, that is, an undaunted
and fearless spirit despite difficulties and obstacles. On the contrary,
if he relaxes his efforts and only sails with the wind, one fine morning
his old age is at hand, he will have no time to catch up, even with a
team of four horses. Tonight, weíre to take a trip to hell, Yang
Tsíien. Come quickly to the dais.
Tsíien: Iím ready, Master. We can start.
Which prison are we going to visit?
The prison of the 7th Palace where the sinners are forced to
carry a heavy load of stones on their heads. Weíve arrived. Come down.
How marvelous! We come to our destination in the twinkling of an
eye. I climb on the dais at the Temple. I close my eyes. I have the
impression of being aboard a jet plane. And whoopee! Here I arrive.
Man is comparable to an obstacle. For the slightest imprudence,
he drops from an altitude of thousands of meters and is reduced to
crumbs before disappearing completely. The calmer he is, the lighter he
becomes, and the higher he rises. Therefore, the ascent and descent
depend entirely upon his perseverance that allows him to reach the most
sublime serenity. The one who adopts the Spiritual Way doesnít get
distracted easily in the face of danger. But if he neglects to cultivate
himself toward spiritual perfection, then he can easily fall into
temptation and be condemned to hell within a fraction of a second.
Therefore, human beings are advised to keep their spirits as calm as
possible, in order to be on the right path. They may go astray on a
foggy day, or in a maze, but their hearts will serve as a compass. If
they can control themselves, then they will succeed in every enterprise.
When seated on a lotus flower in the middle of mire and turbid water,
they must meditate to attain the fixation of mind and tranquility of the
soul. If they donít, the slightest imprudence may push them down to
bottomless depths. Yang Tsíien, you wouldnít be able to sit
steadfastly on this dais of lotus if you werenít granted a special
blessing. Make sure to preserve that favor. Quick! Letís go salute His
Excellency the Governor.
At your request, I present my respectful greetings to His
Excellency and to the Generals. I am Yang Tsíien of the Temple of the Sages. Tonight,
my Master and I are coming here by divine
order to collect information. We count greatly on your
Mandarin: You are welcome, Venerable Buddha Tse
Kong and Mr. Yang Tsíien. It is a glorious mission of yours to write a
book on hell. I invite you to step inside.
Thank you, Excellency. We are inside. The sinners, sturdy and
frail, are doing their work. They are carrying big blocks of stone on
their heads. Are these intended for the construction of new
from it! They are forced to carry the blocks of stone for punishment.
With such heavy blocks of stone on their heads, they are
lamenting so loudly. The loads bend their backs while they hold the
stones securely with their arms. Painfully, they advance with staggering
short steps. Some of them are exhausted. They sink down and get crushed
or have their legs fractured by the blocks of stone. The guards
hurriedly sprinkle resuscitative water on them and exhort them to put
the blocks back on their heads and continue to walk. This kind of
chastisement was adopted in old times and is still efficient as a
torment inflicted on sinful souls.
sinners are punished with the iron-head exercise, because in their life,
they were obstinate and arrogant people. They liked to play the
professor over their fellowmen. They detested everything noble and
virtuous and disdained the holy doctrines as well as their masters.
Because of these defects, they have to come here for reform.
If possible, I would like to have some of them come to talk.
you see fit. Iíll have them come. Their declarations will serve as
examples and warnings for humans. Here they are. You can ask them
What had you done in your life to be condemned to this prison?
really embarrassed when I have to discuss my misdoings. I was a high
school teacher in my life. I took advantage of my position to seduce
pretty students and entice them to sexual impropriety. My bad actions
were not revealed when I was alive, but they were easily disclosed by
the 3rd eye of the King of Hell. Upon my arrival in hell, the King of
Palaces ordered the guards to whip me unmercifully before they
transferred me to the 7th Palace where the King of the High-Mountain
called me a beast. He accused me furiously of having lost the dignity of
a master when leading my students astray. I was therefore inflicted the
chastisement of carrying a load of stones which forces me to bend my
head in shame.
you ashamed of what you have done by getting involved in illicit
relations with your girl students? Your sin is very grave and you have
to endure this torment which prevents you from holding high your head
before the people. I advise every master, whether they are school
teachers, religious masters, or technical institute instructors, to
preserve their dignity and professional conscience. Master and students
are like father and child. They owe each other adequate respect and
should not surpass the limits of morality, if they want to avoid the
punishment of God. Mr. Yang Tsíien, go on with your interrogation.
You look like a Buddhist monk with a close-shaven head. Why are
you detained here and get punished with an iron head exercise?
make fun of me, please. I had to shave my head because my hair hurts me
terribly while I carried a block of stone. When in life, I was a
disciple of the Spiritual Way. Prior to attending the clerical school, I
had read a good number of canonical books, and prided myself on my
knowledge of truth and the Way. When in school, I considered my teacher
as having an inferior level of religious instruction, and used to
criticize him in the presence of the other seminarians. After my death,
the infernal guards arrested me and led me to hell. The King of Hell
condemned me for having learned the holy teachings from my master, but
betraying him with an offence to his virtuous prestige. It is normal to
teach oneís fellowmen the knowledge one acquires from canonical books,
but one should avoid displaying vanity and pretending to act as a
haughty and pedantic teacher. If this piece of advice is neglected, one
will be forced to suffer the torment of carrying a block of stone in
hell in order to purge oneís bad karma.
A student should do his best to improve and develop his
knowledge. From time immemorial, there have been a good number of
students excelling their masters, but they are not vainglorious and they
continue to respect their masters. Good instructors are needed in every
trade. Without his or her guidance, no one can succeed alone. Nowadays,
there are many people following the learning program halfway, then drop
it to look for a job. They neglect and ignore their former teachers.
This is ingratitude! The spiritual disciples should have respect toward
their Masters. If they betray their Masters and the religious teachings,
then they must repent right away in order to avoid carrying the heavy
Now, to the third soul. Tell me what you have done in your life.
soul: I was a rich man gifted with great
eloquence in oration. Each time I spoke in public, I liked to disparage
the poor people, and overwhelm others with my grandiloquence. In my
conversations, I insulted this one, scolded that one, uttering rude
words without reserve. Now, I think that itís so unfair to condemn me
in this place, because what I did before was not so serious. May I
implore you, O Buddha Tse Kong to plead for me in the name of justice.
Good, good. But first of all, you have to pay me my stipends, or
else I will not plead for you. Without money, my words would be
weightless, and no one would hear me. With money, I shall whisper in the
Governorís ears to lessen your pains.
soul: I feel grateful for your intercession, but
right now, I have no penny left. I left all my fortune to my children
who are wasting it. How could I pay your fees now?
Whatís an illusion! ďMan must lower his head in front of
those with money and power. But when deprived of money and power, in
return he must lower his head.Ē So, why were you so proud and haughty
before? Do money and power follow you after death? Alone, you must now
carry heavy stones to pay back for your sins.
Mandarin: How paltry of you! In moments like
these, you still seek to overcome other people with power. You can never
corrupt the iron-faced king. Donít you realize that Buddha Tse Kong
wanted to tease you? So, donít speak nonsense or your pains will be
We should always cede three fourths of a passage to other people
and should not occupy the entire passage for ourselves. A man canít
always maintain a high position; when misfortune happens, he may loose
his power, and influence on others. If he despises his fellowmen and
holds his head too high, then after death, he certainly must lower his
head to hide his face. Thatís what you are doing now. Well, itís
time to return. May we thank you, and goodbye.
order the officers to stand on ceremony to greet the guests.
The dais, Yang Tsíien.
Iím seated, Master.