Voyages to Hell

translated by

Nguyen Khang & Bui H.Huu

CHAPTER 61

VISIT TO THE LAKE OF POLLUTED BLOOD AND TO THE PALACE OF THE KING OF THE EASTER MOUNTAIN

Buddha Tse Kong who manifested on July 25th. Year of the Horse 

Travel to hell included mountains and valleys
Pains and perils, by no means make us uncertain
Good and evil are not without reverberations
Paradise and hell appear in symmetric unison

Buddha Tse Kong:   While traversing the paths of hell, we saw nothing but sinful souls plunged into nearly total alienation. Before his birth, man ignored who he was. Born into the world, he ignores the place he came from and the place he will go. With haggard eyes, he doesnít know how to behave. He is like a lazy pupil following his comrades to school with his lunch basket in hand. All he knows is to eat his food and play with his schoolmates. Upon the arrival of the exam, he has memorized none of his lessons, and he fails. He has thus nullified the pains and cares of his parents who have reared and tried to educate an ignorant, ungrateful child. I appeal to humans to show themselves worthy of their names, be honest and follow the good path. Let them not be demonical and inhuman in their lives, because they will become real demons and devils after their death. Letís depart on duty, Yang Tsíien. 

YT:      In the distance, I see a lake where people are being drowned. Some of them are immersed to the bottom while others are struggling to rise to the surface. Cries for help are reaching me, and I smell a fetid odour. 

TK:     Thatís the lake of polluted blood. The sight will be horrible, and I suggest that you remain calm. Letís go closer to have a better look. 

YT:      Along the road leading to the lake, infernal guards are seen mercilessly dragging some sinful souls. 

TK:     Theyíre going to cast the souls into the lake. 

YT:      As we are approaching the lake, the smell of blood is growing more and more nauseous. The wild screams of the dying souls squeeze my heart. 

The General on guard:   I am delighted with your visit. I received a message announcing your arrival. Please follow me to the lake.

YT:      Thank you very much, General. Looking from here will do. There is no need to go as far as the lake. Can you tell me about the crimes committed by these souls? 

The General:  Of course. First, I deem it proper to tell you about the history of this lake. It is situated adjacent to the Bridge of Distress - you must have seen it previously - Under the bridge, there crawl a multitude of snakes as big as an arm, which bite the souls. The sinful souls serving as prey for the snakes are dragged to the middle of the bridge and pushed down to the pit. The snakes will snatch at them, crush them to pieces and swallow them. The number of victims is so great that the blood gushing from their bodies flows abundantly enough to make up this lake. The souls who drowned in it had committed foul crimes in their lives. 

YT:      Can you explain more to me, General? 

The General: The Immortals, as you know, must be accorded full respect. There are number of persons who dare curse the Immortals or use blasphemous speech when they are in desperate circumstances: sickness, ill luck, and misfortune. Others utter rude, obscene words addressed to the aged, respectable persons or slander other people. All those people belong to the category of men whose hearts and entrails are polluted. This includes those professional prostitutes who trade their beauty for money and whose every utterance is swearing; exceedingly lustful people who spend their days in pleasure-dens, soiling their bodies and souls; people fortifying their bodies by eating impurities; people of certain perverse doctrine practicing their cults and rites with animalsí blood and others; those who like to massacre living creatures while disgracing the holy ambiance of sacred places and canonical books. All of these are drowned in the Lake of Polluted Blood after their death. 

TK:     According to an age-old tradition, it is rumored that a woman dying of childbirth is also condemned to the polluted-lake drowning. I believe this rumor is nonsense. The fact of giving birth to child and bringing it up is included in the law of nature. When a woman dies in her confinement, her fate is already deplorable as it is, why should she be thrown into the lake of polluted blood? The members of the victimís family should perform as much charitable work as possible; recite prayers for providing her soul some peace in the grace of the genii, saints, gods, and Buddha. 

The General:  You are perfectly right, Buddha Tse Kong. I hope the living men can understand this truth. 

TK:     I think itís quite enough. Now, weíre going to see something else. 

YT:      Thank you for your instructive information, General. 

The General:   At your service. 

TK:     Good. Now, letís pay a visit to the King of the Eastern Mountain. We arrive, now. 

The King:  At last, you have come. We are glad to see you. 

TK:     Please forgive us for coming here late. We have chosen to visit the other Palaces first, because of their hierarchical functions. 

The King:    Your arrival affords me a great deal of joy. Donít apologize. Since the days of the Temple of the Sages were opened, a large number of canonical books have been distributed and the radiance of the Tao has shone throughout the world. These books have responded to the wish of the virtuous hearts that have a thirst for the providential way of God. They transform honest people into passionate worshippers of the divine light. Your important works inspire deep admiration from me. At present, you are accompanied by your disciple Yang Tsíien, and it is an honor for me to welcome you here. Please follow me to the reception hall for some discussion. 

YT:      We are grateful, Sir. 

The King:   Take your seats. General, please serve us some tea. 

The King:    May we offer you some tea and fruit? Please, make yourselves at home. 

TK:     Thanks you so much! The tea is delicious. 

YT:      Its fragrance is excellent, and the fruits are exquisite. May I take some with me to the living world? 

The King:    These fruits are tasty only if eaten here in hell. 

TK:     Donít be so greedy, Yang Tsíien. I saw in your orchard a lot of ripening fruits. Take good care of them and youíll have something good to eat. The fruit of the Tao, alone is the most exquisite, it has neither form nor bulk, but it is wonderful. By eating it, you obtain all that you desire. But if you learn it to rot, it will become useless.

YT:      The teachings of Buddha Tse Kong and of your Majesty enlighten me greatly, and I feel ashamed. 

TK:     Can you explain to us your various functions in this Palace, Sir? 

The King:    This Mountain in the east, alias Tíai Shan is the first of a range of five mountains. It is placed under the administration of the 10th Gate. This is the highest judiciary branch of hell, something like the Supreme Court in the terrestrial world. My function consists of correcting and punishing all of the discontent and belligerent souls who create disorder, also promoting or demoting the genii and demons on earth as well as in hell. I can send a request directly to the Celestial Emperor and then give the order to execute. All of the genii of mountains, regions, frontiers, heaven and earth are dependent on my palace. We also have to make the final decision for the judgments of the other palaces. We are the most important branches of the ten palaces. On the summit of this mountain resides the Pontiff of the World of Darkness, alias King of Hell. He administers and directs the activities of hell to insure success. My role as administrator is quite different from the administrators of the other gates.

YT:      May I have one more question, Sir. You said all of the souls and demons in hell are at your command. However, it is often rumored in the world that some man is obsessed by a demon; some other is haunted by a devil and other things of this kind. Can these demons and devils escape from your control and run away to do what they want? 

The King:   The celestial net is incommensurable and loose, but no human being can slip off its vast meshes. Even though, the infernal net is thick and thight, some devils can occasionally escape from it. Your remarks are correct. The law of hell is impartial but it doesnít mean that compassion is neglected. It must encompass both the logical side and the sentimental side of the matter. Malevolent geniuses and devils causing disorder on the terrestrial world are many. This is because souls, which suffer an unfair death, have the right to avenge. But after they are back on the earth, for lack of consciousness, they get attached to humans and donít want to leave them. However, the demons donít dare approach the good people who possess pure and strong spiritual energy. As a result, the souls who violate the infernal law and sow disorder will be discovered some day. They will be either punished by the genii on earth or arrested by the patrollers of our palace and led to hell for punishment. They will be unable to deny their crimes and will be judged by the law of hell. Back to your question, I can summarize the matter like this: Because the authorities of hell want to see the soulís rancor dissipated, they set the souls temporarily free for the latter to return to earth and settle their accounts. Therefore, we can find in the world those people who are obsessed by devils or demons, and sometimes, the convicts who, after their release from jails, disguise their faces to commit even heavier crimes. These vindictive souls can manipulate and incite human beings who lack of self-control, so they commit serious mistakes without being aware of the consequences of their acts. 

YT:      Now, I understand perfectly. 

TK:     You clear explanations have opened my mind. May we take leave, now. 

The King:   Before you go, I hope that the ďVoyages to HellĒ will be finished as soon as possible and distributed to humans under the best conditions. Officers, form your lines to render honors to our distinguished guests. 

YT:      We are really grateful, Sir. Shall we go, Master? 

TK:     We return home. Your body must be impatient. Go!

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CONTENTS

Forward
Introduction
Preface
Summary
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
Postface

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