V 2-38 Journey to the Hell of Scalding Iron 遊鐵炎地獄
Disclaimer: My translations are not official nor endorsed by 2OR, so please just treat it as a ‘fan-based’ translation. Please enjoy, and I hope it serves as a good filler until the official English version comes out.
On the 27th of January 2019, at 2 am while I was still drowsy, I saw the ceiling radiating out a gold light. The Dharma protector beyond the sky sent me a thought message, “By order of Guan Yin Bodhisattva, I will escort you to the hell of scalding iron so that people in the living realm knows about the karmic retribution of profiting using the name of the Buddha.” Then my spirit was enveloped in a golden light, and I flew towards a mountainous valley, where the surrounding area looked dark and eerie.
One of the Eight Hot Hells – Hell of Scalding Iron
I descended near a great red-coloured brick wall that had a black plaque hanging outside the gate. It had the words ‘Hell of Scalding Iron’ written on it. When I was beginning to wonder why there wasn’t a guard at the entrance, an executioner dressed in ancient Chinese garment for patrols came rushing towards me. It asked me whether I had any official documents permitting my visit on me, so I handed it my scroll. The guard then permitted me to enter the hell of scalding iron.
There weren’t any traces of light, but I could hear echos of screams coming from inside. Not a long distance away from the entrance was a building that looked like an ancient Chinese governmental office. I approached it and could see a plaque that contained the words ‘Yama’s Court’. Inside, I saw Yama and judges who were holding notebooks looking sternly at the sinned spirits who were kneeling before them.
Yama said, “As a venerable monk, why do you not observe the precepts and abide by the disciplinary rules? Not only did you commit deeds of sexual misconduct with a woman secretly and also used the temple funds. Do you not know that they are donations that are meant to be used for the sake of the Buddha, and not for yourself? As a monastic Buddhist, you should have observed the precepts seriously. How could you treat the disciplinary rules of the Buddha-Dharma as if it’s nothing? Be honest with your testimonial and why you suffered the karmic retribution of being in hell! I must send a strict warning to the monks in the living realm. If they don’t observe the precepts of being a monk, and they commit deeds of sexual misconduct and enriching themselves using the name of the Buddha, then after death, they will be sent to the appropriate hells according to their sins.”
The sinned spirit A (venerable male monk, from Country T) said, “I began my study of the Buddha Dharma when I was 15. In the temple, I was still a layperson, and I helped handle Dharma affairs and the maintenance of the temple. Afterwards, my affinity had matured, and when I was 23 and a half years old, I was initiated to becoming a monk and live a monastic life. Then I followed my master and adhered strictly to the precepts. I conducted religious rites, ascension rituals and other Buddhist events. I received offerings. Three years later, as my master saw that I became knowledgeable and independent, he allowed me to manage [Temple X]. After being in the temple for a few years, and as I was no longer supervised by my master, I started to have lustful thoughts which would be aroused when I was approached by young female followers. Eventually, I could no longer control my lustful thoughts, and I broke many disciplinary rules. There was a divorced woman who frequently visited the temple to receive guidance from the Buddha-Dharma. As we remained in contact over some time, I started to develop feelings for her. And outside the temple, we had committed many misdeeds that do not adhere to the disciplinary rules of Buddhism. For the sake of covering up my wrongdoings, I took the temple funds and used it to develop a property business, and I sheltered the woman and gave her a role and place to stay there. She gave birth to a daughter to me. Eventually, the temple supervisors reported my misdeeds, and I was forced out of the temple. I returned to being a layperson and married with [Name of the woman]. At age 46, I died in a car accident.
After I died, I was sent to the hell of excrement, where I was bitten by the insects inside the pool (as I broke the disciplinary rule of Buddhism and committed deeds of sexual misconduct). After my sentence there was completed, I was transferred to the hell of scalding iron. I was strapped to a heavy stone platform, and the executioner took out a big iron hammer and put it over a flame until it became red hot. Then it used the hammer to smash down at my chest repeatedly until it became a mashed-up pile of flesh and blood. It was said to be my karmic retribution for misusing the funds for Buddhism for personal use. Every day, I would lose consciousness from the pain, and then I would be woken up by the executioners with my body recovered again, and I would repeat the punishment over and over again. The pain is indescribable.”
Yama said, “Originally after you were initiated to become a monk and live a monastic life, your life span was 96 years. And after death, you would be reborn in heaven in the lands of the Buddha. Since you already become a monk, you should have adhered to the disciplinary rules until you die from old age. But now looking at your records, every one of your deeds is sinful, especially when you recklessly committed deeds of sexual misconduct! According to the laws of heaven, the courts had reduced your life span by 50 years, and you would suffer punishment in hell after your death. Now you can return and continue with your punishment until your sentence is over, then you can reincarnate in the human realm. You will attain a dwarf-like body and be looked down on for the rest of your life, unable to have a sense of dignity.”
The sinned spirit B (venerable male monk, from Country Z), “I am the abbot of [Temple Name], my Dharma name is [Name]. In 201X, a layperson was sharing and handing over the books ‘Introduction to the Guan Yin Citta Dharma Door’ and ‘Instructions on how to recite and offer Little Houses’ inside the temple. I saw that it was a new book about Buddhism, so in my spare time, I would flip a few pages and a brief read. Originally, I never considered the method of using Little Houses to help spirits ascend seriously. But looking at all the miraculous cases in the book, I followed the instructions in the book on how to recite and offer Little Houses. The local Guan Yin Citta followers found out that I knew how to recite Little Houses, and so approached me in the temple to establish an affinity with me. I put up a notice that for each Little House, I would require a fee of 20 RMB. In the beginning, I really did recite the Little House according to the instructions. But later, because the number of people who came to me for Little Houses was too many, and I was busy with other responsibilities in the temple, I didn’t recite the Little House seriously nor completely, yet I fully dotted each one. I didn’t know that the Little House was really a treasure of the Buddha that was passed down from heaven, and it was created by the power of Guan Yin Bodhisattva’s vow. In X of July, 201X while I was meditating, two enormous black shadows appeared before me and forcefully separated my spirit from my body. I was then handcuffed and brought here to be punished. Every day, the executor would use giant red hot iron hammers to smash my chest and my arms and legs. I would scream from all the pain. Then when I lost consciousness, I would be woken up and had to experience the same punishment over again.”
Yama said, “Did you know that there were many spirits waiting inside my court to be ascended, yet because they didn’t receive the required energy from the Buddhist scriptures, they became very angry? According to the laws of the underworld, I reduced your life span and permitted the executioners to drag your spirit down here to be punished. Since you did perform meritorious deeds for Buddhism when you were alive, after your sentence is over, you can reincarnate in the human realm.”
The sinned spirit C (female layperson, from Country Z) said, “Master, I was wrong! I took money in the name of Buddhism! I used the Little Houses to make money (she cried). In the Dharma convention, I take a large number of empty Little Houses back home. Old mothers in remote and rural areas require the Little Houses, so I drive to them while taking all the resources with me. They don’t listen to Master’s radio programme, every time they would give me X RMB as a travelling expense. They would say that I drive such a long way just to take these resources to them so it would be unfair if they wouldn’t help cover my expenses. Master, I was greedy and took their money. Originally my cancer disappeared after reciting, but after I took their money, it reoccurred, and it was diagnosed as terminal blood cancer. Before it happened, I even dreamt that I would contract a disease related to the blood. But I didn’t introspect my fundamental problem and didn’t repent. Then I passed away in 2 months. When I died, I was under a lot of pain.
After I died, I was sentenced to this hell. I was greedy, and my hands are defiled, that’s why the executioners would using a scalding hot iron to burn my hands and legs every day, it’s incredibly painful. My skin would split, and blood will flow out of it. Fellow practitioners, you must learn from my lesson. You mustn’t make money using Buddha’s name, and you must adhere to the disciplinary rules. Don’t take Master’s advice lightly. I was wrong! I beg for the Dharma protectors’ and Guandi Bodhisattva’s forgiveness.”
Yama said, “Guan Yin Bodhisattva pities all disciples who had fallen into hell. In my hand, I have Guan Yin Bodhisattva’s order to allow our honoured guest to journey into hell and write down the karmic retribution of enriching oneself using the name of the Buddha into a book. And with the sharing of your testimonial, your meritorious deed will let you reincarnate in the human realm.”
I woke up from my dream at 7 am. When I opened my eyes, the Dharma protector sent me a thought message and told me that my trip had ended. He also passed me Guan Yin Bodhisattva’s message to tell me to be diligent in reciting sutras and cultivating the mind and don’t slack.
27th of January 2019.
You mentioned that there was a woman who died in 2 months after diagnosed with terminal blood cancer. She had called into my radio programme before; she’s from Shandong. At the time, she said that she felt unwell, and I said that she would pass away in two months, and it was blood cancer. I’m not joking with you, every case exists, including venerable monks. In the past, there’s a saying that ‘Many monks arrive at Hell’s gates’. You’ve already initiated to be a monk; if you don’t properly cultivate, then you’ll fall to hell. If Buddhists don’t properly cultivate and enrich themselves using the name of the Buddha, they will invite calamity to themselves. Whether they’re cultivating well or not, don’t listen from them, observe their conduct. You must properly cultivate if you do go down there, and you cry for help, it’s too late. It’s difficult for Master to help you. Some people say, “I’m living quite well now; how would I suffer?” Let me ask you, when you’re having a nightmare, are you in pain? Are you scared? When you die, that’s what it feels like, but you won’t wake out of it.