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 8th of February 2019, when I was offering incenses and paying respects to the Buddha at the Guan Yin Temple, I saw the statue of Guanping Bodhisattva shake, and the Buddhist altar in front of me occasionally radiated a brilliant golden light. When the light dissipated, a shade of Guan Yin Bodhisattva and Dharma protectors appeared on the landscape painting at the back of the Buddhist altar, and I received a thought message which said, “Under the order of Guan Yin Bodhisattva, please attend the hearing in Yama’s court.”
When I fell asleep that night, my spirit was enveloped in a golden light, and I was sent to the underworld and arrived at Yama’s court in [Country]. The Yama of that country was waiting for me (he was dressed like a senior-level law enforcement officer in my country).
Yama said to me, “Today, there was a forsaken spirit that trespassed the Wayplace of your Dharma door, and the Dharma protectors reported it to the courts and deported the forsaken spirit to the underworld. Because the forsaken spirit died wrongly, it was pleading Guan Yin Bodhisattva for her mercy and succour in front of the Buddhist altar. The Bodhisattvas of your Dharma door specially arranged your spirit to attend this hearing and report it to the people in the living realm.”
The forsaken spirit said, “A few days ago, I was driving in the middle of the night. Because I consumed alcohol and was tired, my attention was divided, and I crashed into the guardrail that separated the lanes. My head suffered a great shock and bled, and I became unconscious inside the car. My spirit was floating outside, and I didn’t know that I died. It wasn’t until I saw my family crying and grieving that I realised I was dead. I followed them back home and saw them arranging the funeral. Other relatives and family came, and many other wild spirits were surrounding the house. Although I died, I was still afraid. My mum invited a Taoist a priest to perform an ascension ritual. Suddenly, an unknown force made me drowsy, and I floated to the entrance of the underworld. Then in a state of drowsiness, I floated back to the living realm, and I saw a large building that was radiating a brilliant light. A murmuring of Buddhist sutra recitations could be heard from it. I wanted to find somebody to help me ascend, and I followed a person who was radiating light into the building. This temple’s Dharma protector (Zhoucang Bodhisattva) immediately manifested and stopped me. He was huge, and he was radiating golden light. Not long after, a very compassionate female voice could be heard saying, “Don’t stop him, he is a sentient being with an affinity with the golden child. Let him in.”
I temporarily stayed at the recitation hall; as this person (the golden child) was reciting, gold light was coming out from her mouth. I also saw other people coming in to recite sutras. When they were reciting, they would radiate gold light. The only difference is that the energy of their halo is different (large or small halo). I asked for help to ascend. Guan Yin Bodhisattva collected that person’s (the golden child) sutra energy (Great Compassion Mantra and Heart Sutra) and formed rings of light with it, which infused into my spiritual body. The suffering inside my mind slowly disappeared, and I found myself feeling calm and peaceful. Afterwards, I was deported by the Dharma protectors.”
Yama said, “I checked your records, the 49 days has not passed yet. You can temporarily follow the underworld officers to office X. You mustn’t casually return to the living realm and loiter apart from your house. After the 49 days has passed, I will check your records again for your sins. If you haven’t committed any significant wrongdoings, then you will wait for when your affinity of reincarnation has matured, and then we will notify you to reincarnate. This is the underworld in [Country], so you must abide by the laws here. You may follow him now.”
After he finished, the forsaken spirit followed the underworld officer and left.
Yama then pointed at the tortoise spirit and the soft-shelled turtle spirit in front of his desk, “They are spirits of the turtles which your Dharma door had liberated on the 5th of February 2019. When your fellow practitioners recited sutras and performed life liberations, Guan Yin Bodhisattva’s power manifested and her energy was infused into their spiritual bodies. She then realised that some of those turtles were venerable monks and Taoist priests in their previous life. Guan Yin Bodhisattva is merciful; she arranged those sinned spirits who were reincarnated into the animal realm to be at today’s hearing so that they could give their testimonial about the sins that they committed and warn the people in the living realm, and with that meritorious deed, they could reincarnate in the human realm after death.”
The soft-shelled turtle A said, “Before I descended to becoming a soft-shelled turtle, in 196X, I was a nun. I heard from others that reciting Buddhist scriptures could liberate us from life and death, so I went to [Temple] in [Province] to recite Buddhist scriptures. Then when the affinity matured, I was initiated to become a nun. Afterwards, the local Buddhist organisations saw that I adhered to the rules strictly, and I was diligent at fulfilling my responsibilities, and so they elected me to be the head of the temple. Soon, I became greedy and enriched myself with the temple funds and also the offerings of followers (like luxury goods, which are forbidden in the disciplinary rules of Buddhism, as monks must not indulge in luxuries). I cultivated for over 30 years, and I passed away at age 86. The underworld officers cuffed me and took me to the underworld. I was first sent to the hell of burning flames to punish me for taking possessions under the name of the Buddha. Then after my sentence was over, I was released and reincarnated into a soft-shelled turtle. Because I had recited Buddhist scriptures before, and also I was saved by Buddhists, the Bodhisattva’s blessings and made me remember my past sins. So at the place where the life liberation was performed, I repented. Guan Yin Bodhisattva’s divine eye saw that I was once a monk in my previous life, so I was given the opportunity to share my testimonial so I could reincarnate back as a human in the next life. I repent for my greed; it had doomed me.”
Yama said, “Now you may follow the officer and return to your turtle body.”
When the spirit had been taken away from the physical body, they would be in a state of coma. When their spirit returns to the body, then they will recover their consciousness, but when they wake up, they will forget about their trip to Yama’s court. But their merit-virtues are already recorded in their foundational consciousness, so after they have exhausted their karma of becoming a turtle, they could reincarnate as a human.
The tortoise B said, “Before I was reincarnated as a tortoise, at the end of the Qing dynasty, I was a Taoist priest. I pursued studies of supranormal powers; I paid respects to the three sages in a Taoist temple. I used supranormal powers to help followers gain access to information in the living realm and underworld. As a Taoist priest, there were many disciplinary rules that I had to adhere to, especially when I have to conduct a ceremony or ritual where I was forbidden to have any desires, and I must eat a clean diet to preserve the purity of my spiritual body. There are also many restrictions when using supranormal powers. But I was arrogant after I got special abilities, I didn’t obey my master. When I saw any beautiful female followers, my lustful thoughts would take hold of me. I would use supranormal powers and conduct rituals to swindle them to my hidden chambers where we would conduct intimate actions. I violated the laws of heaven and earth (Heavenly law: misuse of supranormal powers to conduct deviated rituals. Earthly law: I committed deeds of sexual misconduct). After I died, I was sentenced to the Hell of Avici to be punished. After I was released, I reincarnated as a terrapin. When my terrapin body died, I reincarnated as another kind of turtle. I don’t remember how many times I had reincarnated as a kind of turtle until I encountered Guan Yin Bodhisattva who mercifully granted me succour to liberate out of the animal realm. Where the life liberation took place, the sky radiated a golden light, and the blessings on the Bodhisattvas infused into my spiritual body. I then recalled the sins that I committed in the past, and I cried and repented. Now my karmic retribution has been exhausted; I’m grateful for Guan Yin Bodhisattva’s succour.”
The tortoise C said, “Before I descended into the lower realms and became a tortoise, during the Qing dynasty in the year X, I was a bandit in the mountain [X] in [Country Z], and I would steal from any travellers in the area. Later, I was pursued by the police. To escape and save myself, I hid inside a temple in [Province] by pretending that I wanted to be a monk, so I was initiated and lived a monastic life. After a few years, I behaved and remained orderly. I was affected by the teachings of the Buddha-Dharma, and I repented for the unwholesome deeds that I did. Unfortunately, my root of lust was too great. Many male and female believers visited the temple. When I see a woman who was beautiful and frail, I would be disturbed by my inner demons at night. One day, I couldn’t control myself. In the middle of the night, while everybody was asleep, I sneaked into the room of a female follower and used drugs to intoxicate her and then raped her. In that same night, in a daze, I fled from the temple into the mountain, and I jumped off a cliff and died. After death, I was sentenced to the Hell of Avici to be punished. When my sentence was completed, I reincarnated into a kind of turtle and had been reincarnating as so ever since. I don’t even recall how many times that I had been killed until today, I received succour. Where the life liberation took place, the Bodhisattvas’ light enveloped the whole area. The memories of my sins resurfaced, and by the shore, I was lowering my head and repenting and didn’t leave. I begged for Guan Yin Bodhisattva’s mercy. I know I was wrong. I had been suffering from my karmic retribution of becoming an animal and being killed for over 200 years.”
Yama said, “Honoured guest, you may now leave. If there are any matters, I will dispatch an underworld officer to notify the Dharma protectors of your Dharma door.”
I woke up from my dream; it was 4 am.
I’m grateful Master; I’m grateful Guan Yin Bodhisattva.
9th of February 2019.
Everybody must know that nothing escapes Heaven. The Bodhisattvas know everything that you did. Let me emphasise again that being reborn as a human isn’t easy. Why is it that liberating turtles are more efficacious? It’s because many of them had cultivated before, but they committed wrongful deeds, so they are likely to reincarnate as an animal with a long life span. You must know the ways of the world. A person’s spirit can leave the physical body and see themselves. In the 49 days after death, you can see your family paying respects at your funeral and cry. But they can’t hear anything you say, and they can’t see you, while you can.