Updated: Aug 29, 2019
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 15th of March 2019, when I finished paying my respects to the Buddha and went to sit down and recite sutras, the murmuring and echo of Amitabha’s sagely name continually rang in the air. Not long after, my consciousness fell into a deep slumber. My spirit was enveloped inside a golden light, and I was taken to the underworld. In front of the judge, four animal spirits were waiting inside Yama’s court.
The judge said, “Honoured guest. Here we have the spirit of a catfish, a turtle, a crab and a cat.”
The catfish said, “I was a fisherman, and I lived near a freshwater river in [City X] in a small village. My neighbours all depended on catching live sea animals from the river to support their family. When I was alive, I frequently caught catfish and sold it at the markets. After I died, I descended into hell. And in a cave, the executioners would take a knife and cut through my belly. It served as punishment for catching lots of fish; it was the karmic retribution of killing. After I was released, I was brought to a very intimidating person (Yama), and he said that my negative karmic ratio was still 48% and he sentenced me to be reincarnated into a catfish for hundreds of lifetimes.
The crab said, “I was in the triad. In the past, the residents of [County X] nicknamed me ‘Great Tiger’. Because I committed many unwholesome deeds in my previous life (drug smuggling, opened underground gambling rings, opened illegal massage parlours), after I was killed by other triad members (infighting ), I was taken to many hells (hell of excrement to punish me for opening illegal massage parlours, which I was, in fact, supplying prostitutes; hell of ghost-eye to punish me for having casual sex with the female masseurs; hell of blazing flames to punish me for making money from selling drugs and gambling). After I was released from hell and judged again, Yama said that because I would beat up people fatally when I was alive, he will scatter my spirit and sentence me to become a crab. It was to punish me for acting in a tyrannous manner against law and reason.”
The cat said, “When I was 18, I was married to a guy in the village I lived in. His age was roughly the same as mine. I gave birth to five children. My husband’s academic qualifications weren’t high, and he didn’t know many words, so we were quite poor. I admired my female friends, all of whom had found themselves a better husband than I did. I resented that I didn’t marry into a better family. Later, there was an elderly couple in the village who saw that I was pretty, and so introduced me to a wealthy businessman to become his mistress. For the sake of escaping from poverty and live a luxurious life, I accepted. In the beginning, I would entrust somebody to send some living expenses to my children and husband, and see it as a task done. Then, later on, I completely disregarded my children, and I didn’t even bother to file for a divorce. I passed away at age 60, and then I was taken to the hell of iron beds and laid on top of it. Every day my back would be roasted by the flames, it was to punish me for abandoning my children and husband for the sake of vanity. It was also something not approved of by the religion that I believed. It was forbidden, but I didn’t adhere to the disciplinary rules. After I was released from hell, I reincarnated into a cat. It’s because cats have a habit of wanting to be played with and offered to. That was the karmic retribution of being a mistress to a married person.”
The turtle said, “I was a Buddhist layperson. When I was alive, I would take part in the cleaning of the Guan Yin Temple. After a few years, because the master of the temple saw that I was sincere and honest, he let me deal with the temple duties. After he died, I started to deviate, and I stole the offerings and donated gifts from the Guan Yin Temple. After I died, I was taken to the hell of blazing flames to be punished, and both my hands were burnt for stealing. After my punishment in hell was over, Yama said that I was ungrateful for the grace of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, and enriched myself with the resources of the temple. So I was to be reincarnated into a turtle and crawl on the ground, unable to lift my head to see people.”
The judge said, “Honoured guest, you can return now.”
Then my spirit was enveloped in a golden light, and I returned to the living realm. I’m grateful Master; I’m grateful to Guan Yin Bodhisattva.
16th of March 2019.
This person is incredible. People say that she’s the golden child of hell. Now she specialises in going down to listen to the sentencing and punishment that Yama gives. That’s why you mustn’t do unwholesome deeds. Humans won’t die; the spirit is undying. You only suffer. Just like when you fall asleep, don’t think that just because you’re asleep, you don’t feel anything. Aren’t you scared when you’re having nightmares? Don’t do unwholesome deeds; it’s meaningless.