Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sukhavati: Bodhisattva Training Academy

Here are two accounts of rebirth to Amitabha's Pure Land in recent times. These stories demonstrate and prove to us that rebirth in Sukhavati is still possible in the 21st century. It's so easy. You only need to recite "Namo Amitabha Buddha". These stories were related by Ven. Heng Sure, a disciple of the late Ven. Master Hsuan Hua.

Account # 1
The first case is of the mother of a Silicon Valley whiz kid who probably earns 6 or 7 figures American dollars. He stayed in California and he had a neighbour staying nearby there who is a overseas Chinese residing in the USA. They can hear knocking on her wooden fish everyday, reciting Amitabha's name. One day he noticed that she didnot come out to empty her trash for the last few days and he was worried. So he went over her house and found the door not locked. He found her on her bed and wearing the robes of a lay Buddhists. She was in meditation posture with the wooden fish still on her hands. She obviously knew her coming death and was ready to take rebirth in the Pure Land.

Account #2
The second case is also of another elderly woman who called upon her relatives and friends one day saying that she was about to go away. Her family was surprised because they knew she didnot have any passport. "Where did she think she was going?" they asked. But the elderly woman just asked them to gather around her bed and she was also in her lay Buddhist robes. After telling the family not to worry and that she was going to take rebirth in Amitabha's Pure Land, she passed away.

So, in Pure Land dharma door, there is no complicated meditation practice, no generation and completion sadhana, and no initiations needed. You only need to have faith in Amitabha Buddha and his Vows. In the 40th chapeter of Avatamsaka Sutra, it is said that even Samantabhadra Bodhisattva exhorted sentient beings to recite Amitabha Buddha's Name so that they can take rebirth in Sukhavati. In Sukhavati, you don't stay there to enjoy. You can stay if you choose to or are not ready, but even in Pure Land the method of teaching isn't just sit and listen. There will come a time when you need to do your "practical training" back in Samsara. You can attain some stage of enlightenment and then be able to manifest yourself to go back to samsara. Learning the Buddha dharma isn't just sit and study. There are many things when you need to actually "get your hands dirty", as the saying goes in order to learn and progress along the way. For instance, in order to perfect the Paramita of Giving or Generosity, the bodhisttva need to be able to give up their entire life for others. Before being able to give up the whole body, you learn to give smaller things such as money, time, your material possessions, etc. Then your body parts such as giving your kidney, while you're alive, for instance to someone who needs them desperately. According to Master Hsuan Hua it is better to give while being alive, and not wait till death then only give. As trainees, you learn to interact with all kinds of sentient beings (including gods, ghosts, etc). So, it's said in the Sutras, that you traverse over many worlds in order to perfect your training, and in the process interact with millions and millions of sentient beings. Our Sakyamuni Buddha took 3 great aeons to perfect his training. What makes you think you can do better? Inate qualities such as compassion, loving-kindness and generosity, effort, and others takes a long long time to perfect. These are things that is not possible to perfect by sitting down on a meditation cushion. Can you become more compassionate by moving your winds and channels? Isn't that artificial? Even though tantra talks about enlightenment in a single life, the final perfect, complete Buddhahood is really more difficult to achieve than it seems without actually developing these inner qualities. But it can take you to a certain level of enlightenment and you take it from there to develop further.

In fact, in Sukhavati, accoding the Ven. Heng Sure, there is a Bodhisattva Training Academy there and those enrolled in that "college" usually make vows to further their practice by going back to the six realms of existence to not only help sentient beings but in the process also move themselves closer to their own Buddhahood. As Master Hsuan Hua said, " leave Sukhavati and return to this world, you'll be riding on your vows". So, they remain as bodhisattva trainees for aeons and aeons (depending on your speed of progress), trying to progress in the bodhisattva levels. Externally they could be like you and me, unenlightened...they don't look any different, yet they are different in the sense that they are bodhisattva trainees from Amitabha's Sukhavati. They take the risk to perform the practical training by returning to all the mess in samsara. And they are willing to do that to perfect their compassion and other aspects of the cultivation. It is a risk because as unenlightened trainees, they are subjected to the same roots of evil as other sentient beings. If samsara gets the better of them, then they will be subjected to karmic retribution just the same. And many trainees have not done so well and end up spending aeons in the lower realms. But even then, they could, when sparks of their potential return, they could perform their bodhisattva deeds in hell or as ghosts or animals. That explains the cases we see on TV or in the news of anmals helping to save human lives. Coming back to the world based on your vows to help sentient beings but having had to go to hell sometimes, eventually strenghtens your resolve. Their bodhisattva vows will remain with them life after life and with guidance from Buddhas and enlightened Bodhisattvas, as well as protection from Dharma Protectors, these unenlightened trainees will eventually achieve enlightenment and become enlightened bodhisattvas in no time. Then they proceed to higher and higher levels of enlightenment until Perfect Complete Buddhahood. Their attainment is for certain, that's why it is said that those who have attained rebirth in Sukhavati are considered in the stage of non-retrogression.

These trainees may not even recognise themselves as unenlightened bodhisattvas but from their actions and deeds, you can see that they teach and transform people everywhere they go. People really must respect these trainees. In the Lotus Sutra, the chapter where Sakyamuni Buddha rejected the offer of "outside" bodhisattvas to protect the dharma in the Saha world, first suspected that even Sakyamuni's Saha world has his own Training Academy. Then I started using the words Bodhisattva Training Academy. Only recently did I hear Ven. Heng Sure use those same words in a recorded dharma lecture. My eyes opened wide when I heard those words that I thought I was the only person using them. Sometimes I like to fool myself that perhaps I am one of these unenlightened trainee bodhisattvas. And so could you! Hahaha...! The journey to Complete, Perfect Buddhahood is long and hard. When the Buddhas tell you to aspire to rebirth in Amitabha's Pure Land, or any Pure Land, of course, they first entice you with the lovely environment and lovely life there. And it is probably true. But after a certain stage, you cannot expect to progress if you keep on living a life of leisure in lotus flowers while sentient beings are suffering in samsara. Once you have developed your compassion to a certain level, you will inevitably find yourself wanting to jump back into samsara even though you have not yet achieve any enlightement. But that's the way it is, and that's why understanding the 3 principle aspects of the path is so important.

1. First, renunciation - desiring to leave samsara (i.e. entering nirvana)
2. Second, bodhicitta - desiring to enter samsara to help sentient beings
3. Third, wisdom emptiness - the final state of non-abidance in samsara or nirvana.

You need to develop all three aspects. This last bit of interpretation is something not in Ven. Heng Sure's lecture but my understanding of the final state of enlightement based on Khenchen Konchog Gyalsten's guru yoga, Chandrakirti's Madhyamakavatara and connecting it to the Three Principle Aspects of the Path. I don't think you can get it any where else. But if you can, do let me know.

Today I have written 2 posts which I hope will be of some benefit to the readers. Namo Amitabha Buddha! (note: this article was expanded further on 31 May 2010).


Two days ago was Wesak Day. In every country where there are Buddhists, they flocked to temples to offer prayers, flowers, incense sticks, and lights to the Buddhas. I was happy to see so many young Buddhists in particular. I just hope they remain active in Buddhism as they grow older. I rejoice in their Wesak activities. In the evening I went to watch the annual Wesak Procession. This year there were less floats. It must be a reflection of the bad economic times. Since I have a small baby Buddha statue, I did the Buddha bathing ceremony at my home too. Generally I was happy with the celebration.

I was, however, appalled by some practices that had been going on for years but nobody said anything. I did it too last time but didnot have the good fortune to be corrected by anyone. I stopped it when I realised that it could potentially generate bad karma from throwing objects and if it knocked on any part of the Buddha's body.

Some temples allow devotees to throw coins into the Buddha’s alms bowl or to the Stupa (or “pagoda”) situated in the middle of a pond. I believe you can see these sort of thing happening in Thailand and Singapore too. Please do not throw coins at the Buddha or Holy Stupa. It is absolutely rude and impolite to do that, and not to forget incurring bad karma for throwing objects at the Buddha./Holy Stupa. If your coins hit the Buddha statue, even though just a statue, this is like causing hurt to the Buddha’s body. Just the night before I had to advise several people to stop doing that. But there are just too many of them. So, temple committees and other Buddhist associations should do the right thing to give this advice to your members. This practice has been going on for years but nobody seems to say anything. People treat it like a game. If your coins got into the bowl, the person will be so happy as if he/she had struck gold. Of course, he does not know he had struck bad karma instead. So, STOP THROWING COINS OR OBJECTS AT THE BUDDHA or ANY HOLY OBJECTS. And if you see someone doing that, do advice them. Some temples will do anything to attract the crowd and collect funds from people. It doesn't matter if the sum is not much but on Wesak Day it could still be substantial.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

What food do you eat?

I just returned from Kota Bharu and came back sick. My business colleagues there had been good to me and wanted to feed me with all kinds of exotic food that KB is famous for, such as Beef soup, Fried Bees, catfish, and others. But unfortunately... fortunately in another sense... I donot eat beef since I am a "adopted grandson" of Kuan Yin Pu Sa. I also do not eat catfish. For some reasons, the name of catfish in chinese sounded like "Pu Sa" in hokkien dialect. And moreover, catfish are still alive even after you have taken out their stomach. If you see documentary films about catfish, they can still wriggle about after you make a big slice into their body. So when you put them into the hot oil, you are actually deep-frying them alive. So it is actually cruel. About bees...I really am not used to eating insects and bugs. Anyway, I noticed that these bees are young bees and are caught for food. My colleagues ordered them anyway, but I didnot touch any of it.

To them, I must look like a fool to resist such "good" food. So far, all their guests have not said "No" when they feed their guests with such food...until I came along. I also did not join in drinking Tiger beer. I'm sorry I don't drink beer. I feel sorry for my colleague having to drink alone. I also do not eat curry with coconut milk and do not eat mango or food that is too sour. That is due to physical reason.

We often hear of people saying that when we are in business, we often have to entertain our guests and business associates and we cannot avoid drinking and eating such food. I am really sorry if I made any of them unhappy with my avoiding these food. However I am happy I got through KB with my commitments still intact. Sorry... but sentient beings matters more than the happiness of my stomach. It is said that the food we eat, reflects the person we are. Even if I am not 100% vegetarian, I try to reduce my meat intake slowly and not to eat strange, exotic and uncompassionate food. So what food do you eat?

P/S: But I would want now to try the famous "Khao Jam". When my friends first mentioned it, I hesitated due to not knowing what it is. But having checked out the internet, I think I would really like to try it. It's a dish of Rice with all kinds of herbs, leaves and spices mixed together. It supposedly used more than 40 different herbs. WOW! The chicken and fish that goes with it are served separately. So, vegetarians can leave it out and eat only the veges. The rice is actually Nasi Kerabu, a kind of rice prepared in the Malay style using finely chopped ingredients. My friends told me it is very healthy and even gives men that added strength like Ginseng. Really sounds tempting to the taste buds. This "Khao Jam" had been featured before in the Astro food channel (the Asian TV cable network). Khao Jam is sold at the famous Ulang corner. When my friend took me to this place, it was closed. Now I want to blame it on my bad karma! :) Hahaha...never mind, I'll try it next time. Check this out:

Monday, May 17, 2010

"Am I Becoming Mad?"

Vajrayana practice depends a lot on the capabilities of the mind and the power of concentrated visualisation. There are plenty of Tibetan folklore that tells of yogis making inanimate objects becoming seemingly alive. That's why I am very careful in not forcing my visualisations to become clear. I believe it must be natural. Let it be natural. If it is not clear, we should not force it to become clear. Even when it is clear, it should be seen in the light of Emptiness. That's why understanding of Emptiness is important. I also believe Tibetan Buddhist practitioners should ask themselves whether the image they see is real or a manifestation of a demonic obstacle.

Once I asked a lama how do we know we are not like a madman who often also have weird visualisations. We always think that people are mad when they start telling us they see "things", right? Same thing for us. We don't see ourselves as mad men but common people may actually regard us as one. Hence I think it is important to always check ourselves with this question: "Am I becoming mad?" In fact that is the answer he gave me - "Ask yourself". Unfortunately, many people also are not honest to themselves. After all, mad people do not think they are mad, do they?

I remind myself of what happened to people like one particular Geshe and other Buddhist practitioners. But this problem is not confined to Tibetan meditators. There are Zen and Theravadin practitioners who think they are some kind of high Bodhisattva or Arahant who are allowed to take concubines, and stuff like that. Of course, you have the so-called "Living Buddha" who thinks he can have a cup of coffeee and chit-chat with Buddha Sakyamuni as if they are old buddies. I donot wish to end up like them. Hence I tread my path carefully and treading it step by step. There are just too many people who have gone "off" on the mad path to not to be careful. It's not the meditation that causes people to be mad. Rather it is due to not having the proper "groundwork". Yes, "groundwork"...that's what I call it.

Yes, I like to achieve Enlightenment fast, but I am also careful not to hurry until I trip and fall. That's why I take the trouble to ensure I achieve my "Renunciation", "Bodhicitta" and have some understanding of Madhyamaka "Emptiness" before I embark on any higher practices. Even then, I want to make sure I complete at least some of my preliminaries ("ngondro") first. People nowadays start taking Maha Anutarayoga tantra without even doing the slightest ngondro. I don't know, perhaps they have done it in their previous life. Well, I leave it to them if they want to think like that. But I donot want to fool myself. Achieving enlightment is a serious matter. I make sure I follow the path of Lam Rim, i.e. one step at a time. Before I proceed to the next "step", I must pass the current "step". I must not be like a fool who thinks he/she can hop, skip and jump or find short cuts to enlightenment. The Lam Rim teachings are an excellent guide to know what are the things we need to do and what milestones to achieve before we proceed. I do not want to make any serious mistakes, especially when it comes to taking highest yoga tantras (HYT). I want to make sure I have done my groundwork properly first before I start building a "tower". If there is no solid groundwork, when there is the slightest "earthquake", the "tower" will collapse. And there goes all the hard work if we end up in Vajra Hell.

I donot wish to discourage anyone who wants to take HYT. You can go ahead if you think you are ready. Just make sure you have done your groundwork. But I am not saying "take your own sweet time" either. The sooner you finish your groundwork, the better. Hence, neither too slow nor too fast, but know your pace and situation, and with a steady focus on the goal, you will reach it in no time. I pray I take my own advice to heart! Wishing you readers all the best! :)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Ray of Hope

Referring to this post: -

I had complaint and lamented that my trip to Tibet was as good as gone. And I really thought so until I found a local tour agency that has a planned trip to Tibet. However that trip itinery is not as good as the one planned by my US friend. I still think his trip was the best. The one planned by my friend included so many places, including Drikung Thil and Sera and Drepung monasteries. The one organised by my friend was for a much longer duration (something like 18 days). Whereas the tour by Reliance was only 8 days, not including initial day and departure day. However, in light of my budget constraints and my other commitments, and the difficulty of taking a longer leave, I had to settle for the second best, i.e. look for a cheaper tour from here.

The girl at Reliance didnot tell me the price quoted by her was subject to a tiered-pricing. For instance, if they achieved 10 bookings, then they will increase the price for the next person (i.e. 11th onwards) who booked until the next tier is achieved. The girl had told me a certain price and informed me only has 4 places left. I had no idea the price will be increased later. Recently when I checked again, she quoted me a higher price but still a few places left. How can this be? I felt cheated and did not feel I want to proceed with the trip.

I felt miserable. There goes my second hope of going to Tibet. So I prayed to Tsongkhapa this morning to help me look for an alternative trip either to Tibet or elsewhere. I even considered possibility of doing a long personal retreat locally if I failed to go overseas trip. I bowed and made a mandala offering to him mentally and with the hand mudra. Today a family member contacted me and gave me a number to contact. It was the same number of another travel agency as the one I had tried to contact the previous day. When I tried calling the previous day, the number just could not get through. I thought may be they had changed their number. I had been told they also had a trip to Tibet but it was end of May, this month. I definitely cannot go end of May as my leave had been booked for June. Somehow the trip dates had to fit my annual leave and not the other way around.

Surprise... surprise...! When I phoned today, the phone number got through. The most surprising was that they actually had a tour trip planned for the time I had booked my annual leave. It was just amazing. And I knew it was Je Tsongkhapa's blessings. Now the sun of hope had arisen again. What is good about this trip planned by this agency is that it is not subject to tiered pricing and it flies from my home town. The one planned by Reliance was ex-KL. It means I had to make extra domestic travel back to my home town. The other thing is that the time it returns from China was at odd hours (i.e. after midnight) and there would not be any connecting flight back to my home town. I had to sleep over night at a hotel and incurs more expenses. With this latest agency, there would not be any such hassles. Nevertheless the question of money, money, money remains. Is there anyone who wants to sponsor my trip...even partially? Hahaha... happy dreaming!

Even though I could see a ray of hope but I am mindful there are many things that could still obstruct the trip from turning into reality. However, whether it eventually turn into reality or not, I got to thank my dear Je Tsongkhapa for answering my prayer so quickly. It also depends on whether the tour gets its required number of people. We'll see how it goes.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Liberating Spirits and Ghosts Pt2

Well, this is the extract from Ven. Master Hsuan Hua's book of compilation on Q&As with his disciples ("Insights: Q&A for Every Day, exhortation and encouragement from a Buddhist Master". The answer should wake up those who think sudden death is really better than having to suffer for sometime.

Question: Is sudden death like a cow having its skin peeled while alive? Is it just as painful for someone who is shot to death, for instance? (I think he/she meant "shot to death suddenly" and someone is relaying the question to Master Hua)

Answer: The pain suffered from accidental death, such as being shot to death, is even more unbearable. The victim may not know it at that instant, but he will know it afterwards. He will undergo the same pain at the same time every day. Go and tell him that he should avoid trying to get the better end of the bargain all the time and think that there's not much pain to dying that way. That kind of pain lasts much longer than natural death.

I am not sure what does "...suffering the same pain the same time every day" means. I have seen an episode in the Twilight Zone" many years ago, which showed a convict having to relive his suffering all over again when he wakes up. He just knew whatwill happen next because he had lived it repeatedly many times. Ohhhh...this indeed is like hell!

How painful it must be for the pregnant lady who died in the car crash, and the boy who had knocked into them, and the 70 year old man and the 30-something man who had been knocked down on his motorbike, and Brendon Yeoh, Jason Ch'ng and the other Chung Ling boys who had died not too far away from the coast off Jelutong highway... and other victims who had died there. In fact, there are reports of people hearing boys crying at night from the place the Chung Ling boys had died. Someone it is difficult to believe that someone you know had not been reborn into a better place because of all the chanting done by monks and lamas and priests. But the reality is that the rebirth does not always happen as per our expectation no matter how many hundreds of monks had chanted at the funeral service. You want to know the answer? Well, it's actually not the quantity or whether the person is an expert in pujas but rather the quality of the person doing the chanting and the funeral service.

If you get one monk or even a layperson with good way-virtue and skill in the dharma, that will be enough for a happy rebirth. However, if the dead person's karma is no good, he will not be able to meet with such a master upon his/her death. Even if the person's chanting is no good or he is not an expert in death rituals, just by his very presence and blessings near your death bed will do a lot of good for you. This is serious and not speculating. Hence, we need a good dharma master to liberate the suffering "soul" who had died at or near Jelutong Highway.

Yes, I said "liberate". Perhaps "pacify and liberate" but not "catch and punish" those spirits. I know many Taoist priest would normally employ the help of wratchful spirits and gods (perhaps Kings of Ghosts too) to catch these spirits and when faced with these more powerful spirits and gods, I'm not sure what they are going to do with them, but usually these former accident victims might be taken away to be "punished". As a result, they will be even more miserable. So if you engage tantric lamas to pacify these spirits, please make sure you don't scare them unnecessarily with those wrathful spirits from Tibet that our local spirits have never seen before. You only need to persuade these spirits, if possible using peaceful means and peaceful pujas, with the ultimate aim of sending them off to Buddha's Pure Land or to a happier realm (either as a god or reborn back as human).
P/s: Some comments have been deleted because it has links to "sexually suggestive" sites, whether intentionally or not. Sorry.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Liberating Spirits and Ghosts Pt1

Lately there are too many deaths occurring at the Jelutong highway almost in consecutive days. Recently there was a pregnant lady, due for delivery anytime got killed in an accident there. If you are in her position, you will surely feel extremely unhappy and sad and angry at the same time. If that happens, you’ll going to get stuck there as a unhappy spirit. You can accuse me of speculating but for me, this is a high possibility based on logic. Actually when I was passing through it recently, somethng came to my mind that the pregnant woman must be very upset and angry. And moreover, she died suddenly. And people who died suddenly may not always realise immediately that they are dead. They may not be able to accept it immediately. I have read Master Hsuan Hua saying that in one of his books sometime ago. You remember the movie by Bruce Willis, "Six Sense" about the boy who could see ghosts? The character played by Bruce Willis did not realise he was dead. Well, it is something like that. I am sorry, but I am not trying to scare people. So we really must take their plight seriously and try our best to liberate them in whatever way we can. It's something like the role played by that woman in Ghost Whisperor. What I mean is that there are indeed ghosts who need our help. Otherwise they would be stuck in their miserable existence and may cause more mischief...and possibly more human deaths.

Sometimes the priest who conducted their funeral may not be able to effectively liberate them to a happier rebirth. You would need a highly skilled master for this. Ven. Master Hsuan Hua have told of a story of a butcher who is actually a high bodhisattva. Externally he was seen as killing animals but in actual fact he was sending them to Amitabha’s Pure Land. There was a queen who came to know about this and she was dying. She instructed that upon her death the palace people must request for this “butcher” to send her to Amitabha Pure Land. He agreed and without long, fanciful pujas, he just said, “Since you want me to liberate you to the Pure Land, so I am sending you there. So…off you go NOW! With just those words, she took rebirth in Pure Land. That is the skill of a true Master. Only a truly skilled Master can do that, otherwise you will commit the karma of killing and end up in Hell.

If you are passing through that highway (and any other places you believe is haunted), and if you have a mantra CD, please open up your window and let the blessings permeate out to the open air. Hopefully “they” can get some blessings there. Better still is to get a skilled Buddhist Master to conduct a puja there and liberate the unhappy spirits.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Buddhist Monk Raised from the Dead

I think this is so ridiculous, especially that part where he was told that whoever worships the Buddha or other Gods will end up in Hell. In Buddhism, there is no such thing as non-Buddhist believers will end up in Hell due solely to his/her religion. Buddhists teachings say that we end up in Hell only due to our own karma from negative actions committed, no matter what is our religion (Buddhism included). Read this: -


"We first heard of these events from a number of Burmese church leaders, who investigated the reports and have no doubt as to their authenticity. We report them in good faith after checking their authenticity as much as we could reasonably be expected to do."

In 1998, a Buddhist monk died. A few days later, his funeral was held, at which he was to be cremated. From the smell, it was obvious that his body had already started to decompose - he was very clearly dead! Hundreds of monks and relatives of the dead man attended the funeral. Just as the body was about to be burned, the dead monk suddenly sat up. The events shocked the whole region. Over 300 monks became Christians and started to study the Bible. Tapes of the monk's report were distributed throughout Myanmar. The Buddhist hierarchy and the government were soon alarmed, and they arrested the monk. He has not been seen since, and it is feared that he was killed to keep him silent. It is now a serious crime to listen to the tapes, because the government wants to dampen the sensation. Text of the taped message follows:-

"My name is Athet Pyan Shintaw Paulu. I was born in 1958. When I became 18 years of age, my Buddhist parents sent me as a novice to a monastery. At 19, I became a monk, entering a monastery, where I was instructed by probably the most famous Buddhist teacher of the time, who was killed in a car crash in 1983. I was given a new name when I entered the monastery. I tried to deny my own selfish thoughts and desires; even when mosquitoes landed on my arm, I would let them bite me instead of brushing them away. I became very ill, and the doctors diagnosed a combination of Malaria and Yellow Fever. After a month in hospital, they told me that they could do no more for me, and discharged me so that I could prepare myself for my death. Back in the monastery, I became ever weaker, and finally lost consciousness. I only discovered that I had died later: my body started to decay and smelled of death, my heart had ceased beating. My body was put through the Buddhist cleansing rites.

I found myself in a powerful storm which blew everything away. Not a single tree, nothing was left standing. I was in an empty plain. After some time, I crossed a river, and saw a terrible lake of fire. I was confused, because Buddhism knows no such thing. I did not know that it was Hell until I met Yama, the King of Hell. His face was that of a lion, his feet like snakes, and he had many horns on his head. When I asked his name, he said 'I am the King of Hell, the Destroyer'. I then saw the saffron-coloured robes of Myanmar's monks in the fire, and upon looking closer, saw the shaven head of my former teacher who had been killed in a car accident. 'Why is he in the lake of fire?' I asked. 'He was a very good teacher. 'Yes, he was a good teacher,' said Yama, 'but he did not believe in Jesus Christ. That's why he is in Hell.'

I was then shown another man, with long hair bound in a ball on the left side of his head. He also wore a robe, and when I asked who he was, I was told 'Gautama', (Buddha).' I was distraught. Buddha in Hell, with all of his ethics and moral character?' 'It is not important how good he was. He did not believe in the eternal God, so he is in Hell,' answered the King of Hell. I also saw Aung San, the revolutionary leader. 'He is here because he persecuted and killed Christians, but mainly because he did not believe in Jesus Christ,' I was told. Another man was very tall, wearing armour and carrying a sword and shield. He had a wound on his forehead. He was larger than anyone else I could see, around 22 feet tall. The King of Hell said 'That is Goliath, who is in Hell because he mocked the eternal God and his servant David.' I had never heard of either Goliath or David. Another 'King of Hell' approached me and asked 'Are you also going into the lake of fire?'. 'No,' I said, 'I am just here to look.' 'You are right,' the creature said. 'You only came to look. I can't find your name.

You'll have to go back to where you came from.' On the way back, I saw two paths, one wide, one narrow. The narrow path, which I followed for about an hour, was soon made of pure gold. I could see my own reflection perfectly! A man calling himself Peter told me 'Now go back to tell the people who worship Buddha and other gods that they will end up in Hell if they do not change. They should believe in Jesus. He then gave me a new name: Athet Pyan Shintaw Paulu (Paul, who returned to life). The next thing I heard was my mother crying. 'Son, why are you leaving us now?!' I realised that I was lying in a coffin. When I moved, my parents cried out 'He's alive!', but the others around them did not believe them. When they saw me, they were frozen with fear, and started shouting 'It's a ghost!'. I noticed that I was sitting in about 3 1/2 cups of an odorous liquid, which must have come from my body as I lay in the coffin. I was told that they were about to cremate me. When a monk dies, his name, age and the number of years of his service as a monk are inscribed in the coffin. I had already been registered as dead, but as you can see, I'm alive!"
Source: Asian Minorities Outreach