An Authentic Record of Retribution: An Abusive Son Repents Sincerely to Avoid the Boiling Pot

Xiao Hui

PureInsight | August 8, 2007

[] Once a young
man of very poor quality was afflicted with symptoms of illness. His
soul went out of his body and left his home while he was in coma. His
soul didn't know where he was. He saw people coming and going and so he
just walked along with others. Without knowing how, he came to the
nether world. He met an official who happened to be a friend from
earlier days. After helping him by checking the book of life and death,
the official frowned and said: "You have abused your parents so
frequently that you have committed the crime of mistreating parents.
According to the law of the nether world, you will be put in a boiling
pot. But since your life span is not up yet, you may go back. Let us
see what will happen when the time comes."

The young man was horrified. He knelt down and begged the official for
the means to extricate himself. The official shook his head: "Your
crime is too huge. There is no way out." The young man wailed and asked
again and again for the means to avoid that fate.

Pondering for a while, he said: "Have you heard this story? A Zen
master asked a question before he began explaining sutras: How can the
golden bell hanging on a tiger's neck be untied? No one was able to
answer. A young monk said: 'Why not let the person who tied the bell
untie it?' Since you have mistreated your parents, you are to
demonstrate your repentance to them sincerely. Then you might be
exempted from your crime."

The young man was worried that his crime was so serious that he
couldn't free himself in time. The official smiled and said: "Have you
heard the story about the butcher who stopped being a evildoer, changed
into a good person, and became a Buddha immediately?"

Soon afterwards, the official dispatched him back to the human world.
Awakening terrified and sweating, the young man thoroughly transformed
himself and treated his parents accordingly. His parents had also
affection for him. He lived up to be more than seventy years old.

Although we do not know whether he eventually suffered the penalty of
the boiling pot or not, it seems, based on his longevity, that the
neither world knows that he had repented andforgave him.

 (From: Ji Yun's Story Sketches Written in Yuewei Humble Cottage, Volume 14, in Qing Dynasty)

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