By Joe Hung, The China Post
December 15, 2008, 9:44 am TWN
It dawned. And Moginlin found himself awakened not in the small thatched house where he had cried himself to sleep but in a huge deserted graveyard. Scared, he picked up the hatchet and tried to run away. As he was running out of the graveyard, he came across the old man he had met in dream. Moginlin dropped on his knees and called the old man “My Master.” The old man nodded, saying “Rise. I know all about you story. Come follow me. You’ll learn the Dharma from me.”
Unknown to Moginlin while he was studying the Dharma with his guru, his mother was suffering in Hell. She was taken to Hell as soon as she had expired. She was brought before Yama, the king of the Hades who would pass judgment on all new arrivals in accordance with what they had done while alive. Yama knew what Moginlin’s mother did before her death, and sentenced her to eternal imprisonment in the eighteenth and lowest stratum of Hell. There was no chance for a rebirth, if one was thrown into the worst place in Hell. She would suffer there forever.
As he made progress in the study of the Dharma, Moginlin began to think of his mother in Hell and wished to save her. So he asked his master again and again to let him enter Hell to rescue her. The master never approved, his excuse being that the disciple had yet to learn enough about the Dharma.
Ten years passed after Moginlin had begun his study of the Dharma under his guru. Then the master told Moginlin, who was over 28 years old, “You’ve learned enough. Go. You can enter Hell to get your mother out of the Sea of Duhkha (suffering).” Off he went.
Moginlin played the magic he learned from his master to get across the wall that separates Hell from the world of the living. He had encountered many a trouble, but was finally able to reach the palace of Yama, the king of the Hades. Yama was shocked to have found a living soul could ever come to where he ruled, because all he received were the dead brought to him to be judged and sentenced to different terms depending on how they did while alive. “Tell me what you are here for,” Yama ordered Moginlin. In tears, Moginlin told Yama the story of his mother and explained why he had to intrude into Hell. Yama remembered Moginlin’s mother he sentenced to eternal internment in the eighteenth stratum of Hell.
“You have trespassed,” Yama began to pronounce his judgment on Moginlin, after he had deliberated on the young Buddhist¡¦s crime of intrusion into his domain. “It’s a serious crime but you’ve committed it out of your filial piety, with which We are greatly moved. Because of that, We wished to help you achieve your wish,” Yama said. Then, Yama showed Moginlin a plate full of lotus leaves. “Take it and go see your mother,” Yama ordered. “She would be free,” the king of the Hades added.