by Living Buddha Lian Sheng, Sheng-yen Lu Translated and edited by TBTI
I am good friends with the netherworld king and know him well.
We had a discussion about the law of causation and karmic fruition which was truly fascinating.
I was very curious regarding the transmigration of eminent officials, tycoons, and big-time celebrities.
I asked him, “What about these kind of people?”
The netherworld king replied, “This is the karma of great influential power! This karma is separated into three different grades: high, medium, and low.”
I asked, “How are these three grades different?”
The netherworld king responded, “For people with great influential power, their power to commit negative karma is also great.
Those who accumulate merits and virtuous karma are few, while those who commit great negative karma are many.
Those who commit negative karma are further separated into three grades.
Those with “high grade” negative karma will become great influential and powerful asuras (kings of conflicts) when they transmigrate.
Those with “medium grade” negative karma will reincarnate as powerful killer whales.
Those with “low grade” negative karma will reincarnate into a hell realm of mountains full of swords and forests made of blades where they shall suffer innumerable deaths.”
I was intrigued by the karma resulting in reincarnation as killer whales.
I asked, “Who become killer whales?”
The netherworld king answered, “If they were presidents who started wars, they shall enter the animal realms as killer whales.
If they were leaders of criminal organizations who were also cold-blooded killers murdering numerous people, then they shall enter the animal realms as killer whales.
If they were tycoons with great influential power who plundered, murdered, raped, and committed other serious offenses, then they shall enter the animal realm as killer whales.”
I said, “In the netherworld, I saw a butcher of men who had killed a great number of people during World War II and another butcher who had killed a great number of people during World War I.
What will they reincarnate as?” The netherworld king replied, “They will definitely reincarnate as great powerful killer whales.”
”Yet, the number of killer whales is on the decline,” I said.
The netherworld king responded, “Man has learned how frightening war can be and so the number of great butchers has been on the decline since World War II and fewer and fewer people are reincarnating as killer whales.
Presently, there are only a few leaders of nations who can be considered to be butchers of men and who will qualify to reincarnate as killer whales.”
I asked, “What about a certain deceased leader of the east?”
”A killer whale!” the netherworld king said.
”How about a certain leader of the west who is still alive?” I asked.
”A killer whale!”
”A small killer whale!”
”A certain national leader who is a butcher of man?”
I asked, “What about gang leaders or small-time hooligans?”
The netherworld king replied, “Gang leaders reincarnate as lions; small-time hooligans reincarnate as wolves.
They don’t qualify to reincarnate as killer whales.”
”What about loan sharks?” I asked.
The netherworld king responded, “They will reincarnate as banded kraits, a type of snake.”
* * *
The netherworld king told me this verse:
All sentient beings
Bound and controlled by karmas
In delusion seeking refuge in karmas
Transmigrate according to their individual karmas.
I said, “I teach people to cultivate tantric practices to transform the three karmas into the three secrets.
This is precisely the purification of the body, speech, and mind.
This is the secret of the purity of the Tathagata’s innate nature.
I teach them to seek refuge in the purity of their innate Buddha nature, then they will not be susceptible to karmic entanglements!”
The netherworld king responded, “Precisely! Precisely!”
* * *
I have a question that I would like to ask everyone:
If you were the netherworld king and you saw an eminent monk who was lacking in wisdom, who had amassed a great fortune and managed to form a large organization, and who had misled a great many Buddhists because of his lack of wisdom, how would you decide on this monk’s future reincarnation? Please try to answer this question.
(From Book #187 “Manifestations of the Netherworld”)