At late afternoon, he
traveled back to the capital city. When the sun started merging down to the horizon, he, still
in the mountain, was annoyed and alarmed by the thought that a ferocious tiger might jump
out of the woods and assault him. The sky was gradually covered with black clouds. It
became darker and darker. The moon was slowly blocked. From distance, he vaguely
observed an ill-maintained or even, a deserted temple. For his own safety, he ran and
sought shelter there. Within a brief of time, the night was in pitch-dark.
He quietly sat down on a corner and suddenly, he heard a voice proclaiming, "Sir, this is not
a human's territory. You are trespassing."
Considering the sound was from a solitary monk, who didn't want to be disturbed by
'ordinary people,' he curiously probed, without reservation, "Dear monk, may I ask the
reason why you are living in such wrecked location?"
"Well, let's not beat around the bush. Tell you the truth. I am not a monk, at all. Actually, I
am a hanged ghost waiting for a substitution." Mr. Nay was frightened.
In dismay and with uneasiness, he reckoned the possibility of suffering either one of
those two calamities; escaping out of here at once, he might be ambushed and devoured
by a rapacious tiger. On the other hand, if he stayed in this evil place, his soul would be
snatched by the dark creature.
With much hesitation and great reluctance, he chose the latter, "Dear holy spirit, I think I
better stay here for the night," He sincerely pleaded.
"Be my guest," The ghost calmly consented and continued. "Please, keep away from me.
You are a human being and I am an otherworldly creature. Staying too close will disturb
and interfere with each other's energy."
Out of curiosity, with amazement, he started to make a casual conversation about the
subject of substitution, "Life is precious and priceless. The Almighty prefers people to live.
Those who die for their country or with honorable causes will be picked out and ushered to
heaven without any delay. Whoever performed a small kind deed; the Almighty will notice,
consider and weigh it favorably. On the other hand, if a person dies in an accident or
commits suicide, his untimely fatality would vastly irritate the Almighty because he violated
the nature's principle of pro-life. For example, if a person hangs himself, he would neither
be admitted to heaven nor hell. As a punishment of his grossly contempt of his own
valuable existence, he is destined to stroll on the earth as a wandering ghost until he finds
a substitution. It permanently stigmatizes and antagonizes us. Because we, the hanged
ghosts, knew how excruciatingly painful it is to die on a noose. One has to be hanged over
ten minutes, sometimes even more, before one stops breathing. Making a foolish choice
and suffering its consequences, I can't tolerate another human being suffering the same
fatality right in front of my own eyes."
"My dearest friend, your kind-heartedness and thoughtfulness will earn your liberation. You
should be chaperoned to paradise...."
Soothing this dejected otherworldly creature, Mr. Nay sincerely encouraged. "Please, hold
your tongue. You are flattering me."
The ghost responded with nervous humility, "I have never dreamed about it. Nevertheless, I
have faith in the Buddhism and hope my sincerity will alleviate my sin." Swapping stories
and exchanging opinions, like two educated friends, they enjoyed a cordial conversation for
At the crack of the daybreak, their talk suddenly terminated. Mr. Nay continuously
appealed and received no response. Looking around this deserted temple, he couldn't find
that otherworldly creature. Then, Mr. Nay comprehended that the hanged ghost was gone.
He resumed his journey.
From that day on, Mr. Nay, periodically visiting the West Mountain, and he always
stopped by the temple and brought some food and fruit for this otherworldly friend.
Strangely enough, each time, when he was leaving, there was a mysteriously light