Of Heibai WuChang (Hak Bak Mo Sheong), Grim Reaper and Death

Heibai Wuchang (黑白无常) or also known as Black and White Impermanence officer is the equivalent of Death or Grim Reaper of the West. Their role is to ‘escort’ the spirit of the departed to the underworld or hell realm. Dreaming about them or seeing them is not a good sign.

The late Master Lu Jun Hong had shared some information about Heibai Wuchang (黑白无常) and advice related to death in the video below (in Mandarin with no subtitles). At 6.25 min, the lady mentioned after her serious illness, she started to dream of her parents and brother (all deceased). Master Lu gave the following advice:

1. If during/after illness, we kept dreaming about departed persons, it means our time is coming up.
He advice that when we are alive and well, the moment we dream of any departed family members or persons, we chant and transfer merits (he teaches using “Little Houses”). Once the merits from our chanting is able to deliver them, they would no longer come and disturb us.

2. When nearing death, a lot of departed persons would come and look for us.
Some people when they are nearing death, they would start to like grasp at the air or gesture as if they try to push away something. Or they would say, please do not come, go away, go away! Because that time, that person is nearing death hence they are able to see spirits. Even doctors when they see that know the patient’s time is near.

3. Role of Heibai Wuchang (黑白无常) / Black and White Impermanent Officer
a. Hei Wuchang (Black Impermanence officer): He takes care of matters related to hell but for he would make records of those who commit a lot of bad deeds. If at half awake half asleep we notice there is a black figure next to our bed (Black officer), we need to be careful and do not do anymore bad deeds. Must do only good deeds. They may get away from the worldly justice and law but cannot escape from the knowledge of the underworld. Once Hei Wuchang comes to ‘visit’ we would need to take it as a real warning but it is not critical yet.

b. Bai Wuchang (White Impermanence officer):
When we are awake from sleep and suddenly thought we saw a white shadow, it may be Bai Wuchang coming to ‘visit’.  He come because in this world we have done too much of bad deeds. His visit is to record down and we would be ‘monitored’.

If one day, both the Black and White Impermanence officers come together, then it is goodbye (time to go).

Below are other pointers given by Master Lu with regards to HeiBai WuChang (in other videos that I have watched):

1. Do not ever offer to shorten our lives in exchange for them to be able to live. If we do that, likely our life would be shortened but we may not be able to lengthen their live especially if they have heavy kamma. Our pledge is ‘recorded’ by the officers who are usually present. In the video below (Mandarin language), the lady had lung cancer that had spread. Towards the end of the video (6.15min), the lady also asked about her father’s lung cancer status. Master Lu then said the mother had shouldered the karma of the father- he said when a person is sick and we pray and begged and say we willing to bear it for that person to get better, the illness and the spirits occupying the other person’s body would come to us.

2. Do not ever tell a dying person that you wish to join them later.
For example, a loving old couple- when the husband is dying, the wife cried and said she will join him next year. Master Lu said when they say that, it is being ‘recorded’ and next year, the husband would really pass. There was a totem reading where there was an old lady (on a wheelchair) who was very sick and Master Lu told her the reason was because she made a pledge she wanted to follow suit when her husband was dying. But by then, she gotten over her grief, grown attached to her grandchildren and did not wish to die.

The case below, the lady asked about her mother (in purple clothing). Master Lu correctly indicated that the old lady had cancer which had spread. He said a male elderly spirit was occupying her body. He described how the spirit looked like and the lady confirmed the description fit her late dad.

He said that after her husband died, there was a period that the old lady grieved and each day she yearned to join her husband. So her husband has come to take her away. Her illness could manifest much easier because the old lady had killed a lot of chicken, ducks and crabs in her younger days.

Master Lu warned the audience again not to ever say we wish to join someone who is departed. It is better to continue to live to be able to do prayers and spiritual practice to help the departed. Also, to clear one’s bad kamma, which would ripen in future if nothing is being done. The best way to practice is in human form when we are capable to doing meritorious deeds, chanting and spiritual practice.

Accidental death and natural disasters are known beforehand

On 21 September 1999, an earthquake hit Taiwan. Many people died as the result of the earthquake. There was a man named Mr Lam who had the ‘yin yang’ eyes where he could see the death. On the night of 21 Sept, Mr Lam so a lot of hell officers and spirits amounting to about 200 including HeiBai Wuchang carrying shackles. He followed them and the generals caught sight of him and asked him to mind his own business. Then shortly later, the earthquake hits and about 200 people died. This means that these are not accidental or chance events but are predestined.

Various cultures have equivalent ‘grim reapers’.

Beings from underworld that come to collect not-so-good souls are real. Heibai Wuchang, Grim Reaper, Death, etc are not evil beings. They are just enforcement officers doing their duties. Different cultures have different representations. Movies have been made to portray these underworld enforcement officers and often, there is a lot of truth because a lot of movies are made based on adaptations of real life events.

If you are from Malaysia, Singapore or Thailand, many of you may have watched the show “The Eye” (2002). The show is about Mun, a blind girl was suddenly able to see because she underwent a successful cornea operation from a donor. The donor, Ling had committed suicide.

Ling was actually a good girl but was able to forsee death because she would see underworld enforcement officers coming for those people who were about to die. When she start to tell them to be careful and they die later, she was considered a jinx. The entire village hated her. What she and others did not understand was not she was bringing bad luck but the fact she was able to see these dark shadows, ie ‘enforcement officers’. One day, instead of the usual single enforcement officers, she saw many of them surrounding the villagers’ houses. She desperately went to warn each of the household but they all chased her away.

Eventually all the houses burnt down and many people died. Blaming herself, Ling took her own life. When Mun had gotten the cornea, she was able to see what Ling could see. In the scene below, Mun also suddenly saw many enforcement officers coming. Like what Ling had did, she ran desperately to warn them to get away. But no one heeded her. In the end, you can see the scene below, a huge explosion happened which took the life of many.

The explosion caused a glass splinter that went into her eyes and Mun was blinded again. In the end, she accepted her blindness and is at peace because she could no longer see the dead. For people like Ling, if she had been taken to see monks, she would have been told that she is not bringing people bad luck but hers is a gift that can help warn people from danger.

Most of us would recall scenes from the famous movie Ghost, staring Patrick Swayze where the bad guys Willie and Carl died and get dragged down to hell but these beings in dark robes. Don’t ask me how I know but I can tell you that Death (the being) really exist and he does come to take not-so-good souls to the underworld. The scene below does not really deviate from the truth. Different culture have different enforcement officers.


There are many people from the West who saw the Grim Reaper and Death doing their job. I have read few accounts of people waking up from slumber and seeing Death by their bedside and got the fright of their lives.

If we do not wish to see them at the end of our lives, then live our life well. Sincerely repent on the bad deeds that we have done in the past and vow not to do them again anymore. Don’t do killing or harm/hurt others through words, speech or thoughts. Do note that malicious speech and words that break people’s spirit or wreck relationships apart also bear heavy karmic consequences. Don’t play with people’s emotions or hurt them. All these are debts that would have to be repaid in future.

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