Human during day, underworld judge/officer during night

This may be something you have not heard before….. but in more ancient times, it has been documented that some people are human during the day but worked ‘part-time’ as underworld officers during the night. Over the last century, I have come across this being documented in some translated Chinese literature as well as mentioned in talks by some prominient monks.

During the day, they are just like a normal person. But once they go to sleep at night, their soul would go to underworld to carry out their duties. The duties include:

  • collecting spirits of the death and bringing them to the underworld, ie similar to the role of Grim Reaper
  • helping the underworld judge (Yama King or Yanlao Wang) in his judgement, ie becoming the judge’s assistants
  • being the Underworld judge

I vaguely remember hearing my late dad mentioned about this when I was growing up and coming across references of elders talking about this (before the internet existed). Usually only selected persons with strong virtue and have strong affinity with the underworld realms are being ‘recruited’. It seemed more common in ancient times but it is now almost unheard off.

This is literally not really known in the English speaking world. However, I did read somewhere (unfortunately did not record down the source that time) that I have come across accounts of people in the West who mentioned they know of a friend who worked part time as ‘Grim Reaper’ at night.  Ie, they are like normal person during the day but when they are asleep, their soul would carry out the duties as grim reaper, ie to collect souls of the dead to bring them to the underworld. It is more than 1 person who mentioned about that. And it is understandable that people in the West would not speak openly about this as they would have been thought to be mentally ill….. but what they do not realize that these existance of ‘part time underworld officers’ have been documented throughout Chinese history.

Therefore, I would like to share some videos that I have found which mentioned about this….. the last video below is the most detailed translation of someone who have worked as underworld judge (Yan Lao Wang).

Why do underworld need to recruit a human to work part time?

In the last video below, this question was posed to the person who have worked as an underworld judge as to why sometimes humans are recruited to carry out the duties of Grim Reaper. In which he replied (and it is translated by the YouTube channel Pure Lotus):

Q: Why does the underworld often use people from the sunlit world as staff in the underworld?

A: Because for the rich, their homes are often guarded by spirits, and the waiters around them are mostly young and strong, with sunlit vigor, so ghost heralds can’t get close to their sickbeds. For example, military generals died of illness in the army barracks, and his surroundings are tightly guarded, with guns and canons. The soldiers in the barracks are young. The sunlit vigor is so exuberant as if it’s steaming and baking that the ghost heralds cannot approach. Therefore, they have to hire living souls as heralds to seize the dead and bring them to court.

Worked as underworld document delivery officer at night 

At minute 2:25, renowed Buddhist monk Master Chin Kung mentioned that when he was 26 years old, an old man in his 70s shared with him that he had a friend who worked as an underworld officer at night.

His friend worked for King Yama an an officer who transferred documents from Shanghai to Souzhou underworld judge. A life death booklet was delivered and the friend received the document. He flipped at the document and was puzzled because the names listed contains long names in unusual character. He talked to his friends during an outing about it and no one was able to figure out why the names listed were so odd as they do not sound like Chinese names.

Three months later, a war broke out and many who died in the war were Japanese. This meant that those who are supposed to die has already been predestined and their names have been recorded in underworld records.

Man who worked as underworld judge

This is a very interesting video which contains the English translation of Mr. Shu Lee (1883-1954 AD) who worked as an underworld judge for 5 years, which started when he was 19 years old. At night, a chariot would come to escort him to the underworld where be became the judge of his duties.

Pure Lotus included the transcript of the entire translation in the description, and continued in the comment section for those to read along. A lot of good questions are being asked and answered in the video and included in the transcript which clears a lot of doubts that we may have about this. To read more, watch the video and go through the transcripts.

Why we seldom hear about this anymore

The longer we go back to ancient history, the more prevalent these incidents were. I’ve heard about these part time job up to about last century but it is almost unheard now.

To be able to carry out these duties, the selected individuals need to have very strong and strict moral virtues. Sadly in modern times there have been a decline in moral and human values hence many would no longer meet the requirement. And for those who do and are be doing these jobs while others are asleep, they would most likely choose not to share or tell anyone. Usually they would share only with people closest to them while they are still at duty. For those cases that make it to mainstream media in the past (in Chinese language mediums), it would involve those who had already ‘retired’ from active duty, ie they were no longer doing these jobs.

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