2. Mrs. Yerg Y.
Story of People Who Died but Re-Alived
Story #1: Mrs. Yerg Yon-Yoo
Mrs. Yerg Yon-Yoo lived in village number 6, Bang-Duer Sub-District, Muang District, Pathumthani Province, Thailand. In 1916, when she was 30 year old, she gave birth to her third child, but the infant died soon later on. Mrs. Yerg lost so much blood from giving birth to her child, and her body was so weak as well as her pulse. As a result, she passed away leaving her husband and children who were grievous.
According to the local tradition, the corpse was kept for memorial service for the period of seven days. So, her family invited Buddhist monks to perform the memorial service every evening. However, after the period of three days, Mrs. Yerg’s breathless corpse still looked like a sleeping person unlike other common dead corpses that looked very pale. As such, her relatives still hoped that Mrs. Yerg may come back to life, so they did not placed her corpse into a coffin, but simply cover her body with a white blanket. If Mrs. Yerg did not become alive again, they planned to place Mrs. Yerg’s body into a coffin after seven days for cremation ceremony further.
In the morning of the seventh day, Mr. Pare who was Mrs. Yerg’s husband and other relatives arranged for merit making ceremony preparing to place Mrs. Yerg into a coffin for cremation on that very day. During the ceremony, Buddhist monks and numerous village people attended the religious service. However, amidst the people who were grieving at the ceremony, Mrs. Yerg’s body which was covered with a white blanket started to move and roused with opened eyes.
People were surprised and scared, so they started to run away. Then, Mrs. Yerg spoke with a gentle voice “I am not dead yet, my husband.”
After hearing Mrs. Yerg speaking, people started to surround Mrs. Yerg who was so depleted because she had not eaten anything for seven days. After Mrs. Yerg had a meal and her body started to function as usual, she no longer had sickness from losing blood during giving birth to her child. Thus, Mrs. Yerg started to tell people about her afterlife experience in details.
Mrs. Yerg said when she was sick of losing blood from delivering her third child, she felt so weak and tried to sleep, but she saw the spirit of her dead child standing close to her feet. Her child pulled her toes saying “Mom, let’s go.” Then, she no longer felt sick. With care toward her child, her spirit roused and followed her child. But not so long after that, Mrs. Yerg was lost in the middle of nowhere and unable to follow her child. She became aware of this when her spirit stood alone beside a big wall. Mrs. Yerg was amazed why she ended up standing there alone. She felt like getting lost, and the place looked frightening. The wall that she saw looked like a prison’s wall which was very tall and long. There were guards standing at forts of the wall. Mrs. Yerg walked along the wall thinking that she would be able to find people, but she found nobody at all. After a while, she heard the bangle noise from the other side of the wall, Mrs. Yerg was curious of what was behind the wall, so she walked until reaching a gate. As she looked inside, she saw so many prisoners who were chained at their neck and legs, and these made the bangle noise. Mrs. Yerg doubted why so many people were punished to be chained like that, so she asked the guard at the gate “Can I go inside to take a look?”
The guard replied “No! Only the accompanied ones can enter this zone.”
After hearing that, Mrs. Yerg continued walking along the wall until she arrived a big square connected to a big road where numerous corpses were carried along. In the middle of the square, there was a throne where an elegant man was seated. Beside the elegant man, there was another person sitting with a black book that looked like an ancient scripture placing on the desk at the lower level to the elegant man’s throne. The elegant man and the person sitting beside him dressed like actors of a drama. Mrs. Yerg could figure out that the elegant man was the judge of purgatory (hell) or ‘Yomma-Raja’. The corpses which were carried along the road were laid down in front of the throne by the ogres. As the corpses were laid down in front of the throne, the judge of purgatory questioned the book-keeper who worked on the black book “What misdeeds did he do?” The book-keeper opened the black book and said “This person is sinful. He committed so many misdeeds, and did no good deeds. He deserves punishment for his karma.” Then, the judge commanded the ogres to drag the convicted to receive punishment further.
Mrs. Yerg stood there looking at the judge considering punishment for many dead people. Some of them were thrown into bonfire. Some of them were slashed at their back with hot iron cable, and some were thrown into the bushes full of sharp thorns. As Mrs. Yerg was witnessing various forms of torturing punishment, she was so frightened, but she still eager to see more as the ogres kept carrying corpses to the front of throne. For some of the dead people, after the book-keeper checked the black book, he informed the judge “This person is a good and virtuous one. This person made much merit, and it’s not the end of his lifetime yet.” By the end of these words, the spirit was transformed from a laid down corpse to be a sitting person showing respect to the judge in a prayer manner. Then, the judge said “You made much merit, and this is good for you. Please continue doing good deeds. It’s not the end of your lifetime yet, please return and don’t be reckless.”
By the end of the judge’s teaching, the ogres took the spirit out from the square. Once the judge saw Mrs. Yerg standing there, he asked her “Who are you? How come you are standing here?” The judge questioned because, normally, the spirits of the dead must be accompanied by ogres officials for judgment, but Mrs. Yerg was by herself and she was not tied like other spirits. After hearing the gentle voice of the judge, Mrs. Yerg replied “I got lost and arrived this place, sir.”
Hence, the judge asked her name and ordered the book-keeper to check the black book for her background and what caused her to be there. After checking the book, the book-keeper replied “This is a good and honest person. She behaves morally and made many meritorious deeds. It is not the end of her lifetime yet.” The judge replied “Well, it’s good that you made merit. The merit will be the earning to yourself.” After the end of the judge’s words, Mrs. Yerg saw images of her meritorious deeds in front of her such as the images of a Buddhist chapel with peak-gables and ringing bells hung around the roof-edges, and a pavilion at a pier with clear and cool water flowing. Looking to another direction, Mrs. Yerg saw a big hall where numerous dishes of meal were served. Mrs. Yerg did not quite remember where the Buddhist temple was, but she felt very much delightful to see the images and forgot all the fear until she heard the judge saying again “You have not reached the end of your lifetime yet. You will be able to do more good deeds. You must return for now.”
Mrs. Yerg was glad to hear that, so she showed respect to the judge again and walked away heading to her house. As she looked back, the place already disappeared. She gained awareness again as she walked on another route of road which was clean and shady with trees, bushes, and flowers planted nicely and orderly. Mrs. Yerg could smell the fragrance of colorful flowers. It was daytime while she was walking, but the sky was cloudy and the atmosphere was chilling. As she continued walking, she arrived a village where beautiful houses situated on both sides of the road. People there were beautiful and dressed with valuable clothes. When Mrs. Yerg walked by, they smiled and greeted her with good friendship. This made Mrs. Yerg doubtful about what merit made the villagers looked so happy. While Mrs. Yerg enjoyed looking at the village, she reached a house which was also beautiful like other houses. Someone walked out from the house and told Mrs. Yerg “Madam Yerg, this house belongs to you. By the end of your lifetime, you will come to live in this house.”
Upon hearing this, Mrs. Yerg was so glad, but Mrs. Yerg departed and headed to her human house hurriedly since she missed her children. Before she gained consciousness, her spirit heard some noise which became louder and louder, and Mrs. Yerg found out later that it was the crying noise of her husband who was sitting close to the head of her lying human body covered with a white blanket. This was why she responded “I am not dead yet, my husband.”
Mrs. Yerg became alive again and continued her living by making more meritorious deeds. She was very healthy until 1977, at the age of 91 year old, she called her children and grandchildren for a gathering and taught them to live in harmony, never quarrel upon each other, makes merits, spend money earned with much effort in the beneficial ways without causing troubles to oneself and the family. Mrs. Yerg informed her children and grandchildren that she would pass away in the next four days, and they should not cry or grieve because birth, aging, and death were a common nature, and nobody could flee from them. She wished every of her children and grandchildren to live happily.
On the fourth day, Mrs. Yerg passed away peacefully at her house in village number 6, Bang Duer Sub-District, Pathumthani Province, Thailand.
Translated from Thai to English on 14 August 2018
by Pittaya Wong