"Heaven" and "hell" are spiritual realms that most living beings can only dream and theorize about. Sure, there are descriptions in religious texts and general notions about what occurs in both spheres. And there are a plethora of individuals who claim they've "seen the light" after surviving near-death experiences. But there are no universally-accepted descriptions about what, exactly, goes on in the afterlife.
That being said, Master Kek Eng Seng, a Buddhist medium who is part of the Tze Bei Guan Yin Dhamma Center in Georgetown, Malaysia, claims that he has the ability to travel freely through both localities. Recently, the spiritual leader offered to take a group of 50, including news reporters, along with him on his mystical journey.
More than 200 people from across Malaysia registered for the trip, including, as Beliefnet reports, Beh Yuen Hui of the Asia News Network and Chiang Kee Chuan from China Press.
In the end, though, this large group was parsed down to just 50. People were removed from the participation list during a screening process that relied on birth dates that were unfavorable to the timing of the tour. Additionally, women were were pregnant or who had their period were turned down (the reasons for these inclusions were not explicitly stated).
On AsiaOne.com, Beh share's an account of the experience:
As night fell, the group, all clad in white shirts symbolising purity and sincerity, gathered at Padang Brown in Georgetown for the "tour".
After some prayers and rituals, we were all set to start our journey at around 10.15pm.
My eyes were covered with a paper talisman wrapped in a yellow cloth. Then, the lights were switched off.
As I listened to the chants by Master Kek, my head became very hot, as though there was a stream of warm air trying to get out of my body through the top.
(Master Kek later explained this by saying that my soul was trying to get out of my body.)
In the end, the majority of the participants, including Beh, didn't experience hell as they had hoped they would. But 12 people, including Chiang, did, indeed, report seeing the great down under. Beh reports on some of these experiences:
"I saw a rainbow hanging on a beautiful sky, and a monk advised me to become a vegetarian," [Chiang] said.
Another woman, who declined to be named, said she saw many 'people' at a pasar malam (night market). [...]
Another female participant said she saw her departed mother from a distance, but she could not go near and speak to her.
Interestingly, these images seem more in line with the peace that is often ascribed to heaven. Rather than a deluge of pain and suffering, those participants who allegedly saw hell seemed to have a somewhat favorable experience.
The process, which took a little over an hour, is apparently going to be repeated in an effort to give the other 38 individuals the opportunity to experience the rainbows, vegetarianism and visions of lost loved ones that were purportedly witnessed by the "lucky" 12.
All images property of The Daily Chilli/Asia News Network