Because my theory concerning the afterlife possibilities for money grubbing televangelists and similar hucksters went over so well last week, this week I’ll list some of the astral hells the Buddhists believe in. I have swiped most of the list from Wikipedia’s entry on Buddhist hells, so there’s your necessary attribution. Wikipedia swiped it from various other sources, so what the hell, here goes.
The primary source is the Dīrghāgama, a Buddhist sutra, from the “Chapter on Hell”, within that sutra.
The generic Hindu and Buddhist name for hell is naraka, which means hells. The Hindu hells all have individual names and tortures which vary from sect to sect, but they’re pretty much like the Buddhist ones.
The first major Buddhist hell is called Thoughts. The second is called Black Rope. The third is called Crushing. The fourth is called Moaning. The fifth is called Great Moaning. The sixth is called Burning. The seventh is called Great Burning. The eighth is called Unremitting.
The Hell of Thoughts itself contains sixteen smaller hells. The smaller hells are 500 square yojana in area, or a little over 500 square miles. The first small hell is called Black Sand. The second small hell is called Boiling Excrement. The third is called Five Hundred Nails. The fourth is called Hunger. The fifth is called Thirst. The sixth is called Single Copper Cauldron. The seventh is called Many Copper Cauldrons. The eighth is called Stone Pestle. The ninth is called Pus and Blood. The tenth is called Measuring Fire. The eleventh is called Ash River. The twelfth is called Iron Pellets. The thirteenth is called Axes and Hatchets. The fourteenth is called Jackals and Wolves. The fifteenth is called Sword Cuts. The sixteenth is called Cold and Ice.
The names of these hells are pretty descriptive. I leave it to your imagination to further illustrate what goes on in them. Remember, these sixteen are just the sub list of hells in the Hell of Thoughts. The other seven hells have their own sub hells, too. But, since Wikipedia didn’t quote the Dīrghāgama on them, I won’t either.
Most of the sinning I do is bad thoughts, which is true of most humans as well. There just aren’t enough hours in a day to put all our thoughts into deeds.
Originally presented on The Squatchers Lounge Podcast: