The Eigh­teen Lay­ers of Hell

Asian Geographic - - Feature | Burning With Desire -

Diyu, tra­di­tional Chi­nese hell based on the con­cept of Naraka in Bud­dhism, is an un­der­ground maze with var­i­ous lev­els and cham­bers, where souls are taken af­ter death to atone for the sins they com­mit­ted when they were alive.

This ver­sion of hell is said to be a world at the bot­tom of the uni­verse, or more pre­cisely, at the in­ner­most layer of the cos­mos. Hell it­self is then di­vided into many lay­ers (or lev­els), each char­ac­terised by a par­tic­u­lar kind of ter­ror. Fol­low­ing is one of many ver­sions of hell’s floor plan:

The First Floor: Cham­ber of Tongue Rip­ping

Those who stir up trou­ble by gos­sip­ing will find their tongues be­ing ripped out.

The Sec­ond Floor: Cham­ber of Scis­sors

Those who break up the mar­riages of oth­ers will have their fin­gers cut off.

The Third Floor: Cham­ber of Iron Trees

Those who cause dis­cord among fam­ily mem­bers of other peo­ple will find their body be­ing pierced by hooks and hung up­side down on iron trees.

The Fourth Floor: Cham­ber of Mir­rors

Those who es­cape earthly pun­ish­ment will find their true shape be­ing dis­played in the mir­ror, and the old karmic debt will have to be paid with high in­ter­est.

The Fifth Floor: Cham­ber of Steam­ers

In­sti­ga­tors and hyp­ocrites will find them­selves be­ing steamed in a steamer.

The Sixth Floor: For­est of Cop­per Col­umns

Ar­son­ists will find them­selves stuck to a scorch­ing hot cop­per col­umn.

The Sev­enth Floor: Moun­tain of Knives

Those who kill sen­tient be­ings with knives will find them­selves climb­ing a hill of knives.

The Eighth Floor: Hill of Ice

Cold-blooded schemers and un­grate­ful types, in­clud­ing those who ill-treat their part­ners and el­ders, will find them­selves naked in this freez­ing cold en­vi­ron­ment.

The Ninth Floor: Caul­dron of Boil­ing Oil

Sex of­fend­ers such as rapists, lech­ers and adul­ter­ers will find them­selves be­ing fried in boil­ing oil.

The above are the up­per nine floors be­long­ing to the East Hell. Fur­ther down is the West Hell with an­other nine floors.

The Tenth Floor: Cham­ber of Oxen

Those who abuse an­i­mals will find them­selves be­ing bul­lied by an­i­mals.

The Eleventh Floor: Cham­ber of Rocks

Those who kill or aban­don new­borns will find them­selves be­ing crushed un­der a rock and soaked in filthy wa­ter.

The Twelfth Floor: Cham­ber of Pound­ing

Those who wil­fully waste food will find them­selves be­ing pounded like crops.

The Thir­teenth Floor: Pool of Blood

Those who do not re­spect oth­ers will find them­selves soaked in blood. It is said that those bleed to death are ac­tu­ally given a pre­view of their af­ter­life.

The Four­teenth Level: Town of Quit­ters

Those who com­mit sui­cide will find them­selves wan­der­ing in this town of mis­ery with the wind of sor­row and rain of grief blast­ing day and night. They are the ones slip­ping off the nor­mal in­car­na­tion paths and will live in the gaps of the worlds for a long, long time.

The Fif­teenth Level: Cham­ber of Dis­mem­ber­ment

Those who dis­turb the de­ceased by dig­ging tombs will find their body be­ing torn into pieces.

The Six­teen Floor: Moun­tain of Flames

Those who steal, bribe and rob will find them­selves sur­rounded by the last­ing in­ferno.

The Seven­teenth Floor: Yard of Stone Mill

Those who abuse their power and op­press the peo­ple will find them­selves be­ing ground into pow­der.

The Eigh­teenth Floor: Cham­ber of Saw

Those who ex­ploit loop­holes in the law to cheat and en­gage in mal­prac­tice in busi­ness will find them­selves be­ing sawn in half.

PIC­TURES: CHINA UN­DER­GROUND, CHINA HIS­TORY IM­AGES, CHINA MAG­A­ZINE

PIC­TURES: CHINA UN­DER­GROUND, CHINA HIS­TORY IM­AGES, CHINA MAG­A­ZINE

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