The Eighteen Layers of Hell
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.