The Ten Courts of Hell
by, 17-Oct-2012 at 13:29 (472 Views)
So, as my last few blogs have alluded to, and anyone who listens to me ramble on knows I'm currently taking a religion course on Asian Religions, which I have been finding overwhelmingly interesting.
I felt like sharing this topic, because I found it to be one of the "most" interesting.
In Buddhism there are ten courts of Hell. Hell is treated very much like a bureaucracy (This is why Buddhists may burn "Spirit Money", to help their ancestors through the courts).
Interestingly enough, no matter who you are (even if you are the most rewarding, kindest saint known) you go to the First court of Hell.
This court is what shows you all of your various deeds, those that were good, and those that were evil (+/- Karma).
From this hell there are two paths.
One path leads those directly to the "Pure Lands". Basically, the place for those who have achieved Nirvana, or are the kindest people known.
The courts are staffed by many demons, and various kings (Set by King Yama).
The other path leads you on to suffer through the remaining courts of hell.
Typically, you have 7 days of suffering unless you are a particularally horrible person. The reason every person suffers, is that all people have done bad things in their life, and you have to pay for that karma.
In the Fifth Court of Hell there is a path out, known as the bridge of no return. Basically, this is an exilement from the basic Buddhism reincarnation structure. These are for the most wicked of people, they are put into the "Animal Realm", and they can never be reborn as anything else again. They will continue to be reborn as an Animal for eternity. While, someone else born into the Animal Realm would return to the courts, and possibly be born back into the human realm.
The Ninth Court is pretty interesting as well, this is where your sufferings/tortures have ended, you stay here as a reviewal process of the court. They go back over all of the deeds you have done, and all of the things done to you. This is basically the Buddhist court influenced by Christianity. If you were a really great person, but treated miserably in your life, and suffered through the Hells then you may be given a much better life (Maybe born into the Gods' Realms).
The Tenth court of Hell is like the "reassignment" court. You are put into your new life depending on your various acts. You must also drink the "Tea of Forgetfulness" so you don't remember anything.
So that's a short wander through the courts of hell...
Interesting tidbits of facts:
All Gods, Demons, Buddhas, etc. are not above the system... Even King Yama overseeing all of the actions of the wheel of life is suffering. It is said every 24 hours he has an immense pain all throughout his body from the evil deeds he has committed. All of the demons, all of the staff, all of the 'Gods' in Buddhism are just normal people, who have been given a more fortunate life. They are simply carrying out their duties, until it is time for them to go through rebirth as well.
In Buddhism they are very stressed on treating all beings with kindness (Human, Animal, Plant, etc.). Harming a being (for non-good reasons) is considered one of the most horrible acts someone could do.
In Buddhism the motive behind the action is what matters for karma, not the action or outcome itself. Good intentions, is good karma.
In Buddhism there is a portion of time known as a "Kapah". It is said that some very evil people may suffer thousands of Kapah's in Hell.
Imagine that an eagle is flying around the Earth, and is holding a single piece of silk. Every 100 years the eagle brushes the piece of silk over Mt. Everest. Once Mt. Everest has been worn to the ground, one Kapah has passed.
Some of the tortures you may undergo in the hells?
Beheaded -- Head reattached. Repeat.
Naked, frozen wasteland... Climb a tree or mountain made from razor blades. Die, be reborn at the bottom, repeat.
Boiled in cauldron of liquid.
Hot iron poured down your throat
Doesn't that sound like a blast!