The Realms of Rebirth
Illumination of the Five Realms of Existence
Let there be homage:
Homage to the Virtuous One, Conqueror of what must be conquered, resplendent with right knowledge, always working for the good of others, the teacher of the three worlds!
'Whatever good or bad deed is done by themselves with body and so on, people reap the fruit of it; no other creator is found.'
With this thought, and displaying compassion, the Instructor, the one teacher of the three worlds, spoke for people's benefit about the fruit of each deed.
Having heard what was said by the Completely Awakened One, I shall now speak briefly about deeds good and bad to be done or to be eschewed by you.
The Eight Great Narakas (Hells)
There are the Sanjiva, Kalasutta, Sanghata and also the Roruva, the Maharoruva, Tapa, Mahatapa and Avici [hells].
Those men who, because of greed, delusion, fear or anger, kill living creatures, or having reared them, slaughter [them] - they surely go to Sanjiva;
Though killed and killed again for many thousands of years, because they revive there (again and again) it has the name of 'Sanjiva' - the Revival Hell.
Men who show enmity to their friends, including mother, father and dear ones, who are slanderers and liars - they go to Kalasutta;
Since they are split like wood with burning saws along [a mark made by] black thread, so it is thought of as 'Kalasutta' - the Black Thread Hell.
Those men who kill goats, rams, jackals and so on, hares, rats, deer and boar and other living beings - they go to Sanghata;
Since, crushed together, they are slain there in a total slaughter, therefore this niraya [hell] is considered to be named 'Sanghata' - the Crushing Hell.
Those men who cause torment of body and mind to creatures and who are cheats go to Roruva;
There they give forth terrible howls, constantly consumed by fierce fire, so that is though of as 'Roruva' - the Hell of Those Screaming Aloud.
Those who take the property of devas [gods], brahmans and [their] gurus, by causing suffering to them even, go to Maharoruva, as well as those who steal what was entrusted to them;
The awfulness of the fire-torment, and also the greatness of the howling [there gives rise to the name] 'Great Roruva'; its greatness [must be heard] with respect to Roruva [which it surpasses].
Whoever burns creatures in conflagrations such as forest fires, that person, wailing, is consumed by fire in Tapana in blazing flames;
And since such severe torment by burning continues without interruption, therefore it is known in this world here as 'Tapana' - the Burning Hell.
The nihilist who asserts perversely that the dhamma is non-dhamma [that is, that the truth is untruth] and whoever torments beings is consumed by fire in Patapana;
Because it burns those beings there with fierce fire, greater than that of Tapana, this is said to be 'Patapana'.
Those beings showing enmity to those of greater virtue, slaying disciples and also mother, father, teacher - they are reborn in Avici;
Even bones melt there because of the heat of terrible fire; since there is no intermission for comfort, it is considered to 'Avici' - the Hell without Intermission.
Here end the Eight Great Narakas
Secondary Nirayas (Hells)
There are four secondary nirayas for each and every niraya: the [cesspool of] Milhakupa, the [embers of] Kukkula, [the trees of] the Asipattavana and the Nadi [river].
Those beings issuing from the great niraya fall into the cesspit; they are pierced with horrible hordes of worms;
And, issuing from the Milhakupa, they fall in the Kukkula; fallen there, those beings are cooked like mustard seeds;
And, on issuing from the embers, they see trees shining, green and abounding in leaves - desiring comfort, they draw near;
There crows and vultures, dogs, owls and boars, terrible herons, crows and so on, metal-beaked and very fearsome,
Surrounding everybody, devour their flesh - flesh grown back again, the victims rise up, [are devoured] and fall back.
And [those] who assail each other in battle to destroy [each other], because of this wrongdoing are reborn with swords for nails and have suffering for their lot.
Their nails are swords indeed, made of iron, ablaze and sharp; since they cut each other to pieces with them so they are thought of as 'Those Having Swords for Nails'.
By force they make the adulterer climb that simbali tree of metal, flaming, sharp-pointed and with thorns sixteen finger-lengths long.
Metal-toothed, huge bodies, blazing fearsome females, embracing him, feed on the one who steals another's wife.
Torn up in the Asipattavana [forest], men who are traitors wail - while dogs, vultures, owls and crows devour [them].
Those who steal others' property again and again feed on red-hot iron balls; they drink molten copper.
Dogs with fearsome iron teeth violently devour those men, though they cry out [like] bellowing cattle, [those men] who are always partial to hunting.
Those who kill [creatures] born in water, such as fish, go to the terrible river Vetarani whose running water is like blazing copper; [there] one is consumed by fire for a long time.
Whoever, full of moha [delusion], goes to law contrary to the dhamma because of his greed for bribes, weeping is struck with the discus in naraka [hell].
For a long time red-hot hammers like mechanical mountains crush those who in this world have caused crushing to creatures in various ways.
Those breakers of the dhamma-bridges and those who preached the wrong path weep as they follow a [real] path fitted with sharp blades.
Men who crush lice and so on between their nails weep for a long time and are crushed again and again between rams as big as mountains.
And, whoever undertakes right conduct, but does not maintain it correctly is broiled for a long time in Kukkula with flesh and bones dissolving.
Anyone who lives even a little by a wrong means of livelihood is plunged in dung and urine and is eaten by hordes of worms.
Those who crush on sight the insects that appear in the midst of their rice are crushed again and again by iron pestles there indeed.
Men who are cruel, exceedingly wrathful, always intent on killing and gladdened by the suffering of others are reborn as Yama's rakkhasas [demons of the Lord of Death].
Once the seeds of absolutely all suffering have been distinguished, beginning with the first, [as to] any wrongdoing of body, speech and so on - one should not indulge in that [wrongdoing] even minutely.
Naraka - the first section [is concluded]
...Excerpt from Buddhist Scriptures
Continues in Part Two...
Daily Words of Wisdom
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