Hell in China

The concept of Hell (Diyu) in China is based in Buddhism, and consists of an underground maze with eighteen levels. Souls are taken here after death to atone for human sin. Once the soul has been cleansed of its sin, it can rejoin the living by means of reincarnation.

I visited Guandu Zhen (Guandu Old Town), south of downtown Kunming, where, in the centre of the town, I saw Vajra Pagoda (built in 1457) and a few temples that surround it. The following photographs are of the spectacular images of “Hell” I came across in a mural in one of the temples.

Guandu Zhen Temple - Hell

Guandu Zhen Temple – Hell

Guandu Zhen Temple - Hell

Guandu Zhen Temple – Hell

Guandu Zhen Temple - Hell

Guandu Zhen Temple – Hell

Guandu Zhen Temple - Hell

Guandu Zhen Temple – Hell

Guandu Zhen Temple - Hell

Guandu Zhen Temple – Hell

Guandu Zhen Temple - Hell

Guandu Zhen Temple – Hell

Guandu Zhen Temple - Hell

Guandu Zhen Temple – Hell

Guandu Zhen Temple - Hell

Guandu Zhen Temple – Hell

Guandu Zhen Temple - Hell

Guandu Zhen Temple – Hell

Guandu Zhen Temple - Hell

Guandu Zhen Temple – Hell

4 thoughts on “Hell in China

    1. sbandtg Post author

      i fell in love with hell in china – after seeing these amazing (clearly contemporary) images. a couple of the temples at guandu zhen are old. the temple with these murals is a newer one. the photos are so evocative and made me very interested in learning about the mythology/belief of hell.

      Reply
    1. sbandtg Post author

      generally, there is reward and punishment in the afterlife – but not heaven and hell. jewish mystics described a spiritual place called “Gehinnom.” this is usually translated as “Hell,” but a better translation would be a place where your soul is cleansed. acts we do in our lifetime leave imprints on our soul. the good we do in the world elevates our soul; every wrong-doing leave a stain. if we do not fix our wrong-doings before we die then our soul must be cleansed. the bottom line is we are expected to repent for our sins. from what i know our physical bodies turn “back” to dust” and our souls return to god.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s