Buddhist Hells: Naraka and Avīci

I love looking for abundant Buddhist themes in this anime.


Slip away, slip away from the fate that is too sad


You’re not a flower of hell. Don’t bloom there.

Notice the song uses the word naraku for hell. (Or naraka in English.) That’s the category of Buddhist hellish purgatories you hear about the most (ranging from hot hells, to cold hells, to hells where you are tortured in various creative ways). But there there is an even worse hell than naraka that is comparable to Christianity’s, called avici. The kanji seems to suggest it’s a place of unusually long punishment (無間地獄), but there is no indication it is eternal.


There are 5 ways to go to the especially long and most painful hell called avici. They must be bad to deserve that, so what are they?

1 Intentionally murdering one’s father

2 Intentionally murdering one’s mother

3 Killing an Arhat (enlightened being)

4 Shedding the blood of a Buddha

5 Creating a schism within the Sangha, the community of Buddhist

monks and nuns who try to attain enlightenment(eternal happiness).

So yeah, murdering your parents EVER, poking Buddha accidentally with a stick, or trying to reform corruption in a Buddhist institution lead to quin-trillions of years of damnation. Buddhist karma follows pretty inflexible morality huh?

Btw I love how scientific Buddhist geography is:

>The Buddha told the bhikṣus, “There are 8,000 continents surrounding the four continents [on earth]. There is, moreover, a great sea surrounding those 8,000 continents. There is, moreover, a great diamond mountain range encircling that great sea. Beyond this great diamond mountain range is yet another great diamond mountain range. And between the two mountain ranges lies darkness. The sun and moon in the divine sky with their great power are unable to reach that [darkness] with their light. In [that space between the two diamond mountain ranges] there are eight major hells. Along with each major hell are sixteen smaller hells.

Too bad this isn’t true. The Earth would be huge with tons of continents, and we could mine diamonds from those diamond mountains, and put geothermal power plants in hell. I guess you could even visit your relatives in in hell if you crossed enough land.

See also:


And we wouldn’t need a space elevator with a mountain this high. We could just build a railroad to carry astronauts into space.


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