I thought Buddhism wasn't about threatening people with Hell

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I thought Buddhism wasn't about threatening people with Hell

Postby Ikkyu » Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:28 am

Is the deep fear of going to Hell from drinking alcohol, etc. just a Theravada thing?
This video was sort of disturbing and I hope I can get some clarification on this:



Thank you, :smile:
Last edited by Sherab Dorje on Sun May 11, 2014 9:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Testing the "edit subject" function
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Re: I thought Buddhism wasn't about threatening people with Hell

Postby Adamantine » Thu Jun 14, 2012 6:33 am

There's no absolutes like that about drinking alcohol... it's generally believed to be bad to get drunk because then you can lose sense and commit negative acts
which you ordinarily wouldn't while sober. But just casually drinking is not considered a grossly negative karma.. unless you have taken a specific voluntary vow not to drink.

That said, I think there may be a special hell realm reserved just for people who make ridiculous fear mongering videos like this!
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Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
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Re: I thought Buddhism wasn't about threatening people with Hell

Postby Lhug-Pa » Thu Jun 14, 2012 6:38 am

Don't know if hell realms are literally like that video or not (would have to depend on how heavy one's karma is), however I can see the consequences of a lot of anger and hatred taking rebirth and experiencing something like that as karmic vision.


Chögyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche wrote: http://melong.com/teachings/54-karma-em ... lokas.html

"Basically we have five emotions. When we apply each of them, then we produce one of the six lokas. For example, if we are continually angry and we do not purify [that emotion], we accumulate that cause of the vision of hell more and more. If, for example, we ask where hell is, today, in this moment, we cannot find it anywhere, but we cannot say that it doesn’t exist because we have its cause.

"Day after day, year after year, we accumulate emotions. If we continue to accumulate emotions such as anger and do not purify [them], then we will have a very rich accumulation of the cause. In this moment we do not have a vision of hell because we are being and we live in the human condition, and our dimension is human karmic vision. However, when we finish our human vision, we die and are in the state of bardo, which is the intermediate state for all sentient beings. But after the bardo of existence, we go after the potentiality of our karma, that is, the kind of accumulation we have that is strongest...."
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Re: I thought Buddhism wasn't about threatening people with Hell

Postby jundo cohen » Thu Jun 14, 2012 6:39 am

Well, yes, my Soto corner of Zen has certainly threatened folks with hell fire at times in its history, and I think the same of many Mahayana and Vajrayana (if I may speak as an outsider) schools ...

I have seen the "hells" and "heavens" that folks make for themself, and those around them, in this life. I do not know if there are literal "heavens" and "hells" which await us after we die, but I have seen people create real bits of heaven and hell in this life, for themselves and those near them, by their actions.

Just a few of the many Buddhist Hells (Naraka) found in Mahayana literature are the following (although I know that folks here will correct errors in details of the following descriptions) ...


* Arbuda – the "blister" Naraka. This is a dark, frozen plain surrounded by icy mountains and continually swept by blizzards. Inhabitants of this world arise fully grown and abide life-long naked and alone, while the cold raises blisters upon their bodies. The length of life in this Naraka is said to be the time it would take to empty a barrel of sesame seed if one only took out a single seed every hundred years.

* Nirarbuda – the "burst blister" Naraka. This Naraka is even colder than the one above, and here the blisters burst open, leaving the beings' bodies covered with frozen blood and pus.

* Saṃghāta – the "crushing" Naraka. This Naraka is also upon a ground of hot iron, but is surrounded by huge masses of rock that smash together and crush the beings to a bloody jelly. When the rocks move apart again, life is restored to the being and the process starts again. Life in this Naraka is 10,368*1010 years long.

* Raurava – the "screaming" Naraka. Here beings run here and there looking for refuge from the burning ground. When they find an apparent shelter, they are locked inside it as it blazes around them, while they scream inside. Life in this Naraka is 82,944*1010 years long.


Here some images of so-called "Buddhist Hell" from an amusement park in Singapore (although I have seen similar images in some temples in China, Japan, Tibet and Korea when visiting there) ... images that would make even a Fire & Brimstone preacher in the Bible Belt faint ... here are some. Just like in the West, images of "hell" like this were often used by Buddhist preachers to get people to "be good".

Image
By longdogs3 at 2008-06-18

Image
By longdogs3 at 2008-06-18

Image
By longdogs3 at 2008-06-18

Image
By longdogs3 at 2008-06-18

Although the above images are from an amusement park funhouse, very similar images are found in serious artwork in many temples across Asia, including here in Japan.

Image

Who knows, could be. I will take my chances, focusing on avoiding the hells of this world.

Gassho, Jundo
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Re: I thought Buddhism wasn't about threatening people with Hell

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jun 14, 2012 6:54 am

Greetings,

jundo cohen wrote:I have seen the "hells" and "heavens" that folks make for themself, and those around them, in this life. I do not know if there are literal "heavens" and "hells" which await us after we die, but I have seen people create real bits of heaven and hell in this life, for themselves and those near them, by their actions.

Makes sense to me.

I find it more useful to regard "hells", "heavens" etc. as experiences, rather than geospatial environments. Experiences are all we have, whether one labels the external environment "heaven" or "hell".

Maitri,
Retro. :)
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Re: I thought Buddhism wasn't about threatening people with Hell

Postby Fruitzilla » Thu Jun 14, 2012 7:56 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

jundo cohen wrote:I have seen the "hells" and "heavens" that folks make for themself, and those around them, in this life. I do not know if there are literal "heavens" and "hells" which await us after we die, but I have seen people create real bits of heaven and hell in this life, for themselves and those near them, by their actions.

Makes sense to me.

I find it more useful to regard "hells", "heavens" etc. as experiences, rather than geospatial environments. Experiences are all we have, whether one labels the external environment "heaven" or "hell".

Maitri,
Retro. :)


Well, continuing the recent trend on this forum...
If devas living in plants would be an archaic way to talk about the sentience of plants, you can easily conclude that hell realms are archaic ways of talking about negative mind states, n'est-ce pas?
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Re: I thought Buddhism wasn't about threatening people with Hell

Postby dharmagoat » Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:52 am

What a despicable video. This is not the buddhism that I know.
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Re: I thought Buddhism wasn't about threatening people with Hell

Postby Blue Garuda » Thu Jun 14, 2012 9:14 am

I've never seen a 'threat' being made, just the expression that karma has consequences. It's then up to you whether you believe that assertion and how you act thereafter.

As for alcohol, it makes some poeple more peaceful, pleasant and sociable and makes others exhibit anger and violence. The general precept is there mainly because for some poeple alcohol leads to other negative actions.

Where I live alcohol and use of illegal (and therefore expensive) drugs leads to a lot of the theft and violent crime. The city centre closest to me is a 'no go' area for many people after 11 pm, as the blood, vomit, urine and broken glass shows the next morning. Being in the middle of it could certainly be called an experience of hell.
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Re: I thought Buddhism wasn't about threatening people with Hell

Postby AlexanderS » Thu Jun 14, 2012 9:35 am

Some alcoholics are already in hell.

The video is pretty extreme. Quite well made actually considering, they probably had no budget :)
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Re: I thought Buddhism wasn't about threatening people with Hell

Postby Clarence » Thu Jun 14, 2012 9:45 am

Wow, that is awesome. Glad I don't drink. :smile:

Seriously though, I think it is a pretty accurate representation of traditional decriptions of the hell-realms. I don't think drinking alcohol can be the cause for such a rebirth though. But, I know what I am going to do now. Some more meditation. Haha.
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Re: I thought Buddhism wasn't about threatening people with Hell

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:29 am

Cool video!!! :twothumbsup: But then again, I am a splatter movie fan!
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One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: I thought Buddhism wasn't about threatening people with Hell

Postby seeker242 » Thu Jun 14, 2012 12:31 pm

Ikkyu wrote:Is the deep fear of going to Hell from drinking alcohol, etc. just a Theravada thing?

Thank you, :smile:


Not that I can see. Most every tradition of Buddhism has stories of "going to hell". I don't see it as a threat but just a statement of the facts. The fact that wrong action has negative consequences. It's almost like someone telling you "If you break this law and get caught, you will go to jail for a while". Not really a threat but simply a statement of the facts. The only difference is that if you break the law, you may be able to avoid the police officers. But in the case of karma, you will always get caught. What should be taken from this is that wrong actions have rather unpleasant consequences for yourself. If you want to be free from suffering, you must stop engaging in wrong actions.
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Re: I thought Buddhism wasn't about threatening people with Hell

Postby Will » Thu Jun 14, 2012 4:32 pm

The effects of our negative actions, words and thoughts will, if severe enough, put us in a hellish state. All major traditions, not just Buddhism, agree. So get over it or blame reality, if that helps.
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
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Re: I thought Buddhism wasn't about threatening people with Hell

Postby jundo cohen » Thu Jun 14, 2012 4:44 pm

Will wrote:The effects of our negative actions, words and thoughts will, if severe enough, put us in a hellish state. All major traditions, not just Buddhism, agree. So get over it or blame reality, if that helps.


Hi WIll,

Yes, negative actions such as alcohol abuse can put someone in a "hellish state" in this life, but seems to me that your comment (and some others here too) is a bit of an ambiguous statement that seems to be missing the question. Does one go to a hell when one dies? Furthermore, do those hells resemble something like the following? Are there devils with pitch forks, literal hungry ghosts and the like?

Gassho, Jundo



* Arbuda – the "blister" Naraka. This is a dark, frozen plain surrounded by icy mountains and continually swept by blizzards. Inhabitants of this world arise fully grown and abide life-long naked and alone, while the cold raises blisters upon their bodies. The length of life in this Naraka is said to be the time it would take to empty a barrel of sesame seed if one only took out a single seed every hundred years.

* Nirarbuda – the "burst blister" Naraka. This Naraka is even colder than the one above, and here the blisters burst open, leaving the beings' bodies covered with frozen blood and pus.

* Saṃghāta – the "crushing" Naraka. This Naraka is also upon a ground of hot iron, but is surrounded by huge masses of rock that smash together and crush the beings to a bloody jelly. When the rocks move apart again, life is restored to the being and the process starts again. Life in this Naraka is 10,368*1010 years long.

* Raurava – the "screaming" Naraka. Here beings run here and there looking for refuge from the burning ground. When they find an apparent shelter, they are locked inside it as it blazes around them, while they scream inside. Life in this Naraka is 82,944*1010 years long.
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Re: I thought Buddhism wasn't about threatening people with Hell

Postby Wesley1982 » Thu Jun 14, 2012 4:56 pm

Its plausible that certain myths about Hell were spun from folklore and artistic storytelling.
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Re: I thought Buddhism wasn't about threatening people with Hell

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Jun 14, 2012 4:59 pm

jundo cohen wrote:Yes, negative actions such as alcohol abuse can put someone in a "hellish state" in this life, but seems to me that your comment (and some others here too) is a bit of an ambiguous statement that seems to be missing the question. Does one go to a hell when one dies? Furthermore, do those hells resemble something like the following? Are there devils with pitch forks, literal hungry ghosts and the like?
if you are asking if the Budha taught literal rebirth then the answer from the Sutta and Sutra traditions is ***drum roll***, well I think you know the answer...
:namaste:
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: I thought Buddhism wasn't about threatening people with Hell

Postby jundo cohen » Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:02 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
jundo cohen wrote:Yes, negative actions such as alcohol abuse can put someone in a "hellish state" in this life, but seems to me that your comment (and some others here too) is a bit of an ambiguous statement that seems to be missing the question. Does one go to a hell when one dies? Furthermore, do those hells resemble something like the following? Are there devils with pitch forks, literal hungry ghosts and the like?
if you are asking if the Budha taught literal rebirth then the answer from the Sutta and Sutra traditions is ***drum roll***, well I think you know the answer...
:namaste:


Hi Greg,

Oh, I know he likely did. My question is more regarding how far people take their belief in the details and descriptions of the Naraka hells, the literalness of "hungry ghosts", and the like.

Gee, I hope I don't freeze or burn in some hell just for asking these questions! :shock:

Gassho, Jundo
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Re: I thought Buddhism wasn't about threatening people with Hell

Postby Jikan » Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:12 pm

Wesley1982 wrote:Its plausible that certain myths about Hell were spun from folklore and artistic storytelling.


Yes, I think that is completely plausible.
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Re: I thought Buddhism wasn't about threatening people with Hell

Postby plwk » Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:14 pm

Its plausible that certain myths about Hell were spun from folklore and artistic storytelling.


Yes, I think that is completely plausible.

Just like the metaphorical ones...
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Re: I thought Buddhism wasn't about threatening people with Hell

Postby Ikkyu » Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:31 pm

jundo cohen wrote:Well, yes, my Soto corner of Zen has certainly threatened folks with hell fire at times in its history, and I think the same of many Mahayana and Vajrayana (if I may speak as an outsider) schools ...

I have seen the "hells" and "heavens" that folks make for themself, and those around them, in this life. I do not know if there are literal "heavens" and "hells" which await us after we die, but I have seen people create real bits of heaven and hell in this life, for themselves and those near them, by their actions.

Just a few of the many Buddhist Hells (Naraka) found in Mahayana literature are the following (although I know that folks here will correct errors in details of the following descriptions) ...


* Arbuda – the "blister" Naraka. This is a dark, frozen plain surrounded by icy mountains and continually swept by blizzards. Inhabitants of this world arise fully grown and abide life-long naked and alone, while the cold raises blisters upon their bodies. The length of life in this Naraka is said to be the time it would take to empty a barrel of sesame seed if one only took out a single seed every hundred years.

* Nirarbuda – the "burst blister" Naraka. This Naraka is even colder than the one above, and here the blisters burst open, leaving the beings' bodies covered with frozen blood and pus.

* Saṃghāta – the "crushing" Naraka. This Naraka is also upon a ground of hot iron, but is surrounded by huge masses of rock that smash together and crush the beings to a bloody jelly. When the rocks move apart again, life is restored to the being and the process starts again. Life in this Naraka is 10,368*1010 years long.

* Raurava – the "screaming" Naraka. Here beings run here and there looking for refuge from the burning ground. When they find an apparent shelter, they are locked inside it as it blazes around them, while they scream inside. Life in this Naraka is 82,944*1010 years long.


Here some images of so-called "Buddhist Hell" from an amusement park in Singapore (although I have seen similar images in some temples in China, Japan, Tibet and Korea when visiting there) ... images that would make even a Fire & Brimstone preacher in the Bible Belt faint ... here are some. Just like in the West, images of "hell" like this were often used by Buddhist preachers to get people to "be good".

Image
By longdogs3 at 2008-06-18

Image
By longdogs3 at 2008-06-18

Image
By longdogs3 at 2008-06-18

Image
By longdogs3 at 2008-06-18

Although the above images are from an amusement park funhouse, very similar images are found in serious artwork in many temples across Asia, including here in Japan.

Image

Who knows, could be. I will take my chances, focusing on avoiding the hells of this world.

Gassho, Jundo


Wow. I was under the impression that Buddhism was a peaceful religion. Stuff like this is why I still have yet to take the precepts after a year and a half of study with a Sangha. I left Catholicism due to the doctrines set forward in which one is required to worship a God who punishes people with torture for their sins. Now, while I realize that in the Buddhist tradition karma is what determines rebirth, doesn't it seem just a little f*cked up that so many Buddhists think that if you get drunk you're going to Hell? I guess I'm going to the Blister Naraka, considering that I get wasted from time to time at parties. Yeah, I'm not going to lie. I do. Now does this mean I'm going to Hell? If so, why the hell (no pun intended) is this religion somehow considered more peaceful and tolerant than Christianity or Islam?

I mean how can people ACTUALLY believe -- using logic and reasoning -- that there is ACTUALLY a place where you go after you die and you suffer horrible physical agony in such gory, explicit and specific detail? It smells like bullshit to me.

I'm not trying to be rude. I'm just dissapointed. I left Christianity because it was, for me, a bunch of fear-mongering and illogical drivel. I went to Buddhism because I thought it was really about ending suffering. How does fearing a very long, painful torture end our suffering? Isn't fear a defilement in Buddhism to begin with?
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