Eighteen hells

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Depiction of the hell realms from a thangka of the Wheel of Life

The hells (Skt. naraka; Tib. དམྱལ་བ་, Wyl. dmyal ba) constitute one of the realms of the six classes of beings, they are characterized by extremely intense suffering; there are eighteen hells (Skt. aṣṭadaśanaraka):

Chökyi Drakpa writes:

The cause of being born in any of these eighteen hells could be a vast accumulation of harmful actions perpetrated out of desire or delusion. Even so, a single momentary act such as taking life or speaking harsh words to an exceptional being, when carried out with a mind of intense anger, will propel you straight to the hells.[1]


  1. In A Torch for the Path to Omniscience

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