SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
In traditional Chinese beliefs "Naraka" is the Buddhist concept of hell in the afterlife. This decrees the soul must pass through ten stages, via of the ten Courts of Hell. All souls are judged on the type and extent of their evil deeds, and the degree and duration of their punishment determined. The souls to be reborn are forced by the Goddess of the Underworld Meng-Po to drink the Elixir of Forgetfulness. It removes all memories of their former lives before they are reincarnated. When they have drunk this 'broth of oblivion' the souls have to cross the Naihe Qiao or "Bridge of Helplessness" on their way to the Wheel of Rebirth.
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