SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
In traditional Chinese beliefs âNarakaâ is the Buddhist concept of hell in the afterlife. Under this doctrine, the soul must pass through ten stages, in the form 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 is determined. The Second Court of Hell, governed by Ch'u- kiang-wang, involves boiling copper cauldrons, tigers, wolves and other beasts, cold and ice. After the punishments, the souls are prepared for reincarnation by the process of metempsychosis, involving the taking of the âelixir of forgetfulnessâ to remove all previous memories. The reborn souls enter Nirvana after crossing the âBridge of Helplessnessâ. From âRecherche sur les Superstitions en Chineâ by Henri DorÃ©, Shanghai, 1914.
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