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Dhp 306–319 Nirayavagga: Hell

A liar goes to hell,
as does one who denies what they did.
Both are equal in the hereafter,
those men of base deeds.

Many who wrap their necks in ocher robes
are unrestrained and wicked.
Being wicked, they are reborn in hell
due to their bad deeds.

It’d be better for the immoral and unrestrained
to eat an iron ball,
scorching, like a burning flame,
than to eat the nation’s alms.

Four things befall a heedless man
who sleeps with another’s wife:
wickedness, poor sleep,
ill-repute, and rebirth in hell.

He accrues wickedness and is reborn in a bad place,
all so a frightened couple may snatch a moment’s pleasure,
for which rulers impose a heavy punishment.
That’s why a man should not sleep with another’s wife.

When kusa grass is wrongly grasped
it only cuts the hand.
So too, the ascetic life, when wrongly taken,
drags you to hell.

Any lax act,
any corrupt observance,
or suspicious spiritual life,
is not very fruitful.

A bad deed is better left undone,
for it will plague you later on.
A good deed is better done,
one that does not plague you.

As a frontier city
is guarded inside and out,
so you should ward yourselves—
don’t let the moment pass you by.
For if you miss your moment
you’ll grieve when sent to hell.

Unashamed of what is shameful,
ashamed of what is not shameful;
beings who uphold wrong view
go to a bad place.

Seeing danger where there is none,
and blind to the actual danger,
beings who uphold wrong view
go to a bad place.

Seeing fault where there is none,
and blind to the actual fault,
beings who uphold wrong view
go to a bad place.

Knowing a fault as a fault
and the faultless as faultless,
beings who uphold right view
go to a good place.


Read this translation of Dhammapada 306–319 Nirayavagga: by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net.

AN 4.233 Vitthārasutta: Deeds in Detail

“Mendicants, I declare these four kinds of deeds, having realized them with my own insight. What four?

  1. There are dark deeds with dark results;
  2. bright deeds with bright results;
  3. dark and bright deeds with dark and bright results; and
  4. neither dark nor bright deeds with neither dark nor bright results, which lead to the ending of deeds.

And what are dark deeds with dark results? It’s when someone makes hurtful choices by way of body, speech, and mind. Having made these choices, they’re reborn in a hurtful world, where hurtful contacts strike them. Touched by hurtful contacts, they experience hurtful feelings that are exclusively painful—like the beings in hell. These are called dark deeds with dark results.

And what are bright deeds with bright results? It’s when someone makes pleasing choices by way of body, speech, and mind. Having made these choices, they’re reborn in a pleasing world, where pleasing contacts strike them. Touched by pleasing contacts, they experience pleasing feelings that are exclusively happy—like the gods replete with glory. These are called bright deeds with bright results.

And what are dark and bright deeds with dark and bright results? It’s when someone makes both hurtful and pleasing choices by way of body, speech, and mind. Having made these choices, they are reborn in a world that is both hurtful and pleasing, where hurtful and pleasing contacts strike them. Touched by both hurtful and pleasing contacts, they experience both hurtful and pleasing feelings that are a mixture of pleasure and pain—like humans, some gods, and some beings in the underworld. These are called dark and bright deeds with dark and bright results.

And what are neither dark nor bright deeds with neither dark nor bright results, which lead to the ending of deeds? It’s the intention to give up dark deeds with dark results, bright deeds with bright results, and both dark and bright deeds with both dark and bright results. These are called neither dark nor bright deeds with neither dark nor bright results, which lead to the ending of deeds.

These are the four kinds of deeds that I declare, having realized them with my own insight.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 4.233 Vitthārasutta: Deeds in Detail by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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AN 10.216 Saṁsappanīyasutta: Creeping

“Bhikkhus, I will teach you an exposition of the Dhamma on creeping. Listen and attend closely. I will speak.”

“Yes, Bhante,” those bhikkhus replied. The Blessed One said this:

“And what, bhikkhus, is that exposition of the Dhamma on creeping? Bhikkhus, beings are the owners of their kamma, the heirs of their kamma; they have kamma as their origin, kamma as their relative, kamma as their resort; whatever kamma they do, good or bad, they are its heirs.

(1) “Here, someone destroys life; he is murderous, bloody-handed, given to blows and violence, merciless to living beings. He creeps along by body, speech, and mind. His bodily kamma is crooked; his verbal kamma is crooked; his mental kamma is crooked. His destination is crooked; his rebirth is crooked. But for one with a crooked destination and rebirth, I say, there is one of two destinations: either the exclusively painful hells or a species of creeping animal. And what are the species of creeping animals? The snake, the scorpion, the centipede, the mongoose, the cat, the mouse, and the owl, or any other animals that creep away when they see people. Thus a being is reborn from a being; one is reborn through one’s deeds. When one has been reborn, contacts affect one. It is in this way, I say, that beings are the heirs of their kamma.

(2) “Someone takes what is not given … (3) … engages in sexual misconduct … (4) … speaks falsehood … (5) … speaks divisively … (6) … speaks harshly … (7) … indulges in idle chatter … (8) … is full of longing … (9) … has a mind of ill will and intentions of hate … (10) … holds wrong view and has an incorrect perspective thus: ‘There is nothing given … there are in the world no ascetics and brahmins of right conduct and right practice who, having realized this world and the other world for themselves by direct knowledge, make them known to others.’ He creeps along by body, speech, and mind. His bodily kamma is crooked … His destination is crooked; his rebirth is crooked…. Thus a being is reborn from a being; one is reborn through one’s deeds. When one has been reborn, contacts affect one. It is in this way, I say, that beings are the heirs of their kamma.

“Bhikkhus, beings are the owners of their kamma, the heirs of their kamma; they have kamma as their origin, kamma as their relative, kamma as their resort; whatever kamma they do, good or bad, they are its heirs.

(1) “Here, having abandoned the destruction of life, someone abstains from the destruction of life; with the rod and weapon laid aside, conscientious and kindly, he dwells compassionate toward all living beings. He does not creep along by body, speech, and mind. His bodily kamma is straight; his verbal kamma is straight; his mental kamma is straight. His destination is straight; his rebirth is straight. But for one with a straight destination and rebirth, I say, there is one of two destinations: either the exclusively pleasant heavens or eminent families, such as those of affluent khattiyas, affluent brahmins, or affluent householders, families that are rich, with great wealth and property, abundant gold and silver, abundant treasures and belongings, abundant wealth and grain. Thus a being is reborn from a being; one is reborn through one’s deeds. When one has been reborn, contacts affect one. It is in this way, I say, that beings are the heirs of their kamma.

(2) “Having abandoned the taking of what is not given, someone abstains from taking what is not given … (3) … abstains from sexual misconduct … (4) … abstains from false speech … (5) … abstains from divisive speech … (6) … abstains from harsh speech … (7) … abstains from idle chatter … (8) … is without longing … (9) … is of good will … (10) … holds right view and has a correct perspective thus: ‘There is what is given … there are in the world ascetics and brahmins of right conduct and right practice who, having realized this world and the other world for themselves by direct knowledge, make them known to others.’ He does not creep along by body, speech, and mind. His bodily kamma is straight … His destination is straight; his rebirth is straight…. Thus a being is reborn from a being; one is reborn through one’s deeds. When one has been reborn, contacts affect one. It is in this way, I say, that beings are the heirs of their kamma.

“Bhikkhus, beings are the owners of their kamma, the heirs of their kamma; they have kamma as their origin, kamma as their relative, kamma as their resort; whatever kamma they do, good or bad, they are its heirs.

“This, bhikkhus, is that exposition of the Dhamma on creeping.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 10.216 Saṁsappanīyasutta: Creeping by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on

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AN 3.36 Devadūtasutta: Messengers

[For a longer explanation of divine messengers, see MN 130 Devadūta]

“Bhikkhus, there are these three divine messengers. What three?

“Here, bhikkhus, someone engages in misconduct by body, speech, and mind. In consequence, with the breakup of the body, after death, he is reborn in the plane of misery, in a bad destination, in the lower world, in hell. There the wardens of hell grab him by both arms and show him to King Yama, saying: ‘This person, your majesty, did not behave properly toward his mother and father; he did not behave properly toward ascetics and brahmins; and he did not honor the elders of the family. May your majesty inflict due punishment on him!’

(1) “Then King Yama questions, interrogates, and cross-examines him about the first divine messenger: ‘Good man, didn’t you see the first divine messenger that appeared among human beings?’ And he replies: ‘No, lord, I didn’t see him.’

“Then King Yama says to him: ‘But, good man, didn’t you ever see among human beings a man or a woman, eighty, ninety or a hundred years of age, frail, bent like a roof bracket, crooked, wobbling as they go along leaning on a stick, ailing, youth gone, with broken teeth, with grey and scanty hair or bald, with wrinkled skin and blotched limbs?’ And the man replies: ‘Yes, lord, I have seen this.’

“Then King Yama says to him: ‘Good man, didn’t it occur to you, an intelligent and mature person: “I too am subject to old age, I am not exempt from old age. Let me now do good by body, speech, and mind”?’ —‘No, lord, I could not. I was heedless.’

“Then King Yama says: ‘Through heedlessness, good man, you failed to do good by body, speech, or mind. Surely, they will treat you in a way that fits your heedlessness. That bad kamma of yours was not done by your mother or father, nor by your brother or sister, nor by your friends and companions, nor by your relatives and family members, nor by the deities, nor by ascetics and brahmins. Rather, you were the one who did that bad kamma, and you yourself will have to experience its result.’

(2) “When King Yama has questioned, interrogated, and cross-examined him about the first divine messenger, he again questions, interrogates, and cross-examines him about the second divine messenger: ‘Good man, didn’t you see the second divine messenger that appeared among human beings?’ And he replies: ‘No, lord, I didn’t see him.’

“Then King Yama says to him: ‘But, good man, didn’t you ever see among human beings a man or a woman, sick, afflicted, gravely ill, lying in his own urine and excrement, having to be lifted up by some and put down by others?’ And he replies: ‘Yes, lord, I have seen this.’

“Then King Yama says to him: ‘Good man, didn’t it occur to you, an intelligent and mature person: “I too am subject to illness, I am not exempt from illness. Let me now do good by body, speech, and mind”?’—‘No, lord, I could not. I was heedless.’

“Then King Yama says: ‘Through heedlessness, good man, you failed to do good by body, speech, or mind. Surely, they will treat you in a way that fits your heedlessness. That bad kamma of yours was not done by your mother or father, nor by your brother or sister, nor by your friends and companions, nor by your relatives and family members, nor by the deities, nor by ascetics and brahmins. Rather, you were the one who did that bad kamma, and you yourself will have to experience its result.’

(3) “When King Yama has questioned, interrogated, and cross-examined him about the second divine messenger, he again questions, interrogates, and cross-examines him about the third divine messenger: ‘Good man, didn’t you see the third divine messenger that appeared among human beings?’ And he replies: ‘No, lord, I didn’t see him.’

“Then King Yama says to him: ‘But, good man, didn’t you ever see among human beings a man or a woman, one, two, or three days dead, the corpse bloated, livid, and festering?’ And he replies: ‘Yes, lord, I have seen this.’

“Then King Yama says to him: ‘Good man, didn’t it occur to you, an intelligent and mature person: “I too am subject to death, I am not exempt from death. Let me now do good by body, speech, and mind”?’—‘No, lord, I could not. I was heedless.’

“Then King Yama says: ‘Through heedlessness, good man, you failed to do good by body, speech, or mind. Surely, they will treat you in a way that fits your heedlessness. That bad kamma of yours was not done by your mother or father, nor by your brother or sister, nor by your friends and companions, nor by your relatives and family members, nor by the deities, nor by ascetics and brahmins. Rather, you were the one who did that bad kamma, and you yourself will have to experience its result.’

“When, bhikkhus, King Yama has questioned, interrogated, and cross-examined him about the third divine messenger, he falls silent. Then the wardens of hell torture him with the fivefold transfixing. They drive a red-hot iron stake through one hand and another red-hot iron stake through the other hand; they drive a red-hot iron stake through one foot and another red-hot iron stake through the other foot; they drive a red-hot iron stake through the middle of his chest. There he feels painful, racking, piercing feelings, yet he does not die so long as that bad kamma is not exhausted.

“Next the wardens of hell throw him down and pare him with axes. There he feels painful, racking, piercing feelings, yet he does not die so long as that bad kamma is not exhausted. Next the wardens of hell turn him upside down and pare him with adzes…. Next the wardens of hell harness him to a chariot and drive him back and forth across ground that is burning, blazing, and glowing…. Next the wardens of hell make him climb up and down a great mound of coals that are burning, blazing, and glowing…. Next the wardens of hell turn him upside down and plunge him into a red-hot copper cauldron that is burning, blazing, and glowing. He is cooked there in a swirl of foam. And as he is being cooked there in a swirl of foam, he is swept now up, now down, and now across. There he feels painful, racking, piercing feelings, yet he does not die so long as that bad kamma is not exhausted.

“Next the wardens of hell throw him into the great hell. Now, bhikkhus, as to that great hell:

“It has four corners and four doors
and is divided into separate compartments;
it is surrounded by iron ramparts
and shut in with an iron roof.

“Its floor as well is made of iron
and heated till it glows with fire.
The range is a full hundred yojanas
which it ever covers pervasively.

“Once, bhikkhus, in the past King Yama thought: ‘Those in the world who do evil deeds are punished with such diverse tortures. Oh, that I might attain the human state! That a Tathāgata, Arahant, Perfectly Enlightened One might arise in the world! That I might attend upon that Blessed One! That the Blessed One might teach me the Dhamma, and that I might come to understand his Dhamma!’

“Bhikkhus, I am not repeating something that I heard from another ascetic or brahmin, but rather I am speaking about a matter that I have actually known, seen, and understood myself.”

Though warned by the divine messengers,
those people who remain heedless
sorrow for a long time,
having fared on to a lower realm.

But those good people here who,
when warned by the divine messengers,
never become heedless
in regard to the noble Dhamma;
who, having seen the peril in clinging
as the origin of birth and death,
are liberated by non-clinging
in the extinction of birth and death:
those happy ones have attained security;
they have reached nibbāna in this very life.
Having overcome all enmity and peril,
they have transcended all suffering.


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 3.36 Devadūtasutta: Messengers by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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AN 4.125 Paṭhamamettāsutta: Love (1st)

“Mendicants, these four people are found in the world. What four?

Firstly, a person meditates spreading a heart full of love to one direction, and to the second, and to the third, and to the fourth. In the same way above, below, across, everywhere, all around, they spread a heart full of love to the whole world—abundant, expansive, limitless, free of enmity and ill will. They enjoy this and like it and find it satisfying. If they abide in that, are committed to it, and meditate on it often without losing it, when they die they’re reborn in the company of the gods of Brahmā’s Host. The lifespan of the gods of Brahma’s Host is one eon. An ordinary person stays there until the lifespan of those gods is spent, then they go to hell or the animal realm or the ghost realm. But a disciple of the Buddha stays there until the lifespan of those gods is spent, then they’re extinguished in that very life. This is the difference between a learned noble disciple and an unlearned ordinary person, that is, when there is a place of rebirth.

Furthermore, a person meditates spreading a heart full of compassion … rejoicing … equanimity to one direction, and to the second, and to the third, and to the fourth. In the same way above, below, across, everywhere, all around, they spread a heart full of equanimity to the whole world—abundant, expansive, limitless, free of enmity and ill will. They enjoy this and like it and find it satisfying. If they abide in that, are committed to it, and meditate on it often without losing it, when they die they’re reborn in the company of the gods of streaming radiance. The lifespan of the gods of streaming radiance is two eons. … they’re reborn in the company of the gods replete with glory. The lifespan of the gods replete with glory is four eons. … they’re reborn in the company of the gods of abundant fruit. The lifespan of the gods of abundant fruit is five hundred eons. An ordinary person stays there until the lifespan of those gods is spent, then they go to hell or the animal realm or the ghost realm. But a disciple of the Buddha stays there until the lifespan of those gods is spent, then they’re extinguished in that very life. This is the difference between a learned noble disciple and an unlearned ordinary person, that is, when there is a place of rebirth.

These are the four people found in the world.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 4.125 Paṭhamamettāsutta: Love (1st) by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, DhammaTalks.org or AccessToInsight.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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MN 129 From… Bālapaṇḍitasutta: The Foolish and the Astute—Simile for Hell

[Spoken by the Buddha:]

“…Having done bad things by way of body, speech, and mind, when their body breaks up, after death, they’re reborn in a place of loss, a bad place, the underworld, hell.

And if there’s anything of which it may be rightly said that it is utterly unlikable, undesirable, and disagreeable, it is of hell that this should be said. So much so that it’s not easy to give a simile for how painful hell is.”

When he said this, one of the mendicants asked the Buddha, “But sir, is it possible to give a simile?”

“It’s possible,” said the Buddha.

“Suppose they arrest a bandit, a criminal and present him to the king, saying, ‘Your Majesty, this is a bandit, a criminal. Punish him as you will.’ The king would say, ‘Go, my men, and strike this man in the morning with a hundred spears!’ The king’s men did as they were told. Then at midday the king would say, ‘My men, how is that man?’ ‘He’s still alive, Your Majesty.’ The king would say, ‘Go, my men, and strike this man in the midday with a hundred spears!’ The king’s men did as they were told. Then late in the afternoon the king would say, ‘My men, how is that man?’ ‘He’s still alive, Your Majesty.’ The king would say, ‘Go, my men, and strike this man in the late afternoon with a hundred spears!’ The king’s men did as they were told.

What do you think, mendicants? Would that man experience pain and distress from being struck with three hundred spears?”

“Sir, that man would experience pain and distress from being struck with one spear, let alone three hundred spears!”

Then the Buddha, picking up a stone the size of his palm, addressed the mendicants, “What do you think, mendicants? Which is bigger: the stone the size of my palm that I’ve picked up, or the Himalayas, the king of mountains?”

“Sir, the stone you’ve picked up is tiny. Compared to the Himalayas, it doesn’t count, it’s not worth a fraction, there’s no comparison.”

“In the same way, compared to the suffering in hell, the pain and distress experienced by that man due to being struck with three hundred spears doesn’t count, it’s not worth a fraction, there’s no comparison.…


Read the entire translation of Majjhima Nikāya 129 Bālapaṇḍitasutta: The Foolish and the Astute by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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AN 10.211 Paṭhamanirayasaggasutta: Hell (1)

“Bhikkhus, possessing ten qualities, one is deposited in hell as if brought there. What ten?

(1) “Here, someone destroys life; he is murderous, bloody-handed, given to blows and violence, merciless to living beings.

(2) “He takes what is not given; he steals the wealth and property of others in the village or forest.

(3)“He engages in sexual misconduct; he has sexual relations with women who are protected by their mother, father, mother and father, brother, sister, or relatives; who are protected by their Dhamma; who have a husband; whose violation entails a penalty; or even with one already engaged.

(4) “He speaks falsehood. If he is summoned to a council, to an assembly, to his relatives’ presence, to his guild, or to the court, and questioned as a witness thus: ‘So, good man, tell what you know,’ then, not knowing, he says, ‘I know,’ or knowing, he says, ‘I do not know’; not seeing, he says, ‘I see,’ or seeing, he says, ‘I do not see.’ Thus he consciously speaks falsehood for his own ends, or for another’s ends, or for some trifling worldly end.

(5) “He speaks divisively. Having heard something here, he repeats it elsewhere in order to divide those people from these; or having heard something elsewhere, he repeats it to these people in order to divide them from those. Thus he is one who divides those who are united, a creator of divisions, one who enjoys factions, rejoices in factions, delights in factions, a speaker of words that create factions.

(6) “He speaks harshly. He utters such words as are rough, hard, hurtful to others, offensive to others, bordering on anger, unconducive to concentration.

(7) “He indulges in idle chatter. He speaks at an improper time, speaks falsely, speaks what is unbeneficial, speaks contrary to the Dhamma and the discipline; at an improper time he speaks such words as are worthless, unreasonable, rambling, and unbeneficial.

(8)“He is full of longing. He longs for the wealth and property of others thus: ‘Oh, may what belongs to another be mine!’

(9) “He has a mind of ill will and intentions of hate thus: ‘May these beings be slain, slaughtered, cut off, destroyed, or annihilated!’

(10) “He holds wrong view and has an incorrect perspective thus: ‘There is nothing given, nothing sacrificed, nothing offered; there is no fruit or result of good and bad actions; there is no this world, no other world; there is no mother, no father; there are no beings spontaneously reborn; there are in the world no ascetics and brahmins of right conduct and right practice who, having realized this world and the other world for themselves by direct knowledge, make them known to others.’

“One possessing these ten qualities is deposited in hell as if brought there.

“Bhikkhus, one possessing ten qualities is deposited in heaven as if brought there. What ten?

(1)“Here, someone, having abandoned the destruction of life, abstains from the destruction of life. With the rod and weapon laid aside, conscientious and kindly, he dwells compassionate toward all living beings.

(2) “Having abandoned the taking of what is not given, he abstains from taking what is not given. He does not steal the wealth and property of others in the village or in the forest.

(3) “Having abandoned sexual misconduct, he abstains from sexual misconduct. He does not have sexual relations with women who are protected by their mother, father, mother and father, brother, sister, or relatives; who are protected by their Dhamma; who have a husband; whose violation entails a penalty; or even with one already engaged.

(4) “Having abandoned false speech, he abstains from false speech. If he is summoned to a council, to an assembly, to his relatives’ presence, to his guild, or to the court, and questioned as a witness thus: ‘So, good man, tell what you know,’ then, not knowing, he says, ‘I do not know,’ or knowing, he says, ‘I know’; not seeing, he says, ‘I do not see,’ or seeing, he says, ‘I see.’ Thus he does not consciously speak falsehood for his own ends, or for another’s ends, or for some trifling worldly end.

(5) “Having abandoned divisive speech, he abstains from divisive speech. Having heard something here, he does not repeat it elsewhere in order to divide those people from these; or having heard something elsewhere, he does not repeat it to these people in order to divide them from those. Thus he is one who reunites those who are divided, a promoter of unity, who enjoys concord, rejoices in concord, delights in concord, a speaker of words that promote concord.

(6) “Having abandoned harsh speech, he abstains from harsh speech. He speaks such words as are gentle, pleasing to the ear, and lovable, as go to the heart, are courteous, desired by many, and agreeable to many.

(7) “Having abandoned idle chatter, he abstains from idle chatter. He speaks at a proper time, speaks truth, speaks what is beneficial, speaks on the Dhamma and the discipline; at a proper time he speaks such words as are worth recording, reasonable, succinct, and beneficial.

(8) “He is without longing. He does not long for the wealth and property of others thus: ‘Oh, may what belongs to another be mine!’

(9) “He is of good will and his intentions are free of hate thus: ‘May these beings live happily, free from enmity, affliction, and anxiety!’

(10) “He holds right view and has a correct perspective thus: ‘There is what is given, sacrificed, and offered; there is fruit and result of good and bad actions; there is this world and the other world; there is mother and father; there are beings spontaneously reborn; there are in the world ascetics and brahmins of right conduct and right practice who, having realized this world and the other world for themselves by direct knowledge, make them known to others.’

“One possessing these ten qualities is deposited in heaven as if brought there.”



Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 10.211 Paṭhamanirayasaggasutta: Hell (1) by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on

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Snp 3.10 Kokālikasutta: With Kokālika

[This is one of just a few suttas that goes into great detail about the suffering experienced in hell. Kokālika was a close associate of Devadatta.]

So I have heard. At one time the Buddha was staying near Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Then the mendicant Kokālika went up to the Buddha, bowed, sat down to one side, and said to him, “Sir, Sāriputta and Moggallāna have corrupt wishes. They’ve fallen under the sway of corrupt wishes.”

When this was said, the Buddha said to Kokālika, “Don’t say that, Kokālika! Don’t say that, Kokālika! Have confidence in Sāriputta and Moggallāna, they’re good monks.”

For a second time … For a third time Kokālika said to the Buddha, “Despite my faith and trust in the Buddha, Sāriputta and Moggallāna have corrupt wishs. They’ve fallen under the sway of corrupt wishes.” For a third time, the Buddha said to Kokālika, “Don’t say that, Kokālika! Don’t say that, Kokālika! Have confidence in Sāriputta and Moggallāna, they’re good monks.”

Then Kokālika got up from his seat, bowed, and respectfully circled the Buddha, keeping him on his right, before leaving. Not long after he left his body erupted with boils the size of mustard seeds. The boils grew to the size of mung beans, then chickpeas, then jujube seeds, then jujubes, then myrobalans, then unripe wood apples, then ripe wood apples. Finally they burst open, and pus and blood oozed out. Then the mendicant Kokālika died of that illness. He was reborn in the Pink Lotus hell because of his resentment for Sāriputta and Moggallāna.

Then, late at night, the beautiful Brahmā Sahampati, lighting up the entire Jeta’s Grove, went up to the Buddha, bowed, stood to one side, and said to him, “Sir, the mendicant Kokālika has passed away. He was reborn in the Pink Lotus hell because of his resentment for Sāriputta and Moggallāna.” That’s what Brahmā Sahampati said. Then he bowed and respectfully circled the Buddha, keeping him on his right side, before vanishing right there.

Then, when the night had passed, the Buddha told the mendicants all that had happened.

When he said this, one of the mendicants said to the Buddha, “Sir, how long is the life span in the Pink Lotus hell?” “It’s long, mendicant. It’s not easy to calculate how many years, how many hundreds or thousands or hundreds of thousands of years it lasts.” “But sir, is it possible to give a simile?” “It’s possible,” said the Buddha.

“Suppose there was a Kosalan cartload of twenty bushels of sesame seed. And at the end of every hundred years someone would remove a single seed from it. By this means the Kosalan cartload of twenty bushels of sesame seed would run out faster than a single lifetime in the Abbuda hell. Now, twenty lifetimes in the Abbuda hell equal one lifetime in the Nirabbuda hell. Twenty lifetimes in the Nirabbuda hell equal one lifetime in the Ababa hell. Twenty lifetimes in the Ababa hell equal one lifetime in the Aṭaṭa hell. Twenty lifetimes in the Aṭaṭa hell equal one lifetime in the Ahaha hell. Twenty lifetimes in the Ahaha hell equal one lifetime in the Yellow Lotus hell. Twenty lifetimes in the Yellow Lotus hell equal one lifetime in the Sweet-Smelling hell. Twenty lifetimes in the Sweet-Smelling hell equal one lifetime in the Blue Water Lily hell. Twenty lifetimes in the Blue Water Lily hell equal one lifetime in the White Lotus hell. Twenty lifetimes in the White Lotus hell equal one lifetime in the Pink Lotus hell. The mendicant Kokālika has been reborn in the Pink Lotus hell because of his resentment for Sāriputta and Moggallāna.” That is what the Buddha said. Then the Holy One, the Teacher, went on to say:

“A person is born
with an axe in their mouth.
A fool cuts themselves with it
when they say bad words.

When you praise someone worthy of criticism,
or criticize someone worthy of praise,
you choose bad luck with your own mouth:
you’ll never find happiness that way.

Bad luck at dice is a trivial thing,
if all you lose is your money
and all you own, even yourself.
What’s really terrible luck
is to hate the holy ones.

For more than two quinquadecillion years,
and another five quattuordecillion years,
a slanderer of noble ones goes to hell,
having aimed bad words and thoughts at them.

A liar goes to hell,
as does one who denies what they did.
Both are equal in the hereafter,
those men of base deeds.

Whoever wrongs a man who has done no wrong,
a pure man who has not a blemish,
the evil backfires on the fool,
like fine dust thrown upwind.

One addicted to the way of greed,
abuses others with their speech,
faithless, miserly, uncharitable,
stingy, addicted to backbiting.

Foul-mouthed, divisive, ignoble,
a life-destroyer, wicked, wrongdoer,
worst of men, cursed, base-born—
quiet now, for you are bound for hell.

You stir up dust, causing harm,
when you, evildoer, malign the good.
Having done many bad deeds,
you’ll go to the pit for a long time.

For no-one’s deeds are ever lost,
they return to their owner.
In the next life that stupid evildoer
sees suffering in themselves.

They approach the place of impalement,
with its iron spikes, sharp blades, and iron stakes.
Then there is the food, which appropriately,
is like a red-hot iron ball.

For the speakers speak not sweetly,
they don’t hurry there, or find shelter.
They lie upon a spread of coals,
they enter a blazing mass of fire.

Wrapping them in a net,
they strike them there with iron hammers.
They come to blinding darkness,
which spreads about them like a fog.

Next they enter a copper pot,
a blazing mass of fire.
There they roast for a long time,
writhing in the masses of fire.

Then the evildoer roasts there
in a mixture of pus and blood.
No matter where they settle,
everything they touch there hurts them.

The evildoer roasts in
worm-infested water.
There’s not even a shore to go to,
for all around are the same kind of pots.

They enter the Wood of Sword-Leaves,
so sharp they cut their body to pieces.
Having grabbed the tongue with a hook,
they stab it, slashing back and forth.

Then they approach the impassable Vetaraṇi River,
with its sharp blades, its razor blades.
Idiots fall into it,
the wicked who have done wicked deeds.

There dogs all brown and spotted,
and raven flocks, and greedy jackals
devour them as they wail,
while hawks and crows attack them.

Hard, alas, is the life here
that evildoers endure.
That’s why for the rest of this life
a person ought do their duty without fail.

Experts have counted the loads of sesame
as compared to the Pink Lotus Hell.
They amount to 50,000,000 times 10,000,
plus another 12,000,000,000.

As painful as life is said to be in hell,
that’s how long one must dwell there.
That’s why, for those who are pure, well-behaved,full of good qualities,
one should always guard one’s speech and mind.”


Read this translation of Snp 3.10 Kokālikasutta: With Kokālika by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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AN 4.213 Akataññutāsutta: Ungrateful

“Mendicants, someone with four qualities is cast down to hell. What four? Bad conduct by way of body, speech, and mind, and being ungrateful and thankless. Someone with these four qualities is cast down to hell.

Someone with four qualities is raised up to heaven. What four? Good conduct by way of body, speech, and mind, and being grateful and thankful. Someone with these four qualities is raised up to heaven.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 4.213 Akataññutāsutta: Ungrateful by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net.

AN 10.177 Jāṇussoṇisutta: With Jānussoṇi

Then the brahmin Jānussoṇi went up to the Buddha, and exchanged greetings with him.

When the greetings and polite conversation were over, he sat down to one side and said to the Buddha, “We who are known as brahmins give gifts and perform memorial rites for the dead: ‘May this gift aid my departed relatives and family. May they partake of this gift.’ But does this gift really aid departed relatives and family? Do they actually partake of it?”

“It aids them if the conditions are right, brahmin, but not if the conditions are wrong.”

“Then, Master Gotama, what are the right and wrong conditions?”

“Brahmin, take someone who kills living creatures, steals, and commits sexual misconduct. They use speech that’s false, divisive, harsh, or nonsensical. And they’re covetous, malicious, with wrong view. When their body breaks up, after death, they’re reborn in hell. There they survive feeding on the food of the hell beings. The conditions there are wrong, so the gift does not aid the one who lives there.

Take someone else who kills living creatures … and has wrong view. When their body breaks up, after death, they’re reborn in the animal realm. There they survive feeding on the food of the beings in the animal realm. The conditions there too are wrong, so the gift does not aid the one who lives there.

Take someone else who doesn’t kill living creatures, steal, commit sexual misconduct, or use speech that’s false, divisive, harsh, or nonsensical. They’re contented, kind-hearted, and have right view. When their body breaks up, after death, they’re reborn in the human realm. There they survive feeding on human food. The conditions there too are wrong, so the gift does not aid the one who lives there.

Take someone else who doesn’t kill living creatures … and has right view. When their body breaks up, after death, they’re reborn in the company of the gods. There they survive feeding on the food of the gods. The conditions there too are wrong, so the gift does not aid the one who lives there.

Take someone else who kills living creatures … and has wrong view. When their body breaks up, after death, they’re reborn in the ghost realm. There they survive feeding on the food of the beings in the ghost realm. Or else they survive feeding on what friends and colleagues, relatives and kin provide them with from here. The conditions there are right, so the gift aids the one who lives there.”

“But Master Gotama, who partakes of that gift if the departed relative is not reborn in that place?”

“Other departed relatives reborn there will partake of that gift.”

“But who partakes of the gift when neither that relative nor other relatives have been reborn in that place?”

“It’s impossible, brahmin, it cannot happen that that place is vacant of departed relatives in all this long time. It’s never fruitless for the donor.”

“Does Master Gotama propose this even when the conditions are wrong?”

“I propose this even when the conditions are wrong. Take someone who kills living creatures, steals, and commits sexual misconduct. They use speech that’s false, divisive, harsh, or nonsensical. And they’re covetous, malicious, with wrong view. They give to ascetics or brahmins such things as food, drink, clothing, vehicles; garlands, perfumes, and makeup; and bed, house, and lighting. When their body breaks up, after death, they’re reborn in the company of elephants. There they get to have food and drink, garlands and various adornments.

Since in this life they killed living creatures … and had wrong view, they were reborn in the company of elephants. Since they gave to ascetics or brahmins … they get to have food and drink, garlands and various adornments.

Take someone else who kills living creatures … and has wrong view. They give to ascetics or brahmins … When their body breaks up, after death, they’re reborn in the company of horses. … cattle … dogs. There they get to have food and drink, garlands and various adornments.

Since in this life they killed living creatures … and had wrong view, they were reborn in the company of dogs. Since they gave to ascetics or brahmins … they get to have food and drink, garlands and various adornments.

Take someone else who doesn’t kill living creatures, steal, or commit sexual misconduct. They don’t use speech that’s false, divisive, harsh, or nonsensical. And they’re contented, kind-hearted, with right view. They give to ascetics or brahmins … When their body breaks up, after death, they’re reborn in the human realm. There they get to have the five kinds of human sensual stimulation.

Since in this life they didn’t kill living creatures … and had right view, they were reborn in the company of humans. Since they gave to ascetics or brahmins … they get to have the five kinds of human sensual stimulation.

Take someone else who doesn’t kill living creatures … and has right view. They give to ascetics or brahmins … When their body breaks up, after death, they’re reborn in the company of the gods. There they get to have the five kinds of heavenly sensual stimulation.

Since in this life they didn’t kill living creatures … and had right view, they were reborn in the company of the gods. Since they gave to ascetics or brahmins … they get to have the five kinds of heavenly sensual stimulation. It’s never fruitless for the donor.”

“It’s incredible, Master Gotama, it’s amazing, This is quite enough to justify giving gifts and performing memorial rites for the dead, since it’s never fruitless for the donor.”

“That’s so true, brahmin. It’s never fruitless for the donor.”

“Excellent, Master Gotama! Excellent! … From this day forth, may Master Gotama remember me as a lay follower who has gone for refuge for life.”



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SN 56.102–113 Paṁsu Suttas: Dust

Then the Blessed One, picking up a little bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monks, “What do you think, monks? Which is greater: the little bit of dust I have picked up with the tip of my fingernail, or the great earth?”

“The great earth is far greater, lord. The little bit of dust the Blessed One has picked up with the tip of his fingernail is next to nothing. It doesn’t even count. It’s no comparison. It’s not even a fraction, this little bit of dust the Blessed One has picked up with the tip of his fingernail, when compared with the great earth.

“In the same way, monks, few are the beings who, on passing away from the human realm, are reborn among human beings. Far more are the beings who, on passing away from the human realm, are reborn in hell.

“Therefore your duty is the contemplation, ‘This is stress… This is the origination of stress… This is the cessation of stress.’ Your duty is the contemplation, ‘This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress.’”

Then the Blessed One, picking up a little bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monks, “What do you think, monks? Which is greater: the little bit of dust I have picked up with the tip of my fingernail, or the great earth?”

“The great earth is far greater, lord. The little bit of dust the Blessed One has picked up with the tip of his fingernail is next to nothing. It doesn’t even count. It’s no comparison. It’s not even a fraction, this little bit of dust the Blessed One has picked up with the tip of his fingernail, when compared with the great earth.

“In the same way, monks, few are the beings who, on passing away from the human realm, are reborn among human beings. Far more are the beings who, on passing away from the human realm, are reborn in the animal womb… in the domain of the hungry ghosts.

… “In the same way, monks, few are the beings who, on passing away from the human realm, are reborn among devas. Far more are the beings who, on passing away from the human realm, are reborn in hell… in the animal womb… in the domain of the hungry ghosts.

… “In the same way, monks, few are the beings who, on passing away from the deva realm, are reborn among devas. Far more are the beings who, on passing away from the deva realm, are reborn in hell… in the animal womb… in the domain of the hungry ghosts.

… “In the same way, monks, few are the beings who, on passing away from the deva realm, are reborn among human beings. Far more are the beings who, on passing away from the deva realm, are reborn in hell… in the animal womb… in the domain of the hungry ghosts.

“Therefore your duty is the contemplation, ‘This is stress… This is the origination of stress… This is the cessation of stress.’ Your duty is the contemplation, ‘This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress.’”


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 56.102–113 Paṁsu Suttas. Dust by Bhikkhu Ṭhanissaro on DhammaTalks.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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Iti 20 Paduṭṭhacittasutta: A Corrupt Mind

This was said by the Lord, said by the Arahant, so I heard:

“Here, bhikkhus, some person has a corrupt mind. Having examined his mind with my mind, I know that if this person were to die at this time, as if carried there he would be placed in hell. What is the reason for that? It is because his mind is corrupt. It is because of the mind’s corruption that some beings here, when the body perishes, are reborn after death in a state of misery, a bad bourn, a state of ruin, hell.”

This is the meaning of what the Lord said. So in regard to this it was said:

Understanding the corrupt mind
Of some person dwelling here,
The Buddha explained its meaning
In the presence of the bhikkhus.

If that person were to die
At this very moment now,
He would be reborn in hell
Because of his corrupt mind.

As if they were carried off
And placed there, thus
Beings go to a bad bourn
Because of mind’s corruption.

This too is the meaning of what was said by the Lord, so I heard.


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AN 10.224: Untitled Discourse on Forty Qualities

“Someone with forty qualities is cast down to hell. What forty? They kill living creatures, steal, and commit sexual misconduct. They use speech that’s false, divisive, harsh, or nonsensical. They’re covetous, malicious, with wrong view. They encourage others to do these things. They approve of these things. And they praise these things. Someone with these forty qualities is cast down to hell.

Someone with forty qualities is raised up to heaven. What forty? They don’t kill living creatures, steal, or commit sexual misconduct. They don’t use speech that’s false, divisive, harsh, or nonsensical. They’re contented, kind-hearted, with right view. They encourage others to do these things. They approve of these things. And they praise these things. Someone with these forty qualities is raised up to heaven.”



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AN 8.29 Akkhaṇasutta: Inopportune Moments

“Bhikkhus, the uninstructed worldling says: ‘The world has gained the opportunity! The world has gained the opportunity!’ but he does not know what is an opportunity and what is not an opportunity. There are, bhikkhus, these eight inopportune moments that are not right occasions for living the spiritual life. What eight?

(1) “Here, a Tathāgata has arisen in the world, an arahant, perfectly enlightened, accomplished in true knowledge and conduct, fortunate, knower of the world, unsurpassed trainer of persons to be tamed, teacher of devas and humans, an Enlightened One, a Blessed One, and the Dhamma leading to peace, nibbāna, and enlightenment is taught as proclaimed by a Fortunate One. But a person has been reborn in hell. This is the first inopportune moment that is not the right occasion for living the spiritual life.

(2) “Again, a Tathāgata has arisen in the world … and the Dhamma leading to peace, nibbāna, and enlightenment is taught as proclaimed by a Fortunate One. But a person has been reborn in the animal realm. This is the second inopportune moment that is not the right occasion for living the spiritual life.

(3) “Again, a Tathāgata has arisen in the world … and the Dhamma leading to peace, nibbāna, and enlightenment is taught as proclaimed by a Fortunate One. But a person has been reborn in the sphere of afflicted spirits. This is the third inopportune moment that is not the right occasion for living the spiritual life.

(4) “Again, a Tathāgata has arisen in the world … and the Dhamma leading to peace, nibbāna, and enlightenment is taught as proclaimed by a Fortunate One. But a person has been reborn in a certain order of long-lived devas. This is the fourth inopportune moment that is not the right occasion for living the spiritual life.

(5) “Again, a Tathāgata has arisen in the world … and the Dhamma leading to peace, nibbāna, and enlightenment is taught as proclaimed by a Fortunate One. But a person has been reborn in the outlying provinces among the uncouth foreigners, a place to which bhikkhus, bhikkhunīs, male lay followers, and female lay followers do not travel. This is the fifth inopportune moment that is not the right occasion for living the spiritual life.

(6) “Again, a Tathāgata has arisen in the world … and the Dhamma leading to peace, nibbāna, and enlightenment is taught as proclaimed by a Fortunate One. A person has been reborn in the central provinces, but he holds wrong view and has a distorted perspective: ‘There is nothing given, nothing sacrificed, nothing offered; there is no fruit or result of good and bad actions; there is no this world, no other world; there is no mother, no father; there are no beings spontaneously reborn; there are in the world no ascetics and brahmins of right conduct and right practice who, having realized this world and the other world for themselves by direct knowledge, make them known to others.’ This is the sixth inopportune moment that is not the right occasion for living the spiritual life.

(7) “Again, a Tathāgata has arisen in the world … and the Dhamma leading to peace, nibbāna, and enlightenment is taught as proclaimed by a Fortunate One. A person has been reborn in the central provinces, but he is unwise, stupid, obtuse, unable to understand the meaning of what has been well stated and badly stated. This is the seventh inopportune moment that is not the right occasion for living the spiritual life.

(8) “Again, a Tathāgata has not arisen in the world … and the Dhamma leading to peace, nibbāna, and enlightenment is not taught as proclaimed by a Fortunate One. But a person has been reborn in the central provinces, and he is wise, intelligent, astute, able to understand the meaning of what has been well stated and badly stated. This is the eighth inopportune moment that is not the right occasion for living the spiritual life.

“These are the eight inopportune moments that are not the right occasions for living the spiritual life.

“There is, bhikkhus, one unique opportune moment that is the right occasion for living the spiritual life. What is it? Here, a Tathāgata has arisen in the world, an arahant, perfectly enlightened, accomplished in true knowledge and conduct, fortunate, knower of the world, unsurpassed trainer of persons to be tamed, teacher of devas and humans, an Enlightened One, a Blessed One, and the Dhamma leading to peace, nibbāna, and enlightenment is taught as proclaimed by a Fortunate One. And a person has been reborn in the central provinces, and he is wise, intelligent, astute, able to understand the meaning of what has been well stated and badly stated. This, bhikkhus, is the one unique opportune moment that is the right occasion for living the spiritual life.”

Having obtained the human state
when the good Dhamma has been well proclaimed,
those who do not seize the moment
have let the right moment slip by.

For many inopportune times are spoken of,
occasions obstructive to the path;
for it is only sometimes, on occasion,
that Tathāgatas arise in the world.

If one has directly encountered them,
fortune rarely gained in the world,
if one has obtained the human state,
and the good Dhamma is being taught,
for a person desiring his own good,
this is incentive enough to strive.

How can one understand the good Dhamma,
so that the moment won’t slip by?
For those who miss the moment grieve
when they are reborn in hell.

One here who has failed to obtain
the fixed course of the good Dhamma,
will come to regret it for a long time
like a merchant who has missed a profit.

A person hindered by ignorance
who has failed in the good Dhamma
will long experience wandering on
in the round of birth and death.

But those who gain the human state
when the good Dhamma is well proclaimed,
have accomplished the Teacher’s word,
or will do so, or are doing so now.

Those who have practiced the path,
proclaimed by the Tathāgata,
have penetrated the right moment in the world
the unsurpassed spiritual life.

You should dwell without leakages,
guarded, ever-mindful in the restraints
taught by the One with Vision,
the Kinsman of the Sun.

Having cut off all underlying tendencies
that follow one drifting in Māra’s domain,
those who attain the destruction of the taints,
though in the world, have gone beyond.

Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 8.29 Akkhaṇasutta: Inopportune Moments by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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AN 6.39 Nidānasutta: Sources

“Mendicants, there are these three sources that give rise to deeds. What three? Greed, hate, and delusion are sources that give rise to deeds. Greed doesn’t give rise to contentment. Rather, greed just gives rise to greed. Hate doesn’t give rise to love. Rather, hate just gives rise to hate. Delusion doesn’t give rise to understanding. Rather, delusion just gives rise to delusion. It’s not because of deeds born of greed, hate, and delusion that gods, humans, or those in any other good places are found. Rather, it’s because of deeds born of greed, hate, and delusion that hell, the animal realm, the ghost realm, or any other bad places are found. These are three sources that give rise to deeds.

Mendicants, there are these three sources that give rise to deeds. What three? Contentment, love, and understanding are sources that give rise to deeds. Contentment doesn’t give rise to greed. Rather, contentment just gives rise to contentment. Love doesn’t give rise to hate. Rather, love just gives rise to love. Understanding doesn’t give rise to delusion. Rather, understanding just gives rise to understanding. It’s not because of deeds born of contentment, love, and understanding that hell, the animal realm, the ghost realm, or any other bad places are found. Rather, it’s because of deeds born of contentment, love, and understanding that gods, humans, or those in any other good places are found. These are three sources that give rise to deeds.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 6.39 Nidānasutta: Sources by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net.

AN 2.29 From… Bālavagga: 21

“There are two places waiting to receive an unethical person: hell and the animal realm.

There are two places waiting to receive an ethical person: the realms of gods and humans.”


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MN 12 Mahāsīhanādasutta: The Longer Discourse on the Lion’s Roar—The Path to Hell

…When I’ve comprehended the mind of a certain person, I understand: ‘This person is practicing in such a way and has entered such a path that when their body breaks up, after death, they will be reborn in a place of loss, a bad place, the underworld, hell.’ Then some time later I see that they have indeed been reborn in hell, where they experience exclusively painful feelings, sharp and severe.

Suppose there was a pit of glowing coals deeper than a man’s height, full of glowing coals that neither flamed nor smoked. Then along comes a person struggling in the oppressive heat, weary, thirsty, and parched. And they have set out on a path that meets with that same pit of coals. If a person with clear eyes saw them, they’d say: ‘This person is proceeding in such a way and has entered such a path that they will arrive at that very pit of coals.’ Then some time later they see that they have indeed fallen into that pit of coals, where they experience exclusively painful feelings, sharp and severe.

In the same way, when I’ve comprehended the mind of a certain person, I understand: ‘This person is practicing in such a way and has entered such a path that when their body breaks up, after death, they will be reborn in a place of loss, a bad place, the underworld, hell.’ Then some time later I see that they have indeed been reborn in hell, where they experience exclusively painful feelings, sharp and severe.…


Read this translation of Majjhima Nikāya 12 Mahāsīhanādasutta: The Longer Discourse on the Lion’s Roar by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net.

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AN 5.145 Nirayasutta: Hell

“Mendicants, someone with five qualities is cast down to hell. What five? They kill living creatures, steal, commit sexual misconduct, lie, and use alcoholic drinks that cause negligence. Someone with these five qualities is cast down to hell.

Someone with five qualities is raised up to heaven What five? They don’t kill living creatures, steal, commit sexual misconduct, lie, or use alcoholic drinks that cause negligence. Someone with these five qualities is raised up to heaven.”


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AN 2.1: Faults

So I have heard. At one time the Buddha was staying near Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. There the Buddha addressed the mendicants, “Mendicants!”

“Venerable sir,” they replied. The Buddha said this:

“There are, mendicants, these two faults. What two? The fault apparent in the present life, and the fault to do with lives to come.

What is the fault apparent in the present life? It’s when someone sees that kings have arrested a bandit, a criminal, and subjected them to various punishments—whipping, caning, and clubbing; cutting off hands or feet, or both; cutting off ears or nose, or both; the ‘porridge pot’, the ‘shell-shave’, the ‘Rāhu’s mouth’, the ‘garland of fire’, the ‘burning hand’, the ‘bulrush twist’, the ‘bark dress’, the ‘antelope’, the ‘meat hook’, the ‘coins’, the ‘caustic pickle’, the ‘twisting bar’, the ‘straw mat’; being splashed with hot oil, being fed to the dogs, being impaled alive, and being beheaded.

It occurs to them: ‘If I were to commit the kinds of bad deeds for which the kings arrested that bandit, that criminal, the rulers would arrest me and subject me to the same punishments. Afraid of the fault apparent in the present life, they do not steal the belongings of others. This is called the fault apparent in the present life.

What is the fault to do with lives to come? It’s when someone reflects: ‘Bad conduct of body, speech, or mind has a bad, painful result in the next life. If I conduct myself badly, then, when my body breaks up, after death, won’t I be reborn in a place of loss, a bad place, the underworld, hell?’ Afraid of the fault to do with lives to come, they give up bad conduct by way of body, speech, and mind, and develop good conduct by way of body, speech, and mind, keeping themselves pure. This is called the fault to do with lives to come.

These are the two faults.

So you should train like this: ‘We will fear the fault apparent in the present life, and we will fear the fault to do with lives to come. We will fear faults, seeing the danger in faults.’ That’s how you should train. If you fear faults, seeing the danger in faults, you can expect to be freed from all faults.”


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AN 7.64 Kodhanasutta: Irritable

“Mendicants, these seven things that please and assist an enemy happen to an irritable woman or man. What seven?

Firstly, an enemy wishes for an enemy: ‘If only they’d become ugly!’ Why is that? Because an enemy doesn’t like to have a beautiful enemy. An irritable person, overcome and overwhelmed by anger, is ugly, even though they’re nicely bathed and anointed, with hair and beard dressed, and wearing white clothes. This is the first thing that pleases and assists an enemy which happens to an irritable woman or man.

Furthermore, an enemy wishes for an enemy: ‘If only they’d sleep badly!’ Why is that? Because an enemy doesn’t like to have an enemy who sleeps at ease. An irritable person, overcome and overwhelmed by anger, sleeps badly, even though they sleep on a couch spread with woolen covers—shag-piled, pure white, or embroidered with flowers—and spread with a fine deer hide, with a canopy above and red pillows at both ends. This is the second thing …

Furthermore, an enemy wishes for an enemy: ‘If only they don’t get all they need!’ Why is that? Because an enemy doesn’t like to have an enemy who gets all they need. When an irritable person, overcome and overwhelmed by anger, gets what they don’t need they think, ‘I’ve got what I need.’ When they get what they need they think, ‘I’ve got what I don’t need.’ When an angry person gets these things that are the exact opposite of what they need, it’s for their lasting harm and suffering. This is the third thing …

Furthermore, an enemy wishes for an enemy: ‘If only they weren’t wealthy!’ Why is that? Because an enemy doesn’t like to have an enemy who is wealthy. When a person is irritable, overcome and overwhelmed by anger, the rulers seize the legitimate wealth they’ve earned by their efforts, built up with their own hands, gathered by the sweat of their brow. This is the fourth thing …

Furthermore, an enemy wishes for an enemy: ‘If only they weren’t famous!’ Why is that? Because an enemy doesn’t like to have a famous enemy. When a person is irritable, overcome and overwhelmed by anger, any fame they have acquired by diligence falls to dust. This is the fifth thing …

Furthermore, an enemy wishes for an enemy: ‘If only they had no friends!’ Why is that? Because an enemy doesn’t like to have an enemy with friends. When a person is irritable, overcome and overwhelmed by anger, their friends and colleagues, relatives and kin avoid them from afar. This is the sixth thing …

Furthermore, an enemy wishes for an enemy: ‘If only, when their body breaks up, after death, they’re reborn in a place of loss, a bad place, the underworld, hell!’ Why is that? Because an enemy doesn’t like to have an enemy who goes to a good place. When a person is irritable, overcome and overwhelmed by anger, they do bad things by way of body, speech, and mind. When their body breaks up, after death, they’re reborn in a place of loss, a bad place, the underworld, hell. This is the seventh thing that pleases and assists an enemy which happens to an irritable woman or man.

These are the seven things that please and assist an enemy which happen to an irritable woman or man.

An irritable person is ugly
and they sleep badly.
When they get what they need,
they take it to be what they don’t need.

An angry person
kills with body or speech;
overcome with anger,
they lose their wealth.

Mad with anger,
they fall into disgrace.
Family, friends, and loved ones
avoid an irritable person.

Anger creates harm;
anger upsets the mind.
That person doesn’t recognize
the danger that arises within.

An angry person doesn’t know the good.
An angry person doesn’t see the truth.
When a person is beset by anger,
only blind darkness is left.

An angry person destroys with ease
what was hard to build.
Afterwards, when the anger is spent,
they’re tormented as if burnt by fire.

Their look betrays their sulkiness
like a fire’s smoky plume.
And when their anger flares up,
they make others angry.

They have no conscience or prudence,
nor any respectful speech.
One overcome by anger
has no island refuge anywhere.

The deeds that torment a man
are far from those that are good.
I’ll explain them now;
listen to this, for it is the truth.

An angry person slays their father;
their mother, too, they slay.
An angry person slays a saint;
a normal person, too, they slay.

A man is raised by his mother,
who shows him the world.
But an angry ordinary person slays
even that good woman who gave him life.

Like oneself, all sentient beings
hold themselves most dear.
But angry people kill themselves all kinds of ways,
distraught for many reasons.

Some kill themselves with swords,
some, distraught, take poison.
Some hang themselves with rope,
or fling themselves down a mountain gorge.

When they commit deeds of destroying life
and killing themselves,
they don’t realize what they do,
for anger leads to their downfall.

The snare of death in the form of anger
lies hidden in the heart.
You should cut it out by self-control,
by wisdom, energy, and right ideas.

An astute person should cut out
this unskillful thing.
And they’d train in the teaching in just the same way,
not yielding to sulkiness.

Free of anger, free of despair,
free of greed, with no more longing,
tamed, having given up anger,
the undefiled become fully extinguished.


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 7.64 Kodhanasutta: Irritable by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

AN 5.214 Bahubhāṇisutta: Someone Who Talks a Lot

“Mendicants, there are these five drawbacks for a person who talks a lot. What five? They use speech that’s false, divisive, harsh, and nonsensical. When their body breaks up, after death, they’re reborn in a place of loss, a bad place, the underworld, hell. These are the five drawbacks for a person who talks a lot.

There are these five benefits for a person who talks thoughtfully. What five? They don’t use speech that’s false, divisive, harsh, and nonsensical. When their body breaks up, after death, they’re reborn in a good place, a heavenly realm. These are the five benefits for a person who talks thoughtfully.”


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