24. The Suffering of the Eight Hot Hells
Longchen Nyingtik Meditation 24
Take refuge and arouse bodhichitta.
Meditate on the sufferings of the eight hot hells:
In the Reviving Hell, amid the burning fires on metal ground, beings perceive one another as mortal enemies and fight among themselves to death with phantom weapons created by their karma. And then a voice from the sky says, “Revive!” The slain ones immediately come back to life, and the fighting and killing start all over again. They have to die and revive continually until their karma is exhausted.
In Black Line Hell, Yama’s henchmen with fiery saws cut up beings following the black lines drawn on their bodies. As soon as the bodies are slashed into pieces, they are joined together and become whole again, only to be hacked apart once more. These hell beings suffer excruciating pain with no hope to escape or die for millions of years.
In the Rounding Up and Crushing Hell, beings are thrown into a valley between two mountains shaped like the heads of the animals they have previously killed. The mountains butt against each other and all the hell beings are pulverized to death. Then, once more, as the mountains separate, they revive only to be crushed again.
In the Howling Hell, beings suffer by getting boiled in molten iron; they scream and cry loudly from their dreadful torment.
In the Great Howling Hell, beings are driven into metal sheds with double walls. They are roasted in a blazing fire and smashed by Yama’s henchmen with blazing hammers.
In the Heating Hell, victims are stewed in boiling, molten iron; fire burns inside their bellies, causing them horrendous pain.
In the Intense Heating Hell, beings are cooked in raging fires in a metal house. Yama’s henchmen impale them with a trident through their two shoulders and head, and bundle up their bodies in sheets of flaming metal.
The Hell of Ultimate Torment is an iron room of storming fire surrounded by the sixteen Neighboring Hells. Here beings are subjected to all the agonies of the previous seven hells, fierce fire engulfs them, making their bodies indistinguishable from the flames, and only their wailing sounds indicate their presence.
In sum, these eight hot hells are not fantasies; countless beings are actually being tormented by unimaginable sufferings right at this moment. Therefore, resolve: Since I have committed many kinds of evil actions before, in all probability I will fall into these hells after I die. I must diligently engage in spiritual practice and wish never ever to be born there.
Dedicate all the merit of your practice to all sentient beings.