Monday, June 23, 2008
The mere mention of the word ‘Hell’ can give rise to an imagination where people who have committed sins, undergo various kinds of punishment, from being cut into halves, burnt alive, stabbed, being devoured by strange creatures etc. It carries such an impact, and is an inalienable part of most of the world religions/beliefs. It is a place where sinners punished by putting them through sufferings beyond normal imagination. It reflects darkness, pain, extreme cold, extreme heat and suffering. Punishment meted depends on the nature or gravity of the sins committed by the individuals.
In some religions, the concept of hell has shifted from mere wordy elaboration into colorful, clear and gory reflections in graphical forms. The aim is to inculcate fear in man, so to repent and not to commit any wrongdoings. To make it short and simple, hell is like a prison on earth but with horrendous sufferings and punishment. Still, the conditions on earth are in many ways equal to hell itself.
In June 2007, I had the opportunity to visit a Chinese Temple in Malaysia, which depicts an underground hell, with all the graphical representation. This is a Chinese concept of hell and may have some similarities with the concepts explained in other religions/beliefs as well. Each belief is unique in its own sense and precious part of those who believe in it. Let us look at this with an open mind.
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