THE ANCIENT TAOIST PRINCIPLE OF RECIPROCITY
IF YOU DO ME A FAVOR, I WILL RETURN A GREATER FAVOR TO YOU BUT IF YOU HURT ME, I WILL NOT OFFER THE OTHER CHEEK. IF YOU INSULT ME, I WILL PUNCH YOU; IF YOU PUNCH ME, I WILL BREAK YOUR ARM; IF YOU BREAK MY ARM, I WILL BREAK YOUR LEG; AND IF YOU BREAK MY LEG, I WILL PUT YOU IN A COFFIN

Chinese 10 Halls Of Hell (十殿地狱)

The popular concept of the "Ten Halls / Courts  of Hell" (十殿地狱) began after Chinese Folk Religions were influenced by Buddhism. According to Taoism documentation, the legendary hell is under the sea. The kingdom of legendary Hell has 10 palace halls. Each palace has a king.

1st Hall of Hell
King: Jiang, King Qinguang (秦广王蒋)
Birthday: 1st day of 2nd lunar month
- Believed to be Jiang Ziwen (蒋子文) of the Eastern Han Dynasty
Crime: Violating the code of filial piety
Punishment: Put under heavy slabs and boulders or squeezed in the middle of the grinder

People have the benevolent deeds with good virtue will be protected and escorted to pass the hell and be sent to the heaven or happiest world (极乐世界). People have some kind deeds and charitable work will be sent to 10th palace of the hell and wait for rebirth.

People with evil behaviors will bring up the stage. There is a Sin mirror with 50-feet width and 10-feet height on the stage. In the front the Sin Mirror, people can see all bad deeds they did in the human world. After seeing the guilty behaviors the previous life, people will be sent to the second hall of the hell and wait for the punishment.

第一殿,秦广王蒋,二月初一日诞辰,专司人间夭寿生死,统管幽冥吉凶、善人寿终,接引超升;功过两半者,送交第十殿发放,仍投入世间,男转为女,女转为男。恶多善少者,押赴殿右高台,名曰孽镜台,令之一望,照见在世之心好坏,随即批解第二殿,发狱受苦。

2nd Hall of Hell - Ice Cold Hell (寒冰地狱)
King:  Li, King Chujiang (楚江王历)
Birthday: 1st day of 3rd lunar month
Crime: Gossiping, Stealing, Wickedness
Punishment: Having your tongue pierced, Made to kneel on steel granules, Boiled in a cauldron, disemboweled, and put in a volcanic chamber

第二殿,楚江王历,三月初一日诞辰,司掌活大地狱,又名剥衣亭寒冰地狱,另设十六小狱,凡在阳间伤人肢体、奸盗杀生者,推入此狱,另发入到十六小狱受苦,满期转解第三殿,加刑发狱。

3rd Hall of Hell - Black Rope Hell (黑繩大地狱)
King:  Yu, King Songdi (宋帝王余)
Birthday: 8th day of 2nd lunar month
Crime : Corruption and greed, Disobedience and disrespect to elders, Violating and state a Confucian principles or being an unjust official
Punishment : Handcuffed and beaten, Have your ribs pierced, body grilled, your lungs, heart, liver, intestines and eyes torn out, Have your heart removed, knees crushed and face scraped by a mental instrument

第三殿,宋帝王余,二月初八诞辰,司掌黑绳大地狱,另设十六小狱,凡阳世忤逆尊长,教唆兴讼者,推入此狱,受倒吊、挖眼、刮骨之刑,刑满转解第四殿。

4th Hall of Hell  - Blood Pool Hell (血池地狱)
King:  Lü, King Wuguan (五官王呂)
Birthday: 18th day of 2nd lunar month
Crime : General Sins, Cheating or evading income taxes, Stealing, Breaking promises
Punishment : Hurled into a torrential river, made to kneel on bamboo spikes, boiled in oil, head struck open,
Drowned under a heavy stone ,Have your hands swan off, have your lips split

第四殿,五官王吕,二月十八日诞辰,司掌合大地狱,又名剥剹血池地狱,另设十六小地狱,凡世人抗粮赖租,交易欺诈者,推入此狱,另再判以小狱受苦,满日送解第五殿察核。

5th Hall of Hell - Wailing Hell (叫唤地狱)
King: Bao, King Yanluo (阎罗王包)
Birthday: 8th day of 1st lunar month
- Believed to be Bao Zheng (包拯) of the Northern Song Dynasty
Crime : Cruelty to animals and friends
Punishment : Have your heart torn out with hooks or thrown onto protruding swords

第五殿,阎罗天子包,正月初八日诞辰,前本居第一殿,因怜屈死,屡放还阳伸雪,降调此殿。司掌叫唤大地狱,并十六诛心小狱。凡解到此殿者,押赴望乡台,令之闻见世上本家,因罪遭殃各事,随即推入此狱,细查曾犯何恶,再发入诛心十六小狱,钩出其心,掷与蛇食,铡其身首(包公即善于用铡刀),受苦满日,另发别殿。

6th Hall of Hell - Grand Wailing Hell (大叫唤大地狱) and City of Innocent Deaths (枉死城)
King: Bi, King Biancheng (卞城王毕)
Birthday: 8th day of 3rd lunar month
Crime : Stealing from temples, Committing blasphemy , Killing animals
Punishment : Made to kneel on iron nails, swanned in two, gnawed by rats,Have your body chopped in half

第六殿,卞城王毕,三月初八日诞辰,司掌大叫唤大地狱,及枉死城,另设十六小狱。忤逆不孝者,被两小鬼用锯分尸。凡世人怨天尤地,对北溺便涕泣者,发入此狱。查所犯事件,亦要受到铁锥打、火烧舌之刑罚。再发小狱受苦,满日转解第七殿,再查有无别恶。

7th Hall of Hell - Noisy Hell (热恼地狱) ,also known as Human Flesh Jam Hell (碓磨肉酱地狱)
King:  Dong, King Taishan (泰山王董)
Birthday: 27th day of 3rd lunar month
- Believed to be Dong Ji (董极) of the Later Han Dynasty
Crime : Rebelling against authorities , Spreading false rumors , Using drugs, causing quarrels
Punishment : Torn apart by dogs, Have your tongue pulled out , Thrown into a pot of boiling water

第七殿,泰山王董,三月二十七日诞辰,司掌热恼地狱,又名碓磨肉酱地狱,另设十六小狱。凡阳世取骸合药、离人至戚者,发入此狱。再发小狱。受苦满日,转解第八殿,收狱查治。又,凡盗窃、诬告、敲诈、谋财害命者,均将遭受下油锅之刑罚。

8th Hall of Hell - Grand Noisy Hell (大热大恼大地狱), also known as the Suffocation Hell 恼闷锅地狱)
King:  King Dushi (都市王黃)
Birthday: 1st day of 4th lunar month
-Believed to be Huang Sile (黃思樂) of the Five Dynasties period
Crime : Committing crimes against Confucianism and operating houses for immoral purposes
Punishment : Crushed under carriage wheels, sliced, disemboweled, struck by lighting, and having tongues, arms and legs cut off

第八殿,都市王黄,四月初一日诞辰,司掌大热大恼大地狱,又名恼闷锅地狱,另设十六小狱。凡在世不孝,使父母翁姑愁闷烦恼者,掷入此狱。再交各小狱加刑,受尽痛苦,解交第十殿,改头换面,永为畜类。

9th Hall of Hell - Avici Hell (阿鼻地狱)
King:  Lu, King Pingdeng (平等王陆) 
Birthday: 8th day of 4th lunar month
Crime : Smuggling, committing arson , Writing or painting erotic literature or scenes
Punishment :Attacked by snakes, stung by bees, tortured or trafficking drugs in boiling oil
Flattened between two planks, have your head crushed in an iron ring, skull steamed, bones scraped and tendons pulled out

第九殿,平等王陆,四月初八日诞辰,司掌丰都城铁网阿鼻地狱,另设十六小狱。凡阳世杀人放火、斩绞正法者,解到本殿,用空心铜桩,链其手足相抱,煽火焚烧,烫烬心肝,随发阿鼻地狱受刑。直到被害者个个投生,方准提出,解交第十殿发生六道(天道、人道、地道、阿修罗道、地狱道、畜生道)。

10th Hall of Hell
King: Xue, King Zhuanlun (转轮王薛)
Birthday: 17th day of 4th lunar month

King Zhuanlun (转轮王薛) passes his final judgment and the sinner goes through one of the seven-ways in the Wheel of Reincarnation. Shaped like a wheel, wind and clouds billow out from the circle in the centre and the six other circles surrounding it. Depending on the sinner's past life, he will enter a particular way which will determine how he or she will be reborn. The rebirth of souls might become saints, human, spirits, animal, ghost or staying in the Hell.

When the reincarnation is decided, the sinner is usually shown with his future reincarnation (for example, the kind of animal), on his back. The sinner is then brought to a 'Pavilion of Forgetfulness' or 'Hell of Oblivion' where an old lady - MENG PO (孟婆) hands him a cup of magic tea that when drunk, make him forget his past life. He is then directed across one of the six bridges leading to 18,000 roads, each of which leads to some part of the world and to his particular form of reincarnation.


第十殿,转轮王薛,四月十七日诞辰,专司各殿解到鬼魂,分别善恶,核定等级,发四大部州投生。男女寿夭,富贵贫贱,逐名详细开载,每月汇知第一殿注册。凡有作孽极恶之鬼,着令更变卵胎湿化,朝生暮死,罪满之后,再复人生,投胎蛮夷之地。凡发往投生者,先令押交孟婆神,酴忘台下,灌饮迷汤,使忘前生之事。

Miscellaneous Information of the Kings

Initially, Yen Lo Wang (閻羅王包) was in charge of the 1st Hall of Hell. However, he had send those who died of injustices to clear up their false charge back into the mortal world  too many times that in the end he was sent to the 5th hall of hell.

Worshiping

After the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the story of the Yamas Of The Ten Halls Of Hell (十殿阎王) became so popular that it came to replace Daoism's Great Emperor Dongyue (东岳大帝 - Dong Yue Da Di), acting as the controller of a man's life.

In folk culture, however, there were rarely temples dedicated to the Yamas of the Ten Halls except for some in Fengdu (丰都), Sichuan province. Usually, worship of the Yamas of the Ten Halls (十殿阎王) took place in the City God Temple ( 城隍廟 Chenghuang Miao).

On their birthdays, there were small-scale worshipping services. The main worship for the Yamas of the Ten Halls (十殿阎王) occured during ritual offerings for the dead. The kings of the different halls were petitioned to release the souls of the dead and send them to heaven quickly.

Chinese 10 Halls Of Hell (十殿地狱) - Video 1


Chinese 10 Halls Of Hell (十殿地狱) - Video 2
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