Reply To: Post on The Suffering (Dukkha) in the First Noble Truth


Cubibobi (Lang) has sent me the following comment to post. Apparently, he could not post it. The software bug is random since he has been able to post other times. Please keep a copy when you post and send it to me ([email protected]) if you have problems.


Does anyone know the Pali breakdown of the word niraya?

I struggled with the notion of hell for quite some time, and came to terms with it to some degree fairly recently.

I used to have serious doubt about a human being reborn as an animal, let alone a hell being, so I set it aside; and the sources I was studying just glossed over the picture of the 31 realms.

Because of that, I also just glossed over the 31 realms when I came to; I was most excited about learning the true meanings of anicca, dukkha, anatta. However, reading more and more, it’s hard not to miss Lal’s emphasis on reaching the sotapanna stage to be free from the apāyā, and I realized that I needed to get over this hurdle.

On the upside, being open to the possibility of rebirth in the apāyā is like getting a kick in the rear end to awaken to the law of kamma as nothing else could.

Many thanks to Lal for continually reminding of the dangers of the rebirth process because of the apāyā. A number of Buddhist traditions, as Johnny_Lim pointed out, put more importance of hell and heaven as mental states than actual destinations of rebirth. They like to tell the story of the Zen master and the samurai; one such version is here:

Zen Story: Heaven & Hell