The hell guards?

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identification
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The hell guards?

Post by identification » Sat Mar 28, 2015 11:58 pm

In the suttas the Buddha talks about hell guards that torture people. What is the story with these guys? Why aren't they being tortured with everyone else. Is there some kind of hell hierarchy.

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Hickersonia
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Re: The hell guards?

Post by Hickersonia » Sun Mar 29, 2015 12:56 am

To be sure my answer isn't canon, but in my own reading I never got the impression that these folks were necessarily pleased to be in their position or status. It just isn't what we'd consider a regular nine-to-five kinda job I guess.

I look forward to seeing a little more on this subject -- just for curiosity sake I suppose, though.

Please be well, friend. :namaste:
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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: The hell guards?

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun Mar 29, 2015 6:38 am

Only speculation, as there's nothing I have read in the texts or commentaries to confirm this, but maybe self-righteous Control Freaks who like telling others how to behave are reborn as hell guards?

Other suttas all suggest that beings are reborn according to their wishes, if they have the required virtue, e.g. the Mūlagandha Sutta S.iii.250.

Mūlagandhadātā Sutta.– A monk asks the reasons for rebirth among the Gandhabbā of fragrant roots. The Buddha says that someone of good conduct hears that they are beautiful, long-lived and happy, and so is reborn there due to that aspiration.
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BillTheLizard
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Re: The hell guards?

Post by BillTheLizard » Sun Mar 29, 2015 9:15 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Only speculation, as there's nothing I have read in the texts or commentaries to confirm this, but maybe self-righteous Control Freaks who like telling others how to behave are reborn as hell guards?
Sometimes I feel like these people (myself included :embarassed: ) are the hell guards.

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Aloka
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Re: The hell guards?

Post by Aloka » Sun Mar 29, 2015 9:20 pm

identification wrote:In the suttas the Buddha talks about hell guards that torture people.
Could you provide some sutta references, please ?

:anjali:

Bakmoon
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Re: The hell guards?

Post by Bakmoon » Sun Mar 29, 2015 9:36 pm

Maybe the hell guards aren't actually conscious beings but are some kind of robot produced from the karma of the beings born there or something. I've always wondered about this question too, now that you mention it.
The non-doing of any evil,
The performance of what's skillful,
The cleansing of one's own mind:
This is the Buddhas' teaching.

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mikenz66
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Re: The hell guards?

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Mar 29, 2015 10:31 pm

Aloka wrote:
identification wrote:In the suttas the Buddha talks about hell guards that torture people.
Could you provide some sutta references, please ?

:anjali:
See, for example:
MN 130 Devaduta Sutta: The Deva Messengers.
Dhanañjani Sutta: To Dhanañjanin

Enter the keywords hell wardens in the Google Saffron search engine for more.


:anjali:
Mike

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Dhammanando
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Re: The hell guards?

Post by Dhammanando » Mon Mar 30, 2015 1:19 am

Bakmoon wrote:Maybe the hell guards aren't actually conscious beings but are some kind of robot produced from the karma of the beings born there or something.
The idea that the nirayapālas are phantoms generated by the evil kamma of hell's inmates was entertained by some early Buddhists but rejected by the Theravadins at the Third Council (Kvu. 956-8).

From Points of Controversy:
Nirayapalakatha.png
Nirayapalakatha.png (486.94 KiB) Viewed 1593 times
B.C. Law has mistranslated paragraph 3. His translation presents it as the Theravadin's argument, though it's actually the heretic's counter-argument. Replace 'Moreover...' with 'But...', and "Hence there are guards..." with 'Hence there are no guards...'
“Keep to your own pastures, bhikkhus, walk in the haunts where your fathers roamed.
If ye thus walk in them, Māra will find no lodgement, Māra will find no foothold.”
— Cakkavattisīhanāda Sutta

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Aloka
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Re: The hell guards?

Post by Aloka » Mon Mar 30, 2015 1:22 am

mikenz66 wrote:See, for example:
MN 130 Devaduta Sutta: The Deva Messengers.
Dhanañjani Sutta: To Dhanañjanin

Enter the keywords hell wardens in the Google Saffron search engine for more.


:anjali:
Mike
Thanks Mike

:anjali:

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