Hell (hell, hell fire, etc.), on the representation of people, is a haven for the souls of sinners and who led during life an unjust way of life. There are some differences in descriptions of hell, depending on religion and denominations, mainly they relate to the time of the stay of the souls in the underworld, the location of the entrance to this terrible place and other moments.

However, most religions represent hell in the form ofa burning pit in which they suffer in a fire, sinful souls are much more burning than on earth, and the terrible inhabitants of hell control and intensify the suffering of their victims. For more information about the differences between the ideas of hell in different religions, see our article What is hell.

Mythological ideas of what is happening in hell

Hell in the mythology of the ancient Greeks


The ancient Greeks did not have such an opinion thatthere is a separate place where sinful souls are after death. There was one underworld in which the evil god Hades ruled. Despite the awed fear that the ancient Elins experienced before him, they considered him a hospitable God, because no one, except for

godlike heroes like Hercules, could not avoid meeting him.

The Tartar River

This underground world was called - the refuge of the dead- Tartarus. Judging by the myths that have come down to us, from the surface Tartar was characterized by an impenetrable terrible darkness, since the sun never penetrated its bowels. In all other respects, Tartar is very similar to the land: there are both dry land and rivers. The last was only five: Amellet, Coquette, Ocean, Styx and Summer.

Immediately after death, the soul arriving in Tartarus,had to get drunk from the Lethe river and get oblivion - to forget his earthly life (hence the expression "sunk into oblivion" is forgotten). After that, confused and doubting souls waited for the ferryman, who transported them to the other bank of the river Styx in the kingdom of Hades.


Charon is a mythical old man who ruled a boat, and for a fee brought in disembodied

spirits to the judgment of Hades and other gods. According to the burial customs of the time, a coin (obol) was put under the tongue of the deceased, intended to be paid to Charon. He carries only those whose remains are buried in the grave, and never took his soul back to the world of the living.

Verdict of Hades

On the other side of the River Styx, the soul fell onThe court made a decision about its further distribution, depending on how she lived her earthly life. So, for example, the king of Corinth Sisyphus was sentenced to eternal labor: he had to roll a heavy stone onto the mountain, which always fell down, hardly approaching the summit.

The reasons for such a hard and inconclusive workseriously differ: according to one myth, Sisyph robbed travelers who are on their way through Corinth, on others, tried to deceive death or abducted the gods, in short, the king was punished for deceit and cunning. Thus, everyone, having got to Tartar, received on merit.

Such were the representations of the ancient Greeks about what happens to the soul in hell.

Literary hell in Dante

The most famous literary representation of the hellfire of a later period is hell from the "Divine Comedy" of Dante Alighieri.

9 circles


In this story, the author was allowed to descend into thehell, accompanied by his beloved beloved Beatrice and the ancient Greek poet Virgil. Hell looks like a giant funnel consisting of 9 turns, on each of which the sinners are tortured, depending on the severity of their guilt.

On the lower circle were sent to such people asJudas, Brutus and others, those who in the mortal life denigrated themselves betrayal of those who trusted them. They were eaten by Lucifer himself, causing unprecedented torments and resuming the daily cruel ritual of violence.

Dante was a representative of Catholicism, and therefore his description of hell is the literary processing of church dogmas. Read more about the Christian ideas about Ada in our article. What does Hell look like?

What do they do with sinners in the Muslim hell?

In Islam, hell is called "Jahannam", thatit means "a fire of great power". This should remind the Muslims of what awaits them in case of non-observance of the fundamentals of the Koran. The angels, the main one called Malik, direct the tortures of the infidels and those who were sinful on earth, did not read prayer and violated the rituals prescribed by religion.

According to these ideas, after the Court Allah resurrects a person in the body,

More than during life, to increase the anguish,tested by him in the fire. The sinner is chained in a chain so that he can not move his hands and feet, while a half-meter of the chain enters through the mouth, and leaves behind. In this form, the Angels lead their victim to the fire, and she feels like a kebab on a spit.

In this case, the person is a resurrected person who fell intoparadise, enjoying food, drink and other benefits. The punished asks, at least part of what they have. And the righteous refuse him, saying: "We received what Allaah promised to us after death, and did you receive?". And nothing remains for the sinner, how to answer: "Yes."

The time a person will suffer in Jahannam depends on the severity of his sins. And only the infidels ("kafirs") and hypocrites will be eternally devoted to the fire and will never receive forgiveness.

What Happens in Buddhist Hell

Hell in Buddhists is called "Naraka" and consists offrom 16 circles: 8 cold (where sinners are suffering from the cold) and 8 hot (where torture is done by fire). The way of punishment and the time at which a person is placed in this circle are determined in advance.

For example, the first cold circle of "Arbuda-naraka"(hell blisters) - here people are deprived of clothes and shoes, and from the cold and piercing wind their skin is covered with huge blisters. The time spent in this hell is equal to the time it takes to empty a sesame barrel if you take one grain every 100 years.


But the lower cold circle of "Mahapadma-naraka" (the great lotus hell) is so cold that the skin and internal organs of a man are cracked by frost, and there will be a sinner here 8 * 1010 years.

In the most terrible "hot" circle, called"Endless hell," there are people who at the time of birth were given power and recognition, but they indulged people not for good and benefactors, but preached greed and cruelty. Here sinners in a terrible flame will suffer forever, until the end of time.

Most worldviews have their own ideas about the whereabouts of Hell, read more about this in the article Where Hell.

It should be noted: Whatever the idea of ​​what is happening in hell, all these punishments presuppose punishment for people who are unlawfully living on the earth, and to avoid them, it is enough to observe the most important commandments and canons of virtue.

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