Master Hsuan Hua on the Hells

A Selection from Lotuses in the Spring Sun.
Kao-Hsiung, Taiwan. Wisdom Source Publications, 1995. Page 170.
6/7/98 beta translation by Dharmamitra

There is someone who asked me, "Ultimately, is there such a thing as the hells or not?" I'll tell you, right when people are alive, they are in the hells. You just look: Most people are full of afflictions, fighting and disputing. There is no rest from it. There is no stopping to it. Isn't this just being in the hells? What kind of meaning does this sort of human life have? What's more, there are floods, tornadoes, wars and human calamities which also are hells within the human realm. And again, consider the terrible diseases which tie up the body so that one suffers so much that one can't describe it. When cancer develops, one may hurt so much that he does not even wish to live anymore. Is this not just the hells?

But people still don't see through it and they still can't put it down. They still can't let go. They remain greedily attached and what's more they entertain no thoughts of loving-kindness or compassion. When they see a benefit for themselves they forget about any principle, even going to the point of committing arson and engaging in theft. But at the very end, they still remain on the wheel [of birth-and-death] where they continue to turn about without any prospect of a time when it will come to a halt.

This 6/98 beta translation Copyright © by Dharmamitra. All rights reserved.