Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Ten Courts of Hell

I was in Singapore recently for training , posted on the trip in DPCS Princess Diary(http://lil-princess-diary.blogspot.com/)
As mentioned in the entry, I paid a visit to one of the famous tourist attractions in the Lion City which is not related to development:p

So, I was there in Haw Par Villa and there was this particular place called the Ten Courts of Hell which impose an admission fee of SGD$1.00.
They used to have another place called the 18 Stages of Hell which was reported to be realistically eerie and also sinister in its depiction of the place. As described by one of the submitters in the True Singapore Ghost Stories(a series of supernatural stories by Singaporean Russell Lee), they have even simulated the environment in Hell; providing the fiery red lights and increasing the temperature to make it seem like Hell itself.
Anyway, according to this guy who happened to work part-time as a caretaker, he was passing by this 18 Stages compound at night, adhering to his job requirements to patrol the area and he felt compelled to just sneak a peek into the place out of his natural human instinctive curiosity. He felt immense heat in the place and could also smell burning in the place. At the same time, he reported to even hear cries and howls of excruciating pain within the place as he ventured deeper into the place. In fact, he even felt distinct fear to look at those statues as he claimed that they seem to come "alive".
Needless to say, he didn't stay there for long and got himself out of there almost instantly.
There were other reported encounters of the 18 Stages of Hell which was similarly horrifying as well and were not fully reported to the public (of course!)
I guess that's why they kind of closed down the place to visitors; that's in my opinion since I do not see the place during my visit:p
So, after paying my one dollar, I led myself into a park which had some interesting caricatures on the stone and also there were figurines of the deities and some of the famous mythical figures from ancient China:

This is a pretty interesting stone which engraved the Chinese words which literally mean that you should do good deeds while you still can, and reflect on your evil doings before it's too late...that's the basic meaning as extracted from the saying.

This is a deity which my mom has mentioned before who catches the roaming spirits on Earth, if I am not mistaken.

This is the Buddha which guards the spirits in Hell; if I am not mistaken, he's the T'sang Pusa who constantly say prayers to calm the restless spirits and also to maintain peace in the underworld.

This is the famous legendary Lady White Snake who could transform into anything; she's actually a snake in being but could transform into human form whenever she pleases. I think there's been lots of documentation in the Chinese literature about this mythical figure.

There's the cave some distance away which bore the words in Chinese, "Gui Men Kuan" (Doors or Gates to Hell)

There's the information board which describe the two huge statues guarding the Gates of Hell; famously known as the Ox-Head and Horse-Face which was directly translated from the Cantonese description of them.

As I slowly approach the cave, there were two foreign couples who just came out of the place and there was nobody in the cave anymore at the time.
I went in unknowingly and somehow, I had the feeling of fear as well when I was inside the cave; well, that's natural human instinct. It was pretty dark inside and also they simulated the warm environment as well and in the silence, you could even hear the machines running. I half-expected to hear the cries and screams as I've read in the story....and of course, I am thankful to God for protecting me :)
Now let's go into the cave and begin the journey through the justice flow in the underworld:

This is where the prisoners are weighed based on their deeds during their life.

This is the information board which details the procedures which the prisoners undergo in the first court.

The court scene where the judge will weigh and I believe read everything that you have done during your life. It seems that nothing will be missed from your life; even those little and silly things; like probably taking an eraser from your friend's drawer, etc etc. It is said that most of the people will actually cry or feel so tiny and filled with remorse when they hear all that has happened in their life.
So, these are the two bridges for those who have done good deeds....I'd say that the Golden Bridge are for those who are practically saintly beings; they do virtuous, noble and honourable deeds.
As for the Silver Bridge, as long as your good deeds outweigh your evil doings or crimes, you are on your way to step on this bridge.
Both of the bridges lead to paradise...which means the reward of happiness:)

For the evil doers, they will be led to the Mirror of Retribution and then further led to the next Court for the next course of judgement.


This is where the punishments begin for the different classifications of crimes.
Here, in this court, the crimes are listed.

Hurting other people physically, conmen and robbers - they will be thrown into a volcano...look at the spear into the body and the bloody scene.....ewwwwwww:P

For corrupted people, bribery, and stealing and gambling, frozen ino block will be their punishment.

Prostitution - thrown to be drowned in a pool of blood ....


Continue with the third court, if after the 2nd Court, those offenders still have crimes such as the following, they will continue to be subject to the punishments until all their crimes and evil deeds have been paid off and they have received their deserving penalties.

These are for those who showed disrespect and ungratefulness, even escape convicts...basically those without feelings of deserving or responsibility and gratitude. They will have to suffer the pain of having their heart cut out. I believe this punishment is due to their heartless acts and they do not deserve a heart.

These are the tied to the hot copper pillar and grilled - for the drug traffickers, tomb robbers and those who push other people into committing crimes; I believe this is associated with the greed.

The fourth trial court to continue for those neverending crime offenders

The offenders are pounded by stone; either by mallets of stone or by a large stone.

This court punishes those who have inflicted harm unto others; they are even led to reflection and to grieve as they can see the victims of their wrong doings and the misery they have imposed on others.
The judge of the fifth court sternly imposing the rightful punishment to be meted out to the
deserving offenders.

Thrown onto a hill of knieves to suffer from the excruciating thing...eeeeee.....