hell officers

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Dhammanucara
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hell officers

Postby Dhammanucara » Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:21 am

In the 31 planes of existence, I heard that most of the hell officers are yakkhas,one of a subcategory of god of Catumaharajika, the lowest deva realm. They are the ones who punished those who are reborn in hell due to their bad kamma that they have committed. They whip, beat, push those beings into hot pot of oil, etc. Are they creating bad kamma by doing so? How about the Lord of the Underworld, Yama, who gives sentences to those beings? Is he committing bad kamma as well? What gives him the authority to sentence those beings?
Thanks in advance for your clarification.

With metta,
Dhammanucara :namaste:

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retrofuturist
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Re: hell officers

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:25 am

Greetings,

To give a bit of context to the discussion, here is a sutta in which the activities of the wardens of hell are detailed.

Devadūta Sutta
http://www.yellowrobe.com/pali-canon/su ... ngers.html

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

Dhammanucara
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Re: hell officers

Postby Dhammanucara » Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:44 am

Hi retro,

Thanks for the link to the sutta. But, do those 'divine messengers' give authority to King Yama and the hell wardens to punish and torture those evil beings?

With metta,
Dhammanucara :namaste:

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retrofuturist
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Re: hell officers

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:49 am

Greetings Dhammanucara,

I don't know - the text doesn't seem to say.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Tree
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Re: hell officers

Postby Tree » Sun Jan 17, 2010 6:00 am

Perhaps it's not 100% pleasurable for those guys to inflict pain.

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salmon
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Re: hell officers

Postby salmon » Sun Jan 17, 2010 6:23 am

Same as how a soldier has the "right" to protect his country? I would take the liberty to think that not all denizens of the other realms are exposed to the Dhamma, just as not all humans are.
~ swimming upstream is tough work! ~

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Re: hell officers

Postby cooran » Sun Jan 17, 2010 6:30 am

---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Re: hell officers

Postby Paññāsikhara » Sun Jan 17, 2010 7:35 am

Maybe begs the question of whether hell is a "place", such that all beings in that "place" are hell beings, and hence subject to "hellish pains", etc. Though I'm also certainly NOT implying that "hell" and other rebirth states are simply "mental states", eg. "being in prison is hell", etc. Just asking whether or not the "hell officers" are rightly speaking "hell beings" in the sense of those who suffer the incredible pain of the lowest of the three lower realms. Similarly, although they are "inside a prison", we usually don't consider jailers or prison wardens to be "prisoners", do we?
My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: .

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retrofuturist
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Re: hell officers

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Jan 17, 2010 7:59 am

Greetings venerable Paññāsikhara,

You present some interesting thought provoking ideas there.

:anjali:

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: hell officers

Postby poto » Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:05 am

Just my thoughts on the matter.

Personally, I think those that dole out punishment in the hell realms are probably more like largest predatory animals in the animal realm. The largest wolf or the biggest lion, etc. That is if the hell realms work in a similar sort of way to the animal realm that we can observe. If this speculation is correct, then their existences would still be filled with much suffering, much as the animals we can observe suffer.

I don't think they would be creating bad kamma, as they would just be acting in the nature of that realm. At least not any worse than an animal in the wild that is just following it's instincts.

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Re: hell officers

Postby Dhammanucara » Mon Jan 18, 2010 1:54 am


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SDC
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Re: hell officers

Postby SDC » Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:43 am

Great thread. Interesting topic.

Verse 100 of the Dhammapada is the story of the executioner, Tambadathika. Sorry I do not have a direct link. The overall message of the story is not related to your question however part of the story may be applicable.

Throughout his life, Tambadathika had performed hundreds of executions. After his retirement, Sariputta visits him and tries to teach him the Dhamma but Tambadathika has trouble listening, as he is very disturbed by the life he has led. When the Venerable asks if he had wished to kill all of those criminals, he replies that it was not his wish. Sariputta helps him realize that he is not guilty as their was no desire to kill all of those criminals but that he was following the orders of his king. He would still have to face the results of those evil acts, but not to the severe extent that it would have been had he wanted to kill. He is then able to listen to the Dhamma. Later that day he is killed rather gruesomely (probably the ripening of his kamma here and now, although the commentary does not specify). But due to his brief encounter with the Dhamma he is reborn in the Tusita deva realm. This just a brief description. Definitely give it a read.

Perhaps this can be applied to the beings in the hell worlds, even Yama. They may be preforming evil acts but the desire to kill is not necessarily present. It is just the nature of that particular being they were reborn as. Such specific beings in other realms are often described as not being capable of the wide range of thought and temperament as humans, and in turn are not capable of such a wide range of actions. Once again, interesting question.

EDIT - I reworded the second to last sentence in the last paragraph.
Last edited by SDC on Sun Jan 24, 2010 5:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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retrofuturist
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Re: hell officers

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Feb 03, 2010 2:58 am

Greetings,

Several posts not specifically related to the subject of hell officers have been moved to...

Killer cows of the Pali Canon
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=3496

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine


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