wangyaoforequality asked: “One question from the admin: For Chinese hell, if you've sinned but managed to reform and change for the better in later life, will you be pardoned or will you still be punished?”
Chinese hell doesn’t work like the Christian version of hell, and it’s a good example of of syncreticism. This big word means combining different religions and cultures, and the Chinese version of hell is pretty much an amalgamation of beliefs.
The concept of hell in China has been shaped by Buddhism (which came from India) and traditional Chinese beliefs. Along the way, people inserted their beliefs into hell as time went along. So we have King Yama, a Hindu deity who was adopted into Buddhism, and the Chinese know him as the King of Hell, or Yan Luo Wang. (Well Japanese and Korean myths mention him too but we’re digressing.) We also have the Black and White Guard of Impermanence, who are psychopomps like Cowhead and Horseface, except they are Taoist.
Suffice to say that the Chinese version of hell is imagined by different people of different religions and is held together by their own culture and traditions.
So, to answer your question, most of the books that depict hell in some way feature reincarnation a whole lot. One example is Journey to the West, which tells a story of a Dragon King who gets reincarnated (hmm, I should blog about this). This is a totally Buddhist idea, that you are reincarnated repeatedly and achieve nirvana at some point as all these reincarnations are supposed to teach you lessons. This belief was adapted into Taoism later. It’s actually fun to look at the Chinese version of hell and see how much each religion has had influence over it.
For the Chinese, salvation comes in the form of reincarnation, and the belief is that if you’re a good person in general, you’ll get reincarnated into a human being or some superior being, and that you may become an ant in your next life if you’re a mass murderer or something. Oh and if you are a sinner in general, you’d probably be tortured first before any spirit or demon or king in hell lets you move on. (You can look at this series about the 10 Courts and 18 Levels of Hell: 1, 2, 3 that shows what kind of punishments happen)
I hope that answers your question!
4 days ago · 29 notes