The journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step



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Overview of the unfortunate realms 

1. The Hell Realm is the first plane of the Unfortunate realm. It is a place that is devoid of all happiness and comforts. A rebirth in the Hell Realm takes place as a result of a being’s habitual misdeeds. Once in the Hell Realm, the Hell being will suffer the most horrifying pain and suffering through continuous and horrific forms of punishment. The Hell Realm is situated underneath ‘Mount Trigut’. It consists of eight major sites which are the Hell of ‘Mahanarok’, 128 satellite sites which are called the Hell of ‘Ussadanarok’ and 320 minor sites which are called the Hell of ‘Yomalok’.

Once a hell being has gone through all the forms of punishment in the Hell of Mahanarok’, it has to go through additional forms of punishment in the Hells of ‘Ussadanarok’ and ‘Yomalok’ until it has served the full sentence of its previous misdeeds as dictated by the Law of Kamma.

2. The Peta Realm is the second plane of the Unfortunate realm. It is a place that is filled with trouble, severe hunger, and severe thirst. Petas can be categorized into twelve families. They dwell in the gorges of ‘Mount Trigut’ as well as in a plane of existence parallel to earth.A rebirth in the Peta Realm is caused by the unwholesome deeds of parsimony. A rebirth in the Peta Realm occurs via two routes. The first route is after a being has already gone through the forms of punishment in the Hells of ‘Mahanarok’, ‘Ussadanarok’, and ‘Yomalok’. And the second route is immediately after the human existence.

3. The Asurakaya Realm is the third plane of the Unfortunate realm. It is a place that is devoid of joy. Asurakayas and Petas are very similar and it is difficult to differentiate them at times. Asurakayas dwell in the same location as Petas in the gorges of ‘Mount Trigut’. They possess bizarre forms. They may have a pig head with a human body, for example. Their existence is marked by severe hardship not unlike that of Petas. They live in constant thirst and hunger but the thirst is more prominent. A rebirth as an Asurakaya is caused by deeds of greed and covetousness.

4. The Animal Realm is the fourth and last plane of the Unfortunate realm. Animals suffer less than hell beings, Petas, and Asurakayas. They possess a body which parallels the ground, and are not capable of attaining Nibbana. They share the earth with human beings. They may have no feet. They may have two, four or more feet.


Life in Samsara is fraught with danger. Should we be born and raised in an environment that is not conducive to the performance of good deeds, we may make the mistake of committing indecent deeds. When we die, the strength of our bad Kamma will propel us to have a rebirth in the Unfortunate realm. Unfortunate realms are the planes of existence in the Hereafter, which are devoid of happiness and are full of horrifying pain and suffering from the terrible heat of the hellfire, and from the various forms of punishment.

The forms of punishment are innumerable and uniquely different depending on the hell being’s misdeeds. They cause the hell being to Undergo horrific pain and suffering. Individuals in life that have not bothered to perform any decent deed but habitually commit misdeeds, on their deathbed, the sights and sound of their misdeeds would appear to them for their private viewing. These moving images cause their minds to become gloomy and remorseful. After they die, they will journey to the Unfortunate realm as stated by the Lord Buddha in the ‘Palabundit Sutta’

The Sutta teaches how one’s misdeeds committed through one’s physical, verbal, and mental means propels one to journey into the Unfortunate realm. Moreover, there are four more states of unhappy existence as follows: The Unfortunate realms (the State of Loss and Woe) denote the planes of existence where their inhabitants have no opportunity to perform any good deed due to the uncivilized condition of their environment. They are places of condemnation where even the slightest happiness cannot be experienced but there is only suffering, hence un-conducive to the performance of any good deed.


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There are six realms of transmigration where beings take birth.

They are the realms of gods, demigods, humans, animals, hungry ghosts, and hell.
You take birth in those realms because of superior, middling, and evil karmas.

– Buddha

Lankavatara Sutra

Don’t depend on death to liberate you from your imperfections

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Say no to reincarnation!

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Nalanda LGBT Buddhist Cultural and Resource Center

No Refuge

Related imageHaving now become animals, your fathers, mothers, siblings, and friends from previous lives tremble with fear in the butcher’s sinful hands, tears streaming from their eyes, and panting for breath. In that state, they wonder what to do. Alas, there is no refuge! There is nowhere to go!

Thinking that, right now in this place, they may be killed, their urgent suffering is great. In such a state, like one approaching a terrifying pit of hellfire, their body is turned upside down, their muzzle is tied up, and their eyes move wildly with lights shining forth. What they see is their stomach being opened up. With their feet perpendicular to the ground, they are set on the path to the next life without even a quiver of compassion.

Jigme Lingpa

Breaking the Cycle

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Over and over, the seeds all get planted;
Over and over, the rain-god sprinkles rain.
Over and over, the farmer farms the field;
Over and over, the food grows in the realm.

Over and over, beggars do their begging;
Over and over, the givers give out gifts.
Over and over, the giver who has given;
Over and over, goes to a better place.
Over and over, he tires and he struggles;
Over and over, the fool goes to the womb.
Over and over, he’s born and he dies;
Over and over, they bear him to his grave.But one who’s wisdom is wide as the earth
Is not born over and over, For he’s gained the path of not becoming over again.

– The Udaya Sutra: Breaking the Cycle

Why are we born?

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The great work of life and death

In the great work of life and death, time will not wait for you.
If you die tomorrow, what kind of body will you get?
Is not all of this of great importance?
Hurry up! Hurry!
Blue sky and green sea
Are the Buddha’s original face.
The sound of the waterfall and the bird’s song
Are the great sutras.
Where are you going?
Watch your step.
Water flows down to the sea.
Clouds float up to the heavens.

– Seung Sahn


No Death, No Fear

“This body is not me; I am not caught in this body, I am life without boundaries, I have never been born and I have never died. Over there the wide ocean and the sky with many galaxies All manifests from the basis of consciousness. Since beginningless time I have always been free. Birth and death are only a door through which we go in and out. Birth and death are only a game of hide-and-seek. So smile to me and take my hand and wave good-bye. Tomorrow we shall meet again or even before. We shall always be meeting again at the true source, Always meeting again on the myriad paths of life.”

~ Thich Nhat Hanh, No Death, No Fear

If you want to know your past life…

“If you want to know your past life, look into your present condition; if you want to know your future life, look at your present actions.”

Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

If you want to know your past life

Padmasambhava ~

A 37 meter high statue of Padmasambhava sits above the small Himalayan town where I live. He is known as the second Buddha because he brought Buddhist teachings to Tibet in the eighth century.
~ Collette


Time, it is running out


Material Body Vs Eternal Soul