Bizarro Thailand: Visiting a Buddhist Hell
by Tracy Vanity
I didn’t know hell existed in Buddhism until I saw one while on a road trip with friends in Khon Kaen. If you’ve never seen huge plaster statues of warped human souls getting tortured, you’re missing out.
This Buddhist hell, or Naraka as it is properly called, was in a rural area totally off road on a path leading towards a temple. It was like a mini theme park or giant, fucked up art installation.
My Thai friend explained this giant with the huge sagging balls is a guardian of Naraka.
The sagging tits and lack of balls on this giant leads me to believe it is female.
Each of these art installations represent a Buddhist ethic that was broken. What is considered unethical in Buddhism is pretty much the same as what is considered a sin in Christianity. But unlike Christianity, Buddhist hell is meant to purify your soul so you can eventually get out of hell and become reincarnated. There are also 5 Precepts instead of 7 sins. This installation shows what happens when you lie. Note the padlock on the soul’s tongue.
These souls are getting their hands chopped off for stealing.
I think this female soul whose nipple I’m licking is also a thief. .
The amount of work that went into creating this hell is incredible. Aside from monks and people who live in the surrounding area, I don’t think very many people visit. There isn’t a sign from the highway mentioning it exists. My friends and I came across it completely by accident.
These guys were chilling in the back of hell with a smug expression on their face. I can only gather that they are demons of some sort.
This is the suffering endured by souls who have committed “sexual misconduct.”
I asked my friend what would be considered sexual misconduct. He said adultery.
These souls are suffering because they did drugs. Note the giant pill and bongs shoved down those souls’ throats.
These souls are being tortured for killing animals.
As is typical of any Buddhist temple or art installation, there is a huge Nāga overlooking everything. These multi-headed serpents are my favorite Buddhist creature. So cute!
There are apparently many hells all over Thailand. I need to go on a Buddhist hell road trip!