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Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Diyu - Buddhist hell diorama at Haw Par Villa park

A generation ago, Haw Par Villa was a popular place to take children in the hopes of scaring them into behaving. It was a different time when people weren’t as sensitive to the way viewing such a traumatic exhibit could affect young and impressionable minds. The main attraction at Haw Par Villa is the gruesome Ten Courts of Hell.
The concept of the "Ten Courts of Hell" began after Chinese folk religion was influenced by Buddhism. In Chinese mythology, the Jade Emperor put Yama in charge of overseeing the affairs of Diyu. There are 12,800 hells located under the earth – eight dark hells, eight cold hells and 84,000 miscellaneous hells located at the edge of the universe. All will go to Diyu after death but the period of time one spends in Diyu is not indefinite – it depends on the severity of the sins one committed. After receiving due punishment, one will eventually be sent for reincarnation. In the meantime, souls pass from stage to stage at Yama's decision. Yama also reduced the number of hells to ten. He divided Diyu into ten courts, each overseen by a Yama King, while he remained as the sovereign ruler of Diyu.

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