What the hell?

Hell (hell, fire of hell, and others), according to the idea of ​​people, is a haven for souls of sinful and unrighteous living in life. There are some differences in the descriptions of hell depending on religion and confessions, mainly they relate to the time of the shower in the underworld, the location of the entrance to this terrible place and other moments.

However, most religions represent hell as a burning pit in which they suffer in fire, much more burning than on earth, sinful souls, and the terrible inhabitants of hell control and increase the suffering of their victims. Read more about the differences in ideas about hell in different religions in our article What is Hell.

Mythological ideas about what is happening in hell

Hell in the mythology of the ancient Greeks


The ancient Greeks did not, as such, believe that there was a separate place where sinful souls dwell after death. There was one underworld in which the evil god Hades ruled. Despite the awesome fear that the ancient Ales felt before him, they considered him a hospitable god, for no man, exceptHellGod-like heroes like Hercules could not avoid meeting him.

Rivers of Tartar

This underground world was called the refuge of the dead - Tartarus. Judging by the myths that have reached us, Tartar was distinguished from the surface by an impenetrable terrible mist, since the sun never penetrated its depths. In all other respects, Tartar is very similar to the earth: there are both land and rivers. The last were only five: Amelet, Kokit, Ocean, Styx and Summer.

Immediately after death, the soul arriving in Tartar, was supposed to get drunk from the river Lethe and get oblivion - to forget his earthly life (hence the expression “sunk into oblivion” - forgotten). After that, confused and doubting souls were waiting for the ferryman, who was transporting them to the other side of the River Styx in the realm of Hades.


Charon - the mythical old man, who ruled the boat, and for the fee brought the disembodiedHellspirits to the judgment of Hades and other gods. According to the funeral customs of that time, a coin (obol), intended to pay Charon, was placed under the tongue of the deceased. He carries only those whose remains are buried in the grave, and never drove his soul back into the world of the living.

Aida Verdict

On the other side of the river Styx, the soul fell to the Court, it was decided to distribute it further, depending on how the earthly life was lived.For example, the king of Corinth, Sisyphus, was sentenced to perpetual labor: he had to roll a heavy stone into the mountain, which always fell down, hardly approaching the summit.

The reasons for such hard and ineffectual work are seriously different: according to some myths, Sisyphus robbed travelers on the way through Corinth, according to others, tried to cheat death or kidnapped the gods, in a word, the king was punished for deception and cunning. Thus, everyone, having got to Tartar, received what they deserved.

Such were the ideas of the ancient Greeks about what happens to the soul in hell.

Dante's Literary Hell

The most famous literary representation of the fiery hell of a later period is the hell from Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy.

9 laps


In this story, the author was allowed to descend into hell, accompanied by his beloved beloved Beatrice and the ancient Greek poet Virgil. Hell looks like a giant crater consisting of 9 orbits, on each of which sinners suffer, depending on the severity of their guilt.

Such people as Jude, Brutus and others were sent to the lower circle; those who in mortal life blackened themselves with treason who trusted them.They were eaten by Lucifer himself, inflicting unprecedented torments and resuming daily cruel rituals of reprisal.

Dante was a representative of Catholicism, and therefore his descriptions of hell - literary reworking of church dogma. Read more about Christian ideas about Hell in our article How Hell Looks.

What do sinners in the Muslim hell

In Islam, hell is called "Jahannam", which means "fire of great power." This should remind Muslims of what awaits them in the event of non-observance of the foundations of the Quran. Angels, the main one of which is Malik, lead the torture of infidels and those who were sinners on earth, did not read namaz and violated the rites prescribed by religion.

According to these concepts, after the Judgment, Allah resurrects a man in the bodyHellmore than during his lifetime to increase the torments he experiences in the fire. A sinner is chained in such a way that he cannot move his arms and legs, while half a meter of chain enters through his mouth and comes out from behind. In this form, the Angels lead their prey to the fire, and she feels like a skewer on a spit.

In this case, the person is resurrected, went to heaven, enjoying food, drink and other benefits.The punished asks, at least part of what they have. And the righteous refuse him, saying: “We received what Allah promised us after death, but did you receive it?” And nothing remains for the sinner how to answer: "Yes."

The time that a person will suffer in Jahannam, depends on the severity of his sin. And only the infidels (“infidels”) and the hypocrites will forever be set on fire and will never receive forgiveness.

What happens in Buddhist Hell

Hell among Buddhists is called “Naraka” and consists of 16 circles: 8 cold (where sinners suffer from cold) and 8 hot (where torture is carried out by fire). The method of punishment and the time at which a person is placed in this circle is determined in advance.

For example, the first cold circle "Arbuda-naraka" (hell of blisters) - here people are deprived of clothes and shoes, and from the cold and piercing wind their skin is covered with huge blisters. The time spent in this hell is equal to the time it takes to empty a barrel of sesame, if you take one grain per 100 years.Hell

But the lower cold circle of Mahapadma-Narak (the great lotus hell) is so cold that the skin and internal organs of a person are cracking from the cold, and the sinner will be here 8 * 1010years.

In the most terrible "hot" circle, called the "endless hell," there are people who were given power and recognition at birth, but they encouraged people not for good and benefactors, but preached greed and cruelty. Here sinners in terrible flame will suffer forever, until the end of ages.

Most worldviews have their own ideas about the location of Hell, read more about this in the article Where Hell.

It should be noted: whatever the idea of ​​what happens in hell, all these punishments imply punishment for people leading a wrongful life on earth, and in order to avoid them, it is enough to observe the most important commandments and canons of virtue.