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Niraya (hell)

Various lists of Nirayas are found in the books. In the Jātaka Commentary* occurs the following:

  • Sañjīva,
  • Kālasutta,
  • Sanghāta,
  • Jālaroruva,
  • Dhūmaroruva,
  • Mahāvīci,
  • Tapana,
  • Patāpana.

Video illustrating life among humans, in heaven and in hell:

The Samyutta and Anguttara Nikāyas and the Sutta Nipāta contain a different list:

  • Abbuda,
  • Nirabbuda,
  • Ababa,
  • Atata,
  • Ahaha,
  • Kumuda,
  • Sogandhika,
  • Uppala,
  • Pundarīka,
  • Paduma (S.i.149; A.v.173; Sn.p.126; see also Dvy. 67).

The Commentaries explain (E.g., AA.ii.853) that these are not separate Nirayas but specified periods of suffering in Avīci. The Devadūta Sutta (M.iii.185) of the Majjhima Nikāya contains yet another list:

  • Gūtha,
  • Kukkula,
  • Simbalivana,
  • Asipattavana and
  • Khārodakanadī.

Other names, also, occur sporadically   e.g.,

  • Khuradhāra (J.v.269),
  • Kākola (,
  • Sataporisa (J.v.269) and
  • Sattisūla (J.v.143).

The most fearful of the Nirayas is, however, the Avīci-mahā-niraya (see s.v. Avīci).

* J. v.266, 271; the same list is found in Dvy.67, except that Raurava is substituted for Jalaroruva and Mahāraurava for Dhūmaroruva.

Niraya Vagga

The twenty second chapter of the Dhammapada.

1. Niraya Sutta

Five things that lead to hell: destruction of life, theft, lust, falsehood, liquor. A.iii.170; also 204.

2. Niraya Sutta

Six things that lead to hell: (A.iii.432)

  1. taking life,
  2. theft,
  3. living carnally,
  4. falsehood,
  5. evil desires and
  6. wrong views.


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