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  • Naraka or Niraya is a term in Buddhist cosmology usually referred to in English as "hell", "hell realm", or "purgatory". The Narakas of Buddhism are closely related to diyu, the hell in Chinese mythology. A Naraka differs from the hell of Christianity in two respects: firstly, beings are not sent to Naraka as the result of a divine judgment and punishment; secondly, the length of a being's stay in a Naraka is not eternal, though it is usually very long. A being is born into a Naraka as a direct result of his or her accumulated karma and resides there for a finite period of time until that karma has achieved its full result. After his or her karma is used up, he or she will be reborn in one of the higher worlds as the result of karma that had not yet ripened. In the Devaduta Sutta, the 130th discourse of Majjhima Nikaya, the Buddha teaches about hell in vivid detail. Physically, Narakas are thought of as a series of cavernous layers which extend below Jambudvīpa into the earth. There are several schemes for enumerating these Narakas and describing their torments. The Abhidharma-kosa is the root text that describes the most common scheme, the Eight Cold Narakas and Eight Hot Narakas. Wikipedia