Three Functions of Hell in the Hindu Traditions

in Numen
No Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?



Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.



Help

Have Institutional Access?



Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?



Connect

In this article are analysed three functions of hell in the Hindu traditions, a narrative, a social and an economic. Because of the strong images the narratives of hell contain, they are excellent means to catch the attention of the audience. The social function of hell is to protect the social order, the security of the people and especially to protect the privileges of those on top of the hierarchy. Since gifts to the priests are matched with specific punishments in hell that they release from, one economic function of hell seems to be as a source of income for the priests. However, it is argued that even though hell is both a textual and ritual reality in the Hindu traditions, its significance should not be exaggerated. Death is not the end of life, but the end of one rebirth, and release,

moksa

, is not about escaping a destiny in hell, but to gain freedom from the rebirth realms.

Three Functions of Hell in the Hindu Traditions

in Numen

Information

Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 23 23 12
Full Text Views 52 52 37
PDF Downloads 11 11 2
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0