[[Image:Hell_realm.jpg|frame|Depiction of the hell realms from a thangka of the Wheel of Life)] The hells (Skt. naraka; Tib. དམྱལ་བ་, Wyl. dmyal ba) constitute one of the realms of the six classes of beings, they are characterized by extremely intense suffering; there are eighteen hells (Skt. aṣṭadaśanaraka):
- the sixteen hells grouped into
- the Neighbouring Hells and
- the Ephemeral Hells.
Chökyi Drakpa writes:
- The cause of being born in any of these eighteen hells could be a vast accumulation of harmful actions perpetrated out of desire or delusion. Even so, a single momentary act such as taking life or speaking harsh words to an exceptional being, when carried out with a mind of intense anger, will propel you straight to the hells.
- Patrul Rinpoche, The Words of My Perfect Teacher (Boston: Shambhala, Revised edition, 1998), pages 63-72.