naraka (Sanskrit: "abode of darkness", literally "pertaining to man.") — an unhappy, mentally and emotionally congested, distressful area of consciousness in the lower worlds. Naraka is a state of mind that can be experienced on the physical plane or in the sub-astral plane after death of the sthula-sharira (physical body). It is accompanied by the tormented emotions of hatred, remorse, resentment, fear, jealousy and self-condemnation. Naraka is a congested, distressful area where demonic beings and young souls may sojourn until they resolve the darksome karmas they have created. Here beings suffer the consequences of their own misdeeds in previous lives. However, in the Hindu view, the hellish experience is not permanent, but a temporary condition of one's own making. See: asura, loka.


Naraka is understood as having seven regions, called tala, corresponding to the states of consciousness of the seven lower chakras as follows:

1. Put atala chakra, "childless" "wheel of the bottomless region." Fear and lust located in the hips
2. Avichi vitala chakra, "joyless" "wheel of negative region." Center of anger thighs
3. Samhata sutala chakra, "abandoned" "Great depth." Region of jealousy knees
4. Tamisra talatala chakra, "darkness" "wheel of the lower region." Realm of confused thinking calves
5. Rijisha rasatala chakra, "expelled" "wheel of subterranean region." Selfishness ankles
6. Kudmala mahatala chakra, "leprous" "wheel of the great lower region." Region of consciencelessness feet
7. Kakola patala chakra, "black poison" "wheel of the fallen or sinful level." Region of malice soles of the feet

The seven-fold hellish region in its entirety is also called patala, "fallen region." Scriptures offer other lists of hells, numbering 7 or 21. They are described as places of torment, pain, darkness, confusion and disease, but none are places where souls reside forever. Hinduism has no eternal hell. See: loka



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