The Netherworld

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Daoist Beliefs
The Great Dao
Original Meaning of Dao
Laozi's Creative Use of The Concept of Dao
The Main Meaning of the Concept of Dao
The Major Functions of Dao
Virtue
The Significance of Virtue
Expression of the Unity of Dao and Virtue
Becoming an Immortal by Attaining
Dao is ruled by Spontaneity
The Significance of Spontaneity
Observing the Way of Heaven and Following its Motions
Cosmogony
Cosmogony
The Creation of the World
Formation of the Daoist Theory of Universal Evolution
The Process of The Creation of the World
The Thirty-six Heavens
The Netherworld
Yin-Yang and the Supreme Ultimate
Yin-Yang and the Supreme Ultimate
Vital Breath
The Infinite and the Supreme Ultimate
The Infinite
The Supreme Ultimate and the Diagram of the Supreme Ultimate
Yin-Yang and the Five Agents
Social Ideals
Social Ideals
The Ideal of Supreme Peace
Purity, Tranquility and Non-interference
Salvation of Humanity
Philosophy of Life
Understanding Dao and Establishing Virtue
Education by Daoist Enlightenment
Ethical Education and Practise
Ethical Education and Practise
Accumulation of Hidden Merits
The Secret Meaning of Karma
Norms for Doing Good Works
Methods of Doing Good Works

The Underworlds

Daoism divides the world into nine levels, which are called the Nine Realms ( 九壘 Jiulei ). Each Realm can further de divided into four Realms, for a total of Thirty-Six Realms. Each Realm is governed by an Emperor of the Soil ( 土黃 Tuhuang ). The names of the Nine Realms are as follows:


  1. Realm of Colourful Brilliance ( 色潤地 Serundi );
  2. Realm of Diamond Brilliance ( 剛色地 Gangsedi );
  3. Realm of Paraffin Brilliance ( 石肢色澤地 Shizhise Zedi );
  4. Realm of Humid Brilliance ( 潤澤地 Run Zedi );
  5. Realm of Golden Millet Brilliance ( 金粟澤地 Jinsu Zedi );
  6. Realm of Diamond and Iron Brilliance ( 金剛鐵澤地 Jinggangtie Zedi );
  7. Realm of Water Brilliance ( 水制澤地 Shuizhi Zedi );
  8. Realm of Great Wind Brilliance ( 大風澤地 Dafeng Zedi );
  9. Colourless Diamond-Link Realm of the Pervasive Abyss ( 洞淵無色剛維地 Dongyuan Wuse Gangwei Di ).


The underworld is dark and obscure. The netherworld cannot be entered by common people, but the soul of the dead must inevitably go there, unless it has become an Immortal. The Chinese call the place wher the sould of the dead go 'Supreme Yin' ( 太陰 Taiyin ). The underworld is governed by the Five Kings of Hell ( 五嶽 Wuyu ), especially by the Spirit of the Eastern Hell of Mt. Tai ( 東嶽泰山之神 Dongyu Taishan Zhi Shen ). It is also said that the netherworld is governed by the Great Emperor of Fengdu ( 酆都大帝 Fengdu Dadi ). The netherworld is the location of hell, where the souls of sinners are locked up, as well as ghosts and goblins.