I visited the Chin Swee Caves Temple the other day. It is situated about 4,600 feet above sea level in the Genting Highlands just down the hill from Resorts World’s casino, theme park and hotel complex.
It is a Buddhist temple which also venerates a Chinese Buddhist monk named Chin Swee who is usually depicted with a black face due to his miraculous survival from a fire with nothing more serious than soot blackened skin.
There is quite a lot to see in this place including the pagoda with its nine levels and 285 steps (counted them myself) which gives an excellent view of the surrounding area.
There are a number of stone statues of various lohan , disciples of Buddha. The one below is named Doorman Lohan or Pantha the Younger. The stoned-looking one next to him is called Lindsay Lohan.
The most interesting feature of the temple for me is the Ten Chambers of Hell. These are a series of grottos cut into the hillside containing life-sized figurines depicting the grisly scenes which many Chinese Buddhists believe await sinners after death.
To summarize, the Ten Chambers operate like this:
- 1st Chamber. This is a kind of sorting office where the actions of the newly deceased are reviewed. If you have been a good person you will go straight to the Western Pureland of Great Bliss (heaven) which I imagine looks something like the village of Midsomer in Midsomer Murders.On the other hand if you have committed good and evil in equal measure during your life you will be reborn back into this world. You proceed directly to Chamber 10 where you will be allocated a new rebirth. If you have committed more evil than good you will sent to one of the other chambers of hell to receive your punishment.
- 2nd Chamber. Kidnappers, malpracticing doctors, marriage cheaters, suicide committers and squatters (ha-ha good!) will be punished here.
- 3rd Chamber. Those who disobey seniors, the dishonest, disloyal, immoral, cheats (benefit scroungers), prison breakers, seducers, forgers, false accountants and thieves (Somali pirates) will find that there are no namby-pamby judges giving out soft community service sentences here.
- 4th Chamber. This hell is for tax evaders (non-doms?), purveyors of fake medicines (drug dealers), cheating salesmen, bullies, deceivers, litter-bugs (seems a bit harsh?) and those not taking care or the poor and elderly.
- 5th Chamber. Known as the howling hell, this is reserved for the stingy (not thrifty too I hope), those who like to fight and gamble, people who are jealous of the kind hearted, rapists, killers, human rights abusers, shooters of poultry and birds and destroyers of water sources.
- 6th Chamber. The great howling hell. For those who disrespect Buddha and other Gods, violate ethical practices, vandals and food wasters.
- 7th Chamber. The heating hell.For those who live lavishly (bankers?), commit unethical business practices, raid tombs, have abortions, mislead juveniles, bully the weak and fabricate the truth (paparazzi/tabloid editors).
- 8th Chamber. Intense heating hell. For those who cause fear, panic, sadness or worry to their parents or in-laws.
- 9th Chamber. The ultimate torment chamber! For those who set fire to homes, destroy others’ property, cause confusion, engage in abortion services, entice young men and rape young girls.
- 10th Chamber. This chamber is for those who are going to be reincarnated back into this world. The controller will determine whether you will be reborn rich or poor, male or female and so on based on the merits and demerits of your past actions. You will then be given a drink which will wipe out all memory of your past life.
Would you like to read more about what happens to humans after death? Take a look at this blog.