hell ［地獄］ (, Pali naraka or niraya; jigoku): The first and lowest of the three evil paths, the six paths, and the Ten Worlds. Buddhist scriptures describe various kinds of hells, such as the eight hot hells and the eight cold hells. They depict hell as a realm beneath the earth where those who have committed evil are reborn and undergo different degrees of suffering for varying periods of time according to the nature and weight of their offenses. The expression “136 hells” is used to describe the array of hells, this number representing the eight hot hells, each with its sixteen subsidiary hells. T’ien-t’ai (538–597) and Nichiren (1222–1282) interpreted hell, or any other of the Ten Worlds, as a condition inherent within life and manifest at any moment. Viewed in this manner, hell describes a condition of utmost suffering and despair. See also eight cold hells; eight hot hells.