Hell

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Hell. A term with the Anglo-Saxons, evidently derived from the name of the goddess Hela (q.v.), and by the Sclavonians from the Greek Hades: hell being in Russian and other Sclavonian tongues—ad, the only difference between the Scandinavian cold hell and the hot hell of the Christians, being found in their respective temperatures. But even the idea of those overheated regions is not original with the Europeans, many peoples having entertained the conception of an underworld climate; as well may we if we localise our Hell in the centre of the earth. All exoteric religions—the creeds of the Brahmans, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, Mahommedans, Jews, and the rest, make their hells hot and dark, though many are more attractive than frightful. The idea of a hot hell is an afterthought, the distortion of an astronomical allegory. With the Egyptians, Hell became a place of punishment by fire not earlier than the seventeenth or eighteenth dynasty, when Typhon was transformed from a god into a devil. But at whatever time this dread superstition was implanted in the minds of the poor ignorant masses, the scheme of a burning hell and souls tormented therein is purely Egyptian. Ra (the Sun) became the Lord of the Furnace in Karr, the hell of the Pharaohs, and the sinner was threatened with misery “in the heat of infernal fires”. “A lion was there” says Dr. Birch “and was called the roaring monster”. Another describes the place as “the bottomless pit and lake of fire, into which the victims are thrown” (compare Revelation). The Hebrew word gaї-hinnom (Gehenna) never really had the significance given to it in Christian orthodoxy.

Source: H.P.Blavatsky - The Theosophical Glossary


Hell. A term which the Anglo-Saxon race has evidently derived from the name of the Scandinavian goddess, Hela, just as the word ad, in Russian and other Slavonian tongues expressing the same conception, is derived from the Greek Hades, the only difference between the Scandinavian cold Hell, and the hot Hell of the Christians, being found in their respective temperatures. But even the idea of these overheated regions is not original with the Europeans, many people having entertained the conception of an under-world climate; as well we may, if we localise our Hell in the centre of the earth. All exoteric religions — the creeds of the Brahmans, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, Mahomedans, Jews, and the rest, made their Hells hot and dark, though many were more attractive than frightful. The idea of a hot Hell is an afterthought, the distortion of an astronomical allegory. With the Egyptians Hell became a place of punishment by fire not earlier than the 17th or 18th Dynasty, when Typhon was transformed from a God into a Devil. But at whatever time they implanted this dread superstition in the minds of the poor ignorant masses, the scheme of a burning Hell and souls tormented therein is purely Egyptian. Ra (the Sun) became the Lord of the Furnace, in Karr, the Hell of the Pharaohs, and the sinner was threatened with misery "in the heat of infernal fires." "A lion was there," says Dr. Birch, "and was called the roaring monster." Another describes the place as "the bottomless pit and lake of fire, into which the victims are thrown" (compare Revelation). The Hebrew word gai-hinnom (gehena) had never really the significance given to it in Christian orthodoxy.

Source: H.P.Blavatsky - The Key to Theosophy, The theosophical glossary