In Buddhism, Avīci (Sanskrit and Pali for "without waves" — Japanese and Chinese: 無間地獄, Wújiàn dìyù and 阿鼻地獄, Ābí dìyù) or Avichi, is the lowest Level of the Naraka or "hell" realm, into which the dead who have committed grave misdeeds may be reborn. It is said to be a cube 20,000 yojanas (120,000 to 300,000 km) to a side, buried deep underneath the earth. Avīci is often translated into English as the "Non-returning" Hell, due to the idea that those beings which have been sent there languish there eternally. The other Hells function more like Purgatory, where after perhaps a few eons of suffering, the being might be reborn as some sort of lowly life-form in a somewhat less horrible place; but, the beings in Avīci Hell are thought to be hopeless for any respite.
- Intentionally murdering one's father
- Intentionally murdering one's mother
- Killing an Arhat (enlightened being)
- Shedding the blood of a Buddha
- Creating a schism within the Sangha, the community of Buddhist monks and nuns.
Eternity in Hell
Buddhism teaches that rebirth into Naraka is temporary, while the offending being works off the karma they performed. Rebirth into Avīci hell is not eternal. However, suffering in Avīci is long term. Some sutras state that rebirth in Avīci will be for innumerable kalpas (eons). When the offending being passes away after one kalpa, he is again reborn in the same place, undergoing suffering for another kalpa, and on and on until he has exhausted his bad karma. For this reason, Avīci hell is also known as the "non-stop way" (無間道).
Nichiren famously wrote that Buddhist monks who ignored the passages in the Lotus Sutra, which claimed its superiority over other sutras would fall into the Avīci hell. Outside of Nichiren, it is extremely rare for a Buddhist monk to condemn anyone to Avīci hell, although the Lotus Sutra itself states "when his [those who slander] life comes to an end, he will enter the Avichi Hell."
Rebirth in Avīci (or any lower realm for that matter) should be seen as a process of purification rather than a form of punishment as there is no supernatural being that determines anyone's fate of its own will and everyone is responsible for their own actions and their consequences: "[...]beings are owners of kamma, heir to kamma, born of kamma, related through kamma, and have kamma as their arbitrator. Kamma is what creates distinctions among beings in terms of coarseness & refinement." Thus, being reborn in Avīci is purely the inevitable result of one's evil deeds and not the decision of, for example, a malevolent deity.
- Buddhist cosmology: philosophy and origins — Page 47 by Akira Sadakata
- Phyllis Granoff; Koichi Shinohara (17 August 2012). Sins and Sinners: Perspectives from Asian Religions. BRILL. p. 134. ISBN 978-90-04-22946-4. Retrieved 21 September 2013.
- The Sword of Wisdom: Commentaries on the Song of Enlightenment - Shengyan - Google Boeken
- Mujū Ichien (30 August 1985). Sand and Pebbles: The Tales of Muju Ichien, A Voice for Pluralism in Kamakura Buddhism. SUNY Press. pp. 19–20. ISBN 978-0-88706-060-1. Retrieved 21 September 2013.
- Itivuttaka: This Was Said by the Buddha
- Cula-kammavibhanga Sutta: The Shorter Analysis of Action