Zhuan Lun Wang 转轮王.jpg

Zhuan Lun Wang1, or King Zhuan Lun, resides in the Tenth Court of Di Yu (地狱 dì yù), where he passes judgement on the souls (魂 hún) that are brought to his domain.

1 Zhuan 转 means to change; shift; transfer; turn; and Lun 轮 is shorthand for "lun hui" 轮回 which means reincarnation.

The Tenth Court of Di Yu is located outside of the netherworld's (幽冥 yōu míng) Wo Jiao Stone (沃焦石 wò jiāo shí) and faces true east toward the World of Five Turbidities (五浊恶世 wǔ zhuó è shì)2.

2 The World of Five Turbidities is the world as we know it, defined by;

  1. decay, as characterized by the next four turbidities;
  2. views, namely, the wrong views3;
  3. afflictions, such as greedangerdelusionarrogance, and doubt;
  4. sentient beings that lead wicked lives and are in increasing suffering;
  5. human lifespan.

Unlike the world as understood by an enlightened being, that sees past the Five Turbidities and can escape the never-ending cycle of reincarnation.

3 "the wrong view" is that false reality we invent and construct for ourselves based on our misinformed perception of everything. Wrong views, according to the Buddha, are the source of all harmful actions of our body, speech and mind that trap us in an endless cycle of suffering known as samsara.

Zhuan Lun Wang 转轮王 
(zhuǎn lún wáng)
Status: God/Deity
Gender: Male
Pronunciation: (audio file coming soon)
Best known for: Presides over the 10th Court of Di Yu

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In the Tenth Court there are six bridges - gold, silver, jade, stone, wood and the Nai He Bridge (奈何桥 nài hé qiáo) - it is here that Zhuan Lun Wang meets with and passes judgement on the souls that come before him from any one of the previous 9 courts. Each is judged in accordance with their sins and takes a different bridge across Wang Chuan River (忘川河 wàng chuān hé), the good are separated from the evil and each is sent on their way to be reincarnated on one of the Four Continents4

4 According to Buddhist cosmology, humans beings live on four continents in a vast ocean surrounding the axial world-mountain, Xu Mi (须弥山 xū mí shān). 

Those who were rich are reincarnated poor, and vice versa. Men are reincarnated as women, and vice versa. But before being reincarnated, each soul must stand before Meng Po (孟婆 mèng pó) drink her soup (孟婆汤 mèng pó tāng), often referred to as "Five-Flavoured Tea of Forgetfulness" in English. Once finished, the consumer will lose all memories of their previous life, and will be ready to take the final path to reincarnation.