You bring your own fire to Hell

Kester Brewin posted recently on a little-known Hindu tale of one of their gods who travels to hell.  While certainly not in the Christian canon, it’s got an interesting final line that I’m still musing on. Enjoy:

One day Lal Shabaz Qalander was wandering in the desert with his friend Sheikh Baha ud-Din Zakariya. It was winter, and bitterly cold and as the evening came they decided to build a fire to keep warm while they camped. They gathered some wood and built a pyre, but then realised that they had no way to ignite it. So Baha ud-Din suggested that Lal Shabaz turn himself into a falcon, fly down and bring some fire from hell.

Off he flew, and hours passed. Eventually the bird-god soared back to Baha ud-Din, and fluttered to his side, empty-handed. Cold and bewildered Baha ud-Din asked him why he had not brought fire back with him. “There is no fire in hell,” he reported, changing back into his usual form. “Everyone who goes there from this world brings their own.”

Thoughts/reflections? Remind you of any Christian mysticism or writings?

Print Friendly and PDF


  1. Ann says

    I'm reading The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis in a small group at church. Definitely going to share this idea! Very interesting…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *