Garuda Purana – Punishments for our SINS…

Garuda Purana is one of the eighteen Puranas which are part of the Hindu body of texts known as smriti. It is a Vaishnava Purana and the epic is in form of conversation between Lord Vishnu and Garuda (King of Birds), primarily emphasizing the reason and meaning of Human Life form.Garuḍa asks the Lord to explain Yama’s kingdom.  The Lord not only begins to describe Yama’s kingdom, but also begins to describe the procedure to be followed immediately after death.

Tamisram(Heavy flogging)-Those who rob others of their wealth are bound with ropes by Yama’s Servants and cast into the Naraka known as Tamisram. There, they are given a thrashing until they bleed and faint. When they recover their senses, the beating is repeated. This is done until their time is up.

Andhatamtrsam(Flogging)-This Hell is reserved for the Husband or the Wife who only treat their spouses well when they are to profit or pleasure to them. Those who forsake their wives and husbands for no apparent reasons are also sent here. The punishment is almost the same as Tamisram, but the excruciating pain, suffered by the victims on being tied fast, makes them fall down senseless.

Rauravam(torment of snakes)– This is the hell for sinners who seize and enjoy another man’s property or resources. When these people are thrown into this hell, those whom they have cheated, assume the the shape of “Ruru”, a dreadful serpent. The serpent(s) will torment them severely until their time is up.

Mahararuravam(death by snakes)- Here there is also Ruru serpents but more fiercer. Those who deny the legitimate heirs, their inheritance and possess and enjoy others property will be squeezed and bitten non stop by this terrible serpents coiling around them. Those who steal another man’s wife or lover will also be thrown here.

Kumbhipakam(cooked by oil)– This is the hell for those who kill animals for pleasure. Here oil is kept boiled in huge vessels and sinners are plunged in this vessels.

Kalasutram( Hot as hell)- This hell is terribly hot. Those who don’t respect their elders esp. when their elders have done their duties are sent here. Here they are made to run around in this unbearable heat and drop down exhausted from time to time.


Asitapatram(sharp flogging)- This is the hell in which sinners abandon one’s own duty. They are flogged by Yama’s Servants with whips made of asipatra (sharp-edged sword-shaped leaves). If they run about under the flogging, they will trip over the stones and thorns, to fall on their faces. Then they are stabbed with knives until they drop unconscious, When they recover, the same process is repeated until their time is up in this Naraka.
Sukaramukham(Crushed and tormented)- Rulers who neglect their duties and oppress their subjects by misrule, are punished in this hell. They are crushed to a pulp by heavy beating.When they recover, it is repeated until their time is up.
  Andhakupam( Attack of the animals)- This is hell for those who oppress the good people and not helping them if requested despite having the resources. They will be pushed into a well, where beasts like Lions, tigers, eagles and venomous creatures like snakes and scorpions. The sinners have to endure the constant attacks of this creatures until the expiry of the period of their punishment. 
Taptamurti( Burnt Alive)- Those who plunder or steal Gold and jewels are cast into the furnaces of this Naraka which always remains hot in blazing fire.


Krimibhojanam(Food for worms)- Those who do not honour their Guests and make use of men or women only for their own gain, are thrown into this Naraka. Worms, insects and serpents eat them alive. Once their bodies are completely eaten up, the sinners are provided with new bodies, which are also eaten up in the above manner. This continues, till the end of their term of punishment.
Salmali(Embracing hot images)-This Naraka is intended for men and women who have committed adultery. A figure made of iron, heated red-hot is placed there. The sinner is forced to embrace it, while Yama’s servants flog the victim behind.

Vajrakantakasali-(Embracing sharp images)- This Naraka is the punishment for Sinners who have unnatural intercourse with animals. Here, they are made to embrace iron images full of sharp diamond needles that pierce through their bodies.

Vaitarani(River of Filth)- Rulers who abuse their power and adulterers are thrown here. It is the most terrible place of punishment. It is a river which is filled with human excreta, blood, hair, bones, nails, flesh and all kinds of dirty substances. There are various kinds of terrible beasts as well. Those who are cast into it are attacked and mauled by these creatures from all sides. The sinners have to spend the term of their punishment, feeding upon the contents of this river.

Puyodakam (Well of hell)- This is a well filled with excreta, urine, blood, phlegm. Men who have intercourse and cheat women with no intention of marrying them are considered like animals. Those who wander about irresponsibly like animals are thrown in this well to get polluted by it’s contents. They are to remain here till their time is up.

Pranarodham (Piece by Piece)- This Naraka is for those who keep dogs and other mean animals and constantly hunt and kill animals for food. Here the servants of Yama, gather around the sinners and cut them limb to limb while subjecting them to constant insult.

Visasanam(Bashing from Clubs)- This Naraka is for the torture of those rich people who look down at the poor and spend excessively just to display their wealth and splendour. They have to remain here at the whole term of their punishment where they will be bashed non stop from heavy clubs from Yama’s Servants.
Lalabhaksam-(River of semen)- This is the Naraka for lustful men. The lascivious fellow who makes his wife swallow his semen, is cast into this hell. Lalabhaksam is a sea of semen. The sinner lies in it, feeding upon semen alone until his period of punishment.
Sarameyasanam(Torment from dogs)- Those guilty of unsocial acts like poisoning food, mass slaughter, ruining the country are cast into this hell. There is nothing but the flesh of dogs for food. There are thousands of dogs in this Naraka and they attack the sinners and tear their flesh from their bodies with their teeth.
Avici( turned into dust)- This Naraka is for those who are guilty for false witness and false swearing. There are hurled from a great height and they are utterly smashed into dust when they reached the ground. They are again restored to life and the punishment is repeated till the end of their time.



Garuda Purana (गरुड़ पुराण) is one of the eighteen Puranas which are part of the Hindu body of texts known as smriti. It is a Vaishnava Purana and the epic is in form of conversation between Lord Vishnu and Garuda (King of Birds), primarily emphasizing the reason and meaning of Human Life form.

Garuḍa asks the Lord to explain Yama’s kingdom.  The Lord not only begins to describe Yama’s kingdom, but also begins to describe the procedure to be followed immediately after death.The distance between the earth and Yama’s world is 1,032,000 Kilometers (approximately 641,255 miles. (Distance between the earth and the moon is 384,000 KMs and the distance between the earth and the sun is 149,598,000 KMs).  Due to the effect of karma, a man falls sick causing his death.  The mode of one’s death also depends upon one’s karma. When a man is dead, his body should be kept on the ground after purificatory rituals discussed earlier.  Śālagrāma (sacred stone) should be placed near the body.  Tulasī leaves (basil) should be placed in both the hands of the body and also on its neck. Pieces of gold should also be kept in the nine apertures of the body.  The body should be covered with two sheets of clothing.  The body should be carried through the back door.  Sons and other relatives should carry the body on their shoulders. While placing the body on the pyre, head should be facing north.  His son should perform ceremonies facing the eastern side. When the subtle body is leaving the gross body, which is known as death, the messengers of Yama arrive on the scene. When the subtle body finally comes out of the gross body, causing death of the gross body, the subtle body is still able to see the entire universe.  The departed soul could see the messengers of Yama and the attendants of Lord Viṣṇu. This means that the soul can  see both good and bad and the departed soul begins its journey according to its karma.  A subtle body which has a bad karmic account feels for its sins at this stage.   A soul has to travel the entire distance to reach the world of Yama.  The path becomes rough for the sinners and the path becomes comfortable for virtuous. Lord begins to describe Yama.  He has four arms holding a conch, a discus, a bow and a staff.  He treats the virtuous with respect and sinners with rudeness. He hits the sinners with iron rod and club.  He sits on a buffalo (Yama is called mahiṣa vāhana; mahiṣa means buffalo and vāhana means vehicle).  His body appears dreadful to sinners and radiant to virtuous. The soul is in the size of one’s thumb (it means the subtle body. Soul and the subtle body always travel together.  The subtle body is pushed out of the gross body by air.  The subtle body cries out when it comes out of the gross body). 


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