The Padma Purana

by N.A. Deshpande | 1951 | 1,261,945 words | ISBN-10: 8120838297 | ISBN-13: 9788120838291

This page describes the death & post-mortem state of sinners which is chapter 16 of the English translation of the Padma Purana, one of the largest Mahapuranas, detailling ancient Indian society, traditions, geography, as well as religious pilgrimages (yatra) to sacred places (tirthas). This is the sixteenth chapter of the Bhumi-khanda (section on the earth) of the Padma Purana, which contains six books total consisting of at least 50,000 Sanskrit metrical verses.

Disclaimer: These are translations of Sanskrit texts and are not necessarily approved by everyone associated with the traditions connected to these texts. Consult the source and original scripture in case of doubt.

Chapter 16 - The Death & Post-mortem State of Sinners

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Sumanā said:

1. That wicked man being burnt and struggling again and again is taken along a path full of a heap of charcoals.

2. Being tormented by the sun’s rays, he is taken along that path on which the sun’s heat is intense and which is heated by twelve suns.

3. The wicked-minded one is taken along the path, on mountains, inaccessible and shadow-less places, while he is very much tormented by hunger and thirst.

4-5. Being hit by the messengers (of Yama) with maces, swords and hatchets, and being beaten with whips and being censured by them, he is then taken along a cold path and is again served (tormented) by wind. Due to that (severe) cold he becomes afflicted. There is no doubt about it.

6-11a. Being dragged by (Yama’s) messengers he is taken to many inaccessible places. In this way, the sinner, the wicked-minded man, who reviles gods and brāhmaṇas, and who commits all sins, is taken by Yama’s servants. The wicked-hearted man sees Yama, king of Dharma, who resembles a heap of black collyrium, who is fierce, ruthless, fearful and with (i.e. surrounded by) fearful messengers, who is full of (i.e. who has with all diseases, who is accompanied by Citragupta, who is mounted upon a buffalo, who is very fierce due to his large teeth and is very fearful, O best brāhmaṇa. His face resembles death. The wicked-minded man sees Yama, who has worn a yellow garment, who has a mace in his hand, who is besmeared with red sandal, who has adorned himself with red flowers, and whose body is huge. He sees Yama like this.

11b-12. Seeing him approaching, Yama observes him who is outcast from all religions, who is wicked, most sinful and an enemy of the customary law. He would punish (i.e. he punishes) him with tortures and with wooden mallets.

13a. Till the end of the period of a thousand yugas he is parched with heat.

13b-14. Again and again he is roasted in hells of various kinds. The sinner goes to (i.e. is born in) a hellish species among crores of insects. Being miserable and senseless he is parched with heat in an impure (place).

15. Thus certainly does the wicked-hearted man die. Thus the wicked-minded man experiences the fruit of his association with sin.

16-19a. I shall (now) explain (to you) rebirth and the species to which he goes. Having obtained a hundred births as dogs he again experiences (the fruit of) sin. The wicked-hearted one becomes (i.e. is born as) a tiger, and goes to the species of (i.e. is born as) a donkey. Then he goes to the species of (i.e. is born as) a cat, pig or a serpent. He is repeatedly born in all the species of various kinds and in (those of) lower animals. He goes to (i.e. is born among) the sinful birds and in other great species. The sinner goes to the species of (i.e. is born as) cāṇḍāla, bhilla or (as a member of the barbarous tribe called) pulinda.

19b. I have (thus) told you everything about the birth of sinners.

20-21. O my dear husband, listen to the very fearful struggle of them (i.e. of the sinners) at the time of their death. I have told before (i.e. to) you (i.e. explained to you) the practice of sin and merit. O you who show respect to others, like this I shall tell you something else, if you ask.

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