The Padma Purana

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

This page describes the seven hells shown to dhaneshvara which is chapter 114 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 one hundred fourteenth chapter of the Uttara-Khanda (Concluding Section) of the Padma Purana, which contains six books total consisting of at least 50,000 Sanskrit metrical verses.

Chapter 114 - The Seven Hells Shown to Dhaneśvara

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Śrī Kṛṣṇa said:

1. Then Yama’s servant, the official looking after the dead, took Dhaneśvara and showed him all hells.

The official looking after the dead said:

2-24. O Dhaneśvara, see all these very fearful hells into which sinners are always roasted by Yama’s servants. This hell, appearing fearful, is called Taptavāluka in which those sinners whose bodies are burnt, cry. Those men who do not honour the guests emaciated with hunger, who have come to theirhouse after having made an offering to all deities, are roasted here due to their acts. Those who have kicked the preceptor, fire, brāhmaṇas, deities, those that are crowned, have their feet burnt. This hell has six divisions, and is reached by those who have committed various sins. Similarly this is the great hell (called) Andhatāmisra. O brāhmaṇa, see the body (of a man) due to his sinful act, is being pierced by insects of fierce mouths that have come in contact with him. This also has six divisions. In them sinful human beings are roasted with their vitals pierced by horses, crows, beasts and birds. The third hell is Krakaca, appearing fierce, where the sinful human beings are cut with swords. It has six divisions like (the one having) the Asipatra-grove. Those men who separate (others) from their wives, sons etc., so also with other beloved persons, are roasted here. The sinners, crying and running here and there through fear of being cut with blades of swords, are roasted here. See (them). This fourth hell is called Argala. See. Those sinners, being bound by Yama’s servants with various kinds of nooses, and being killed with iron clubs, are crying here. Those sinful men who oppose good men and brāhmaṇas in this world are roasted here after their necks etc. are seized by Yama’s servants. This also is a hell having six divisions like Vadha, etc. See this fifth hell called Kūṭaśālmalī, where, O brāhmaṇa, there are śālmalī and other trees resembling charcoal, where those men who are always engaged in adultery, snatching others’ wealth and treachery, are roasted cruelly in six ways. See this sixth wonderful hell (called) Raktapūya where men committing sins are roasted with their faces turned down. These have eaten prohibited articles, and were engaged in censuring others and wickedness. Being pierced and killed, they are crying in fearful tones. This also is having bad smells of six kinds. O Dhaneśvara, see this seventh hell appearing fierce and called Kumbhīpāka. It is divided into six by means of articles like oil. Here great sinners are, for many thousand years, boiled by plunging them and taking them out (of the oil) by Yama’s servants. These Raurava hells are said to be forty plus two. See them. A non-deliberate sin is called śuṣka, and a deliberate one ārdra. The hells are of two kinds depending upon the two varieties, ārdra and śuṣka. They have eighty-four separate divisions. That which is of a non-specific or general nature, resulting in a person’s not being allowed to dine in the same line, and arising from pollution, and resulting in one’s exclusion from his caste is said to be a minor sin.

25-26. A very heinous sin[1] is a major sin said to be divided into seven divisions. One by one they are roasted in these seven (hells). Due to your collection of religious merit as you had contact with the observers of the Kārtika-vow, you were taken out of them.

Śrī Kṛṣṇa said:

27-29. Thus showing him the hells, the official looking after the dead, took Dhaneśvara to the Yakṣa-world; then he lived there. He is the follower of Kubera, and is known as Dhanayakṣa, and after him Viśvāmitra has fashioned a holy place at Ayodhyā. This Kārtika-vow is having such an efficacy, gives pleasures and salvation. By seeing an observer of this vow even he who has committed many sins, gets salvation.

Footnotes and references:


Mahāpāpa—a great, or heinous sin. Murder of a brāhmaṇa, drinking liquor, stealing, violating the preceptor’s bed (i.e. his wife), and company of those who commit these sins are great sins.

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