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Yama
 
 

About Yama

Yama - God of Death

Also known as Yamaraja, YamaYamaYama
Also known as Yamaraja, Yama is the controller of the hell (Naraka)...
is the controller of the hell (Naraka). He is considered as the first mortal man who died and thus became the guide and ruler of the departed souls. He is the regent of the Sothern quarter of the compass and thus is called Dakshinasapati. He is the judge of the dead and decides which soul is to be sent in which level of hell. Like Christianity, Hindu’s hell has various levels and according to the severity of the crime the punishment is decided. But unlike Christianity, the soul is not sent to hell for eternity. Rather the same soul can spend time in heaven after receiving punishments in the hell. Yama, thus, can direct the soul to heaven and also return it back to earth.

Though he is considered inauspicious and is a dread of but Yama only takes the soul away of the deceased. He is not the one to inflict pain; it is only the result of the bad karma Karma are the good or bad deeds one performs in his life, according to which he/she receives(deeds). He is often helped by ChitraguptaChitraguptaChitragupta
Chitragupta is a Hindu deity known for his responsibility...
as he maintains the record of human deeds. Yama is also worshipped by Buddhist, Persians, Chinese, Japanese and Korean.

Birth and Family

Yama is the son of Surya (the Sun God) and his wife Sanjana, the daughter of Vishwakarma. He is the twin brother of YamiYamiYami
Also known as Kaalindi, Yami is the daughter of Sun God, Surya and his consort...
. After BrahmaBrahmaBrahma
According to Hinduism, the whole creation is the work of Trimurti (the Hindu Trinity)...
had created the earth, heaven and hell, he needed someone to keep a record of each activity of souls.  Yama was given the responsibility of punishing or rewarding souls according to their actions. Thus, he is also called Dharamraja as he follows the path of righteousness and anyone who deviates from the path is punished. He ensures the cycle of rebirths rotates as determined.

Vishwakarma also prepared a palace for Yama, 800 miles in circumference where Yama sits on a grand throne, and souls are brought in front of him to listen to their final judgment. Around this palace is a river flowing named Vaitamee and on the request of Brahma, Agni entered the river to keep the water boiling. After death, souls can reach Yama only after swimming in the river. The good souls are unaffected, but the evil ones have to suffer the torment.

Symbolism

Yama is depicted either in black or green, with red eyes. He is very majestic in appearance carries a noose in one hand from which he catches his victims and mace, in another which he uses to strikes the sinners. His mount is buffalo and wears a garland of skulls. He is also adorned with a crown and flowers on his head. He has two guardian dogs with four eyes each, looking in all four directions and dragging unwilling souls to hell. They make sure no soul leaves the walls of hell before completing their time. A crow and a pigeon work as his messengers and bring information from Yama to souls and vice-e-versa He also maintains a ‘Book of Destiny’ in which the spans of each person are recorded.

It is believed that body should not be cremated at least after four hours and forty minutes of death as the soul takes this much time to reach Yama.

Vishnu and Shiva

It is believed that only the true devotees of VishnuVishnuVishnu
Vishnu is one of the Supreme Gods of Hindus and is a part of Hindu Trinity,..
and ShivaShivaShiva
Shiva is one of the Supreme Gods of Hindu Trinity that ...
can be saved from Yama. According to a legend, a wicked person named Ajamila remembered his son named Narayana on his death bed (Narayana is also one of the names of Vishnu). Unknowingly, he remembered Vishnu before dying and thus his life was saved.

According to another legend a man refused to go with Yama and held a statue of Shiva Linga Linga is a phallic shaped symbol of Shiva which is considered his source of power and is worshipped by Hindusin a temple. He kept chanting Maha Mritiunjaya Mantra A group of sacred words chanted in order to gain something, be it materialistic pleasures or peaceful mind(the death conquering words). Shiva didn’t let Yama take his soul and presented the man his life back.
 



 
 

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