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The Garuda Purana is one of the Vishnu Puranas. It is essentially a dialogue between Lord Vishnu and Garuda, the king of birds. The Garuda Purana addresses the particular themes of Hindu philosophy associated with death, funerary rites, and the metaphysics of reincarnation. One might often find that the Sanskrit word "Naraka" is equated with "hell" in most English translations of Indian texts. The Hindu concept of "heaven and hell" is not quite what we imagine in popular culture today. Western notions of hell and heaven are roughly equivalent to the Hindu equivalent of "intermediate states between birth and rebirth." A chapter of the text deals with the kind of punishment prescribed for sinners of the extreme kind inhabiting Middle-earth.

These are all of the death penalties mentioned in the text (called "The Torments of Yama"):

1. Tamisram (heavy flogging)– Those who rob others of their wealth are bound with ropes by Yama's servants and thrown into the Naraka known as Tamisram. There they are beaten until they bleed and pass out. When they regain their senses, the beatings are repeated. This happens until their time is up.

2. Andhatamtrsam (Auspeitschen) – This hell is reserved for the husband or wife who treats their spouses well only when it benefits them or gives them pleasure. Those who leave their wives and husbands for no apparent reason are also sent here. The punishment is almost the same as Tamisram, but the excruciating pain suffered by the victims while being tied down makes them fall senseless.

3. Rauravam (torment of the snakes)- This is hell for sinners who take and enjoy another's property or resources. When these people are thrown into this hell, those who deceived them take the form of "Ruru," a terrible serpent. The snake(s) will torment you severely until their time is up.

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4. Maharururavam (Death by Serpents)– There are also ruru snakes here, but more fiercely. Those who deny their inheritance to the rightful heirs and own and enjoy the property of others are continually bruised and bitten by these horrible serpents that coil around them. Those who steal another man's wife or lover are also thrown here.

5. Kumbhipakam (with Öl gekocht)– This is hell for those who kill animals for pleasure. Here oil is boiled in huge vessels and sinners are dipped into these vessels.

6. Kalasutram (hot as hell)– This hell is terribly hot. Those who don't respect their elders, esp. when their elders have done their duties, they are sent here. Here they have to run around in this unbearable heat and every now and then fall down exhausted.

7. Asitapatram (sharp flogging)– This is hell where sinners give up their own duty. They are flogged with whips made of asipatra (sharp-edged, sword-shaped leaves) by Yama's servants. Walking under the flogging, they trip over stones and thorns and fall on their faces. Then they are stabbed with knives until they fall unconscious. When they recover, the same process is repeated until their time in that Naraka is up.

8. Sukaramukham (peeled and dried)- Rulers who neglect their duties and oppress their subjects through mismanagement will be punished in this hell. They are crushed to a pulp by violent beating. When they recover, it will repeat until their time is up.

9. Andhakupam (Attack of the Animals)- This is hell for those who oppress the good people and don't help them when asked, even though they have the resources. You will be pushed into a well where animals like lions, tigers, eagles and venomous creatures like snakes and scorpions live. The sinners must endure the constant attacks of these creatures until the end of their sentence.

(Video) Live Q&A on Hinduism 09/07/2022 with Hindu Academy UK Team|Basics|Intermediate|Advanced Questions

10. Taptamurti (burned alive)– Those who plunder or steal gold and jewels are thrown into the furnaces of this Naraka, which always remain hot in the blazing fire.

11. Krimibhojanam (Food for Worms)– Those who do not honor their guests and only use men or women for their own benefit will be thrown into this Naraka. Worms, insects and snakes 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 until the end of their sentence.

12. Salmali (hugging hot pictures)-This Naraka is intended for men and women who have committed adultery. A red-hot figure made of iron is set up there. The sinner is forced to embrace it while Yama's servants flog the victim.

13. 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 piercing their bodies.

14. Vaitarani (River of Dirt)– Rulers who abuse their power and adulterers are thrown here. It's the most terrible place of punishment. It is a river filled with human excrement, blood, hair, bones, nails, flesh and all sorts of filthy substances. There are also different types of terrible beasts. Those thrown in will be attacked and mauled from all sides by these creatures. The sinners must spend the time of their punishment feeding on the contents of this river.

15. Puyodakam (Well of Hell)– This is a well filled with excrement, urine, blood, mucus. Men who have sexual intercourse and cheat on women with no intention of marrying them are treated as animals. Those who roam irresponsibly like animals are thrown into this well to be polluted by its contents. They are to stay here until their time is up.

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16. 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 from limb while subjecting them to constant insults.

17. Visasanam (Bashing von Clubs) –This Naraka is for torturing those rich people who look down on the poor and spend excessively just to show off their wealth and magnificence. They must stay here for the entire duration of their punishment, where they are continuously beaten by heavy clubs from Yama's minions.

18. Lalabhaksam (Samenfluss)– This is the Naraka for lustful men. The lascivious guy who makes his wife swallow his semen gets thrown in this hell. Lalabhaksam is a sea of ​​seeds. The sinner lies in it and feeds only on sperm until his sentence.

19. Sarameyasanam (Qual von Hunden) –Those guilty of anti-social acts like food poisoning, mass murder, and destruction of the country will be thrown into this hell. There is nothing to eat but the flesh of dogs. There are thousands of dogs in this Naraka and they attack the sinners and tear the flesh from their bodies with their teeth.

20. Avici (turned to dust)– This Naraka is for those who are guilty of false testimony and false oath. They are thrown from great heights and completely shatter themselves into dust when they hit the ground. They are brought back to life and the punishment is repeated until the end of their time.

21. Ayahpanam (drinking burning substances)– Those who consume alcohol and other intoxicating beverages are sent here. The women are forced to drink molten iron in liquid form while the men are forced to drink hot liquid molten lava for every time they consume an alcoholic beverage in their earthly life.

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22. Raksobjaksam (Racheangriffe)– Those who offer animal and human sacrifices and eat the meat after the sacrifice will be thrown into this hell. All living beings they killed before would be there and they will join forces to attack, bite and maul the sinners. Their screams and wails would do no good here.

23. Sulaprotam (Trident Torture)– People who take the life of others who have not harmed them and those who deceive others by betrayal will be sent to this “Sulaportam” hell. Here they are impaled on a trident and forced to spend their entire sentence in this position, suffering great hunger and thirst and enduring all the tortures inflicted on them.

24. Ksharakardamam (hanging upside down)– Show-offs and insults to good people are thrown into this hell. Yama's servants hold the sinners upside down and torture them in many ways.

25. Dandasukam (eaten alive)– Sinners who persecute others like animals are sent here. There are many beasts here. You will be eaten alive by these beasts.

26. Vatarodham (Weapon Torture)- This hell is for those who pursue animals living in forests, mountain peaks and trees. After being thrown into this hell, sinners are tortured with fire, poison and various weapons during their time here in this Naraka.

27. Paryavartanakam (torture of birds)- Anyone who refuses to eat a hungry man and abuses him will be thrown here. The moment the sinner arrives here, his eyes are pierced by birds like crows and eagles. They are later pierced by these birds until the end of their punishment.

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28. Sucimukham (tortured with needles)– Proud and miserly people who refuse to spend money even on basic necessities of life like better food or buying groceries for their relatives or friends will find their place in this hell. Even those who don't pay back the borrowed money are thrown into this hell. Here their bodies are constantly being pricked and pierced with needles.

“The Guruda Purana takes the form of instructions to Garuda from Vishnu. This deals with astronomy, medicine, grammar and with the structure and properties of diamonds. This Purana is dear to the Vaishnavites. The second half of this Purana deals with life after death.” It is a must read…


Is Hinduism the largest religion in the world? ›

Today, with about 900 million followers, Hinduism is the third-largest religion behind Christianity and Islam.

Do Hindus believe in God? ›

Hinduism has monotheistic (one God) as well as polytheistic (many Gods) elements: the one Ultimate Reality or Supreme Being (Brahman) also exists simultaneously in the deities of the Creator (Brahma), the Sustainer (Vishnu) and the Destroyer (Shiva).

Why is Hinduism unlike most major religions? ›

Unlike other religions, Hinduism has no one founder but is instead a fusion of various beliefs. Around 1500 B.C., the Indo-Aryan people migrated to the Indus Valley, and their language and culture blended with that of the indigenous people living in the region.

What are the 4 main beliefs of Hinduism? ›

Hindus believe that there are four goals in human life: kama, the pursuit of pleasure; artha, the pursuit of material success; dharma, leading a just and good life; and moksha, enlightenment, which frees a person from suffering and unites the individual soul with Brahman.

Is Hinduism the 3 largest religion? ›

Hinduism, with an estimated 1.1 billion followers, is the world's third largest religion and also one of the oldest, with beliefs and practices that date back at least as far as the 1500s BCE.

Is Hinduism the 2nd largest religion? ›

Hinduism. Hinduism is the third-largest religion worldwide, with approximately 1.2 billion Hindus in many countries. Interestingly, however, Hinduism is the dominant religion in only three countries, India with 79%, Nepal with 80%, and Mauritius with 48%.

What does Christianity say about Hinduism? ›

Also lacking is a conception of God as infinitely holy and righteous and as the One to whom we as His creatures are accountable for the way we conduct our lives.” One of the most fundamental issues Christians have with Hinduism is idolatry. The worship of idols is denounced in the holy scripture of the faith itself.

What is the Bible in Hinduism? ›

What is the Veda? The Aryans called their most sacred text Veda, meaning the 'knowledge'. It was believed to have arisen from the infallible 'hearing' (śruti), by ancient seers, of the sacred deposit of words whose recitation and contemplation bring stability and wellbeing to both the natural and human worlds.

Does Hinduism believe in heaven? ›

Most Hindus, Muslims, Christians believe in heaven

Some religions teach that heaven is the final destination for those who have lived a good life, others teach that it is a temporary home between rebirths, and still others teach that heaven is a state of being that people can aspire to experience during this life.

Who is the mother of all religions? ›

Hinduism, the mother of all religions.

What religion is similar to Hinduism? ›

Indian religions, sometimes also termed Dharmic religions or Indic religions, are the religions that originated in the Indian subcontinent. These religions, which include Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism, are also classified as Eastern religions.

What is the ultimate truth in Hinduism? ›

In Hinduism, Brahman connotes the highest universal principle, the ultimate reality in the universe. In major schools of Hindu philosophy, it is the material, efficient, formal and final cause of all that exists.

What is the main God in Hinduism? ›

Most Hindus are principally devoted to the god Vishnu, the god Shiva, or the Goddess. These categorical practices are sometimes described as, respectively, Vaishnavism (Vishnu), Shaivism (Shiva), and Shaktism (Shakti being another term for the female creative energy).

What is the moral code of Hinduism? ›

Dharma as universal moral principles

Ahimsa (Non violence) is often regarded as an absolute Dharma. However, the Sanskrit phrase is “Ahimsa Paramo Dharma. Dharma himsa tathaiva cha” that translates into “Non-violence is the ultimate Dharma.

Does Hinduism have 3 gods? ›

The Hindu creator god

It is often said that there is a trinity of Hindu gods: Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver and Shiva the destroyer.

Does Hinduism believe in one God or more? ›

In most regions, at least half of Hindus believe in one God with many manifestations, but in the Northeast, most Hindus believe in one God alone (56%). And Hindus in the South are somewhat more likely than those in other regions to say there are many gods (18% vs.

Who is the 2nd God in Hinduism? ›

Vishnu is the second god in the Hindu triumvirate (orTrimurti). The triumvirate consists of three gods who are responsible for the creation, upkeep and destruction of the world. The other two gods are Brahma and Shiva. Brahma is the creator of the universe and Shiva is the destroyer.

Who is the highest God in Hinduism? ›

Through history four principal Hindu denominations arose —Vaishnavism, Shaktism, Shaivism, and Smartism. For Vaishnavites, God Vishnu is God Of Supreme, For Shaktas, Goddess Shakti is supreme, For Shaivites, God Shiva is Supreme.

Are there 33 gods in Hinduism? ›

According to Vedas there are 33 Gods/Devas. These Gods are separated in the following pattern : 12 + 11 + 8 + 2. 12 is the number of Adityas, 11 are the number of Rudras, 8 is the number of Vasus, 1 is Prajapati, the Master of Gods, and 1 is the Supreme Ruler who is very powerful.

Do Hindus believe in Adam and Eve? ›

The Biblical myth related to Adam in the Genesis and his lineage up to Noah appears in one of the Hindu Puranas (Bhavishya Purana, 4th Ch.). It has been mentioned here that Adaman and Haimavati (equivalent to Adam and Eve) were living in their heavenly abode.

Do Hindus pray like Christians? ›

While it is fashionable to say that all religions are the same, and so are all prayers, the fact is that Hindu prayers are very different from Christian and Muslim prayers, and also from Sikh, Buddhist and Jain.

Do Buddhists believe in Jesus? ›

Some high level Buddhists have drawn analogies between Jesus and Buddhism, e.g. in 2001 the Dalai Lama stated that "Jesus Christ also lived previous lives", and added that "So, you see, he reached a high state, either as a Bodhisattva, or an enlightened person, through Buddhist practice or something like that." Thich ...

Is Christianity based on Hinduism? ›

Christianity revolves heavily around the life of Jesus Christ as detailed in the Bible, whereas Hinduism is not based on any one personality or one book, but rather on the philosophy that there is a god, or no god and just self, etc.

What do Hindus say when they pray? ›

May all beneficent beings bring peace to us. May your wisdom spread peace all through the world. May all things be a source of peace to all and to me. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti (Peace, peace, peace).

Who wrote holy book of Hinduism? ›

Having said that, one cannot fully appreciate the Hindu religion without recognizing the significance of the sage Veda Vyasa, who is widely revered and credited for compiling much of Hinduism's most prominent and influential spiritual texts, including the Vedas, the 18 Puranas, and the world's largest epic poem, the ...

Do Hindus believe in life after death? ›

Hindu beliefs about death

The Hindu faith is centred around reincarnation; the belief that when someone dies, the soul is reborn as a different form. They believe that although the physical body dies, their soul remains and continues to recycle until it settles upon its true nature.

What do Hindu Do When Someone dies? ›

Hindu funeral rituals, called antyesti, begin at the home and involve family and friends. The body is washed, anointed and dressed, and people gather and pray. Cremation is traditional, and generally takes place within 24 hours of a person's passing.

What foods are forbidden in Hinduism? ›

Beef is always avoided because the cow is considered a holy animal, but dairy products are eaten. Animal-derived fats such as lard and dripping are not permitted. Some Hindus do not eat ghee, milk, onions, eggs, coconut, garlic, domestic fowl or salted pork. Alcohol is generally avoided.

Who is mother of all gods? ›

Aditi is said to be the mother of the great god Indra, the mother of kings (Mandala 2. 27) and the mother of gods (Mandala 1. 113.19). In the Vedas, Aditi is Devamata (mother of the celestial gods) as from and in her cosmic matrix all the heavenly bodies were born.

What is the oldest proof of Hinduism? ›

Of these, the Rig-Veda is the oldest, a collection of hymns composed between ca. 1500-1200 BCE.

Who is universe mother? ›

The goddess Parvati as Kushmanda gives birth to the universe in the form of a cosmic egg which manifests as the universe.

What is a symbol of Hinduism? ›

Some of the more popular Hindu symbols are the aum/om (letters), the swastika (ancient religious symbol), the trishula (trident), the Shiva Linga (an abstract representation of Shiva), and the Nataraja (dancing Shiva). Most Hindu rituals are performed in the presence of many of these symbols.

What makes Hinduism unique? ›

The Hinduism religion has a belief of reincarnation, meaning that after one dies they are reborn. A large belief of Hindu's is that karma is a big influence on how positive, or negative, conditions are in an individual's present life.

Which is the strongest religion? ›

Largest religious groups
ReligionFollowers (billions)Cultural tradition
Christianity2.4Abrahamic religions
Islam1.9Abrahamic religions
Hinduism1.2Indian religions
Buddhism0.5Indian religions
1 more row

What is the significance of 3am in Hinduism? ›

This is an indication to wake up and meditate as you are working on your spiritual path. Your subconscious mind is waking you up at 3 am as it is the perfect time to meditate and connect with the divine and other energies and entities.

Why is 108 important in Hinduism? ›

According to Vedic cosmology, 108 is the basis of creation, represents the universe and all our existence. In Hinduism, we believe that outer cosmology should mirror our inner spirituality because our ultimate realization is that we are one in the same.

Why is 5 important in Hinduism? ›

Panchamuki Linga – Shiva, one of the primary trinities of the Hindu pantheon is represented by his five faces. He is called as Panchamukhi/Panchavaktra Shiva. The five faces denote his five aspects – Aghora, Ishana, Tat Purusha, Vamadeva and Sadyojata.

What is the 1 largest religion in the world? ›

Largest religious groups
ReligionFollowers (billions)Cultural tradition
Christianity2.4Abrahamic religions
Islam1.9Abrahamic religions
Hinduism1.2Indian religions
Buddhism0.5Indian religions
1 more row

What rank is Hinduism in the world? ›

Hinduism is the third-largest religion worldwide, with approximately 1.2 billion Hindus in many different countries.

What is the largest religions in the world? ›

Projection for 2020 (Pew Research Center, based on 2010 baseline estimates)
Christianity2.382 billion31.11%
Islam1.907 billion24.9%
Secular/Nonreligious/Agnostic/Atheist1.193 billion15.58%
Hinduism1.161 billion15.16%
18 more rows

Is Islam bigger than Hinduism? ›

Hinduism and Islam are the third and second most popular religions in the world respectively. They differ in many respects - including idol worship, monotheism and their history. Islam is a monotheistic Abrahamic religion, founded by Prophet Muhammad in the Middle East in the 7th century CE.

What religion has more than one God? ›

Polytheism means believing in many gods. A person that believes in polytheism is called a polytheist. A religion with polytheism can be called a polytheistic religion. Polytheism is well documented in historical religions of classical antiquity, especially Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome.

Who is the founder of Hinduism? ›

While there is no shortage of historical scholars, sages, and teachers in Hinduism, there is no historical founder of the religion as a whole, no figure comparable to Jesus, the Buddha, Abraham, or Muhammad. As a consequence, there is no firm date of origin for Hinduism, either.

What religion is closest to the truth? ›

Muslims believe that there is no falseness or contradictions in Islam because "falseness or contradiction in one matter of the religion proves the falsity of the religion as a whole, since we would then doubt the integrity of its texts."

Where did Hinduism start? ›

The birthplace of Hinduism is Indus River Valley which runs through northwest India into Pakistan. The Indus Valley civilization, or "Harappan civilization" originated sometime around 4,500-5,000 B.C.E. and reached its zenith between 2300 to 2000 BC.

Which country has the most Hinduism? ›

India is home to most of the world's Hindus, with Bangladesh having the second highest population in numbers (though Hindus make up less than nine percent of Bangladesh). Pakistan has a small Hindu minority, since most fled to India during the partition era.

When did Hinduism start? ›

Hinduism is one of the oldest religions in the world, and it is believed that Hinduism began as far back as 1500 BC!

Who is the first man in the world? ›

Adam is the name given in Genesis 1-5 to the first human.

Which religion is oldest? ›

Hinduism has been called the oldest religion in the world. The word Hindu is an exonym although many practitioners refer to their religion as Sanātana Dharma (Sanskrit: सनातन धर्म, lit.

Which is the final religion? ›

Islam: The Final Religion

❖ 'Islam' means submission to the will and law of God. ❖ The other meaning of the word is peace (through God).

Who is the powerful god in the world? ›

Trimurti is considered to be the most powerful god as he is a combination of Brahma [The Creator], Vishnu [The Preserver] & Shiva [The Destroyer].

Is Hinduism mentioned in the Quran? ›

ABSTRACT :Islam is based on the Quran and Christianity is based on the Bible. However, there is no reference to any Hindu religious text. Therefore, it can be said that Hinduism is a religion based on Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagwat Gita, Smriti, Puranas, Ramayana, Mahabharata.

What does Islam say about Hindus? ›

Throughout Islamic history, Hindus, together with Buddhists and Zoroastrians, not to mention other religious groups, were regarded by Muslims not as pagans, idolaters, or atheists, but as followers of an authentic religion, and thus to be granted official dhimmī status, that is, they were to be granted official ...


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