The Garuda Purana, Part 3


Visnu on Garuda

Jan 6, CANADA (SUN) — Garuda Purana, Chapters Four and Five.

Chapter Four
An Account of the Kinds of Sins which lead to Hell

1. Garuda said: For what sins do they go on that great Way? Why do they fall into the Vaitarani? Why do they go to hell? Tell me this, O Kesava.

2. The Blessed Lord said: 'Those who always delight in wrong deeds, who turn away from good deeds, go from hell to hell, from misery to misery, from fear to fear.

3. The righteous go into the city of the King of Justice by three gateways, but the sinful go into it only by the road of the southern gate.

4. The Vaitarani River is only on this very miserable way. I will tell you who the sinners are who go by it.

5-12. Slayers of Brahmins, drinkers of intoxicants, slayers of owe, infanticides, murderers of women, destroyers of the embryo, and those who commit secret sins,

Those who steal the wealth of the teacher, the property of the temple or of the twice-born; those who take away the possessions of women, and those who steal the possessions of children;

Those who do not repay their debts; those who misappropriate deposits; those who betray confidence; and those who kill with poisonous foods;

Those who seize upon the fault and depreciate the merit, who are jealous of those who have merit, who are attached to the wicked, who are foolish, who turn away from the company of the good;

Those who despise places of pilgrimage, good men, good actions, teachers and Shining Ones; those who disparage the Puranas, the Vedas, the Mimamsa, the Nyaya and the Vedanta;

Those who are elated at seeing the miserable, who try to make the happy wretched, who speak evil words, and are always evil-minded;

Those who do not listen to good counsel nor even to the word of the Sastras, who are self-satisfied, who are unbending, who are foolish, who thinks themselves learned;--

These, and many others, very sinful, devoid of righteousness, certainly go on the Way of Yama, weeping day and night.

13. Beaten by the messengers of Yama, they go towards the Vaitarani. I will tell you what sinners fall into it.

14. Those who dishonour their mothers, fathers, teachers and preceptors and the reverend,--these men sink in it.

15. Those who wickedly abandon their wives, faithful, of good qualities, of noble birth, and modest, fall into the Vaitarani.

16. Those who ascribe evil to the good, possessed of thousands of merits, and treat them disrespectfully, fall into the Vaitarani.

17. Who does not fulfill promises made to Brahmins, and who, having called them, says, 'There is nothing for you,'--of these two the stay is continued.

18-24. Who takes away what he gave; who repents of his gifts: who takes away another's livelihood; who hinders others making gifts;

Who obstructs sacrifices; who prevents the telling of stories; who removes field-boundaries; who ploughs up pastures;

The Brahmin who sells liquors, and consorts with a low caste woman; who kills animals for his own gratification, not for the prescribed sacrifices of the Vedas;

Who has put aside his Brahmanic duties; who eats flesh and drinks liquor; who is of unbridled nature; who does not study the Sastras;

The Sudra who studies the letter of the Vedas, who drinks the milk of the tawny cow, who wears the sacred thread or consorts with Brahmin women;

Who covets the King's wife; who abducts others' wives, who is lustful towards virgins, and who slanders virtuous women;--

These, and many other fools, fond of treading forbidden paths, anal abandoning prescribed ditties, fall into the Vaitarani.

23. Having come all along the path the sinful reach the abode of Yama, and having come, by command of Yama, the messengers hurl them into that river again.

26. O King of Birds, they then hurl those sinners into the Vaitarani, which is the foremost among hells.

27. Who did not make gifts of black cows, nor perform the ceremonies for those who are in the upper body; having suffered great misery in it, go to the tree standing on its bank.

28-30. Who give false witness; who perform false duties; who earn by cheating, and who gain a livelihood by thieving;

Who cut down and destroy big trees, gardens and forests; who neglect vows and pilgrimages, who destroy the chastity of widows;

The woman who despises her husband and thinks about another,--such and others at the silk-cotton tree experience much beating.

31. Those who fall down, through being beaten, the messengers cast into hells. I will tell you about the sinful who fall into them.

32. Deniers, those who break the laws of morality, the avaricious, those attached to sense-objects, hypocrites, the ungrateful,--these certainly go to hell.

33. Those who destroy wells, tanks, ponds, shrines, or people's houses,--these certainly go to hell.

34. Those who eat, having neglected their wives, children, servants and teachers, and having neglected the offerings to the forefathers and the Shining Ones,--these certainly go to hell.

35. Those who obstruct roads with posts, with mounds, with timber, with stones or with thorns,--these certainly go to hell.

36. Those who, self-indulgent, do not worship Siva, Siva, Hari, Surya, Ganesa, the wise, and the good teachers,--these certainly go to hell.

37-38. The Brahmani who places a harlot on his bed, goes to a low condition; begetting offspring of a Sudra woman, he is certainly degraded from the Brahmin rank:

That wretched twice-born is not worthy of salutation at any time; those fools who worship him certainly go to hell.

39. Those who are fond of quarrels, do not give up causing dissension among Brahmans and cow-fights but delight in them,--they certainly go to hell.

40. Those who, through malignity, commit transgression at the time of conception, with women who have no other refuge,---these certainly go to hell.

41. Those men who, blinded by passion, consort with women in the monthly courses, on the four days of lunar change, in the day time, in water, on Sraddha occasions, these certainly go to hell.

42. Those who throw their bodily refuse into fire, into water, in a garden, in a road, or in a cowpen,--these certainly go to hell.

43. Those who are makers of swords, and of bows and arrows, and those who are sellers of them,--these certainly go to hell.

44. Vaisyas who are dealers in skins; women who sell their hair; these who sell poisons;--all these certainly go to hell.

45. Those who do not compassionate the helpless, who hate the good, who punish the guiltless;--these certainly go to hell.

46. Those who do not feed the Brahman guests, who have come full of hope to the house, even though food is cooked;--these certainly go to hell.

47. Those who are suspicious of all creatures, and who are cruel to them, those who deceive all creatures;--these certainly go to hell.

48. Those who assume observances, and afterwards, with senses uncontrolled, cast them away again,--these certainly go to hell.

49. Those who do not respect the teacher who imparts the knowledge of the Supreme Self, and the tellers of the Puranas,--these certainly go to hell.

50. Those who betray their friends; those who cut short friendship; and those who destroy hopes;--these certainly go to hell.

51. He who interferes with marriage, processions of the Shining Ones, or bands of pilgrims, dwells in a dreadful hell from which there is no return.

52. The very sinful man who sets fire to a house, a village or a wood, is captured by the messengers of Yama and baked in pits of fire.

53. When his limbs are burnt with fire, he begs for a shady place, and then is led by the messengers into the forest of sword-like leaves.

54. When his limbs are cut by its leaves, sharp as swords, then they say, 'Ah, ha! Sleep comfortably in this cool shade!'

55. When, afflicted with thirst, he begs for water to drink, then the messengers give him boiling oil to drink.

56. Then they say: 'Drink this liquid and eat this food.' As soon as he drinks it he falls down, burning inside.

57. Getting up again somehow, he wails piteously. Powerless and breathless he is unable even to speak.

58. Thus, it is declared, O Tarkaya, that there are many torments for the sinful. Why should I explain them fully, when they are spoken of in all the Sastras?

59. Being tortured thus, men and women by thousands are baked in dreadful hells until the coming of the deluge.

60-62. Having eaten there their undecaying fruits they are born again. By order of Yama they return to the earth and become unmoving and other creatures:

Trees, bushes, plants, creepers, rocks and grasses, these are spoken of as unmoving; enveloped in great delusion,--

Insects, birds, animals and fish;--it is said that there are eighty-four hundred thousands of fates of birth-fates.

63. All these evolve thence into the human condition; having come back from hell they are born in the human kingdom amongst low outcastes, and even there, by the stains of sin, become very miserable.

64. Thus they become men and women oozing with leprosy, born blind, infested with grievous maladies, and bearing the marks of sin.

Chapter Five
An Account of the Signs of Sins

1. Garuda said: Tell me, O Kesava, by what sins particular signs are produced, and to what sorts of birth such sins lead?

2. The Blessed Lord said: The sins on account of which the sinful returning from hell come to particular births, and the signs produced by particular sins,--these hear from me.

3. The murderer of a Brahman becomes consumptive, the killer of a cow becomes hump-backed and imbecile, the murderer of a virgin becomes leprous,--all three born as outcastes.

4. The slayer of a woman and the destroyer of embryos becomes a savage full of diseases; who commits illicit intercourse, a eunuch; who goes with his teacher's wife, diseased-skinned.

5. The eater of flesh becomes very red; the drinker of intoxicants, one with discoloured teeth; the Brahman who, on account of greed, eats what should not be eaten, becomes big-bellied.

6. He who eats sweet foods, without giving to others, becomes swollen-necked; who gives impure food at a Sraddha ceremony is born a spotted leper.

7. The man who, through pride, insults his teacher, becomes an epileptic; who despises the Vedas and the Sastras certainly becomes jaundiced.

8. Who bears false witness becomes dumb; who breaks the meal-row becomes one-eyed; who interferes with marriage becomes lipless; who steals a book-is born blind.

9. Who strikes a cow or a Brahman with his foot is born lame and deformed; who speaks lies becomes a stammerer, and who listens to them becomes deaf.

10. A poisoner becomes insane; an incendiary becomes bald; who sells flesh becomes unlucky; who eats fled of other beings becomes diseased.

11. Who steals jewels is born in a low caste; who steals gold gets diseased nails; who steals any metal becomes poverty-stricken.

12. Who steals food becomes a rat; who steals grain becomes a locust; who steals water becomes a Chataka-bird; and who steals poison, a scorpion.

13. Who steals vegetables and leaves becomes a peacock; perfumes, a musk-rat; honey, a gad-fly; flesh, a vulture; and salt, an ant.

14. Who steals betel, fruits and flowers becomes a forest-monkey; who steal shoes, grass and cotton are born from sheeps' wombs.

15. Who lives by violence, who robs caravans on the road, and who is fond of hunting, certainly becomes a goat in a butcher's house.

16. Who dies by drinking poison becomes a black serpent on a mountain; whose feature is unrestrained becomes an elephant in a desolate forest.

17. Those twice-born who do not make offering to the World-deities, and who eat all foods without consideration, become tigers in a desolate forest.

18. The Brahmin who does not recite the Gayatri, who does not meditate at twilight, who is inwardly wicked while outwardly pious, becomes a crane.

19. The Brahmin who officiates for one unfit to perform sacrifice becomes a village hog, and by too many sacrifices he becomes an ass; by eating without grace, a crow.

20. The twice-born who does not impart learning to the deserving becomes a bull; the pupil who does not serve his teacher becomes an animal,--an ass or a cow.

21. Who threatens and spits at his teacher, or browbeats a Brahman, is born as a Brahmin-fiend in a waterless wilderness.

22. Who does not give to a twice-born according to his promise becomes a jackal; who is not hospitable to the goody becomes a howling Fire-face.

23. Who deceives a friend becomes a mountain-vulture; who cheats in selling, an owl; who speaks ill of caste and order is born a pigeon in a wood.

24. Who destroys hopes and who destroys affection, who through dislike abandons his wife, becomes a ruddy goose for a long time.

25. Who hates mother, father and teacher, who quarrels with sister and brother, is destroyed when an embryo in the womb, even for a thousand births.

26. The woman who abuses her mother-in-law and father-in-law, and causes constant quarrels; becomes a leech; and she who scolds her husband becomes a louse.

27. Who, abandoning her own husband, runs after another man, becomes a flying-fox, a house-lizard, or a kind of female serpent.

28. He who cuts off his lineage, by embracing a woman of his own family, having become a hyena and a porcupine, is born from the womb of a bear.

29. The lustful man who goes with a female ascetic becomes a desert fiend; who consorts with an immature girl becomes a huge snake in a wood.

30. Who covets his teacher's wife, becomes a chameleon; who goes with the king's wife becomes corrupt; and with his friend's wife, a donkey.

31. Who commits unnatural vice becomes a village pig; who consorts with a Sudra woman becomes bull; who is passionate becomes a lustful horse.

32-33. Who feeds upon the eleventh-day offerings to the dead is born a dog. The devalaka is born from the womb of a hen.

The wretch among twice-born who worships the deities for the sake of wealth is called a devalaka and is unfit to offer oblations to ale deities and forefathers.

34. Those who are very sinful, having passed through dreadful hells produced by their great sins, are born here upon the exhaustion of their karma.

35. The murderer of a Brahman goes into the womb of an ass, a camel and a she-buffalo; a drinker of intoxicants enters the wombs of a wolf, a dog and a jackal.

36. The stealer of gold attains the condition of a worm, an insect and a bird. Who goes with his teacher's wife, goes to the condition of grass, bushes and plants.

37. Who steals another's wife, who misappropriates deposits, who robs a Brahmin, is born as a Brahmin-fiend.

38-40. The Brahmin's possessions acquired by deception, enjoyed even in friendship, afflict the family even for seven generations,--and by forcible robbery even as long as the moon and stars exist:

A man may digest even iron filings, powdered stone, and poison; but where is the person in the three worlds who can digest a Brahmin's wealth!

Chariots and troops supported by the wealth of a Brahmin crumble away in battle like artificial river-banks of sand.

41-43. By appropriating temple property, by taking a Brahmin's possessions, and by neglecting Brahmins, families become broken up.

He is called a neglector who, instead of making a gift to one who is well-read in the Vedas and Sastras and has resorted to him, gives it to some other,

But it is no neglect if the Brahmin is without Veda-knowledge; it would be like offering to ashes instead of to the blazing fire near by.

44. Having neglected, O Tarkaya, and having experienced the results in the successive hells, he is born blind and in poverty, becoming not a giver but a beggar.

45. Who takes away a plot of land, which was given by himself for another, is born for sixty thousand years as a worm in excrement.

46. The sinner who takes back by force what has been given by himself, goes into hell until the coming of the deluge.

47. Having given the means of subsistence and a piece of land, he should then protect it firmly. Who does not protect, but robs, is born as a lame dog.

48. Who gives the means of support to Brahmins obtains fruit equal to that of a lakh of cows; who robs Brahmins of their means of sup port becomes an ape, a dog and a monkey.

49. These and other signs and births, O Lord of Birds, are seen to be the karma of the embodied, made by themselves in this world.

50. Thus the makers of bad karma, having experienced the tortures mf hell, are born with the residues of their sins, in these stated forms.

51. Then, obtaining for thousands of lives the bodies of animals, they suffer from carrying burdens and other miseries.

52. Having experienced as a bird the misery of cold, rain and heat, he afterwards reaches the human state, when the good and evil are balanced.

53. Man and woman having come together, he becomes an embryo in due course. Having suffered the miseries from conception onwards to death, he again dies.

54. Birth and death are the lot of all embodied beings; thus turns the wheel in the four kingdoms of beings.

55. As the wheel of time turns, so mortals revolve by my magic. They revolve at one time of earth, at another in hell, held fast by the noose of karma.

56. He who does not mike gifts becomes poverty--stricken and through poverty he commits sin; by the force of sin he goes to hell, and is again born in poverty and again becomes sinful.

57. Karma which has been made, whether good or evil, must inevitably be suffered. Karma not suffered does not fade away even in tens of millions of ages.


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