Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana Book 3 Chapter 30:17-34

Book 3: Chapter 30

Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 3: Chapter 30: Verses 17-34
Downfall of men attached to their body, house etc.

Lying (in his bed) surrounded by his sorrowing relations and caught in the noose of Death, he cannot utter a word even when addressed. He whose mind is thus engrossed in the thought of maintaining his family and who has failed to subdue his senses dies in the midst of his weeping kinsmen, rendered unconscious or thrown out of his wits by excessive agony. Trembling at heart to see a couple of frightful messengers of Death arrived at the moment, their eyes full of wrath, he passes stool and urine. Clothing his soul in a special (aerial) body[1] fit for undergoing the tortures of hell and binding him with cords about the neck, they forcibly drag him along a long road (to the abode of Yama) even as the constables of a king drag a convict (to gaol). With his heart cleft by their threats and trembling (with fear) he feels deeply distressed at the thought of his sins when bitten on the way by dogs. Nay, overcome by hunger and thirst, oppressed by sunshine, forest fire and hot winds and flogged on the back with whips, he trudges along, though unable to walk, on that road, which has no shelter or water and is covered by burning sands. Dropping down now and then and fainting due to exhaustion and rising again, he is quickly taken by that exceedingly troublesome path to the abode of Yama (the god of punishment). Dragged along this road, which is ninety-nine thousand Yojanas (7,92,000 miles) long, within two to three hours, he suffers the tortures (indicated hereafter). Placed in the midst of burning pieces of wood, his limbs are set on fire, while in some cases he is made to eat his own flesh cut out either by himself of by others. His entrails are pulled out by the hounds and vultures of hell, even though he is still alive (to see it); and he is subjected to torment by serpents, scorpions, gnats etc., that bite (or sting) him Nay, his limbs are lopped of one by one and rent asunder by elephants;(in some cases) he is hurled down from hill-tops and is also held up either in water or in a cave. Whether man or woman, one has to suffer in the regions of hell known by the names of Tamisra, Andhatamisra, Raurava and so on (enumerated hereafter in Book Five), tortures brought about by association with one another in sinful acts. Some people aver that heaven and hell exist in this very world, 0 mother; for the tortures which are experienced in hell are seen even here. He who supports his family in the aforesaid manner [2] or simply nourishes his own body leaves both (his family as well as his body) here and, departing hence, reaps the fruit of his actions as indicated above[3]. Shuffling off his body, which he nourished by marring the interests of other creatures, he goes down to the dark region of hell alone, carrying a wallet of sins (on his head). Man reaps in hell the evil consequences, inflicted by Providence, of (the sins committed by him in) maintaining his family, and feels distressed like a man who has lost his wealth. The man who is keen to support his family by recourse to purely unrighteous ways goes to the darkest region of hell known by the name of Andhatamisra. Having gone through in a regular order all the tortures of hell and passed through the lowest forms of animal life preceding human birth (such as that of a dog, swine and so on), and thus purged of his sins, he is reborn as a human being on this earth.

Thus ends the thirtieth discourse entitled "the fruit of actions pursuing those who commit them through subsequent existences", forming part of the "Story of Lord Kapila", in Book Three of the great and glorious Bhagavata-Purana, otherwise known as the Paramahamsa-Samhita.


  1. It is mentioned in our scriptures that sinners condemned to helI are invested with an aerial body, which, though subjected to tortures In vanous forms, is wonderfully tenacious and does not perish tilI the sinner has fully served the sentence.
  2. (vide verses 7,10 and 11 above)
  3. (in verses 20 to 28)

Related Articles