God of Death in Hindu Mythology

God of Death in Hindu Mythology

Indian Mythology is propably the richest and the wisest among the world. From many perspectives, we can have the knowledge that the Supreme Power is One and Absolute. In Shrimad Bhagawat Geeta, Lord Shree Krishna tells Arjuna about four paths by which we can acquire the ultimate knowledge that The Supreme Power holds the persistence of the whole universe within Himself. The Lord says,

"Ye yatha mang prapadyante tangsthataiba vojamyaham ।

Mamo bortanubartante manusya Patrtha Sarbasa ।।"

--this means, a person can worship the Supreme Lord in many names, but the overall entity is the same. We, according to our wantages  and precipitations, name them 'KALI', 'KRISHNA', 'SHIVA', 'BRAHMA', 'YAMA', 'PAWAN', 'BARUNA' etc. As Shree Ramkrishna Paramhansa once said, A thirsty person can search water by any name as 'pani', 'aqua' or sometimes 'jol', but the thing by which one can quench his thirst, remain the same.

In Hindu Mythology, YAMA is described as The God Of Death. Yama is the son of the Sun God and his wife Sanjna, his sister is Yami or Yamuna, who is flowing as a holy river, she origins from the Himalayas. And the skin of both the brother and sister is black. Yama is the moderator of Evil and Excellence. He is described as the God of Death and Justice.

Yama is often described as the 'Kaal' or the person who comes at the end of anyone's life and takes him to the another world, which is full of departed souls. He is 'Dharmaraj', who judges the departed souls according to their sin and virtue. He destines them according to their workfolkes. In the Mahabharata, we come to know that the Elder Pandava, Yudhisthira, was the godson of Yama, and he never told a single lie in his entire lifespan but only once, at the battlefield of Kurukshetra, at the time of the assassination of Guru Dronacharya. For this sin, a pious soul like Yudhisthira also had to have a view of Hell, where the sinful souls are thrown away for starvation. This is the lore given by our ancient holy scriptures that being the son of Dharma, Yudhisthira also had to get punishment for his single lie.

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'Om Surya Putraya Bidmahe Mahakalaya dheemahi thanno Yama prachodayat'--this is the invocation mantra for Yama.

In the story of Savitri Satyavan, we can see that when Yama came to take the soul of Satyavan, His wife Savitri with her innumerable wit, managed the Death God to reward her with the regeneration of her husband.

Yama is one of the Lokpalas, and he is appointed as the saviour of the south direction. He is a dark-complexioned God and he rides on a Buffalo, He has a mace in his hands to capture souls. He is accompanied by Chitragupta, who is described as his private secretary.

From another point of view, we can see that in the battlefield of Kurukshetra, Lord Krishna describes himself as the haughty  'Kaal'. He tells Arjuna to fight with treacherous, for which Arjuna is destined. And he also tells that He is both the saviour and destroyer of every living being. So, in another words we can say that the extreme force creates himself at different situations, and in every situation he is called by a name.

When the Pandavas set out for their 'Mahaprasthana', Yama took a disguise of a dog which did not leave them until Bheema, Arjuna, Nakula, Sahadeva and Draupadi fall at their ultimate journey. Then a chariot came to King Yudhisthira and he was asked to come to heaven all alone. But Yudhisthira did not agree to leave the dog. Then Yama appeared and told Yudhisthira that he has passes in his last test.

The main lesson we get from these teachings are that if we stand tall against all sins, misconducts and trickeries, we will be blessed and protected by the supreme force called 'ISHWAR'(The Lord).


Saurav Chakraborty

Saurav Chakraborty

Shared publicly - 22nd Feb, 22 09:30 am

Excellent analysis

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