Chapter Twenty-six
A Description of the Hellish Planets
The Twenty-sixth Chapter describes how a sinful man goes to different hells, where he is punished in various ways by the assistants of Yamarāja. As stated in the Bhagavad-gītā (3.27):
“The bewildered spirit soul, under the influence of the three modes of material nature, thinks himself to be the doer of activities, which are in actuality carried out by nature.” The foolish person thinks he is independent of any law. He thinks there is no God or regulative principle and that he can do whatever he likes. Thus he engages in different sinful activities, and as a result, he is put into different hellish conditions life after life, to be punished by the laws of nature. The basic principle of his suffering is that he foolishly thinks himself independent, although he is strictly under the control of the laws of material nature. These laws act due to the influence of the three modes of nature, and therefore each human being also works under three different types of influence. According to how he acts, he suffers different reactions in his next life or in this life. Religious persons act differently from atheists, and therefore they suffer different reactions.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī describes the following twenty-eight hells: Tāmisra, Andhatāmisra, Raurava, Mahāraurava, Kumbhīpāka. Kālasūtra, Asi-patravana, Sūkaramukha, Andhakūpa, Kṛmibhojana. Sandaṁśa, Taptasūrmi, Vajrakaṇṭaka-śālmalī, Vaitaraṇī, Pūyoda, Prāṇarodha, Viśasana, Lālābhakṣa, Sārameyādana, Avīci, Ayaḥpāna. Kṣārakardama, Rakṣogaṇa-bhojana, Śūlaprota, Dandaśūka. Avaṭa-nirodhana, Paryāvartana and Sūcīmukha.
A person who steals another’s money, wife or possessions is put into the hell known as Tāmisra. A man who tricks someone and enjoys his wife is put into the extremely hellish condition known as Andhatāmisra. A foolish person absorbed in the bodily concept of life, who on the basis of this principle maintains himself or his wife and children by committing violence against other living entities, is put into the hell known as Raurava. There the animals he killed take birth as creatures called rurus and cause great suffering for him. Those who kill different animals and birds and then cook them are put by the agents of Yamarāja into the hell known as Kumbhīpāka, where they are boiled in oil. A person who kills a brāhmaṇa is put into the hell known as Kālasūtra, where the land, perfectly level and made of copper, is as hot as an oven. The killer of a brāhmaṇa burns in that land for many years. One who does not follow scriptural injunctions but who does everything whimsically or follows some rascal is put into the hell known as Asi-patravana. A government official who poorly administers justice, or who punishes an innocent man, is taken by the assistants of Yamarāja to the hell known as Sūkaramukha, where he is mercilessly beaten.
God has given advanced consciousness to the human being. Therefore he can feel the suffering and happiness of other living beings. The human being bereft of his conscience, however, is prone to cause suffering for other living beings. The assistants of Yamarāja put such a person into the hell known as Andhakūpa, where he receives proper punishment from his victims. Any person who does not receive or feed a guest properly but who personally enjoys eating is put into the hell known as Kṛmibhojana. There an unlimited number of worms and insects continuously bite him.
A thief is put into the hell known as Sandaṁśa. A person who has sexual relations with a woman who is not to be enjoyed is put into the hell known as Taptasūrmi. A person who enjoys sexual relations with animals is put into the hell known as Vajrakaṇṭaka-śālmalī. A person born into an aristocratic or highly placed family but who does not act accordingly is put into the hellish trench of blood, pus and urine called the Vaitaraṇī River. One who lives like an animal is put into the hell called Pūyoda. A person who mercilessly kills animals in the forest without sanction is put into the hell called Prāṇarodha. A person who kills animals in the name of religious sacrifice is put into the hell named Viśasana. A man who forces his wife to drink his semen is put into the hell called Lālābhakṣa. One who sets a fire or administers poison to kill someone is put into the hell known as Sārameyādana. A man who earns his livelihood by bearing false witness is put into the hell known as Avīci.
A person addicted to drinking wine is put into the hell named Ayaḥpāna. One who violates etiquette by not showing proper respect to superiors is put into the hell known as Kṣārakardama. A person who sacrifices human beings to Bhairava is put into the hell called Rakṣogaṇa-bhojana. A person who kills pet animals is put into the hell called Śūlaprota. A person who gives trouble to others is put into the hell known as Dandaśūka. One who imprisons a living entity within a cave is put into the hell known as Avaṭa-nirodhana. A person who shows unwarranted wrath toward a guest in his house is put into the hell called Paryāvartana. A person maddened by possessing riches and thus deeply absorbed in thinking of how to collect money is put into the hell known as Sūcīmukha.
After describing the hellish planets, Śukadeva Gosvāmī describes how pious persons are elevated to the highest planetary system, where the demigods live, and how they then come back again to this earth when the results of their pious activities are finished. Finally he describes the universal form of the Lord and glorifies the Lord’s activities.
TEXT 1
rājovāca
maharṣa etad vaicitryaṁ lokasya katham iti.
SYNONYMS
rājā uvāca—the King said; maharṣe—O great saint (Śukadeva Gosvāmī); etat—this; vaicitryam—variegatedness; lokasya—of the living entities; katham—how; iti—thus.
TRANSLATION
King Parīkṣit inquired from Śukadeva Gosvāmī: My dear sir, why are the living entities put into different material situations? Kindly explain this to me.
PURPORT
Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura explains that the different hellish planets within this universe are held slightly above the Garbhodaka Ocean and remain situated there. This chapter describes how all sinful persons go to these hellish planets and how they are punished there by the assistants of Yamarāja. Different individuals with different bodily features enjoy or suffer various reactions according to their past deeds.
TEXT 2
ṛṣir uvāca
tri-guṇatvāt kartuḥ śraddhayā karma-gatayaḥ pṛthag-vidhāḥ sarvā eva sarvasya tāratamyena bhavanti.
SYNONYMS
ṛṣiḥ uvāca—the great saint (Śukadeva Gosvāmī) said; tri-guṇatvāt—because of the three modes of material nature; kartuḥ—of the worker; śraddhayā—because of the attitudes; karma-gatayaḥ—destinations resulting from activity; pṛthak—different; vidhāḥ—varieties; sarvāḥ—all; eva—thus; sarvasya—of all of them; tāratamyena—in different degrees; bhavanti—become possible.
TRANSLATION
The great sage Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: My dear King, in this material world there are three kinds of activities—those in the mode of goodness, the mode of passion and the mode of ignorance. Because all people are influenced by the three modes of material nature, the results of their activities are also divided into three. One who acts in the mode of goodness is religious and happy, one who acts in passion achieves mixed misery and happiness, and one who acts under the influence of ignorance is always unhappy and lives like an animal. Because of the varying degrees to which the living entities are influenced by the different modes of nature, their destinations are also of different varieties.
TEXT 3
athedānīṁ pratiṣiddha-lakṣaṇasyādharmasya tathaiva kartuḥ śraddhāyā vaisādṛśyāt karma-phalaṁ visadṛśaṁ bhavati yā hy anādy-avidyayā kṛta-kāmānāṁ tat-pariṇāma-lakṣaṇāḥ sṛtayaḥ sahasraśaḥ pravṛttās tāsāṁ prācuryeṇānuvarṇayiṣyāmaḥ.
SYNONYMS
atha—thus; idānīm—now; pratiṣiddha—by what is forbidden; lakṣaṇasya—symptomized; adharmasya—of impious activities; tathā—so also; eva—certainly; kartuḥ—of the performer; śraddhāyāḥ—of faith; vaisādṛśyāt—by the difference; karma-phalam—the reaction of fruitive activities; visadṛśam—different; bhavati—is; —which; hi—indeed; anādi—from time immemorial; avidyayā—by ignorance; kṛta—performed; kāmānām—of persons possessing many lusty desires; tat-pariṇāma-lakṣaṇāḥ—the symptoms of the results of such impious desires; sṛtayaḥ—hellish conditions of life; sahasraśaḥ—by thousands upon thousands; pravṛttāḥ—resulted; tāsām—them; prācuryeṇa—very widely; anuvarṇayiṣyāmaḥ—I shall explain.
TRANSLATION
Just as by executing various pious activities one achieves different positions in heavenly life, by acting impiously one achieves different positions in hellish life. Those who are activated by the material mode of ignorance engage in impious activities, and according to the extent of their ignorance, they are placed in different grades of hellish life. If one acts in the mode of ignorance because of madness, his resulting misery is the least severe. One who acts impiously but knows the distinction between pious and impious activities is placed in a hell of intermediate severity. And for one who acts impiously and ignorantly because of atheism, the resultant hellish life is the worst. Because of ignorance, every living entity has been carried by various desires into thousands of different hellish planets since time immemorial. I shall try to describe them as far as possible.
TEXT 4
rājovāca
narakā nāma bhagavan kiṁ deśa-viśeṣā athavā bahis tri-lokyā āhosvid antarāla iti.
SYNONYMS
rājā uvāca—the King said; narakāḥ—the hellish regions; nāma—named; bhagavan—O my Lord; kim—whether; deśa-viśeṣāḥ—a particular country; athavā—or; bahiḥ—outside; tri-lokyāḥ—the three worlds (the universe); āhosvit—or; antarāle—in the intermediate spaces within the universe; iti—thus.
TRANSLATION
King Parīkṣit inquired from Śukadeva Gosvāmī: My dear lord, are the hellish regions outside the universe, within the covering of the universe, or in different places on this planet?
TEXT 5
ṛṣir uvāca
antarāla eva tri-jagatyās tu diśi dakṣiṇasyām adhastād bhūmer upariṣṭāc ca jalād yasyām agniṣvāttādayaḥ pitṛ-gaṇā diśi svānāṁ gotrāṇāṁ parameṇa samādhinā satyā evāśiṣa āśāsānā nivasanti.
SYNONYMS
ṛṣiḥ uvāca—the great sage replied; antarāle—in the intermediate space; eva—certainly; tri-jagatyāḥ—of the three worlds; tu—but; diśi—in the direction; dakṣiṇasyām—southern; adhastāt—beneath; bhūmeḥ—on the earth; upariṣṭāt—a little above; ca—and; jalāt—the Garbhodaka Ocean; yasyām—in which; agniṣvāttā-ādayaḥ—headed by Agniṣvāttā; pitṛ-gaṇāḥ—the persons known as pitās; diśi—direction; svānām—their own; gotrāṇām—of the families; parameṇa—with great; samādhinā—absorption in thoughts of the Lord; satyāḥ—in truth; eva—certainly; āśiṣaḥ—blessings; āśāsānāḥ—desiring; nivasanti—they live.
TRANSLATION
The great sage Śukadeva Gosvāmī answered: All the hellish planets are situated in the intermediate space between the three worlds and the Garbhodaka Ocean. They lie on the southern side of the universe, beneath Bhū-maṇḍala, and slightly above the water of the Garbhodaka Ocean. Pitṛloka is also located in this region between the Garbhodaka Ocean and the lower planetary systems. All the residents of Pitṛloka, headed by Agniṣvāttā, meditate in great samādhi on the Supreme Personality of Godhead and always wish their families well.
PURPORT
As previously explained, below our planetary system are seven lower planetary systems, the lowest of which is called Pātālaloka. Beneath Pātālaloka are other planets, known as Narakaloka, or the hellish planets. At the bottom of the universe lies the Garbhodaka Ocean. Therefore the hellish planets lie between Pātālaloka and the Garbhodaka Ocean.
TEXT 6
yatra ha vāva bhagavān pitṛ-rājo vaivasvataḥ sva-viṣayaṁ prāpiteṣu sva-puruṣair jantuṣu sampareteṣu yathā-karmāvadyaṁ doṣam evānullaṅghita-bhagavac-chāsanaḥ sagaṇo damaṁ dhārayati.
SYNONYMS
yatra—where; ha vāva—indeed; bhagavān—the most powerful; pitṛ-rājaḥ—Yamarāja, the king of the pitās; vaivasvataḥ—the son of the sun-god; sva-viṣayam—his own kingdom; prāpiteṣu—when caused to reach; sva-puruṣaiḥ—by his own messengers; jantuṣu—the human beings; sampareteṣu—dead; yathā-karma-avadyam—according to how much they have violated the rules and regulations of conditional life; doṣam—the fault; eva—certainly; anullaṅghita-bhagavat-śāsanaḥ—who never oversteps the Supreme Personality of Godhead’s order; sagaṇaḥ—along with his followers; damam—punishment; dhārayati—executes.
TRANSLATION
The King of the pitās is Yamarāja, the very powerful son of the sun-god. He resides in Pitṛloka with his personal assistants and, while abiding by the rules and regulations set down by the Supreme Lord, has his agents, the Yamadūtas, bring all the sinful men to him immediately upon their death. After bringing them within his jurisdiction, he properly judges them according to their specific sinful activities and sends them to one of the many hellish planets for suitable punishments.
PURPORT
Yamarāja is not a fictitious or mythological character; he has his own abode, Pitṛloka, of which he is king. Agnostics may not believe in hell, but Śukadeva Gosvāmī affirms the existence of the Naraka planets, which lie between the Garbhodaka Ocean and Pātālaloka. Yamarāja is appointed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead to see that the human beings do not violate His rules and regulations. As confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā (4.17):
“The intricacies of action are very hard to understand. Therefore one should know properly what action is, what forbidden action is, and what inaction is. “One should understand the nature of karma, vikarma and akarma, and one must act accordingly. This is the law of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The conditioned souls, who have come to this material world for sense gratification, are allowed to enjoy their senses under certain regulative principles. If they violate these regulations, they are judged and punished by Yamarāja. He brings them to the hellish planets and properly chastises them to bring them back to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. By the influence of māyā, however, the conditioned souls remain infatuated with the mode of ignorance. Thus in spite of repeated punishment by Yamarāja, they do not come to their senses, but continue to live within the material condition, committing sinful activities again and again.
TEXT 7
tatra haike narakān eka-viṁśatiṁ gaṇayanti atha tāṁs te rājan nāma-rūpa-lakṣaṇato ’nukramiṣyāmas tāmisro ’ndhatāmisro rauravo mahārauravaḥ kumbhīpākaḥ kālasūtram asipatravanaṁ sūkaramukham andhakūpaḥ kṛmibhojanaḥ sandaṁśas taptasūrmir vajrakaṇṭaka-śālmalī vaitaraṇī pūyodaḥ prāṇarodho viśasanaṁ lālābhakṣaḥ sārameyādanam avīcir ayaḥpānam iti; kiñca kṣārakardamo rakṣogaṇa-bhojanaḥ śūlaproto dandaśūko ’vaṭa-nirodhanaḥ paryāvartanaḥ sūcīmukham ity aṣṭā-viṁśatir narakā vividha-yātanā-bhūmayaḥ.
SYNONYMS
tatra—there; ha—certainly; eke—some; narakān—the hellish planets; eka-viṁśatim—twenty-one; gaṇayanti—count; atha—therefore; tān—them; te—unto you; rājan—O King; nāma-rūpa-lakṣaṇataḥ—according to their names, forms and symptoms; anukramiṣyāmaḥ—we shall outline one after another; tāmisraḥTāmisra; andha-tāmisraḥ—Andhatāmisra; rauravaḥRaurava; mahā-rauravaḥ—Mahāraurava; kumbhī-pākaḥ—Kumbhīpāka; kāla-sūtramKālasūtra; asi-patravanamAsi-patravana; sūkara-mukham—Sūkaramukha; andha-kūpaḥ—Andhakūpa; kṛmi-bhojanaḥ—Kṛmibhojana; sandaṁśaḥ—Sandaṁśa; tapta-sūrmiḥ—Taptasūrmi; vajra-kaṇṭaka-śālmalīVajrakaṇṭaka-śālmalī; vaitaraṇīVaitaraṇī; pūyodaḥ—Pūyoda; prāṇa-rodhaḥ—Prāṇarodha; viśasanam—Viśasana; lālā-bhakṣaḥ—Lālābhakṣa; sārameyādanam—Sārameyādana; avīciḥ—Avīci; ayaḥ-pānam—Ayaḥpāna; iti—thus; kiñca—some more; kṣāra-kardamaḥ—Kṣārakardama; rakṣaḥ-gaṇa-bhojanaḥ—Rakṣogaṇa-bhojana; śūla-protaḥ—Śūlaprota; danda-śūkaḥDandaśūka; avaṭa-nirodhanaḥAvaṭa-nirodhana; paryāvartanaḥ—Paryāvartana; sūcī-mukham—Sūcīmukha; iti—in this way; aṣṭā-viṁśatiḥ—twenty-eight; narakāḥ—hellish planets; vividha—various; yātanā-bhūmayaḥ—lands of suffering in hellish conditions.
TRANSLATION
Some authorities say that there is a total of twenty-one hellish planets, and some say twenty-eight. My dear King, I shall outline all of them according to their names, forms and symptoms. The names of the different hells are as follows: Tāmisra, Andhatāmisra, Raurava, Mahāraurava, Kumbhīpāka, Kālasūtra, Asi-patravana, Sūkaramukha, Andhakūpa, Kṛmibhojana, Sandaṁśa, Taptasūrmi, Vajrakaṇṭaka-śālmalī, Vaitaraṇī, Pūyoda, Prāṇarodha, Viśasana, Lālābhakṣa, Sārameyādana, Avīci, Ayaḥpāna, Kṣārakardama, Rakṣogaṇa-bhojana, Śūlaprota, Dandaśūka, Avaṭa-nirodhana, Paryāvartana and Sūcīmukha. All these planets are meant for punishing the living entities.
TEXT 8
tatra yas tu para-vittāpatya-kalatrāṇy apaharati sa hi kāla-pāśa-baddho yama-puruṣair ati-bhayānakais tāmisre narake balān nipātyate anaśanānudapāna-daṇḍa-tāḍana-santarjanādibhir yātanābhir yātyamāno jantur yatra kaśmalam āsādita ekadaiva mūrcchām upayāti tāmisra-prāye.
SYNONYMS
tatra—in those hellish planets; yaḥ—a person who; tu—but; para-vitta-apatya-kalatrāṇi—the money, wife and children of another; apaharati—takes away; saḥ—that person; hi—certainly; kāla-pāśa-baddhaḥ—being bound by the ropes of time or Yamarāja; yama-puruṣaiḥ—by the assistants of Yamarāja; ati-bhayānakaiḥ—who are very fearful; tāmisre narake—into the hell known as Tāmisra; balāt—by force; nipātyate—is thrown; anaśana—starvation; anudapāna—without water; daṇḍa-tāḍana—beaten with rods; santarjana-ādibhiḥ—by scolding and so on; yātanābhiḥ—by severe punishments; yātyamānaḥ—being punished; jantuḥ—the living entity; yatra—where; kaśmalam—misery; āsāditaḥ—obtained; ekadā—sometimes; eva—certainly; mūrcchām—fainting; upayāti—obtains; tāmisra-prāye—in that condition, which is almost entirely dark.
TRANSLATION
My dear King, a person who appropriates another’s legitimate wife, children or money is arrested at the time of death by the fierce Yamadūtas, who bind him with the rope of time and forcibly throw him into the hellish planet known as Tāmisra. On this very dark planet, the sinful man is chastised by the Yamadūtas, who beat and rebuke him. He is starved, and he is given no water to drink. Thus the wrathful assistants of Yamarāja cause him severe suffering, and sometimes he faints from their chastisement.
TEXT 9
evam evāndhatāmisre yas tu vañcayitvā puruṣaṁ dārādīn upayuṅkte yatra śarīrī nipātyamāno yātanā-stho vedanayā naṣṭa-matir naṣṭa-dṛṣṭiś ca bhavati yathā vanaspatir vṛścyamāna-mūlas tasmād andhatāmisraṁ tam upadiśanti.
SYNONYMS
evam—in this way; eva—certainly; andhatāmisre—in the hellish planet known as Andhatāmisra; yaḥ—the person who; tu—but; vañcayitvā—cheating; puruṣam—another person; dāra-ādīn—the wife and children; upayuṅkte—enjoys; yatra—where; śarīrī—the embodied person; nipātyamānaḥ—being forcibly thrown; yātanā-sthaḥ—always situated in extremely miserable conditions; vedanayā—by such suffering; naṣṭa—lost; matiḥ—whose consciousness; naṣṭa—lost; dṛṣṭiḥ—whose sight; ca—also; bhavati—becomes; yathā—as much as; vanaspatiḥ—the trees; vṛścyamāna—being cut; mūlaḥ—whose root; tasmāt—because of this; andhatāmisram—Andhatāmisra; tam—that; upadiśanti—they call.
TRANSLATION
The destination of a person who slyly cheats another man and enjoys his wife and children is the hell known as Andhatāmisra. There his condition is exactly like that of a tree being chopped at its roots. Even before reaching Andhatāmisra, the sinful living being is subjected to various extreme miseries. These afflictions are so severe that he loses his intelligence and sight. It is for this reason that learned sages call this hell Andhatāmisra.
TEXT 10
yas tv iha vā etad aham iti mamedam iti bhūta-droheṇa kevalaṁ sva-kuṭumbam evānudinaṁ prapuṣṇāti sa tad iha vihāya svayam eva tad-aśubhena raurave nipatati.
SYNONYMS
yaḥ—one who; tu—but; iha—in this life; —or; etat—this body; aham—I; iti—thus; mama—mine; idam—this; iti—thus; bhūta-droheṇa—by envy of other living entities; kevalam—alone; sva-kuṭumbam—his family members; eva—only; anudinam—day to day; prapuṣṇāti—supports; saḥ—such a person; tat—that; iha—here; vihāya—giving up; svayam—personally; eva—certainly; tat—of that; aśubhena—by the sin; raurave—in Raurava; nipatati—he falls down.
TRANSLATION
A person who accepts his body as his self works very hard day and night for money to maintain his own body and the bodies of his wife and children. While working to maintain himself and his family, he may commit violence against other living entities. Such a person is forced to give up his body and his family at the time of death, when he suffers the reaction for his envy of other creatures by being thrown into the hell called Raurava.
PURPORT
In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is said:
yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke
sva-dhīḥ kalatrādiṣu bhauma-ijya-dhīḥ
yat-tīrtha-buddhiḥ salile na karhicij
janeṣv abhijñeṣu sa eva go-kharaḥ
“One who accepts this bodily bag of three elements [bile, mucus and air] as his self, who has an affinity for an intimate relationship with his wife and children, who considers his land worshipable, who takes bath in the waters of the holy places of pilgrimage but never takes advantage of those persons who are in actual knowledge—he is no better than an ass or a cow.” (Bhāg. 10.84.13) There are two classes of men absorbed in the material concept of life. Out of ignorance, a man in the first class thinks his body to be his self, and therefore he is certainly like an animal (sa eva go-kharaḥ). The person in the second class, however, not only thinks his material body to be his self, but also commits all kinds of sinful activities to maintain his body. He cheats everyone to acquire money for his family and his self, and he becomes envious of others without reason. Such a person is thrown into the hell known as Raurava. If one simply considers his body to be his self, as do the animals, he is not very sinful. However, if one needlessly commits sins to maintain his body, he is put into the hell known as Raurava. This is the opinion of Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura. Although animals are certainly in the bodily concept of life, they do not commit any sins to maintain their bodies, mates or offspring. Therefore animals do not go to hell. However, when a human being acts enviously and cheats others to maintain his body, he is put into a hellish condition.
TEXT 11
ye tv iha yathaivāmunā vihiṁsitā jantavaḥ paratra yama-yātanām upagataṁ ta eva ruravo bhūtvā tathā tam eva vihiṁsanti tasmād rauravam ity āhū rurur iti sarpād ati-krūra-sattvasyāpadeśaḥ.
SYNONYMS
ye—those who; tu—but; iha—in this life; yathā—as much as; eva—certainly; amunā—by him; vihiṁsitāḥ—who were hurt; jantavaḥ—the living entities; paratra—in the next life; yama-yātanām upagatam—being subjected to miserable conditions by Yamarāja; te—those living entities; eva—indeed; ruravaḥrurus (a kind of envious animal); bhūtvā—becoming; tathā—that much; tam—him; eva—certainly; vihiṁsanti—they hurt; tasmāt—because of this; rauravamRaurava; iti—thus; āhuḥ—learned scholars say; ruruḥ—the animal known as ruru; iti—thus; sarpāt—than the snake; ati-krūra—much more cruel and envious; sattvasya—of the entity; apadeśaḥ—the name.
TRANSLATION
In this life, an envious person commits violent acts against many living entities. Therefore after his death, when he is taken to hell by Yamarāja, those living entities who were hurt by him appear as animals called rurus to inflict very severe pain upon him. Learned scholars call this hell Raurava. Not generally seen in this world, the ruru is more envious than a snake.
PURPORT
According to Śrīdhara Svāmī, the ruru is also known as the bhāra-śṛṅga (ati-krūrasya bhāra-śṛṅgākhya-sattvasya apadeśaḥ saṁjñā). Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī confirms this in his Sandarbha: ruru-śabdasya svayaṁ muninaiva ṭīkā-vidhānāl lokeṣv aprasiddha evāyaṁ jantu-viśeṣaḥ. Thus although rurus are not seen in this world, their existence is confirmed in the śāstras.
TEXT 12
evam eva mahārauravo yatra nipatitaṁ puruṣaṁ kravyādā nāma ruravas taṁ kravyeṇa ghātayanti yaḥ kevalaṁ dehambharaḥ.
SYNONYMS
evam—thus; eva—certainly; mahā-rauravaḥ—the hell known as Mahāraurava; yatra—where; nipatitam—being thrown; puruṣam—a person; kravyādāḥ nāma—named kravyāda; ruravaḥ—the ruru animals; tam—him (the condemned person); kravyeṇa—for eating his flesh; ghātayanti—kill; yaḥ—who; kevalam—only; dehambharaḥ—intent upon maintaining his own body.
TRANSLATION
Punishment in the hell called Mahāraurava is compulsory for a person who maintains his own body by hurting others. In this hell, ruru animals known as kravyāda torment him and eat his flesh.
PURPORT
The animalistic person who lives simply in the bodily concept of life is not excused. He is put into the hell known as Mahāraurava and attacked by ruru animals known as kravyādas.
TEXT 13
yas tv iha vā ugraḥ paśūn pakṣiṇo vā prāṇata uparandhayati tam apakaruṇaṁ puruṣādair api vigarhitam amutra yamānucarāḥ kumbhīpāke tapta-taile uparandhayanti.
SYNONYMS
yaḥ—a person who; tu—but; iha—in this life; —or; ugraḥ—very cruel; paśūn—animals; pakṣiṇaḥ—birds; —or; prāṇataḥ—in a live condition; uparandhayati—cooks; tam—him; apakaruṇam—very cruel-hearted; puruṣa-ādaiḥ—by those who eat human flesh; api—even; vigarhitam—condemned; amutra—in the next life; yama-anucarāḥ—the servants of Yamarāja; kumbhīpāke—in the hell known as Kumbhīpāka; tapta-taile—in boiling oil; uparandhayanti—cook.
TRANSLATION
For the maintenance of their bodies and the satisfaction of their tongues, cruel persons cook poor animals and birds alive. Such persons are condemned even by man-eaters. In their next lives they are carried by the Yamadūtas to the hell known as Kumbhīpāka, where they are cooked in boiling oil.
TEXT 14
yas tv iha brahma-dhruk sa kālasūtra-saṁjñake narake ayuta-yojana-parimaṇḍale tāmramaye tapta-khale upary-adhastād agny-arkābhyām ati-tapyamāne ’bhiniveśitaḥ kṣut-pipāsābhyāṁ ca dahyamānāntar-bahiḥ-śarīra āste śete ceṣṭate ’vatiṣṭhati paridhāvati ca yāvanti paśu-romāṇi tāvad varṣa-sahasrāṇi.
SYNONYMS
yaḥ—anyone who; tu—but; iha—in this life; brahma-dhruk—the killer of a brāhmaṇa; saḥ—such a person; kālasūtra-saṁjñake—named Kālasūtra; narake—in the hell; ayuta-yojana-parimaṇḍale—having a circumference of eighty thousand miles; tāmra-maye—made of copper; tapta—heated; khale—in a level place; upari-adhastāt—above and beneath; agni—by fire; arkābhyām—and by the sun; ati-tapyamāne—which is being heated; abhiniveśitaḥ—being made to enter; kṣut-pipāsābhyām—by hunger and thirst; ca—and; dahyamāna—being burned; antaḥ—internally; bahiḥ—externally; śarīraḥ—whose body; āste—remains; śete—sometimes lies; ceṣṭate—sometimes moves his limbs; avatiṣṭhati—sometimes stands; paridhāvati—sometimes runs here and there; ca—also; yāvanti—as many; paśu-romāṇi—hairs on the body of an animal; tāvat—that long; varṣa-sahasrāṇi—thousands of years.
TRANSLATION
The killer of a brāhmaṇa is put into the hell known as Kālasūtra, which has a circumference of eighty thousand miles and which is made entirely of copper. Heated from below by fire and from above by the scorching sun, the copper surface of this planet is extremely hot. Thus the murderer of a brāhmaṇa suffers from being burned both internally and externally. Internally he is burning with hunger and thirst, and externally he is burning from the scorching heat of the sun and the fire beneath the copper surface. Therefore he sometimes lies down, sometimes sits, sometimes stands up and sometimes runs here and there. He must suffer in this way for as many thousands of years as there are hairs on the body of an animal.
TEXT 15
yas tv iha vai nija-veda-pathād anāpady apagataḥ pākhaṇḍaṁ copagatas tam asi-patravanaṁ praveśya kaśayā praharanti tatra hāsāv itas tato dhāvamāna ubhayato dhārais tāla-vanāsi-patraiś chidyamāna-sarvāṅgo hā hato ’smīti paramayā vedanayā mūrcchitaḥ pade pade nipatati sva-dharmahā pākhaṇḍānugataṁ phalaṁ bhuṅkte.
SYNONYMS
yaḥ—anyone who; tu—but; iha—in this life; vai—indeed; nija-veda-pathāt—from his own path, recommended by the Vedas; anāpadi—even without an emergency; apagataḥ—deviated; pākhaṇḍam—a concocted, atheistic system; ca—and; upagataḥ—gone to; tam—him; asi-patravanam—the hell known as Asi-patravana; praveśya—making enter; kaśayā—with a whip; praharanti—they beat; tatra—there; ha—certainly; asau—that; itaḥ tataḥ—here and there; dhāvamānaḥ—running; ubhayataḥ—on both sides; dhāraiḥ—by the edges; tāla-vana-asi-patraiḥ—by the swordlike leaves of palm trees; chidyamāna—being cut; sarva-aṅgaḥ—whose entire body; —alas; hataḥ—killed; asmi—I am; iti—thus; paramayā—with severe; vedanayā—pain; mūrcchitaḥ—fainted; pade pade—at every step; nipatati—falls down; sva-dharma-—the killer of his own principles of religion; pākhaṇḍa-anugatam phalam—the result of accepting an atheistic path; bhuṅkte—he suffers.
TRANSLATION
If a person deviates from the path of the Vedas in the absence of an emergency, the servants of Yamarāja put him into the hell called Asi-patravana, where they beat him with whips. When he runs hither and thither, fleeing from the extreme pain, on all sides he runs into palm trees with leaves like sharpened swords. Thus injured all over his body and fainting at every step, he cries out, “Oh, what shall I do now! How shall I be saved!” This is how one suffers who deviates from the accepted religious principles.
PURPORT
There is actually only one religious principle: dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam [SB 6.3.19]. The only religious principle is to follow the orders of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Unfortunately, especially in this age of Kali, everyone is an atheist, people do not even believe in God, what to speak of following His words. The words nija-veda-patha can also mean “one’s own set of religious principles.” Formerly there was only one veda-patha, or set of religious principles. Now there are many. It doesn’t matter which set of religious principles one follows: the only injunction is that he must follow them strictly. An atheist, or nāstika, is one who does not believe in the Vedas. However, even if one takes up a different system of religion, according to this verse he must follow the religious principles he has accepted. Whether one is a Hindu, or a Mohammedan or a Christian, he should follow his own religious principles. However, if one concocts his own religious path within his mind, or if one follows no religious principles at all, he is punished in the hell known as Asi-patravana. In other words, a human being must follow some religious principles. If he does not follow any religious principles, he is no better than an animal. As Kali-yuga advances, people are becoming godless and taking up so-called secularism. They do not know the punishment awaiting them in Asi-patravana, as described in this verse.
TEXT 16
yas tv iha vai rājā rāja-puruṣo vā adaṇḍye daṇḍaṁ praṇayati brāhmaṇe vā śarīra-daṇḍaṁ sa pāpīyān narake ’mutra sūkaramukhe nipatati tatrātibalair viniṣpiṣyamāṇāvayavo yathaivehekṣukhaṇḍa ārta-svareṇa svanayan kvacin mūrcchitaḥ kaśmalam upagato yathaivehā-dṛṣṭa-doṣā uparuddhāḥ.
SYNONYMS
yaḥ—anyone who; tu—but; iha—in this life; vai—indeed; rājā—a king; rāja-puruṣaḥ—a king’s man; —or; adaṇḍye—unto one not punishable; daṇḍam—punishment; praṇayati—inflicts; brāhmaṇe—unto a brāhmaṇa; —or; śarīra-daṇḍam—corporal punishment; saḥ—that person, king or government officer; pāpīyān—the most sinful; narake—in the hell; amutra—in the next life; sūkaramukhe—named Sūkaramukha; nipatati—falls down; tatra—there; ati-balaiḥ—by very strong assistants of Yamarāja; viniṣpiṣyamāṇa—being crushed; avayavaḥ—the different parts of whose body; yathā—like; eva—certainly; iha—here; ikṣu-khaṇḍaḥ—sugarcane; ārta-svareṇa—with a pitiable sound; svanayan—crying; kvacit—sometimes; mūrcchitaḥ—fainted; kaśmalam upagataḥ—becoming illusioned; yathā—just like; eva—indeed; iha—here; adṛṣṭa-doṣāḥ—who is not at fault; uparuddhāḥ—arrested for punishment.
TRANSLATION
In his next life, a sinful king or governmental representative who punishes an innocent person, or who inflicts corporal punishment upon a brāhmaṇa, is taken by the Yamadūtas to the hell named Sūkaramukha, where the most powerful assistants of Yamarāja crush him exactly as one crushes sugarcane to squeeze out the juice. The sinful living entity cries very pitiably and faints, just like an innocent man undergoing punishments. This is the result of punishing a faultless person.
TEXT 17
yas tv iha vai bhūtānām īśvaropakalpita-vṛttīnām avivikta-para-vyathānāṁ svayaṁ puruṣopakalpita-vṛttir vivikta-para-vyatho vyathām ācarati sa paratrāndhakūpe tad-abhidroheṇa nipatati tatra hāsau tair jantubhiḥ paśu-mṛga-pakṣi-sarīsṛpair maśaka-yūkā-matkuṇa-makṣikādibhir ye ke cābhidrugdhās taiḥ sarvato ’bhidruhyamāṇas tamasi vihata-nidrā-nirvṛtir alabdhāvasthānaḥ parikrāmati yathā kuśarīre jīvaḥ.
SYNONYMS
yaḥ—any person who; tu—but; iha—in this life; vai—indeed; bhūtānām—to some living entities; īśvara—by the supreme controller; upakalpita—designed; vṛttīnām—whose means of livelihood; avivikta—not understanding; para-vyathānām—the pain of others; svayam—himself; puruṣa-upakalpita—designed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead; vṛttiḥ—whose livelihood; vivikta—understanding; para-vyathaḥ—the painful conditions of others; vyathām ācarati—but still causes pain; saḥ—such a person; paratra—in his next life; andhakūpe—to the hell named Andhakūpa; tat—to them; abhidroheṇa—by the sin of malice; nipatati—falls down; tatra—there; ha—indeed; asau—that person; taiḥ jantubhiḥ—by those respective living entities; paśu—animals; mṛga—wild beasts; pakṣi—birds; sarīsṛpaiḥ—snakes; maśaka—mosquitoes; yūkā—lice; matkuṇa—worms; makṣika-ādibhiḥ—flies and so on; ye ke—whoever else; ca—and; abhidrugdhāḥ—persecuted; taiḥ—by them; sarvataḥ—everywhere; abhidruhyamāṇaḥ—being injured; tamasi—in the darkness; vihata—disturbed; nidrā-nirvṛtiḥ—whose resting place; alabdha—not being able to obtain; avasthānaḥ—a resting place; parikrāmati—wanders; yathā—just as; ku-śarīre—in a low-grade body; jīvaḥ—a living entity.
TRANSLATION
By the arrangement of the Supreme Lord, low-grade living beings like bugs and mosquitoes suck the blood of human beings and other animals. Such insignificant creatures are unaware that their bites are painful to the human being. However, first-class human beings—brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas and vaiśyas—are developed in consciousness, and therefore they know how painful it is to be killed. A human being endowed with knowledge certainly commits sin if he kills or torments insignificant creatures, who have no discrimination. The Supreme Lord punishes such a man by putting him into the hell known as Andhakūpa, where he is attacked by all the birds and beasts, reptiles, mosquitoes, lice, worms, flies, and any other creatures he tormented during his life. They attack him from all sides, robbing him of the pleasure of sleep. Unable to rest, he constantly wanders about in the darkness. Thus in Andhakūpa his suffering is just like that of a creature in the lower species.
PURPORT
From this very instructive verse we learn that lower animals, created by the laws of nature to disturb the human being, are not subjected to punishment. Because the human being has developed consciousness, however, he cannot do anything against the principles of varṇāśrama-dharma without being condemned. Kṛṣṇa states in Bhagavad-gītā (4.13), cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ: “According to the three modes of material nature and the work ascribed to them, the four divisions of human society were created by Me.” Thus all men should be divided into four classes—brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas, vaiśyas and śūdras—and they should act according to their ordained regulations. They cannot deviate from their prescribed rules and regulations. One of these states that they should never trouble any animal, even those that disturb human beings. Although a tiger is not sinful if he attacks another animal and eats its flesh, if a man with developed consciousness does so, he must be punished. In other words, a human being who does not use his developed consciousness but instead acts like an animal surely undergoes punishment in many different hells.
TEXT 18
yas tv iha vā asaṁvibhajyāśnāti yat kiñcanopanatam anirmita-pañca-yajño vāyasa-saṁstutaḥ sa paratra kṛmibhojane narakādhame nipatati tatra śata-sahasra-yojane kṛmi-kuṇḍe kṛmi-bhūtaḥ svayaṁ kṛmibhir eva bhakṣyamāṇaḥ kṛmi-bhojano yāvat tad aprattāprahūtādo ’nirveśam ātmānaṁ yātayate.
SYNONYMS
yaḥ—any person who; tu—but; iha—in this life; —or; asaṁ-vibhajya—without dividing; aśnāti—eats; yat kiñcana—whatever; upanatam—obtained by Kṛṣṇa’s grace; anirmita—not performing; pañca-yajñaḥ—the five kinds of sacrifice; vāyasa—with the crows; saṁstutaḥ—who is described as equal; saḥ—such a person; paratra—in the next life; kṛmibhojane—named Kṛmibhojana; naraka-adhame—into the most abominable of all hells; nipatati—falls down; tatra—there; śata-sahasra-yojane—measuring 100,000 yojanas (800,000 miles); kṛmi-kuṇḍe—in a lake of worms; kṛmi-bhūtaḥ—becoming one of the worms; svayam—he himself; kṛmibhiḥ—by the other worms; eva—certainly; bhakṣyamāṇaḥ—being eaten; kṛmi-bhojanaḥ—eating worms; yāvat—as long as; tat—that lake is wide; apratta-aprahūta—unshared and unoffered food; adaḥ—one who eats; anirveśam—who has not performed atonement; ātmānam—to himself; yātayate—gives pain.
TRANSLATION
A person is considered no better than a crow if after receiving some food, he does not divide it among guests, old men and children, but simply eats it himself, or if he eats it without performing the five kinds of sacrifice. After death he is put into the most abominable hell, known as Kṛmibhojana. In that hell is a lake 100,000 yojanas [800,000 miles] wide and filled with worms. He becomes a worm in that lake and feeds on the other worms there, who also feed on him. Unless he atones for his actions before his death, such a sinful man remains in the hellish lake of Kṛmibhojana for as many years as there are yojanas in the width of the lake.
PURPORT
As stated in Bhagavad-gītā (3.13):
“The devotees of the Lord are released from all kinds of sins because they eat food which is first offered for sacrifice. Others, who prepare food for personal sense enjoyment, verily eat only sin.” All food is given to us by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Eko bahūnāṁ yo vidadhāti kāmān: the Lord supplies everyone with the necessities of life. Therefore we should acknowledge His mercy by performing yajña (sacrifice). This is the duty of everyone. Indeed, the sole purpose of life is to perform yajña. According to Kṛṣṇa (Bg. 3.9):
yajñārthāt karmaṇo ’nyatra
loko ’yam karma-bandhanaḥ
tad-arthaṁ karma kaunteya
mukta-saṅgaḥ samācara
“Work done as a sacrifice for Viṣṇu has to be performed, otherwise work binds one to this material world. Therefore, O son of Kuntī, perform your prescribed duties for His satisfaction, and in that way you will always remain unattached and free from bondage.” If we do not perform yajña and distribute prasāda to others, our lives are condemned. Only after performing yajña and distributing the prasāda to all dependents—children, brāhmaṇas and old men—should one eat. However, one who cooks only for himself or his family is condemned, along with everyone he feeds. After death he is put into the hell known as Kṛmibhojana.
TEXT 19
yas tv iha vai steyena balād vā hiraṇya-ratnādīni brāhmaṇasya vāpaharaty anyasya vānāpadi puruṣas tam amutra rājan yama-puruṣā ayasmayair agni-piṇḍaiḥ sandaṁśais tvaci niṣkuṣanti.
SYNONYMS
yaḥ—any person who; tu—but; iha—in this life; vai—indeed; steyena—by thievery; balāt—by force; —or; hiraṇya—gold; ratna—gems; ādīni—and so on; brāhmaṇasya—of a brāhmaṇa; —or; apaharati—steals; anyasya—of others; —or; anāpadi—not in a calamity; puruṣaḥ—a person; tam—him; amutra—in the next life; rājan—O King; yama-puruṣāḥ—the agents of Yamarāja; ayaḥ-mayaiḥ—made of iron; agni-piṇḍaiḥ—balls heated in fire; sandaṁśaiḥ—with tongs; tvaci—on the skin; niṣkuṣanti—tear to pieces.
TRANSLATION
My dear King, a person who in the absence of an emergency robs a brāhmaṇa—or, indeed, anyone else—of his gems and gold is put into a hell known as Sandaṁśa. There his skin is torn and separated by red-hot iron balls and tongs. In this way, his entire body is cut to pieces.
TEXT 20
yas tv iha vā agamyāṁ striyam agamyaṁ vā puruṣaṁ yoṣid abhigacchati tāv amutra kaśayā tāḍayantas tigmayā sūrmyā lohamayyā puruṣam āliṅgayanti striyaṁ ca puruṣa-rūpayā sūrmyā.
SYNONYMS
yaḥ—any person who; tu—but; iha—in this life; —or; agamyām—unsuitable; striyam—a woman; agamyam—unsuitable; —or; puruṣam—a man; yoṣit—a woman; abhigacchati—approaches for sexual intercourse; tau—both of them; amutra—in the next life; kaśayā—by whips; tāḍayantaḥ—beating; tigmayā—very hot; sūrmyā—by an image; loha-mayyā—made of iron; puruṣam—the man; āliṅgayanti—they embrace; striyam—the woman; ca—also; puruṣa-rūpayā—in the form of a man; sūrmyā—by an image.
TRANSLATION
A man or woman who indulges in sexual intercourse with an unworthy member of the opposite sex is punished after death by the assistants of Yamarāja in the hell known as Taptasūrmi. There such men and women are beaten with whips. The man is forced to embrace a red-hot iron form of a woman, and the woman is forced to embrace a similar form of a man. Such is the punishment for illicit sex.
PURPORT
Generally a man should not have sexual relations with any woman other than his wife. According to Vedic principles, the wife of another man is considered one’s mother, and sexual relations are strictly forbidden with one’s mother, sister and daughter. If one indulges in illicit sexual relations with another man’s wife, that activity is considered identical with having sex with one’s mother. This act is most sinful. The same principle holds for a woman also; if she enjoys sex with a man other than her husband, the act is tantamount to having sexual relations with her father or son. Illicit sex life is always forbidden, and any man or woman who indulges in it is punished in the manner described in this verse.
TEXT 21
yas tv iha vai sarvābhigamas tam amutra niraye vartamānaṁ vajrakaṇṭaka-śālmalīm āropya niṣkarṣanti.
SYNONYMS
yaḥ—anyone who; tu—but; iha—in this life; vai—indeed; sarva-abhigamaḥ—indulges in sex life indiscriminately, with both men and animals; tam—him; amutra—in the next life; niraye—in the hell; vartamānam—existing; vajrakaṇṭaka-śālmalīm—a silk-cotton tree with thorns like thunderbolts; āropya—mounting him on; niṣkarṣanti—they pull him out.
TRANSLATION
A person who indulges in sex indiscriminately—even with animals—is taken after death to the hell known as Vajrakaṇṭaka-śālmalī. In this hell there is a silk-cotton tree full of thorns as strong as thunderbolts. The agents of Yamarāja hang the sinful man on that tree and pull him down forcibly so that the thorns very severely tear his body.
PURPORT
The sexual urge is so strong that sometimes a man indulges in sexual relations with a cow, or a woman indulges in sexual relations with a dog. Such men and women are put into the hell known as Vajrakaṇṭaka-śālmalī. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement forbids illicit sex. From the description of these verses, we can understand what an extremely sinful act illicit sex is. Sometimes people disbelieve these descriptions of hell, but whether one believes or not, everything must be carried out by the laws of nature, which no one can avoid.
TEXT 22
ye tv iha vai rājanyā rāja-puruṣā vā apākhaṇḍā dharma-setūn bhindanti te samparetya vaitaraṇyāṁ nipatanti bhinna-maryādās tasyāṁ niraya-parikhā-bhūtāyāṁ nadyāṁ yādo-gaṇair itas tato bhakṣyamāṇā ātmanā na viyujyamānāś cāsubhir uhyamānāḥ svāghena karma-pākam anusmaranto viṇ-mūtra-pūya-śoṇita-keśa-nakhāsthi-medo-māṁsa-vasā-vāhinyām upatapyante.
SYNONYMS
ye—persons who; tu—but; iha—in this life; vai—indeed; rājanyāḥ—members of the royal family, or kṣatriyas; rāja-puruṣāḥ—government servants; —or; apākhaṇḍāḥ—although born in responsible families; dharma-setūn—the bounds of prescribed religious principles; bhindanti—transgress; te—they; samparetya—after dying; vaitaraṇyām—named Vaitaraṇī; nipatanti—fall down; bhinna-maryādāḥ—who have broken the regulative principles; tasyām—in that; niraya-parikhā-bhūtāyām—the moat surrounding hell; nadyām—in the river; yādaḥ-gaṇaiḥ—by ferocious aquatic animals; itaḥ tataḥ—here and there; bhakṣyamāṇāḥ—being eaten; ātmanā—with the body; na—not; viyujyamānāḥ—being separated; ca—and; asubhiḥ—the life airs; uhyamānāḥ—being carried; sva-aghena—by his own sinful activities; karma-pākam—the result of his impious activities; anusmarantaḥ—remembering; viṭ—of stool; mūtra—urine; pūya—pus; śoṇita—blood; keśa—hair; nakha—nails; asthi—bones; medaḥ—marrow; māṁsa—flesh; vasā—fat; vāhinyām—in the river; upatapyante—are afflicted with pain.
TRANSLATION
A person who is born into a responsible family—such as a kṣatriya, a member of royalty or a government servant—but who neglects to execute his prescribed duties according to religious principles, and who thus becomes degraded, falls down at the time of death into the river of hell known as Vaitaraṇī. This river, which is a moat surrounding hell, is full of ferocious aquatic animals. When a sinful man is thrown into the River Vaitaraṇī, the aquatic animals there immediately begin to eat him, but because of his extremely sinful life, he does not leave his body. He constantly remembers his sinful activities and suffers terribly in that river, which is full of stool, urine, pus, blood, hair, nails, bones, marrow, flesh and fat.
TEXT 23
ye tv iha vai vṛṣalī-patayo naṣṭa-śaucācāra-niyamās tyakta-lajjāḥ paśu-caryāṁ caranti te cāpi pretya pūya-viṇ-mūtra-śleṣma-malā-pūrṇārṇave nipatanti tad evātibībhatsitam aśnanti.
SYNONYMS
ye—persons who; tu—but; iha—in this life; vai—indeed; vṛṣalī-patayaḥ—the husbands of the śūdras; naṣṭa—lost; śauca-ācāra-niyamāḥ—whose cleanliness, good behavior and regulated life; tyakta-lajjāḥ—without shame; paśu-caryām—the behavior of animals; caranti—they execute; te—they; ca—also; api—indeed; pretya—dying; pūya—of pus; viṭ—stool; mūtra—urine; śleṣma—mucus; malā—saliva; pūrṇa—full; arṇave—in an ocean; nipatanti—fall; tat—that; eva—only; atibībhatsitam—extremely disgusting; aśnanti—they eat.
TRANSLATION
The shameless husbands of lowborn śūdra women live exactly like animals, and therefore they have no good behavior, cleanliness or regulated life. After death, such persons are thrown into the hell called Pūyoda, where they are put into an ocean filled with pus, stool, urine, mucus, saliva and similar things. Śūdras who could not improve themselves fall into that ocean and are forced to eat those disgusting things.
PURPORT
Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura has sung,
He says that persons following the paths of karma-kāṇḍa and jñāna-kāṇḍa (fruitive activities and speculative thinking) are missing the opportunities for human birth and gliding down into the cycle of birth and death. Thus there is always the chance that he may be put into the Pūyoda Naraka, the hell named Pūyoda, where one is forced to eat stool, urine, pus, mucus, saliva and other abominable things. It is significant that this verse is spoken especially about śūdras. If one is born a śūdra, he must continually return to the ocean of Pūyoda to eat horrible things. Thus even a born śūdra is expected to become a brāhmaṇa; that is the meaning of human life. Everyone should improve himself. Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad-gītā (4.13), cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ: “According to the three modes of material nature and the work ascribed to them, four divisions of human society were created by Me.” Even if one is by qualification a śūdra, he must try to improve his position and become a brāhmaṇa. No one should try to check a person, no matter what his present position is, from coming to the platform of a brāhmaṇa or a Vaiṣṇava. Actually, one must come to the platform of a Vaiṣṇava. Then he automatically becomes a brāhmaṇa. This can be done only if the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is spread, for we are trying to elevate everyone to the platform of Vaiṣṇava. As Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad-gītā (18.66), sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja: “Abandon all other duties and simply surrender unto Me.” One must give up the occupational duties of a śūdra, kṣatriya or vaiśya and adopt the occupational duties of a Vaiṣṇava, which include the activities of a brāhmaṇa. Kṛṣṇa explains this in Bhagavad-gītā (9.32):
“O son of Pṛthā, those who take shelter in Me, though they be of lower birth—women, vaiśyas [merchants], as well as śūdras [workers]—can approach the supreme destination.” Human life is specifically meant for going back home, back to Godhead. That facility should be given to everyone, whether one be a śūdra, a vaiśya, a woman or a kṣatriya. This is the purpose of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. However, if one is satisfied to remain a śūdra, he must suffer as described in this verse: tad evātibībhatsitam aśnanti.
TEXT 24
ye tv iha vai śva-gardabha-patayo brāhmaṇādayo mṛgayā vihārā atīrthe ca mṛgān nighnanti tān api samparetāḹ lakṣya-bhūtān yama-puruṣā iṣubhir vidhyanti.
SYNONYMS
ye—those who; tu—but; iha—in this life; vai—or; śva—of dogs; gardabha—and asses; patayaḥ—maintainers; brāhmaṇa-ādayaḥbrāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas and vaiśyas; mṛgayā vihārāḥ—taking pleasure in hunting animals in the forest; atīrthe—other than prescribed; ca—also; mṛgān—animals; nighnanti—kill; tān—them; api—indeed; samparetān—having died; lakṣya-bhūtān—becoming the targets; yama-puruṣāḥ—the assistants of Yamarāja; iṣubhiḥ—by arrows; vidhyanti—pierce.
TRANSLATION
If in this life a man of the higher classes [brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya and vaiśya] is very fond of taking his pet dogs, mules or asses into the forest to hunt and kill animals unnecessarily, he is placed after death into the hell known as Prāṇarodha. There the assistants of Yamarāja make him their targets and pierce him with arrows.
PURPORT
In the Western countries especially, aristocrats keep dogs and horses to hunt animals in the forest. Whether in the West or the East, aristocratic men in the Kali-yuga adopt the fashion of going to the forest and unnecessarily killing animals. Men of the higher classes (the brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas and vaiśyas) should cultivate knowledge of Brahman, and they should also give the śūdras a chance to come to that platform. If instead they indulge in hunting, they are punished as described in this verse. Not only are they pierced with arrows by the agents of Yamarāja, but they are also put into the ocean of pus, urine and stool described in the previous verse.
TEXT 25
ye tv iha vai dāmbhikā dambha-yajñeṣu paśūn viśasanti tān amuṣmiḹ loke vaiśase narake patitān niraya-patayo yātayitvā viśasanti.
SYNONYMS
ye—persons who; tu—but; iha—in this life; vai—indeed; dāmbhikāḥ—very proud of wealth and a prestigious position; dambha-yajñeṣu—in a sacrifice performed to increase prestige; paśūn—animals; viśasanti—kill; tān—them; amuṣmin loke—in the next world; vaiśaseVaiśasa or Viśasana; narake—into the hell; patitān—fallen; niraya-patayaḥ—assistants of Yamarāja; yātayitvā—causing sufficient pain; viśasanti—kill.
TRANSLATION
A person who in this life is proud of his eminent position, and who heedlessly sacrifices animals simply for material prestige, is put into the hell called Viśasana after death. There the assistants of Yamarāja kill him after giving him unlimited pain.
PURPORT
In Bhagavad-gītā (6.41) Kṛṣṇa says, śucīnāṁ śrīmatāṁ gehe yoga-bhraṣṭo ’bhijāyate: “Because of his previous connection with bhakti-yoga, a man is born into a prestigious family of brāhmaṇas or aristocrats.” Having taken such a birth, one should utilize it to perfect bhakti-yoga. However, due to bad association one often forgets that his prestigious position has been given to him by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and he misuses it by performing various kinds of so-called yajñas like kālī-pūjā or durgā-pūjā, in which poor animals are sacrificed. How such a person is punished is described herein. The word dambha-yajñeṣu in this verse is significant. If one violates the Vedic instructions while performing yajña and simply makes a show of sacrifice for the purpose of killing animals, he is punishable after death. In Calcutta there are many slaughterhouses where animal flesh is sold that has supposedly been offered in sacrifice before the goddess Kālī. The śāstras enjoin that one can sacrifice a small goat before the goddess Kālī once a month. Nowhere is it said that one can maintain a slaughterhouse in the name of temple worship and daily kill animals unnecessarily. Those who do so receive the punishments described herein.
TEXT 26
yas tv iha vai savarṇāṁ bhāryāṁ dvijo retaḥ pāyayati kāma-mohitas taṁ pāpa-kṛtam amutra retaḥ-kulyāyāṁ pātayitvā retaḥ sampāyayanti.
SYNONYMS
yaḥ—any person who; tu—but; iha—in this life; vai—indeed; savarṇām—of the same caste; bhāryām—his wife; dvijaḥ—a person of a higher caste (such as a brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya or vaiśya); retaḥ—the semen; pāyayati—causes to drink; kāma-mohitaḥ—being deluded by lusty desires; tam—him; pāpa-kṛtam—performing sin; amutra—in the next life; retaḥ-kulyāyām—in a river of semen; pātayitvā—throwing; retaḥ—semen; sampāyayanti—force to drink.
TRANSLATION
If a foolish member of the twice-born classes [brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya and vaiśya] forces his wife to drink his semen out of a lusty desire to keep her under control, he is put after death into the hell known as Lālābhakṣa. There he is thrown into a flowing river of semen, which he is forced to drink.
PURPORT
The practice of forcing one’s wife to drink one’s own semen is a black art practiced by extremely lusty persons. Those who practice this very abominable activity say that if a wife is forced to drink her husband’s semen, she remains very faithful to him. Generally only low-class men engage in this black art, but if a man born in a higher class does so, after death he is put into the hell known as Lālābhakṣa. There he is immersed in the river known as Śukra-nadī and forced to drink semen.
TEXT 27
ye tv iha vai dasyavo ’gnidā garadā grāmān sārthān vā vilumpanti rājāno rāja-bhaṭā vā tāṁś cāpi hi paretya yamadūtā vajra-daṁṣṭrāḥ śvānaḥ sapta-śatāni viṁśatiś ca sarabhasaṁ khādanti.
SYNONYMS
ye—persons who; tu—but; iha—in this life; vai—indeed; dasyavaḥ—thieves and plunderers; agni-dāḥ—who set fire; garadāḥ—who administer poison; grāmān—villages; sārthān—the mercantile class of men; —or; vilumpanti—plunder; rājānaḥ—kings; rāja-bhaṭāḥ—government officials; —or; tān—them; ca—also; api—indeed; hi—certainly; paretya—having died; yamadūtāḥ—the assistants of Yamarāja; vajra-daṁṣṭrāḥ—having mighty teeth; śvānaḥ—dogs; sapta-śatāni—seven hundred; viṁśatiḥ—twenty; ca—and; sarabhasam—voraciously; khādanti—devour.
TRANSLATION
In this world, some persons are professional plunderers who set fire to others’ houses or administer poison to them. Also, members of the royalty or government officials sometimes plunder mercantile men by forcing them to pay income tax and by other methods. After death such demons are put into the hell known as Sārameyādana. On that planet there are 720 dogs with teeth as strong as thunderbolts. Under the orders of the agents of Yamarāja, these dogs voraciously devour such sinful people.
PURPORT
In the Twelfth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, it is said that in this age of Kali everyone will be extremely disturbed by three kinds of tribulations: scarcity of rain, famine, and heavy taxation by the government. Because human beings are becoming more and more sinful. there will be a scarcity of rain, and naturally no food grains will be produced. On the plea of relieving the suffering caused by the ensuing famine, the government will impose heavy taxes, especially on the wealthy mercantile community. In this verse, the members of such a government are described as dasyu, thieves. Their main activity will be to plunder the wealth of the people. Whether a highway robber or a government thief, such a man will be punished in his next life by being thrown into the hell known as Sārameyādana, where he will suffer greatly from the bites of ferocious dogs.
TEXT 28
yas tv iha vā anṛtaṁ vadati sākṣye dravya-vinimaye dāne vā kathañcit sa vai pretya narake ’vīcimaty adhaḥ-śirā niravakāśe yojana-śatocchrāyād giri-mūrdhnaḥ sampātyate yatra jalam iva sthalam aśma-pṛṣṭham avabhāsate tad avīcimat tilaśo viśīryamāṇa-śarīro na mriyamāṇaḥ punar āropito nipatati.
SYNONYMS
yaḥ—anyone who; tu—but; iha—in this life; —or; anṛtam—a lie; vadati—speaks; sākṣye—giving witness; dravya-vinimaye—in exchange for goods; dāne—in giving charity; —or; kathañcit—somehow; saḥ—that person; vai—indeed; pretya—after dying; narake—in the hell; avīcimati—named Avīcimat (having no water); adhaḥ-śirāḥ—with his head downward; niravakāśe—without support; yojana-śata—of eight hundred miles; ucchrāyāt—having a height; giri—of a mountain; mūrdhnaḥ—from the top; sampātyate—is thrown; yatra—where; jalam iva—like water; sthalam—land; aśma-pṛṣṭham—having a surface of stone; avabhāsate—appears; tat—that; avīcimat—having no water or waves; tilaśaḥ—in pieces as small as seeds; viśīryamāṇa—being broken; śarīraḥ—the body; na mriyamāṇaḥ—not dying; punaḥ—again; āropitaḥ—raised to the top; nipatati—falls down.
TRANSLATION
A person who in this life bears false witness or lies while transacting business or giving charity is severely punished after death by the agents of Yamarāja. Such a sinful man is taken to the top of a mountain eight hundred miles high and thrown headfirst into the hell known as Avīcimat. This hell has no shelter and is made of strong stone resembling the waves of water. There is no water there, however, and thus it is called Avīcimat [waterless]. Although the sinful man is repeatedly thrown from the mountain and his body broken to tiny pieces, he still does not die but continuously suffers chastisement.
TEXT 29
yas tv iha vai vipro rājanyo vaiśyo vā soma-pīthas tat-kalatraṁ vā surāṁ vrata-stho ’pi vā pibati pramādatas teṣāṁ nirayaṁ nītānām urasi padākramyāsye vahninā dravamāṇaṁ kārṣṇāyasaṁ niṣiñcanti.
SYNONYMS
yaḥ—anyone who; tu—but; iha—in this life; vai—indeed; vipraḥ—a learned brāhmaṇa; rājanyaḥ—a kṣatriya; vaiśyaḥ—a vaiśya; —or; soma-pīthaḥ—drink soma-rasa; tat—his; kalatram—wife; —or; surām—liquor; vrata-sthaḥ—being situated in a vow; api—certainly; —or; pibati—drinks; pramādataḥ—out of illusion; teṣām—of all of them; nirayam—to hell; nītānām—being brought; urasi—on the chest; padā—with the foot; ākramya—stepping; asye—in the mouth; vahninā—by fire; dravamāṇam—melted; kārṣṇāyasam—iron; niṣiñcanti—they pour into.
TRANSLATION
Any brāhmaṇa or brāhmaṇa’s wife who drinks liquor is taken by the agents of Yamarāja to the hell known as Ayaḥpāna. This hell also awaits any kṣatriya, vaiśya, or person under a vow who in illusion drinks soma-rasa. In Ayaḥpāna the agents of Yamarāja stand on their chests and pour hot melted iron into their mouths.
PURPORT
One should not be a brāhmaṇa in name only and engage in all kinds of sinful activities, especially drinking liquor. Brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas and vaiśyas must behave according to the principles of their order. If they fall down to the level of śūdras, who are accustomed to drink liquor. they will be punished as described herein.
TEXT 30
atha ca yas tv iha vā ātma-sambhāvanena svayam adhamo janma-tapo-vidyācāra-varṇāśramavato varīyaso na bahu manyeta sa mṛtaka eva mṛtvā kṣārakardame niraye ’vāk-śirā nipātito durantā yātanā hy aśnute.
SYNONYMS
atha—furthermore; ca—also; yaḥ—anyone who; tu—but; iha—in this life; —or; ātma-sambhāvanena—by false prestige; svayam—himself; adhamaḥ—very degraded; janma—good birth; tapaḥ—austerities; vidyā—knowledge; ācāra—good behavior; varṇa-āśrama-vataḥ—in terms of strictly following the principles of varṇāśrama; varīyasaḥ—of one who is more honorable; na—not; bahu—much; manyeta—respects; saḥ—he; mṛtakaḥ—a dead body; eva—only; mṛtvā—after dying; kṣārakardame—named Kṣārakardama; niraye—in the hell; avāk-śirā—with his head downward; nipātitaḥ—thrown; durantāḥ yātanāḥ—severe painful conditions; hi—indeed; aśnute—suffers.
TRANSLATION
A lowborn and abominable person who in this life becomes falsely proud, thinking “I am great,” and who thus fails to show proper respect to one more elevated than he by birth, austerity, education, behavior, caste or spiritual order, is like a dead man even in this lifetime, and after death he is thrown headfirst into the hell known as Kṣārakardama. There he must great suffer great tribulation at the hands of the agents of Yamarāja.
PURPORT
One should not become falsely proud. One must be respectful toward a person more elevated than he by birth, education, behavior, caste or spiritual order. If one does not show respect to such highly elevated persons but indulges in false pride, he receives punishment in Kṣārakardama.
TEXT 31
ye tv iha vai puruṣāḥ puruṣa-medhena yajante yāś ca striyo nṛ-paśūn khādanti tāṁś ca te paśava iva nihatā yama-sadane yātayanto rakṣo-gaṇāḥ saunikā iva svadhitināvadāyāsṛk pibanti nṛtyanti ca gāyanti ca hṛṣyamāṇā yatheha puruṣādāḥ.
SYNONYMS
ye—persons who; tu—but; iha—in this life; vai—indeed; puruṣāḥ—men; puruṣa-medhena—by sacrifice of a man; yajante—worship (the goddess Kālī or Bhadra Kālī); yāḥ—those who; ca—and; striyaḥ—women; nṛ-paśūn—the men used as sacrifice; khādanti—eat; tān—them; ca—and; te—they; paśavaḥ iva—like the animals; nihatāḥ—being slain; yama-sadane—in the abode of Yamarāja; yātayantaḥ—punishing; rakṣaḥ-gaṇāḥ—being Rākṣasas; saunikāḥ—the killers; iva—like; svadhitinā—by a sword; avadāya—cutting to pieces; asṛk—the blood; pibanti—drink; nṛtyanti—dance; ca—and; gāyanti—sing; ca—also; hṛṣyamāṇāḥ—being delighted; yathā—just like; iha—in this world; puruṣa-adāḥ—the man-eaters.
TRANSLATION
There are men and women in this world who sacrifice human beings to Bhairava or Bhadra Kālī and then eat their victims’ flesh. Those who perform such sacrifices are taken after death to the abode of Yamarāja, where their victims, having taken the form of Rākṣasas, cut them to pieces with sharpened swords. Just as in this world the man-eaters drank their victims’ blood, dancing and singing in jubilation, their victims now enjoy drinking the blood of the sacrificers and celebrating in the same way.
TEXT 32
ye tv iha vā anāgaso ’raṇye grāme vā vaiśrambhakair upasṛtān upaviśrambhayya jijīviṣūn śūla-sūtrādiṣūpaprotān krīḍanakatayā yātayanti te ’pi ca pretya yama-yātanāsu śūlādiṣu protātmānaḥ kṣut-tṛḍbhyāṁ cābhihatāḥ kaṅka-vaṭādibhiś cetas tatas tigma-tuṇḍair āhanyamānā ātma-śamalaṁ smaranti.
SYNONYMS
ye—persons who; tu—but; iha—in this life; —or; anāgasaḥ—who are faultless; araṇye—in the forest; grāme—in the village; —or; vaiśrambhakaiḥ—by means of good faith; upasṛtān—brought near; upaviśrambhayya—inspiring with confidence; jijīviṣūn—who want to be protected; śūla-sūtra-ādiṣu—on a lance, thread, and so on; upaprotān—fixed; krīḍanakatayā—like a plaything; yātayanti—cause pain; te—those persons; api—certainly; ca—and; pretya—after dying; yama-yātanāsu—the persecutions of Yamarāja; śūla-ādiṣu—on lances and so on; prota-ātmānaḥ—whose bodies are fixed; kṣut-tṛḍbhyām—by hunger and thirst; ca—also; abhihatāḥ—overwhelmed; kaṅka-vaṭa-ādibhiḥ—by birds such as herons and vultures; ca—and; itaḥ tataḥ—here and there; tigma-tuṇḍaiḥ—having pointed beaks; āhanyamānāḥ—being tortured; ātma-śamalam—own sinful activities; smaranti—they remember.
TRANSLATION
In this life some people give shelter to animals and birds that come to them for protection in the village or forest, and after making them believe that they will be protected, such people pierce them with lances or threads and play with them like toys, giving them great pain. After death such people are brought by the assistants of Yamarāja to the hell known as Śūlaprota, where their bodies are pierced with sharp, needlelike lances. They suffer from hunger and thirst, and sharp-beaked birds such as vultures and herons come at them from all sides to tear at their bodies. Tortured and suffering, they can then remember the sinful activities they committed in the past.
TEXT 33
ye tv iha vai bhūtāny udvejayanti narā ulbaṇa-svabhāvā yathā dandaśūkās te ’pi pretya narake dandaśūkākhye nipatanti yatra nṛpa dandaśūkāḥ pañca-mukhāḥ sapta-mukhā upasṛtya grasanti yathā bileśayān.
SYNONYMS
ye—persons who; tu—but; iha—in this life; vai—indeed; bhūtāni—to living entities; udvejayanti—cause unnecessary pain; narāḥ—men; ulbaṇa-svabhāvāḥ—angry by nature; yathā—just like; dandaśūkāḥ—snakes; te—they; api—also; pretya—after dying; narake—in the hell; dandaśūka-ākhye—named Dandaśūka; nipatanti—fall down; yatra—where; nṛpa—O King; dandaśūkāḥ—serpents; pañca-mukhāḥ—having five hoods; sapta-mukhāḥ—having seven hoods; upasṛtya—reaching up; grasanti—eat; yathā—just like; bileśayān—mice.
TRANSLATION
Those who in this life are like envious serpents, always angry and giving pain to other living entities, fall after death into the hell known as Dandaśūka. My dear King, in this hell there are serpents with five or seven hoods. These serpents eat such sinful persons just as snakes eat mice.
TEXT 34
ye tv iha vā andhāvaṭa-kusūla-guhādiṣu bhūtāni nirundhanti tathāmutra teṣv evopaveśya sagareṇa vahninā dhūmena nirundhanti.
SYNONYMS
ye—persons who; tu—but; iha—in this life; —or; andha-avaṭa—a blind well; kusūla—granaries; guha-ādiṣu—and in caves; bhūtāni—the living entities; nirundhanti—confine; tathā—similarly; amutra—in the next life; teṣu—in those same places; eva—certainly; upaveśya—causing to enter; sagareṇa—with poisonous fumes; vahninā—with fire; dhūmena—with smoke; nirundhanti—confine.
TRANSLATION
Those who in this life confine other living entities in dark wells, granaries or mountain caves are put after death into the hell known as Avaṭa-nirodhana. There they themselves are pushed into dark wells, where poisonous fumes and smoke suffocate them and they suffer very severely.
TEXT 35
yas tv iha vā atithīn abhyāgatān vā gṛha-patir asakṛd upagata-manyur didhakṣur iva pāpena cakṣuṣā nirīkṣate tasya cāpi niraye pāpa-dṛṣṭer akṣiṇī vajra-tuṇḍā gṛdhrāḥ kaṅka-kāka-vaṭādayaḥ prasahyoru-balād utpāṭayanti.
SYNONYMS
yaḥ—a person who; tu—but; iha—in this life; —or; atithīn—guests; abhyāgatān—visitors; —or; gṛha-patiḥ—a householder; asakṛt—many times; upagata—obtaining; manyuḥ—anger; didhakṣuḥ—one desiring to burn; iva—like; pāpena—sinful; cakṣuṣā—with eyes; nirīkṣate—looks at; tasya—of him; ca—and; api—certainly; niraye—in hell; pāpa-dṛṣṭeḥ—of he whose vision has become sinful; akṣiṇī—the eyes; vajra-tuṇḍāḥ—those who have powerful beaks; gṛdhrāḥ—vultures; kaṅka—herons; kāka—crows; vaṭa-ādayaḥ—and other birds; prasahya—violently; uru-balāt—with great force; utpāṭayanti—pluck out.
TRANSLATION
A householder who receives guests or visitors with cruel glances, as if to burn them to ashes, is put into the hell called Paryāvartana, where he is gazed at by hard-eyed vultures, herons, crows and similar birds, which suddenly swoop down and pluck out his eyes with great force.
PURPORT
According to the Vedic etiquette, even an enemy who comes to a householder’s home should be received in such a gentle way that he forgets that he has come to the home of an enemy. A guest who comes to one’s home should be received very politely. If he is unwanted, the householder should not stare at him with blinking eyes, for one who does so will be put into the hell known as Paryāvartana after death, and there many ferocious birds like vultures, crows, and coknis will suddenly come upon him and pluck out his eyes.
TEXT 36
yas tv iha vā āḍhyābhimatir ahaṅkṛtis tiryak-prekṣaṇaḥ sarvato ’bhiviśaṅkī artha-vyaya-nāśa-cintayā pariśuṣyamāṇa-hṛdaya-vadano nirvṛtim anavagato graha ivārtham abhirakṣati sa cāpi pretya tad-utpādanotkarṣaṇa-saṁrakṣaṇa-śamala-grahaḥ sūcīmukhe narake nipatati yatra ha vitta-grahaṁ pāpa-puruṣaṁ dharmarāja-puruṣā vāyakā iva sarvato ’ṅgeṣu sūtraiḥ parivayanti.
SYNONYMS
yaḥ—any person who; tu—but; iha—in this world; —or; āḍhya-abhimatiḥ—proud because of wealth; ahaṅkṛtiḥ—egotistic; tiryak-prekṣaṇaḥ—whose vision is crooked; sarvataḥ abhiviśaṅkī—always fearful of being cheated by others, even by superiors; artha-vyaya-nāśa-cintayā—by the thought of expenditure and loss; pariśuṣyamāṇa—dried up; hṛdaya-vadanaḥ—his heart and face; nirvṛtim—happiness; anavagataḥ—not obtaining; grahaḥ—a ghost; iva—like; artham—wealth; abhirakṣati—protects; saḥ—he; ca—also; api—indeed; pretya—after dying; tat—of those riches; utpādana—of the earning; utkarṣaṇa—increasing; saṁrakṣaṇa—protecting; śamala-grahaḥ—accepting the sinful activities; sūcīmukhe—named Sūcīmukha; narake—in the hell; nipatati—falls down; yatra—where; ha—indeed; vitta-graham—as a money-grabbing ghost; pāpa-puruṣam—very sinful man; dharmarāja-puruṣāḥ—the commanding men of Yamarāja; vāyakāḥ iva—like expert weavers; sarvataḥ—all over; aṅgeṣu—on the limbs of the body; sūtraiḥ—by threads; parivayanti—stitch.
TRANSLATION
One who in this world or this life is very proud of his wealth always thinks, “I am so rich. Who can equal me?” His vision is twisted, and he is always afraid that someone will take his wealth. Indeed, he even suspects his superiors. His face and heart dry up at the thought of losing his wealth, and therefore he always looks like a wretched fiend. He is not in any way able to obtain actual happiness, and he does not know what it is to be free from anxiety. Because of the sinful things he does to earn money, augment his wealth and protect it, he is put into the hell called Sūcīmukha, where the officials of Yamarāja punish him by stitching thread through his entire body like weavers manufacturing cloth.
PURPORT
When one possesses more wealth than necessary, he certainly becomes very proud. This is the situation of men in modern civilization. According to the Vedic culture, brāhmaṇas do not possess anything, whereas kṣatriyas possess riches, but only for performing sacrifices and other noble activities as prescribed in the Vedic injunctions. A vaiśya also earns money honestly through agriculture, cow protection and some trade. If a śūdra gets money, however, he will spend it lavishly, without discrimination, or simply accumulate it for no purpose. Because in this age there are no qualified brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas or vaiśyas, almost everyone is a śūdra (kalau śūdra-sambhavaḥ). Therefore the śūdra mentality is causing great harm to modern civilization. A śūdra does not know how to use money to render transcendental loving service to the Lord. Money is also called lakṣmī, and Lakṣmī is always engaged in the service of Nārāyaṇa. Wherever there is money, it must be engaged in the service of Lord Nārāyaṇa. Everyone should use his money to spread the great transcendental movement of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. If one does not spend money for this purpose but accumulates more than necessary, he will certainly become proud of the money he illegally possesses. The money actually belongs to Kṛṣṇa, who says in Bhagavad-gītā (5.29), bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ sarva-loka-maheśvaram: “I am the true enjoyer of sacrifices and penances, and I am the owner of all the planets.” Therefore nothing belongs to anyone but Kṛṣṇa. One who possesses more money than he needs should spend it for Kṛṣṇa. Unless one does so, he will become puffed up because of his false possessions, and therefore he will be punished in the next life, as described herein.
TEXT 37
evaṁ-vidhā narakā yamālaye santi śataśaḥ sahasraśas teṣu sarveṣu ca sarva evādharma-vartino ye kecid ihoditā anuditāś cāvani-pate paryāyeṇa viśanti tathaiva dharmānuvartina itaratra iha tu punar-bhave ta ubhaya-śeṣābhyāṁ niviśanti.
SYNONYMS
evam-vidhāḥ—of this sort; narakāḥ—the many hells; yama-ālaye—in the province of Yamarāja; santi—are; śataśaḥ—hundreds; sahasraśaḥ—thousands; teṣu—in those hellish planets; sarveṣu—all; ca—also; sarve—all; eva—indeed; adharma-vartinaḥ—persons not following the Vedic principles or regulative principles; ye kecit—whosoever; iha—here; uditāḥ—mentioned; anuditāḥ—not mentioned; ca—and; avani-pate—O King; paryāyeṇa—according to the degree of different kinds of sinful activity; viśanti—they enter; tathā eva—similarly; dharma-anuvartinaḥ—those who are pious and act according to the regulative principles or Vedic injunctions; itaratra—elsewhere; iha—on this planet; tu—but; punaḥ-bhave—into another birth; te—all of them; ubhaya-śeṣābhyām—by the remainder of the results of piety or vice; niviśanti—they enter.
TRANSLATION
My dear King Parīkṣit, in the province of Yamarāja there are hundreds and thousands of hellish planets. The impious people I have mentioned—and also those I have not mentioned—must all enter these various planets according to the degree of their impiety. Those who are pious, however, enter other planetary systems, namely the planets of the demigods. Nevertheless, both the pious and impious are again brought to earth after the results of their pious or impious acts are exhausted.
PURPORT
This corresponds to the beginning of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s instructions in Bhagavad-gītā. Tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ: within this material world, one is simply meant to change from one body to another in different planetary systems. Ūrdhvaṁ gacchanti sattva-sthā: [Bg. 14.18] those in the mode of goodness are elevated to the heavenly planets. Adho gacchanti tāmasāḥ: similarly, those too engrossed in ignorance enter the hellish planetary systems. Both of them, however, are subjected to the repetition of birth and death. In Bhagavad-gītā it is stated that even one who is very pious returns to earth after his enjoyment in the higher planetary systems is over (kṣīṇe puṇye martya-lokaṁ viśanti [Bg. 9.21]). Therefore, going from one planet to another does not solve the problems of life. The problems of life will only be solved when we no longer have to accept a material body. This can be possible if one simply becomes Kṛṣṇa conscious. As Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad-gītā (4.9):
“One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna.” This is the perfection of life and the real solution to life’s problems. We should not be eager to go to the higher, heavenly planetary systems, nor should we act in such a way that we have to go to the hellish planets. The complete purpose of this material world will be fulfilled when we resume our spiritual identities and go back home, back to Godhead. The very simple method for doing this is prescribed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66]. One should be neither pious nor impious. One should be a devotee and surrender to the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa. This surrendering process is also very easy. Even a child can perform it. Man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. One must always simply think of Kṛṣṇa by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma. Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. One should become Kṛṣṇa’s devotee. worship Him and offer obeisances to Him. Thus one should engage all the activities of his life in the service of Lord Kṛṣṇa.
TEXT 38
nivṛtti-lakṣaṇa-mārga ādāv eva vyākhyātaḥ; etāvān evāṇḍa-kośo yaś caturdaśadhā purāṇeṣu vikalpita upagīyate yat tad bhagavato nārāyaṇasya sākṣān mahā-puruṣasya sthaviṣṭhaṁ rūpam ātmamāyā-guṇamayam anuvarṇitam ādṛtaḥ paṭhati śṛṇoti śrāvayati sa upageyaṁ bhagavataḥ paramātmano ’grāhyam api śraddhā-bhakti-viśuddha-buddhir veda.
SYNONYMS
nivṛtti-lakṣaṇa-mārgaḥ—the path symptomized by renunciation, or the path of liberation; ādau—in the beginning (the Second and Third Cantos); eva—indeed; vyākhyātaḥ—described; etāvān—this much; eva—certainly; aṇḍa-kośaḥ—the universe, which resembles a big egg; yaḥ—which; caturdaśa-dhā—in fourteen parts; purāṇeṣu—in the purāṇas; vikalpitaḥ—divided; upagīyate—is described; yat—which; tat—that; bhagavataḥ—of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; nārāyaṇasya—of Lord Nārāyaṇa; sākṣāt—directly; mahā-puruṣasya—of the Supreme Person; sthaviṣṭham—the gross; rūpam—form; ātma-māyā—of His own energy; guṇa—of the qualities; mayam—consisting; anuvarṇitam—described; ādṛtaḥ—venerating; paṭhati—one reads; śṛṇoti—or hears; śrāvayati—or explains; saḥ—that person; upageyam—song; bhagavataḥ—of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; paramātmanaḥ—of the Supersoul; agrāhyam—difficult to understand; api—although; śraddhā—by faith; bhakti—and devotion; viśuddha—purified; buddhiḥ—whose intelligence; veda—understands.
TRANSLATION
In the beginning [the Second and Third Cantos of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam] I have already described how one can progress on the path of liberation. In the Purāṇas the vast universal existence, which is like an egg divided into fourteen parts, is described. This vast form is considered the external body of the Lord, created by His energy and qualities. It is generally called the virāṭ-rūpa. If one reads the description of this external form of the Lord with great faith, or if one hears about it or explains it to others to propagate bhāgavata-dharma, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness, his faith and devotion in spiritual consciousness, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, will gradually increase. Although developing this consciousness is very difficult, by this process one can purify himself and gradually come to an awareness of the Supreme Absolute Truth.
PURPORT
The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is pushing forward the publication of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, as explained especially for the understanding of the modern civilized man, to awaken him to his original consciousness. Without this consciousness, one melts into complete darkness. Whether one goes to the upper planetary systems or the hellish planetary systems, he simply wastes his time. Therefore one should hear of the universal position of the virāṭ form of the Lord as described in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. That will help one save himself from material conditional life and gradually elevate him to the path of liberation so that he can go back home, back to Godhead.
TEXT 39
śrutvā sthūlaṁ tathā sūkṣmaṁ
rūpaṁ bhagavato yatiḥ
sthūle nirjitam ātmānaṁ
śanaiḥ sūkṣmaṁ dhiyā nayed iti
SYNONYMS
śrutvā—after hearing of (from the disciplic succession); sthūlam—gross; tathā—as well as; sūkṣmam—subtle; rūpam—form; bhagavataḥ—of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; yatiḥ—a sannyāsī or devotee; sthūle—the gross form; nirjitam—conquered; ātmānam—the mind; śanaiḥ—gradually; sūkṣmam—the subtle. spiritual form of the Lord; dhiyā—by intelligence; nayet—one should lead it to; iti—thus.
TRANSLATION
One who is interested in liberation, who accepts the path of liberation and is not attracted to the path of conditional life, is called yati, or a devotee. Such a person should first control his mind by thinking of the virāṭ-rūpa, the gigantic universal form of the Lord, and then gradually think of the spiritual form of Kṛṣṇa [sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha [Bs. 5.1]] after hearing of both forms. Thus one’s mind is fixed in samādhi. By devotional service one can then realize the spiritual form of the Lord, which is the destination of devotees. Thus his life becomes successful.
PURPORT
It is said, mahat-sevāṁ dvāram āhur vimukteḥ: [SB 5.5.2] if one wants to progress on the path of liberation, he should associate with mahātmās, or liberated devotees, because in such association there is a full chance for hearing, describing and chanting about the name, form, qualities and paraphernalia of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, all of which are described in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. On the path of bondage, one eternally undergoes the repetition of birth and death. One who desires liberation from such bondage should join the International Society for Krishna Consciousness and thus take advantage of the opportunity to hear Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam from devotees and also explain it to propagate Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
TEXT 40
bhū-dvīpa-varṣa-sarid-adri-nabhaḥ-samudra-
pātāla-diṅ-naraka-bhāgaṇa-loka-saṁsthā
gītā mayā tava nṛpādbhutam īśvarasya
sthūlaṁ vapuḥ sakala-jīva-nikāya-dhāma
SYNONYMS
bhū—of this planet earth; dvīpa—and other different planetary systems; varṣa—of tracts of land; sarit—rivers; adri—mountains; nabhaḥ—the sky; samudra—oceans; pātāla—lower planets; dik—directions; naraka—the hellish planets; bhāgaṇa-loka—the luminaries and higher planets; saṁsthā—the situation; gītā—described; mayā—by me; tava—for you; nṛpa—O King; adbhutam—wonderful; īśvarasya—of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; sthūlam—gross; vapuḥ—body; sakala-jīva-nikāya—of all the masses of living entities; dhāma—which is the place of repose.
TRANSLATION
My dear King, I have now described for you this planet earth, other planetary systems, and their lands [varṣas], rivers and mountains. I have also described the sky, the oceans, the lower planetary systems, the directions, the hellish planetary systems and the stars. These constitute the virāṭ-rūpa, the gigantic material form of the Lord, on which all living entities repose. Thus I have explained the wonderful expanse of the external body of the Lord.
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Fifth Canto, Twenty-sixth Chapter, of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, entitled “A Description of the Hellish Planets.”
There is a supplementary note written by His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Mahārāja Prabhupāda in his Gauḍīya-bhāṣya. Its translation is as follows. Learned scholars who have full knowledge of all the Vedic scriptures agree that the incarnations of the Supreme Personality of Godhead are innumerable. These incarnations are classified into two divisions, called prābhava and vaibhava. According to the scriptures, prābhava incarnations are also classified in two divisions—those which are called eternal and those which are not vividly described. In this Fifth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, in Chapters Three through Six, there is a description of Ṛṣabhadeva, but there is not an expanded description of His spiritual activities. Therefore He is considered to belong to the second group of prābhava incarnations. In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, First Canto, Chapter Three, verse 13. it is said:
“Lord Viṣṇu appeared in the eighth incarnation as the son of Mahārāja Nābhi [the son of Āgnīdhra] and his wife Merudevī. He showed the path of perfection, the paramahaṁsa stage of life, which is worshiped by all the followers of varṇāśrama-dharma. “Ṛṣabhadeva is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and His body is spiritual (sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha [Bs. 5.1]). Therefore one might ask how it might be possible that he passed stool and urine. The Gauḍīya vedānta ācārya Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa has replied to this question in his book known as Siddhānta-ratna (First Portion, texts 65–68). Imperfect men call attention to Ṛṣabhadeva’s passing stool and urine as a subject matter for the study of nondevotees, who do not understand the spiritual position of a transcendental body. In this Fifth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (5.6.11) the illusioned and bewildered state of the materialists of this age is fully described. Elsewhere in Fifth Canto (5.5.19) Ṛṣabhadeva stated, idaṁ śarīram mama durvibhāvyam: “This body of Mine is inconceivable for materialists.” This is also confirmed by Lord Kṛṣṇa in Bhagavad-gītā (9.11):
“Fools deride Me when I descend in the human form. They do not know My transcendental nature and My supreme dominion over all that be.” The human form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is extremely difficult to understand, and, in fact, for a common man it is inconceivable. Therefore Ṛṣabhadeva has directly explained that His own body belongs to the spiritual platform. This being so. Ṛṣabhadeva did not actually pass stool and urine. Even though He superficially seemed to pass stool and urine, that was also transcendental and cannot be imitated by any common man. It is also stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam that the stool and urine of Ṛṣabhadeva were full of transcendental fragrance. One may imitate Ṛṣabhadeva, but he cannot imitate Him by passing stool that is fragrant.
The activities of Ṛṣabhadeva, therefore, do not support the claims of a certain class of men known as arhat, who sometimes advertise that they are followers of Ṛṣabhadeva. How can they be followers of Ṛṣabhadeva while they act against the Vedic principles? Śukadeva Gosvāmī has related that after hearing about the characteristics of Lord Ṛṣabhadeva, the King of Koṅka, Veṅka and Kuṭaka initiated a system of religious principles known as arhat. These principles were not in accord with Vedic principles, and therefore they are called pāṣaṇḍa-dharma. The members of the arhat community considered Ṛṣabhadeva’s activities material. However, Ṛṣabhadeva is an incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore He is on the transcendental platform, and no one can compare to Him.
Ṛṣabhadeva personally exhibited the activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (5.6.8), dāvānalas tad vanam ālelihānaḥ saha tena dadāha: at the conclusion of Ṛṣabhadeva’s pastimes, an entire forest and the Lord’s body were burned to ashes in a great forest fire. In the same way, Ṛṣabhadeva burned people’s ignorance to ashes. He exhibited the characteristics of a paramahaṁsa in His instructions to His sons. The principles of the arhat community, however, do not correspond to the teachings of Ṛṣabhadeva.
Śrīla Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa remarks that in the Eighth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam there is another description of Ṛṣabhadeva, but that Ṛṣabhadeva is different from the one described in this canto.
END OF THE FIFTH CANTO

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