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HomeSkanda Purana - Mahesvara KandhaSkanda Purana - Mahesvara Kandha - Arunacala Kandha Uttarvardha - 4

Skanda Purana – Mahesvara Kandha – Arunacala Kandha Uttarvardha – 4

Chapter 5

Rewards and Punishments Resulting from Previous Karmas

NOTE: The object of the chapter is to deter people from committing unsocial acts. By the way, it sheds light on the tortures meted out to people in those days.

1Nandikeśvara narrated: A person endowed with pure Sattva quality is very rare in this world. Men endowed with Rajas and Tamas qualities are easily available.
2-5On account of his meritorious habits and conduct a man of Sattva nature shall attain liberation from Saṃsāra. According as there are different varieties of Karmas whose fruits are to be reaped Narakas (Hells) of diverse kinds have been created by Brahmā in different places. Due to the sin of Brāhmaṇa-slaughter a person falls into the hell Mahāraurava. After his residence in the hell he is reborn as an ass, a dog, a pig or a Cāṇḍāla. On drinking wine a twice-born (dvija) person, as a result of this action, is confined to the hell called Raurava for a long time and comes to (i.e. is born in) the species of worms, insects and birds. By stealing the property of a Brahmin one attains the state of a Brahmarākṣasa.
6-9In the next birth one will be wanting in those things one steals in this birth. A person who defiles the preceptor’s bed undergoes torture for a long time in the hell Asipatravana and then is born as a eunuch. A person who commits adultery falls into the hell named Kālasūtra. He is tortured by means of heated iron rods by the servants of Yama. He who commits arson falls into the hell Ghora; he who administers poison (falls) into the hell Sughora; a backbiter, in the hell Mahāghora; he who reviles and censures piety and righteousness falls into (the hell called) Avīci. He who had been treacherous to friends will stay in the hell Karāla and he who is greatly fond of violence falls into the hell Bhīma.
10He who commits great sins in secret falls into Saṃhāra; speakers of falsehood, into Bhayānaka. He who wilfully damages wells, fields etc. and abducts men and others shall stay in Asighora.
11One who is engaged in harassing others falls into the hell Vajra. O Brahmin, a person who eats meat falls into Tarala; he who maliciously ill-treats his parents falls into Tīkṣṇa; he who censures Japas fails into Tapana.
12A person who kills a horse falls into Nirucchvāsa; a person who kills a cow stays in Dāruṇa; the destroyer of a foetus shall stay in Caṇḍa and he who kills a woman stays in Kukūlaka.
13-14He who takes away the property of gods (in a temple) stays in Dahana. He who takes away the wealth of others stays in Ghoraghora. The messengers of Kṛtānta (god of Death) in the hells tie all the sinners with nooses and cords, belabour them with rods and pierce them with spikes.
15Herons with sharp iron(-like) beaks, great serpents with ruthless curved teeth, terrible hounds, tigers and other wild animals bite them. (The servants of Kāla) cut them to pieces by means of weapons and burn the bodies too.
16They dig deep pits and put them therein. They beat them with whips; they are cooked and fried in troughs of oil and they are pricked with fine needles.
17-18Sinners are made to bear heavy burdens by the messengers of Yama. A Brāhmaṇa-slayer shall be (reborn as) as a tuberculosis patient. A drink-addict will have dark teeth. A thief of gold will have bad nails. He who defiles the preceptor’s bed will have skin diseases. One who is malicious towards the preceptor and other elders shall have epileptic fits. He who censures the Vedas shall become a Cāṇḍāla.
19A person guilty of perjury shall have disease of the eyes. He who hurries to take food ahead of all shall have gastric trouble. He who steals learning shall become dumb and a thief of books shall become blind.
20One who runs after other men’s wives shall become lame. One who censures others shall be deaf. One who does not maintain good conduct shall be a pig rolling in filth and a thief shall inherit diseases of the tongue.
21One who neglects a visiting guest shall have stinging pain in the cheeks. One who engages himself in sexual intercourse during Parvan days shall have urinary disease. One who eats forbidden foodstuffs shall have putrid mouth.
22A person who transgresses the bounds of decency shall become a slave; a person who wantonly spoils lakes and parks shall become an ass; a person who promises something but does not give it will be short-lived; a swaggerer shall become a dog.
23A person with malice towards Viṣṇu shall become a lizard and one who is malicious to Śiva shall become a mouse.
24Thus, one should know the result of sins and then perform expiatory rites.
25The atonement should be scrupulously performed in the holy spot of Aruṇa by God-fearing pious people. On hearing thus the many kinds of torture and pain to be undergone by perpetrators of crimes he fell at his (i.e. Nandikeśvara’s) feet again and again and requested for the means of suppressing them.

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