Discussion between Krishna and Garuda on Yamaloka ||15||

1Garuda said: -O lord, please give me a decisive description of Yama’s region its dimension, extent and greatness.
2Bhagawan said: -O Tarksya, listen. I shall describe the region of Yama. All the sixteen worlds are very extensive.
3The distance between the Earth and Yama’s region is more than a million and thirty-two thousand kilometers.
4O bird, after enjoying the fruits of his merits and demerits in the world, a man falls sick due to the effect of some previous action.
5This sickness is due to a chance cause. Death occurs to a man in accordance with his actions taking their own definite course.
6The individual casts off his body and dies due to the effects of his actions. His dead body must be kept on the ground after purifying it with cow dung.
7Gingelly seeds and Kusa grass must be scattered. A piece of gold is pieced in the mouth of the dead man. Tulasi leaves and the Salagrama rock are placed near it.
8Samasiiktas are recited near him. This is conducive to his salvation. Rods or pieces of gold are to be placed for the benefit of the dead man in his vital opertures.
9One piece in the mouth, one in each of the nostrils, eyes and ears are to be placed in this order of enumeration.
10One piece in the operture of the genitals and one piece in the rectum. Tulasi leaves are placed in both the hands and the neck.
11The dead body is to be covered with two clothes. Saffron and raw rice grains are strewn. It is then decorated with flower garlands. The body is to be taken out through the back doorway.
12-13The son with his relatives and the Brahmanas of the town should carry the corpse on the shoulder to the cremation ground. The corpse should be placed on the pyre with the face of the dead to the north, while the son should sit on the ground with his lace turned to the east. The pyre should be made on the ground on which no other dead body has been cremated presently.
14-15The pyre should be made of woods of sandal, Tulasi, and Palasa. When, the organs lose their functioning power, consciousness is benumbed and the messengers of Yama are near at hand, the breath leaves the body. The departed soul attains divine vision and can see the universe at a glance.
16-17He observes the dreadful form of Yama even when he is on the verge of death. He sees Yama’s servants beating the wicked with the cane. He sees the attendants of Vishnu cheering the good.
18-19The path of Yamaloka is hard to pass. The sinners traverse the path in discomfort. Yama assumes a form of body with four arms, holding conch, discus, bow and mace. He treats the pious with amity and accord and chastises the sinful with the rod of iron.
20-22He thunders like clouds at the time of dissolution. He looks as dreadful and dark as a mount of collyrium. He is seated on a buffalo. He can be easily propitiated or appeased by the devotee. His body shines as the lustre of lightning. It is as long as the three Yojanas in dimension. He is terrible to look at, wields an iron-rod and noose in his hands. His bodily appearance and eyes are dreadful to the sinners. The soul in human body is of the size of a thumb.
23-24When it is dragged out of the body by the messengers of Yama, it cries painfully looking wistfully at his erstwhile home. The disgustful body without life and breath becomes untouchable suddenly, smells foul and is disliked by all. The body suffers in three ways. Either if is eaten by worms or transformed to feces or reduced to ashes.
25-29O Garuda, Body is liable to destruction in an instant. How can a man boast of it? The purpose of wealth is charity, that of speech is truth, that of life is fame and spirituality, that of body is benevolence. In this way, one can gain something substantial out of the things unsubstantial. When the departed soul is being carried away, the messengers chastise him in the way. They describe the dreadful fate that awaits him in hell. They tell him thus: “O wicked soul, walk quickly. You are being taken to hell. We carry you to Kumbhipaka and kindred hells. Make haste and do, not delay.” Thus, hearing the words of messengers and the lamentations of his relatives he cries aloud and is carried by Yama’s messengers.
30-31The son should perform Sraddha at the appropriate place. He should offer six Pindas, on the day of death in the serial order: (1) at the place where the person breathes his last (2) at the door-way, (3) at the courtyard, (4) at the resting place, (5) by the pyre and (6) at the collection of bones. O Garuda, I shall now tell you the. purpose why the six Pindas are offered to the dead.
32-33The Pinda that is offered to the dead at the place of death pleases the household deities. This Pinda satiates both-the earth and the presiding deity. The doorway Pinda should be given addressing the departed soul as Pantha (passenger).
34The gift of this Pinda pleases the household deities that abide at the door. In the courtyard lives the Khecara. A Pinda should be given in his name.
35At the resting place, he should offer a Pinda to the Bhuta categorized as Deva. This Pinda is, therefore, called Bhuta. The gift of this Pinda to the Bhuta makes him genial to the dead.
36Pisacas, Rakshasas, Yaksas and the rest preserve the sanctity of the body, which is sacrificed in, the fire.
37When the Pinda is offered by the side of the pyre, the dead is designated as Preta. But, O Garuda, instead of calling him Preta, some call him Sadhaka.
38But, generally, he is called Preta. Henceforth, the offerings are made to him in the name of Preta.
39By gifting away the five Pindas, the body achieves sanctity and fitness to be sacrificed in the fire. Otherwise, the presiding deities, as stated above, cause large-scale destruction.
40Three Pindas are necessary: (1) one at the time of death, (2) another in the half-way from the place of death to the cremation ground and still another by the side of the pyre.
41The Pindas are associated in their serial order with their presiding deities, viz., Brahma, Vishnu, and the messengers of Yama.
42When the third Pinda is offered, the dead body is relieved of impurity. The son or the nearest relative should set fire to the pyre.
43He should cleanse, besmear, dig up, extract the place of altar and after sprinkling the same with water, he should arrange sticks in the prescribed way and light the fire.
44-45After worshipping the deity Kravyada with “owers and rice he should recite the following formula: “O Kravyada, the originator of beings, the source of the universe, thou art the originator, saviour and the destroyer of the people. Take this dead person to heaven.” Thus worshipping the deity Kravyada, he should sacrifice the dead body.
46When the body is half-burnt he should pour ghee into the pyre reciting the formula ‘Lomabhyah Svaha’.
47Putting dead body on the pyre he should pour ghee over the pyre with the formula: Yamaya Antakaya Svaha.
48A single offering should be made to each of the deities: Mrityu, Brahma, Jatavedas (fire) as well as in the mouth of the Preta. Then he should light the fire from the eastern direction.
49He should recite the mantra (addressed to the dead); thou art born of this fire;’ (addressed to the fire): May he be born of you again. May thou take him to the world of heaven, please.
50Reciting this mantra he should pour ghee mixed with gingelly seeds. Thus, he should cremate the body as dictated by the funeral code (Antyeshti Paddhati).
51He should weep aloud at this juncture. For this would assuredly give pleasure to the deceased. The rite of cremation is followed by the rite of collecting bones.
52The Preta-Pinda forestalls the pain due to cremation. The Bhytas (who share the Pinda with the deceased) allow the Preta to wait till he receives the Pinda from his relatives.
53After the corpse is cremated, the sons or the descendants should bathe in dress. They should offer libations of water mixed with gingelly seeds by his personal name or by the appellation of his lineage.
54The people of the town who have assembled for morning should applaud the dead by reciting the formula Vishnu, Vishnu. They should accompany the relatives back to the house (as a token of sympathy for the relatives).
55-56At the southern part of the house he should put cow-dung and the white mustard. He should set up an icon of Varuna in the house, eat the leaves of the Nimba and partake of the ghee.
57O lord of birds, some sprinkle milk over the pyre. He should not shed tears but offer libations of water to the dead.
58They should not weep. If they weep and spit phlegm the soul of the dead person is compelled to eat that.
59The son should perform the obsequial rites as his means can afford. O Garuda, he should pour milk or water by the earthern jar, in favour of the deceased, over the sloping roof or the courtyard.
60The soul of the deceased held fast by his previous actions and terribly bewildered, desires for another body. While he is being taken to the abode of Yama by his messengers, he casts a mournful look at the cemetery and the courtyard of his house.
61-62For ten days, without intermittence, the son should offer Pinda in the pit and pour handful of water in favour of the deceased. If he has no son, his wife should perform the obsequial rites.
63If he has no wife, his disciple should perform the same. H no disciple, his brother should do that. The libations of Pinda and water should be given either at the cremation ground or at the place of pilgrimage.
64Whatever the descendent offers-boiled rice, barley-meal, vegetables, fruits, etc. on the day of death, he should partake of the same on successive days.
65The son or the descendent offers Pinda for ten days consecutively. The Pinda is divided every day into four parts, O lord of birds.
66Two parts of the Pinda go to the building of new body. The third part goes to the messengers of Yama; The fourth he partakes of himself.
67Within three days and nights the soul assumes a new body. On the tenth day the embodied soul longs for food.
68No procedure, no mantra and no rites are prescribed. He should offer gifts to the deceased just by his personal name or by the appellation of his lineage.
69-71O bird, when the dead body is cremated, the soul that has gone out of the body takes a new body. With the Pinda of the first day his head comes into being; with the Pinda of the second day his neck and shoulders; with that on the third day his heart; with that on the fourth day his back; with that on the fifth day his navel; with those on the sixth and seventh days his waist and private parts; with that on the eighth his thighs; with that on the ninth his palate and feet;. with that on the tenth a feeling of hunger comes into being.
72Having assumed a new body tormented by hunger he stands at the threshold of his house. The tenth day Pinda should be accompanied with the offering of flesh.
73The soul of the deceased when he had assumed a new body feels extremely hungry. His hunger is not appeased if an offering without flesh is made to him.
74-75On the eleventh day and the twelfth, the soul of the dead eats to his fill. While offering gifts of lamp, food, water etc. to the male or the female deceased one should mutter the name Preta. Whatever is offered to the deceased, should be done by the name Preta, a for, doing so gives delight to the deceased.
76On the thirteenth day, the soul of the dead is taken to the Highway. Now, he assumes a body born of the Pinda and feels hungry by day and night.
77The sinners travel by the path of extreme cold and heat-the path, which is beset with nails, infested with demons and spread over with fire. Hunger and thirst await the sinner but the good escape torments.
78In the path beset with trees, with their leaves as sharp as swords, such tortures are usual. He suffers from hunger and thirst, tortured by the messengers of Yama.
79The departed soul traverses two hundred and forty-seven Yojanas in twenty-four hours.
80He is bound by the noose of Yama. He weeps as he leaves the house for the city of Yama.
81The departed soul goes to the city of Yama which the pious souls find comfortable and where the sinners feel distressed.
82-83In his upward journey he passes over the best of a ties viz., Yamya, Sauripura, Nagendra-Bhavana, Gandharva, Sailagama Kraunca, Krurapura, Vicitrabhavana, Bahvapada, Duhkhada, Nanakrandapura, Sutaptabhavana, Raudra, Payovarsana, Sitadhya and Bahubhiti. Yama’s city heads the list.
84On the thirteenth day seized by the servants of Yama, and all alone, the departed soul traverses the path like a monkey led by the juggler.
85-86As he goes along the path, he cries aloud repeating: “O my son, O my son, I am undone, alas, I am undone. I did not act well.” He laments, crying over and over again: Human body is rare to get. I got it by my accumulated merit.
87-88I earned sufficient wealth but gave nothing to the poor. Alas! that wealth has gone to others (in spite of hoarding it). Thus, he speaks in the choked voice. He is severely tortured by the servants of Yama while he remembers his past.
89None gives him pleasure or pain. This is wrong to presume that pleasures or pains are caused by others. The soul suffers for all that he performs if n his life. O soul now suffer the consequences of your past activities.
90[He laments:] I neither gave gifts to the needy nor poured oblations into the fire. I neither practised penance in the caves of the Himalayas nor bathed in the Ganges. O soul now suffer the consequences of your activities.
91I neither gave regular gifts nor made any pastures nor offered sacred books: the Vedas and the Dharmasastras to the learned Brahmins in-charity nor heard the Puranas. Now, O Soul, suffer for your activities.
92I did not construct a tank for satiating thirsty people, beasts or birds. I did not make a pasture for the cattle to graze. Now, O soul, suffer for your activities.
93I neither enjoyed the pleasures of my husband’s company, nor did I enter the pyre of my husband. Nor did I observe the vow of charity after his death. O soul now suffer for your activities.
94-95I did not reduce my body by keeping monthly fasts or Candrayana vow or observances of like nature. I derived womanhood the cause of multiple sorrows, from unholy activities of my former life. O bird, you think attentively on what I have said about the lamentations of men and women for their acts of omission and commission done in their previous life.