YAMA is the god of death and is the lord of the infernal
regions visited by man
after cessation of life. He is the embodiment of the rule of law and imparts
justice according to deeds. The word ' Yama' means the restrainer, it is he who
keeps the mankind in check.
Yama's mount is a fierce-looking black buffalo, a form, which he also adopts
for himself on occasions. He has got a rope noose in one hand, by which he is
supposed to catch hold of his victims and a mace in the other, which represents
the weapon of punishment.
|YAMA - THE GOD OF DEATH
He decides what are the actions of the living beings that bear or do not bear
fruits, when his messengers drag the dead before his throne. In
Vedas, Yama is the First Ancestor and has the full distinction of a god. He is shown as having
a fearful and grim appearance and he wears a glittering crown upon his head.
Yama is the son of VIVASAT, the embodiment of social morality, while his mother
is SARANYU (clouds), who is the daughter of VISHWAKARMA, the cosmic architect.
Yama' s twin sister is YAMI, who has the greatest affection for her brother.
Yami later appeared on this earth as the river YAMUNA.
As being the judge of the dead, he is said to hold a court,
in which he is the presiding officer. He has another small god to assist him,
who is called CHITRAGUPTA.
Chitragupta is supposed to keep an account of the actions of men. If the actions
of the deceased in his lifetime have been wicked, he is sent to suffer in a particular
part of hell, while a man with noble deeds is sent to a part of heaven.
Yama is regent of the south quarter and as such is called
abode is named as YAMALYA on the south side of the earth and has an interesting
legend around it. This account is taken from the Mahabharata. The narration is
that after Brahma had created the three worlds, viz. EARTH, HEAVEN and PATAL
(i.e., subterranean region), he recollected that a place for judgment and punishment
of the wicked was wanting. He therefore asked the architect Vishwakarma to prepare
a suitable place for this purpose. Vishwakarma prepared a magnificent palace
and opposite its south door he created four pits to punish the wicked. Three
other doors were reserved for the entrance of the good so that they might not
see the place of punishment when they went to be judged. Brahma named this palace
SANJEEVANI. Brahma ordered the architect to form a vast trench around and fill
it with water, which came to be called VAITAMEE. Brahma next ordered Agni (the
fire god) to enter this river so that the water might boil. After the death each
person is obliged to swim across this Vaitamee river, which gives harmless passage
to good souls but the evil ones have to suffer torments and pangs while crossing
this river's boiling water.
|DAKSHINASAPATI - THE REGENT OF THE SOUTH QUARTER
This legendary place of heaven created for Yama by Vishwakarma
is 800 miles in circumference. At this place there is no fear of enemies and sorrow of mind and
body is non-existent. The climate is mild and salubrious and each one is rewarded
in kind according to his deeds. He who has given much in charity receives very
many comforts of all kinds.