Śrīmad Devi Bhāgavatam | Book 9 Chapter 35



Chapter XXXV

On the description of the various hells for the various sinners

1-44. Dharmarāja said:

O Chaste One! Without serving the Gods, the Karma ties can never be severed. The pure acts are the seeds of purities and the impure acts lead to impure seeds.

If any Brāhmaṇa goes to any unchaste woman and eats her food, he will have to go ultimately to the Kālasūtra hell. There he lives for one hundred years when ultimately he gets a human birth when he passes his times as a diseased man and ultimately he gets purified.

Those women who are addicted to their (one) husbands only are called Pativratās. Those addicted to two persons are named Kulaṭās; to three, are called Dharṣiṇīs; to four, called Pumśchalīs; to five, six persons, called Veśyās; to seven, eight, nine persons are called Pungīs; and to more than these, are called Mahāveśyās.

The Mahāveśyās are unfit to be touched by all the classes. If any Brāhmaṇa goes to Kulaṭā, Dharṣiṇī, Pumśchalī, Pungī, Veśyā and Mahāveśyās, he will have to go to the Matsyoda Kuṇḍa.

Those who go to Kulaṭās remain there for one hundred years; those who go to Dharṣiṇīs, remain for four hundred years, those who go to Pumśchalīs for six hundred years; those who go to Veśyās, for eight hundred years; those who go to Pungīs, remain for one thousand years and those who go to Mahāveśyās remain in the Matsyoda Kuṇḍa for ten thousand years.

My messengers chastise and beat and torment them very severely. And when their terms expire, the Kulaṭā-goers become Tittiris (a bird), the Dharṣiṇī-goers become crows, the Pumśchalī-mongers become cuckoos, the Veśyā hunters become wolves; the Pungī-goers become for seven births boars.

If any ignorant person eats food during the lunar and solar eclipses, he goes to Aruntuda Kuṇḍa for as many years as there are particles in that food.

He then becomes born diseased with Gulma (a chronic enlargement of spleen) having no ears nor teeth, and after passing his time so, he becomes freed of his previous sin.

If anybody makes a promise to give his daughter to one but he gives actually to a different person, he goes to Pāmśu Kuṇḍa where he eats ashes for one hundred years.

Again if anybody sells his daughter, he sleeps on a bed of arrows in Pamśuveṣṭa Kuṇḍa for one hundred years, chastised and beaten by My messengers.

If any Brāhmaṇa does not worship with devotion the phallic emblem of Śiva, he goes to the dreadful Śūlaprota Kuṇḍa for that heinous sin.

He remains there for one hundred years; then he becomes a quadruped animal for seven births and again he becomes born a Devala Brahmin for seven births when he becomes freed.

If any Brāhmaṇa defeats another Brāhmaṇa in a bad useless argument and trifles him and makes him tremble, he goes to the Prakampana Kuṇḍa for as many years as there are hairs on his body.

If any woman, being very furious with anger, chastises and uses harsh words to her husband, she goes to Ulkāmukha Kuṇḍa for as many years as there are hairs on his body.

My servants put fiery meteors or torches in her mouth and beat on her head. At the end of the term, she becomes a human being but she has to bear the torments of widowhood for seven births. Then she is again born as diseased; when at last she gets herself freed.

The Brāhmaṇa woman, enjoyed by a Śūdra, goes to the terrible dark Andhakūpa hell, where she remains, day and night, immersed in the impure water and eats that for fourteen Indra’s life periods. Her pains are unbounded and My messengers beat her severely and incessantly.

At the expiry of the term in that hell, she becomes a female crow for thousand births, a female boar for one hundred births, a female fox for one hundred births, a hen for one hundred years, a female pigeon for seven births, and a female monkey for seven births.

Then she becomes a Chāṇḍālī in this Bhārata, enjoyed by all. Then she becomes an unchaste woman with the pthisis disease, a washerwoman, and then an oil-woman with leprosy when she becomes freed.

O Fair One! The Veśyās live in the Vedhana, and Jālarandhra hells; the Pungīs live in the Danḍatāḍana hell, the Kulaṭās live in the Dehachūrna hells; the Svairiṇīs live in the Dalana hells; the Dharṣiṇīs live in Śoṣaṇa hells.

Their pains know no bounds at all those places. My messengers always beat and chastise them and they eat always the urine and faeces for one Manvantara. Then, at the expiry of their hell period, they become worms of faeces for one lakh years when they become freed.

If a Brāhmaṇa goes to another Brāhmaṇa’s wife, if a Kṣattriya, Vaiṣya and Śūdra do so, they go to the Kaṣāya hell. There they drink the hot Kaṣāya water for twelve years when they become purified.

The lotus-born Brahmā has said that the wives of Brāhmins, Kṣattriyas, etc., live in hells like Brāhmins, Kṣattriyas, etc., and they then get freed.

If a Kṣattriya or a Vaiṣya goes to a Brāhmin’s wife, he is involved in the sin of his going to his mother and goes and lives in the Śūrpa hell. There the worms of the size of a Śūrpa bite that Kṣattriya, that Vaiṣya and that Brāhmaṇa’s wife.

My messengers chastise them and they have to eat the hot urine. Thus they suffer pains for fourteen Indra’s life periods. Then they become boars for seven births and goats for seven births, when at last they are freed.

Now if anybody makes a false promise or swears falsely, taking the Tulasī leaf in his hands, if anybody makes a false promise, taking the Ganges water, Śālagrāma stone, or any other images of God in his hand;

if anybody swears falsely, placing his right palm on the palm of another; if anybody swears falsely, being in a temple or touching a Brāhmaṇa or a cow;

if anybody acts against his friends or others, if he be treacherous or if he gives a false evidence;

then all these persons go to Jvālāmūkha hell, and remain there for fourteen Indra’s life periods, chastised and beaten by My messengers and feeling pain as if one’s body is being burnt by red hot coal.

One who gives a false evidence, with the Tulasī (holy basil) in his hand becomes a Chāṇḍāla for seven births; one who makes a false promise with the Ganges water in his hand, becomes a Mlechcha for five births;

one who swears falsely while touching the Śālagrāma stone, becomes a worm of the faeces for seven births; one who swears falsely, touching the image of the God, becomes a worm in a Brāhmin’s house for seven births;

one who gives a false evidence touching with the right hand, becomes a serpent for seven births; then he becomes born as a Brāhmin, void of the knowledge of the Vedas, when he becomes freed.

One who speaks falsely, while in a temple, is born as a Devala for seven births.

45-59. If one swears falsely, touching a Brāhmaṇa, one becomes a tiger. Then he becomes dumb for three births, then for three births he becomes deaf, without wife, without friends, and his family becomes extinct. Then he becomes pure.

Those that rebel against their friends, become mongoose; the treacherous persons become rhinoceroses; the hypocrite and treacherous persons become tigers and those who give false evidences become frogs. So much so, that their seven generations above and seven generations below go to hell.

If any Brāhmaṇa does not perform his daily duties (Nitya Karma), he is reckoned as Jada (an inert matter). He has no faith in the Vedas. Rather he laughs at the Vedic customs. He does not observe vows and fasts; he blames others who give good advices.

Such persons live in Dhūmrāndhakāra hell where they eat dark smoke only. Then he roams about as an aquatic animal for one hundred births successively. Then he becomes born as various fishes when he is freed.

If anybody jests at the wealth of a Deva or a Brāhmaṇa, then he with his ten generations above and below becomes fallen and he himself goes to the Dhūmrāndhakāra hell, terribly dark and filled with smoke.

There his pains know no bounds and he lives there for four hundred years, eating smoke only. Then he becomes a mouse for seven births, and he becomes various birds and worms, various trees and various animals when ultimately he gets a human birth.

If a Brāhmin earns his livelihood by being an astrologer or if he be a physician and lives thereby or if he sells lac, iron, or oil, etc., he goes to the Nāgaveṣṭana Kuṇḍa hell where he lives for as many years as there are hairs on his body, tied up by snakes.

Then he becomes born as various birds; ultimately he gets a human birth and becomes an astrologer for seven births and a physician for seven births.

Then for some time he becomes a cowherd (milkman), for sometimes a blacksmith; for sometimes a painter, when he becomes freed of his sin.

O Chaste One! Thus I have described to you all the famous Kuṇḍas or hells. Except these there are innumerable small Kuṇḍas. The sinners go there and suffer the fruits of their own Karmas and travel through various wombs.

O Fair One! What more do you now want to hear? Say!

Here ends the Thirty-Fifth Chapter of the Ninth Book on the description of the various hells for the various sinners in the Mahā Purāṇam Śrīmad Devī Bhāgavatam of 18,000 verses by Mahāṛṣi Veda Vyāsa.