Sculptor who tried to fool Yama, God of death (Post.9424)


Post No. 9424

Date uploaded in London – –26 MARCH  2021     

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Once there was a sculptor so talented as to reproduce himself to such perfection that you could not tell the reproduced from the original. He was so brilliant that he could just take a look at you and create your exact image. But he was also arrogant about his ability. Time went by and he became very old.

One day he knew that the God of Death was coming down to take

 tags – Yama, God of Death, Sculptor, Arrogance

Why do Hindus Worship God of Death Everyday?


By London Swaminathan

As a Brahmin I worship the Vedic God Yama every day along with Agni, Indra, Varuna, Mitra, Vayu, Arka (sun), Vageesa (Brihspati/ Jupiter) and Vishvedeva:. I feel very proud to continue the tradition that was started at least 5000 years ago on the banks of the mighty River Sarasvati.


I turn towards South and recite a mantra for Yama, Lord of Death, in my daily prayers called Sandhya vandanam. Brahmins, and in olden days, all the three castes Brahmin, Kshatriya and Vaisya were performing this ritual known as Sandhyavandhanam (Surya Worship) thrice a day; just before sun rise, mid day and during sun set.


Yama is known as Dharma Raja, Mrtyu, Antaka, Vaivasvata, Kala, Sarva Bhoota Kshayakara, Audumbara, Dathna, Neela, Parameshti, Vrukodara, Chitra, Chitra Gupta (14 names) in the mantra.


One of the names is ‘Black’ (neelaaya). This is another blow to Aryan Dravidian theory. Like Kali, Sanaischara (Saturn), Vishnu, Vyasa, Krishna, Rama, Yama is also black. Black is the colour of death all over the world. Even today Christians and Jews wear only black dress for funeral ceremonies. Without realising this, so called Dravidian political parties of Tamil Nadu also follow this and wear Black badges for funerals!! Yama is always associated with South.

Only known statue of Lord Yama

Why do Hindus, particularly Brahmins, worship Yama every day?

Remembering death every day will make them do good things without any delay. This is because Hindus believe that the merits (Punya) that one earns in this life will help one in the afterlife. Remembering death every day serve as shock absorbers. As births in any family are common, deaths are also common in all our families. But some people find it very difficult to overcome such a big shock. If they recite Yama mantra every day this will give them some solace. Because we know Yama will visit us one day with his accountant/ assistant Chitra Gupta.


Another belief among Hindus is that by reciting certain mantras, you can avoid death until you are hundred years old. Hindus fixed one’s full life span as 100. They were the inventors of decimal system. So all their mantras will have 100, 1000, 100, 000 (Lakh= laksha) or Koti (ten million).

Brahmins recite one other mantra before this Yama mantra. It is recited in the mid day oblations. They ask for good eye sight, good hearing power, good life, healthy and happy life for 100 years ( (The mantra begins with Pashyema Sardas satam……).

For Hindus, death is like throwing away old shirts (old body) and birth is like taking new shirts. Krishna makes it very simple through this simile in His Bhagavad Gita ( Sloka 2-22 begins with Vasamsi Jeernanani…….). Tamil poet Tiru Valluvar compares it to birds leaving the nests (Kural 338, 339).


Tamil and Sanskrit literature is full of hymns and poems on the impermanence of life. They are taught to children from very young age through school text books.


Mahabaharata has a beautiful episode called Questions of a Ghost known as Yaksha Prasna. Yakshas are tree spirits. The last question of the ghost was ‘’What is the most wonderful thing in the world?’’. Dharma, while answering this question, said, ‘’ Every day people are dying, but yet people think that they are going to be here permanently and don’t bother about death at all.’’

yama statue 2

A couple of observations here won’t be out of place:

Yama is called ‘dathnaya’. English word death came from this.

Chitra Gupa is called Yama’s accountant who takes into account the good and bad deeds we do every day and punishes or rewards after death. If the balance is in our favour we go to heaven, if it is not in our favour we go to hell. Hindus believe in this Punya and Papa. In fact Chitra Gupta is an abstract thing. Whatever we think is recorded as mental pictures or impressions. That is known as Chitra Gupta= Secret Drawing/picture.

We may lie to anyone but not to our conscience. We may pretend that we are following the right path. But our inner conscience contradicts it. Chitra Gupta takes in to account all our good and bad thoughts and deeds. Even our thoughts are counted. If our brain and computers can do billions of calculations, can’t Chitragupta do it?


Interesting Facts about Yama :(Source: Yama by Kusum P.Merh)

Yama means twins in general. Yama has a twin sister Yami. Yama was the first man to die. Yama was the son of Vivaswat. His brother was Vaivaswata Manu. Yama is compared to Pluto and Minos in western pantheon. Yama has two dogs with four eyes each. He rides upon a buffalo. In Mahabaharata he was the father of Dharma. Chitra Gupta’s register is called Agra Sandhani. Yama carries a noose. His wives are Hemamala, Susila and Vijaya. Rig Veda has a hymn on Yama (10-14). Yama’s mother was Saranyu.


Yama is compared with Avestan Yema, Lettic jumis, Mir.emuin (all meaning Twins); Latin geminus, gemellus, Greek Didumos according to Guntert.


Following is the prayer to Yama; Brahmins recite it thrice a day:

‘’Yamaaya dharma raajaaya

Mrutyave cha antakaaya cha

Vaivasvataaya kaalaaya

Sarva bhoota kshayaaya cha.


Audumbaraaya dadhnaaya

Neelaaya parameshtine

Vrukodaraaya chitraaya chitraguptaaaya vai namaha

chitraguptaaaya vai nama om namaha  iti’’.


Statue of Takao Yama, Japan

Meaning in English: Yama vandanam : Salutations to Yama,( Lord of Death ) who controls everything, Lord of Dharma (righteousness), who is death and who is time, who dissolves all ,who terminates everything, who is the son of Vivsvan, who is very strong, who has the name of Dadhna, who is of black complexion, who is worshipped by all, who has a large belly, who preserves all secrets scrupulously and who is a miracle himself. Prostration with On to Chitragupta.


For more on Sandhaya Vandhana, please road my A layman’s Guide to Sandhya Vandhana titled ‘’ Why Do Brahmins Deserve an Entry in to Guinness Book of Records?’’. Also ‘’Why Do Hindus worship Bells?’’ ‘’Why do Hindus worship Shoes?’’ ‘’Why do Hindus practise Homeopathy’’? HEAD TOWARDS NORTH IS WRONG  + 600 articles.

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