Marks on Sinners

Continued from “Torments for Different Sins”

Garuda Puran Part – 5

Brief Summary

This chapter is a lucid detailing of the various manifestations of different sins committed by the sinner on his person and appearnace. Each sin leaves a mark on the sinner. Sri Hari’s listing of these to Garuda, at the latter’s request, offers an extremely useful study for man to be wary and avoid sinning to ensure joy in the life to come.

Shlok 1-48

Garuda entreats his Lord, Keshava, to tell him in detail as to what signs appear in the man who commits a particular sin and what sins lead man to take a particular birth.

The Supreme Lord, Sri Hari told Garuda that He would list in detail the sins that manifest in different signs and how the sin determines the paapi’s subsequent birth.

For easy remembrance the following tabular form would be useful:

Sin / Manifestation or form in subsequent birth

  • Killing a brahmin / birth as a Chandala with consumption.
  • Killing a cow / birth as a humpback.
  • Killer of a virgin (kanya) / leprosy or birth as an outcaste.
  • Killing a woman and destroying / birth as a savage.
  • Intercourse with a sagotra woman / birth as a eunuch.
  • Intercourse with the preceptors wife / suffers skin disease.
  • Pious man eating meat / suffers disease or becomes drunkard with discoloured teeth.
  • A Brahmin eating forbidden things or food / birth with a big-belly.
  • Eating sweets without sharing / suffering swollen neck.
  • Offering impure food at ‘Shraddha’ / birth as spotted leper.
  • Insulting a teacher / birth as an epileptic.
  • Hating vedas and shastras / birth as one jaundiced.
  • Bearing false witness / suffers dumbness.
  • Breaking the “Pangkt (meal row) / birth as one-eyed.
  • Causing hurdles to a marriage / birth with no lips.
  • Stealing a book / birth as one blind.
  • Striking, beating a cow / leads to lameness.
  • Lying, speaking falsehood / leads to stammer.
  • Listening to lies / leads to deafness
  • One who poisons / is born insane.
  • Torching/setting aflame things or proerty / leads to baldness.
  • Selling flesh / leads to bad luck.
  • Eating flesh of other beings / brings sickness.
  • Stealing jewels / birth in a law caste.
  • Stealing gold / leads to birth with diseased nails.
  • Stealing metal / leads to birth in poverty.
  • Stealing food / leads to birth as a rat.
  • Stealing grain / leads to birth as a louse.
  • Stealing water / leads to birth as a chataka bird.
  • Stealing poison / leads to birth as a scorpion.
  • Stealing vegetables and leaves / leads to birth as a peacock.
  • Stealing perfumes / leads to birth as a musk-rat.
  • Stealing honey / leads to birth as a gadfly.
  • Stealing flesh / leads to birth as a vulture.
  • Stealing salt / leads to birth as an ant.
  • Stealing betel, fruit, or flowers / leads to birth as a forest monkey.
  • Stealing shoes, grass and cotton / leads to birth from a sheep.
  • Robbing, or hunting / leads to birth as a goat in a butcher’s house.
  • Committing suicide with poison / leads to birth as a black serpent on a hill.
  • Having limitless desire  / leads to birth as an elephant in a forest.
  • Not making offerings to deities or eating all kinds of foods / leads to birth as a tiger in a forest.
  • A Brahmin not reciting Gayatri or not meditating at dusk; being pious outwardly and vicious really / leads to birth as a crane.
  • A Brahmin who is officiating for one unfit to perform a fire riutal and eating without grace / leads to birth as a village pig, an ass, or a crow.
  • Spitting on the teacher or arguing / leads to birth as a brahma- rakshas (a demon) in waterless forest.
  • Not giving to a Brahmin what is promised and not being hospitable / leads to birth as a howling burning demon.
  • Deceiving a friend / leads to birth as a vulture.
  • Cheating while selling / leads to birth as an owl.
  • Speaking ill of a caste / leads to birth as a pigeon in a forest
  • Destroying hope and affection - deserting a wife / leads to birth as a wild goose.
  • Hating mother, father or teacher - quarreling with brother or sister/ leads to destruction in the womb many times.
  • Running away with a lover, leaving the husband/ leads to birth as a house lizard or a kid of female serpent
  • Woman abusing her mother-in-law or father-in-law, scolding the husband / leads to birth as a louse.
  • Marrying a woman of his (gotra) family and breaking his lineage / leads to birth as a hyena or a porcupine-or from a bear
  • Marrying in lust an acetic (woman) / leads to birth as a desert demon.
  • Consorting with a girl before her puberty / leads to birth as a huge snake.
  • Coveting a teacher’s wife / leads to birth as a chameleon.
  • Going with a king’s wife / leads to birth as a donkey.
  • Committing an unnatural act of sex / leads to birth as a pig.
  • Having excessive passion or sexual desire /leads to birth as a horse.
  • Feeding on the 11th day offerings leads to birth as a dog.
  • Working for wages as a Devalaka-temple priest / leads to birth as a cock or hen.
  • Worshiping deities for money - (being a Devalaka) / leads to become unfit for offering oblations
  • Stealing gold / leads to birth as worm, insect or bird
  • Killing a Brahmin / leads to birth as an ass, camel or she-buffalo.
  • Stealing another man’s wife, eating away trust money, robbing a brahmin / leads to birth as a brama-rakshas Brahmin-demon
  • Enjoying a Brahmin’s money by guile etc. / leads to affliction of family for many generations.

(There is no person who can digest a Brahmin’s money obtained immorally, dishonestly or wickedly. Armies etc. maintained with a Brahmin’s money wrongly obtained would crumble in battle.)

  • Appropriating temple property / leads to the ruin of the family.
  • Neglecting or deserting Brahmin, giving away money to one undeserving / leads to birth as a blind man and as beggar.
  • Taking another’s plot of land / leads to birth as a worm in excrement and living like that for 69000 years.
  • Taking back what is given in Charity/ leads to going to hell and suffering till pralaya, deluge.
  • Not protecting the property one has himself given in charity to a Brahmin / leads to birth as a lame dog.

Shlok 48-57

The reward or the merit (punya) obtained by providing support to a Brahmin is equal to the fund ofpunya obtained by the charity of a lakh of cows. Having listed thus sins and the corresponding births or punishments a sinner attracts, Sri Hari tells Garuda that one’s Karmas contribute to and decide as to which body a sinner would get into.

The sinners having suffered in hell for long, take birth in the world again to work out their residual sins in the forms mentioned above. The sinners may have to spend many hundreds of lives as animals carrying burdens. After as a bird, the sinner suffers wind, rain and heat and works out his karma, he attains birth as a human being since the sin is lived out. Man is born in due course when a man and woman copulate. Having suffered on earth also he has to work out his karma to become pure again deserving a higher birth. Birth and Death come as a cycle and this Wheel or cycle is there in all Kingdoms of beings. The wheel of time goes round and round and mortals are in the cycle being born, living and dying all in accordance with their individual karma.

Charity is the key to elevation and upward movement in the order of beings. One who is stingy and does not practice charity, compassion and merit-yielding qualities sinks into sin and goes to hell. After working out his karma by suffering torments, he takes birth again and again and again. Karma the action of every sort, has a fruit. Good deeds earn merit (Punya) and the bad yields (Paapa) sin. For all deeds, for all Karma, man has the fruit: to enjoy or suffer according to his own deeds. Karmic suffering in hell can come to an end only by acquiring punya by performing good deeds. Karma as fruit can never pass unexperienced.


More by :  Dr. Rama Rao Vadapalli V.B.

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