(Last Updated on : 27/02/2010)
Concept of naraka according to the Vishnu Purana is the place below the earth and it is that place into which the sinners fall. Naraka has been discussed by various religious beliefs besides Hinduism. Since Vishnu Purana is an ancient Hindu text, it essentially upholds the Hindu concept of Naraka or hell. The names of various hells that are present Vishnu Purana in the universe, as mentioned in Vu are Rauravs, Sukara, Rodha, Tala, Visasana, Mahajwala, Taptakumbha, Lavana, Vimohana, Rudhirandha, Vaitarani, Krimisha, Krimibhojana, Asipatravana, Krishna, Lalabhaksha, Daruna, Puyavaha, Papa, Vahnijwala, Adhosiras, Sandansa, Kalasutra, Tamas, Avichi, Swabhojana, Apratishtha, and another Avichi. It is said that these are the dreadful hells constituting the various provinces of the kingdom of Lord Yama
dreadful with his instruments of torture into which are hurled down those persons, who are addicted to sinful actions.
Vishnu Purana elaborates that those who give false evidence, those who act as mediators through partiality, those who speak untruth, are thrown into the Raurava or the dreadful hell. He, who causes abortion, devastates a town, kills a cow, or strangles a man to death, goes to the Rodha hell or to the hell of obstruction. He, who drinks intoxicating liquors, destroys a Brahmana, steals gold or associates with them who perpetrate these crimes, goes to the Sukara (swine) hell. He, who murders or commits adultery with the wife of his preceptor, is despatched to the Tala hell. And one, who has an incestuous relationship, goes to Taptakumbha hell. One, who sells his chaste wife, one who deals in horses and forsakes his followers, is sent to Taptaloha hell. An individual who maintains an incestuous relationship with his daughter-in-law or daughter is sent to the Mahajwala hell. A man who disrespects spiritual guide or his betters, who reviles the Vedas
or sells them and who associates with women to whom they should not go, is sent into Lavana hell.
A thief and a hater of prescribed rites will end up in Vimohana hell. He who disrespects his father, the Brahmanas and the gods, or one who spoils gems falls into the Krimibhoksha hell. He, who practises rites to injure others, falls into Krimisa hell. A man who takes his meals before offering food to the gods, to the manes and guests is despatched into Lalabhoksha hell. One who makes arrows is sent into the Vidhaka hell. He, who makes lances, swords and other weapons, is sent into the dreadful hell of Visashana. He who takes bribes is sent into Adhomukha hell as well as he who offers sacrifices to improper objects and predicts the movements of stars and planets. One who eats alone sweetmeats, a Brahmana who deals in lac, flesh, liquors, sesamum, or salt, one who commits violence, and those who rear up cats, cocks goats, dogs, hogs and birds are dispatched into hell Puyavaha is where matter flows.
The Brahman who leads the life of an actor, fisherman, who depends up in a person born in adultery, who is a prisoner, an informer, one who lives by his wife's immoral habits, who looks to secular affairs on Parva days, who is an. incendiary, a faithless friend, a soothsayer who vends birds, performs religious rites for the rustics, who sells the juice of some trees is thrown into Rudhirandha hell. He, who spoils honey or devastates a village, is sent into Vaitarani hell. He, who causes impotence, trespasses into others lands, is impure and lives on magic rites, is sent into the Krishna hell. He who uselessly cuts down trees goes to Asipatravana hell.
Those who tend on sheep, those who haunt deer and those who give fire to unbacked vessels are sent to Vahnijwala hell or of fiery flame. One, who violates his own vow or transgresses the rules of his own order, goes into the Sandansana. The religious student who sleeps in the day and becomes defiled and those who receive instruction from their children go to the hell called Swabhojana.
Vishnu Purana narrates besides these there are hundreds and thousands of other hells, where persons, perpetrating diverse iniquities, are visited with various punishments. There are thousands of hells like the numberless crimes committed by men, in which they are punished according to the nature of their offences. It has been said that there are as many inhabitants in hell as are in heaven because those who commit sin and do not make an, expiation of guilt proceed to hell.
It has been said that the person who meditates upon Lord Vishnu
day and night does not go to hell after death. That which gives delight to mind is heaven, and that which gives pain is hell, hence vice is denominated as hell and Virtue as heaven.
It has been stated in the Vishnu Purana that true wisdom consists only in the knowledge of Brahma, which brings confinement to the world. Vishnu Purana says that hell is the place below the earth and it is that place into which the sinners fall.