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Yama (यमः)

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Created new page Yama - title corrected
Yama (Sanskrit : यमः) also called as Dharmaraja is the much feared ruler of Kala and Dharma (righteousness). According to Sanatana Dharma principles, after death every deed done by a person when alive are taken into account and the elevation of soul is then decided. A Jiva's path of travel to higher realms namely Devayana and Pitruyana are dependent on the Karma (deeds) and the knowledge attained by a Jiva or soul, the records of which are maintained by Yama.
== Yama Devataswaroopam ==
=== Birth and Family ===
* Yama descended from Mahavishnu in the following order according to Puranic Encyclopedia<ref name=":2">Mani, V. (1975). ''[https://archive.org/details/puranicencyclopa00maniuoft Puranic encyclopaedia : A comprehensive dictionary with special reference to the epic and Puranic literature.]'' Delhi:Motilal Banasidass.</ref>: <blockquote>'''''Vishnu - Brahma - Marichi - Kasyapa - Surya - Yama'''''</blockquote>* The birth of Yama is described in Vishnu Purana (Part 3, Chap 2)<ref>[http://www.astrojyoti.com/pdfs/DevanagariFiles/VishnuPurana.pdf Vishnu Purana] Page Number 188</ref>. Yama is the son of Surya and Samjna. Dhoomornyaa is the name of Yama's wife. <blockquote>यथा चन्द्रश्च रोहिण्यामुर्मिलायां[ण्यां '''धूमोर्णया''' '''यथा यमः'''। वरुणश्च यथा गौर्यां यथा चर्ध्यां[र्द्ध्यां] धनेश्वरः॥ 5-117-9 (Mahabharata. Udyoga Parva, Chapter 117, Verse 9).</blockquote>
* Yama is the brother of Manu, Yami, Sanaischara, Tapati and Manu (another one of same name) and Ashvinikumaras, Revanta and Bhaya.
== Yama in Vedas And Upanishads ==
Sayanacharaya explains that Yama controls the middle planet Antariksha where exists the Yamaloka also described as Paravyoma, it is the higher plane of existence for the dead, who along with the pitris (ancestors) reside in this place for which Yama is the palaka (governor). Thus, Yamaloka and the Pitruloka are under the control of Yama.
Therefore, it should not be hastily construed that Yamaloka is the land of suffering alone. This larger understanding as explained in the Vedas demolishes the common notions prevalent among people, that Yamaloka is an infernal place. However it should be emphasized that Naraka does exist and Yamadeva oversees the activities there. Thus, the common notion that Yama is only the master of the Naraka (hell) is not appropriate.<ref name=":1">Narayanacharya, K. S. (2011). ''Veda Samskrita Parichaya''. Hubli:​Sahitya Prakashana​.</ref>
=== Kathopanishad ===
Nachiketa’s journey to Yamaloka is described in describes Nachiketa's understanding that the yamaloka is the resting place of his pitris (ancestors). He also heard the playing of the flute (Rig Veda. 10.135.7).
Yama upon Nachiketa's perseverance reveals the eternal secret of the Vedas to him. Even though every living entity has eternal association with Paramatma, an age-old question that bothers many people, is how does Jiva acquire births as different species of lifeforms? Yama discusses the role of Paramatma for jiva as an indwelling Consciousness and its impact on  jiva’s rise and fall.<ref name=":1" />   <blockquote>"नचिकेतमुपाख्यानं मृत्युप्रोक्तं सनातनम् ||" (Katha. Upan. 3.16)<ref>[http://vedicheritage.gov.in/upanishads/kathopanishad/ Kathopanishad]</ref></blockquote>Meaning'':'' This is Sanaatana (timeless) Nachiketa story told by Mrityu (Yama).  
In this Upanishad, Yama is referred to, not as a person, but by Antaka, Mrityu, and Vaivasvata. Kathopanishad contains the 'secrets of death'. Yama answers these questions, though some may assume this is the act of destiny or blame the paramatma for pushing jiva into different forms of life, it is the own actions or Karma of the Jiva when in bodily form, that makes a Jiva attain births in different life forms.<ref name=":1" />   <blockquote>"अङ्गुष्ठमात्रः पुरुषोऽन्तरात्मा सदा जनानां हृदये सन्निविष्टः ||" (Katha. Upan. 6.16)</blockquote>Meaning'':'' In the body, in the hridaya-stana, is seated the thumbsized Jivatma (Inner Self) which is immortal.  
Apart from the above mentioned instances the story of [[Nachiketa (नचिकेत)|Nachiketa]] and his conversation with Yama is found in Taittriya Brahmana, Varaha Purana and Mahabharata  
This famous legend about Savitri, a mahapativrata, who brought back the life of her husband Satyavan from Yama, is given in the Vanaparva of Mahabharata (Chap 293 to 299)<ref name=":0" />. Savitri upon her husband's death, follows Yama to the neither worlds, and seeing her resolve Yama offers her four boons, except the life of her husband. As a first boon, she asks for the restoration of the eyesight of Dyumatsena, the King of Salva and father of Satyavan. Secondly she asks that his lost kingdom be restored to him, which Yama willingly grants her. For her third boon she asks that her father, Asvapati, the King of Madra, be blessed with hundred sons to continue the lineage. As she still refused to leave her husband, Yama pleased at her love and devotion, grants her the fourth boon. For her fourth boon she asks to be blessed by a hundred sons from Satyavan, to which Yama agrees in haste. Realizing the futility of the boon if Satyavan is not alive, Yama grants her back the life of Satyavan.
== Yama And Crows ==
In Valmiki Ramayana, Uttara Kanda, there is a legend about the crow's right to eat the offering of rice to Pitrus.<ref name=":2" /> 
Once a King named Marutta performed a Mahesvara sattra. Indra and other Gods attended the sattra; hearing about this, Ravana came that way. The frightened Gods took the forms of different birds. Indra took the form of peacock, Yama a crow. Kubera, a chameleon. Varuna took the form of a Royal Swan. From that time, Yama was pleased with crows. 
He gave a blessing that in future, when human beings worship the pitrus by offering rice to them, the crows will have the right to eat that rice.  
== Worship of Yama ==
A special mention of worship of Yama is made here since Yama is feared in general and his worship is less known. However, during the time of Deepavali, Yama is worshipped. Yamapanchakas is the period of time starting from Asweyuja Krishna Trayodasi (13th day of the Second half of Asweyuja month) till Kaartika Suddha Tritiya (3rd day of the First half of Kaartika month). Based on different calendars the month is either Asweyuja or Kartika, but it happens during the time of Deepavali. The day of Narakachaturdashi falls in between these five days. The worship of Yama is also observed in Nepal.<ref>https://www.ishtadevata.com/events/event/yama-panchak-begins-2/</ref>  
Sacred texts like Dharmasindhu<ref>Upadhyaya, Kasinath (1907) ''[https://archive.org/stream/DHARMASINDHU/DHARMA%20SINDHU#page/n1/mode/2up The Dharmasindhu]'' Delhi : Sri Sadguru Publications</ref> prescribe that after taking bath on Naraka Chaturdasi day all those who are eligible to offer Pithru tharpana (offerings to ancestors) should give Thila Tharpanam (offering of sesame or gingelly seeds) in the name of Yamadeva (Mrityudevata). This is called Yama Tharpanam, which is done by reciting the following mantras having the 14 names of Yamadharmaraja. 
According to Dharma Sindhu this Tharpana should be given by one and all irrespective of the fact whether one's father is alive or not. In case father is not alive tila tarpanas can be given with yagnopaveetam in Apasavya position. In case one's father is alive, it should be given with water and rice with yagnopaveetham in Savya position.
 
== Verses and Meanings ==
यम सूक्त || Yama Sukta in Rig Veda<blockquote>प्रेहि प्रेहि पथिभिः पूर्व्येभिर्यत्रा नः पूर्वे पितरःपरेयुः | उभा राजाना स्वधया मदन्ता यमं पश्यासिवरुणं च देवम || 7</blockquote><blockquote>prehi prehi pathibhiḥ pūrvyebhiryatrā naḥ pūrve pitaraḥpareyuḥ | ubhā rājānā svadhayā madantā yamaṁ paśyāsivaruṇaṁ ca devama || 7</blockquote><blockquote>सं गच्छस्व पित्र्भिः सं यमेनेष्टापूर्तेन परमेव्योमन् | हित्वायावद्यं पुनरस्तमेहि सं गच्छस्व तन्वासुवर्चाः || 8</blockquote><blockquote>saṁ gacchasva pitrbhiḥ saṁ yameneṣṭāpūrtena paramevyoman | hitvāyāvadyaṁ punarastamehi saṁ gacchasva tanvāsuvarcāḥ || 8</blockquote><blockquote>अपेत वीत वि च सर्पतातोऽस्मा एतं पितरो लोकमक्रन् | अहोभिरद्भिरक्तुभिर्व्यक्तं यमो ददात्यवसानमस्मै || 9</blockquote><blockquote>apeta vīta vi ca sarpatāto'smā etaṁ pitaro lokamakran | ahobhiradbhiraktubhirvyaktaṁ yamo dadātyavasānamasmai || 9</blockquote><blockquote>अति द्रव सारमेयौ श्वानौ चतुरक्षौ शबलौ साधुना पथा | अथा पितॄन्त्सुविदत्रानुपेहि यमेन ये सधमादं मदन्ति || 10 (Rig. Veda. 10.14)</blockquote><blockquote>ati drava sārameyau śvānau caturakṣau śabalau sādhunā pathā | athā pitr̥̄ntsuvidatrānupehi yamena ye sadhamādaṁ madanti || 10 (Rig. Veda. 10.14)<ref>Rig Veda ([http://vedicheritage.gov.in/samhitas/rigveda/shakala-samhita/rigveda-shakala-samhita-mandal-10-sukta-014/ Mandala 10, Sukta 14])</ref></blockquote>'''Brief Summary''' '''of the Sukta:''' This is a sukta in honor of Yama. We honor Yama, Vivasvan's son, who gathers all men together, and shows them a place to stay. He travels above and shows the path to many. Men may chose their own path to their ancestors (based on their deeds). Along with the [[Angirasa (अङ्गिरसः)|Angirasas]], Atharvans, Bhrigus, Yama is invited to have Soma. All the meters Tristub, Gayatri are contained in Yama. Mantra 8 and 9 in this sukta explain that Yamaloka is an abode for the ancestors, where they are given a place to rest with light and water.
== References ==
[[Category:Devatas]]<references />

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