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Garuda Purana (Devanagari गरड पपररण) is one of the eighteen Puranas which are part of the Hindu body of texts known as smriti. It is a Vaishnava Purana and the epic is in form of conversation between Lord Vishnu and Garuda (King of Birds), primarily emphasizing the reason and meaning of Human Life form. It contains details of life after death, funeral rites and the metaphysics of reincarnation, thus it is recited as a part Antyesti (Antim Sanskar) or funeral rites (funeral liturgy) in Hinduism. [1] The Padma Purana categorizes Garuda Purana as a Sattva Purana (Purana which represents goodness and purity). [2] The epic purana which is considered to be lastly edited by Veda Vyāsa, speaks of different incarnations of Lord Vishnu, geographical description, origin of the Universe, Creation, Procreation, Genealogy of Gods and the journey of a soul after death. Garuda Purana also talks about the origin and propagation of Garuda himself and also describes different kinds of austerities, methods of worship, atonement for sin and divine & sacred Manthras.

ttributed to a period of 4th century CE. [3] The Garuda Purana is a Vaishnava Purana and has nineteen thousand shlokas that are divided into two parts, a purva khanda (first part) and an uttara khanda (subsequent part). The others in this group are Vishnu Purana, Narada Purana, Bhagavata Purana, Padma Purana and Varaha Purana.

The Purana which has nineteen thousand shlokas (lines)is classified as a medium-sized Purana. The Skanda Purana, for example, has eighty-one thousand shlokas. And the Markandeya Purana only nine thousand. Each khanda has several chapters (adhyaya).

The purva khanda has two hundred and thirty-four chapters. It is also called Achara Khanda. It deals with astronomy, medicine, grammar and other subjects, such as gems. In this khanda we can find the explanation of Ayurveda(medicine)in detail. The Uttara khanda has only forty-five. The latter half of Garuda Purana deals with life after death. Hindus generally read this Purana while cremating their dead.

List of Hellish Punishments


Wrong doings

Punishment given in Naraka


Stealing other's property including wife, children and belongings

Thrashing with the weapon, gada


Post marital cheating between husband and wife

Unconscious circulation in abyss


Destroying, splitting other's family and their belongings

Spanking the Life organs with trident by Yama kinkaras


Brutally destroying other's property and family for the sake of acquisition

A wild animal, Ruru, tortures them in various forms


Wrong doings

Punishment given in Naraka


Destroying innocent lives for food

Roasting in hot oil tank by yama kinkaras


Torturing and putting elders & parents in starvation

Same set of treatment in hell


Abetting God and devolve from Dharma practices

Torture by evil spirits; results in fear


Punishing innocent people and accomplice unlawful activities

Grinding under the sharp teeth of an animal resembling pig


Torturing lives and inhumane activities

Biting by wild animals; Run over by wild animals


Snatching other's property by force, gaining undue advantage and unlawfully making best out of everything in the world

Roasting in agni kunda in inverted position with hands and legs tied under a stick


Unchaste people in physical contact with unmatching people

Physical hugging with fire spitting idols


Selfish survival; eating other's work

Insects are left intruding the body


Unchaste relationships by kamukas

Thrashing with gada


Using official stature to attain undue advantage, acting against dharma

Submerging in Vaitarna river where water is mixed with blood, urine and feces


Shameless behaviour, mixing with unchaste women & leading the life without any motive

Biting by poisonous insects and animals


Torturing lives and killing them

Spanking the Life organs with arrows by Yama kinkaras


Torturing cows (in which are all devatas)

Slashing by canes


Gutting houses, torturing lives, poisoning lives, involving in massacre

Torture by unknown wild animals


Giving false evidence

Submerging and torturing in livebodies


Drinking and making others drink alcohol

Drinking lava


Involving in bad activities and defaming elders and living with selfish motives

Torture the Life organs by unknown spirits


Performing naramedha yaga, eating non vegetarian dishes and torturing soft animals

The same victims torture the hecklers


Killing innocent people, masterminding people, committing suicide and betraying a person's trust.

Unknown birds peck and torture with shula


Not doing any good, amassing wealth by wrong doings and stealing wealth

Stinging with nails and torturing with hunger and thirst


Not doing any good and always doing bad to Stinging by insects like




Wrong doings

Punishment given in Naraka


Severely torturing living beings

Handcuffed and burnt in fire


Defaming guests and not treating them

Torturing with hunger and thirst


Torturing wife / husband and involving her / him in unchaste relationships

Same set of treatment in hell

Suta and the other sages


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 v  t  e

Sūta was a learned sage. He was very well-versed in the Puranas and in the shastras (sacred texts). He was also devoted to Vishnu.

Vedavyasa taught the Puranas to one of his disciples named Romaharshana or Lomaharshana. He was thus named because the hair (roma) on his body was thrilled (harshana), leading to Goose bumps, when he heard the Puranas from his teacher. It was Romaharshana who related the stories of the Puranas to everyone else. The Bhagavata Purana says the Romaharshana had a son named Suta and it was this son who related the story of that particular Purana to the other sages . On the other hand, Romaharshana himself belonged to the suta class, so that he too could be addressed as Sūta. From reading the Garuda Purana, one does get the impression that it is Romaharshana himself who is relating the story, and not his son.

To come back to the point, Romaharshana came to a forest known as Naimisharanya. He sat there and contemplated the mysteries of the Lord Vishnu.

Several other rishis (sages) led by Shounaka also came to the forest. They told Romaharshana, "Sage, you know everything. Who is the god of all gods? Who is to be worshipped? What does one meditate on? Who destroys evil? How did the world come to be created? What is dharma (righteousness)? Tell us all these things and more".

"I will", replied Romaharshana. "I will recite to you the Garuda Purana. Many years ago, this Purana was told to the sage Kashyapa by the great bird Garuda himself. I learnt it from my teacher Vyasadeva. But first let me list for you the twenty-two avataras of Vishnu.

The first incarnation was a young boy. In this form, Vishnu adopted celibacy (brahmacharya) and performed difficult tapasya (meditation).

The second incarnation was as a boar (Varaha). In this form, Vishnu rescued the earth from the underworld.

The third incarnation was as a great sage (Devarishi). In this form, Vishnu spread the knowledge of several texts (tantras).

The fourth incarnation was as two sages named Nara-Narayana.

The fifth incarnation was as the great sage Kapila. Kapila taught his disciple Asuri the wonderful philosophy known as Samkhya yoga.

The sixth incarnation was as the sage Dattatreya, the son of Atri and Anasuya.

The seventh incarnation took place in the manvantra known as svayambhuva. Vishnu was born as the son of Ruchi and Akuti and performed many yajnas (sacrifices).

In the eighth incarnation, Vishnu was born as Urukrama, the son of Nabhi and Meru. He taught everyone the righteous way of life.

In the ninth incarnation, Vishnu became the king Prithu and restored foodgrains and herbs to the earth.

The tenth of Vishnu’s incarnations was as a fish (Matsya). He saved Vaivasvata Manu from the flood that enveloped the world.

In the eleventh incarnation, Vishnu adopted the form of a turtle (Kurma). This was to help out the gods (devas) and demons (asuras) in the churning of the ocean (samudra manthana).

The twelfth incarnation was as Dhanvantari, physician of the gods and the originator of medicine.

The thirteenth was as Giant. Revealing his cosmic form to the Rishis of ancients.

In the fourteenth incarnation, Vishnu became Narasimha, a being who was half-man and half- lion, to kil the evil asura Hiranyakashipu.

The fifteenth incarnation witnessed Vishnu’s adoption of the form of dwarf (Vamana). This was to hoodwink the asura King Bali and restore the heaven to gods.

In the sixteenth incarnation, Vishnu became Parashurama, killed all the wicked Kshatriyas in the world twenty-one times.

The seventeenth incarnation was as Vedavyasa, the son of Parashara and Satyavati. Vedavyasa divided and classified the Vedas.

Vishnu’s eighteen incarnation was as the sage Narada.

The Nineteenth incarnation is Parasurama.

The Twentieth incarnation was Rama.

The twenty first incarnation was Krishna.

In the twenty-second incarnation, Vishnu was a noble king of Nepal , We call him Buddha), His incarnation occurred between the dvapara Yuga and the Kali Yuga. He is the most well known incarnation beyond hinduism. It is said that the twenty fourth incarnation will also take place in the kingdom of himalaya , Nepal.

The twenty-third incarnation is yet to come. And Vishnu will come to destroy evil in the world and restore righteousness in the form of Kalki".

There have been several other incarnations of Vishnu. But the ones mentioned above are the major ones.