Hinduism is an Indian religion and dharma, or way of life practised in the Indian subcontinent and parts of Southeast Asia. Hinduism has been called the oldest religion in the world, some practitioners and scholars refer to it as Sanātana Dharma, "the eternal tradition", or the "eternal way", beyond human history. Scholars regard Hinduism as a fusion or synthesis of various Indian cultures and traditions, with diverse roots and no founder; this "Hindu synthesis" started to develop between 500 BCE and 300 CE, after the end of the Vedic period, flourished in the medieval period, with the decline of Buddhism in India. Although Hinduism contains a broad range of philosophies, it is linked by shared concepts, recognisable rituals, shared textual resources, pilgrimage to sacred sites. Hindu texts are classified into Smṛti; these texts discuss theology, mythology, Vedic yajna, agamic rituals, temple building, among other topics. Major scriptures include the Vedas and Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Ramayana, the Āgamas.
Sources of authority and eternal truths in its texts play an important role, but there is a strong Hindu tradition of questioning authority in order to deepen the understanding of these truths and to further develop the tradition. Prominent themes in Hindu beliefs include the four Puruṣārthas, the proper goals or aims of human life, namely Dharma, Artha and Moksha. Hindu practices include rituals such as puja and recitations, meditation, family-oriented rites of passage, annual festivals, occasional pilgrimages; some Hindus leave their social world and material possessions engage in lifelong Sannyasa to achieve Moksha. Hinduism prescribes the eternal duties, such as honesty, refraining from injuring living beings, forbearance, self-restraint, compassion, among others; the four largest denominations of Hinduism are the Vaishnavism, Shaivism and Smartism. Hinduism is the world's third largest religion. Hinduism is the most professed faith in India and Mauritius, it is the predominant religion in Bali, Indonesia.
Significant numbers of Hindu communities are found in the Caribbean, North America, other countries. The word Hindū is derived from Indo-Aryan/Sanskrit root Sindhu; the Proto-Iranian sound change *s > h occurred between 850–600 BCE, according to Asko Parpola. It is believed that Hindu was used as the name for the Indus River in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent. According to Gavin Flood, "The actual term Hindu first occurs as a Persian geographical term for the people who lived beyond the river Indus", more in the 6th-century BCE inscription of Darius I; the term Hindu in these ancient records did not refer to a religion. Among the earliest known records of'Hindu' with connotations of religion may be in the 7th-century CE Chinese text Record of the Western Regions by Xuanzang, 14th-century Persian text Futuhu's-salatin by'Abd al-Malik Isami. Thapar states that the word Hindu is found as heptahindu in Avesta – equivalent to Rigvedic sapta sindhu, while hndstn is found in a Sasanian inscription from the 3rd century CE, both of which refer to parts of northwestern South Asia.
The Arabic term al-Hind referred to the people. This Arabic term was itself taken from the pre-Islamic Persian term Hindū, which refers to all Indians. By the 13th century, Hindustan emerged as a popular alternative name of India, meaning the "land of Hindus"; the term Hindu was used in some Sanskrit texts such as the Rajataranginis of Kashmir and some 16th- to 18th-century Bengali Gaudiya Vaishnava texts including Chaitanya Charitamrita and Chaitanya Bhagavata. These texts used it to distinguish Hindus from Muslims who are called Yavanas or Mlecchas, with the 16th-century Chaitanya Charitamrita text and the 17th-century Bhakta Mala text using the phrase "Hindu dharma", it was only towards the end of the 18th century that European merchants and colonists began to refer to the followers of Indian religions collectively as Hindus. The term Hinduism spelled Hindooism, was introduced into the English language in the 18th century to denote the religious and cultural traditions native to India. Hinduism includes a diversity of ideas on spirituality and traditions, but has no ecclesiastical order, no unquestionable religious authorities, no governing body, no prophet nor any binding holy book.
Because of the wide range of traditions and ideas covered by the term Hinduism, arriving at a comprehensive definition is difficult. The religion "defies our desire to define and categorize it". Hinduism has been variously defined as a religion, a religious tradition, a set of religious beliefs, "a way of life". From a Western lexical standpoint, Hinduism like other faiths is appropriately referred to as a religion. In India the term dharma is preferred, broader than the Western term religion; the study of India and its cultures and religions, the definition of "Hinduism", has been shaped by th
Bana was a Hindu mythological figure. Bana was a thousand-armed Asura king, the son of Bali. Banasura is believed to have ruled the present-day central Assam with his capital at Sonitpur. According to the legend, Banasura was an aboriginal king; some other sources say that since Banasura, son of Asura King Mahabali, believed to be central character in mythology and culture of Kerala, inherits his kingdom from his father and is believed to have ruled from Kerala. There is a hill named "Banasura hill" and a dam, "Banasura Sagar Dam" dedicated to the memory of their great ruler's son Bana. Banasura, a mighty asura, once ruled over a large kingdom, his influence was so strong and fierce that all the kings - and some of the devas - shuddered in front of him. Banasura used to worship a Rasalingam given to him on instruction from Vishnu. An ardent devotee of Shiva, he used his thousand arms to play the Mridanga when Shiva was performing the tandava dance. Shiva gave Banasura a boon and the latter requested Shiva to be his protector: therefore, Banasura became invincible.
As time passed, he became more cruel and arrogant. He locked up his daughter, Ushas, in a fortress called Agnigarh because many young suitors had come to him asking for her hand. One day, Ushas fell in love with him. Chitraleka was daughter of Kumbhanda, Minister of Banasura. Chitralekha was a talented artist who helped Ushas to identify the young man seen in her dream by sketching various portraits, she had dreamt of the grandson of Krishna. Chitralekha, through supernatural powers, abducted Aniruddha from the palace of Krishna and brought him to Ushas. which led to a fight between Krishna and Banasura. Shiva came after Krishna pleaded his cause Shiva allowed him to continue. Thereafter, Krishna cut off all of them except for two. Shiva requested Krishna to spare his devotee's life. Banasura too apologized to Krishna and he was forgiven. Aniruddha was married to Ushas; the genealogy of Banasura is as follows: Brahma's son was Marichi Marichi's son was Kashyapa, Kashyapa's sons were Hiranyakashipu and Hiranyaksha, Hiranyakashipu's son was Prahlada, Prahlada's son was Virochana, Virochana's son was Bali, Bali's son was Banasura Banasura's story has been narrated in Indian epic Mahabharata and Bhagavata Purana.
His story as the rejected suitor for goddess Shakti is present in Tamil Sangam literary works Manimekalai and Puranaanooru. The tale of Banasura is narrated in the 15th century epic-poem Ushabhilasa of Shishu Shankara Dasa in the Odia language. Usha Parinayam was a Telugu film directed by Kadaru Nagabhushanam under Rajarajeswari films in 1961. Legendary Telugu actor S. V. Ranga Rao played the role of Banasura; the name "Banasura" was used in the 2014 Ubisoft game Far Cry 4 as "Banashur", to depict a God in the fictional mythology of the game's setting - Kyrat. He is described as the "God of Gods" and the source of all creation. Although, Hindu mythology depicts him as an asura, here his identity is alternatively used as the identity of a fictional God. Dictionary of Hindu Lore and Legend by Anna Dhallapiccola Acharya Chandra Shekhar Shastri: Puranon ki Anmol Kahanian, 2006 ISBN 81-902258-6-3
In Hinduism, Hanuman is an ardent devotee of Lord Rama. Lord Hanuman, known as the Lord of Celibacy was an ideal "Brahmachari" or called Naistika Brahmachari in Sanskrit and is one of the central characters of the Indian Epic ￼￼Ramayana￼￼. ￼￼As one of the Chiranjivi, he is mentioned in several other texts, such as the Mahabharata and the various Puranas. Hanuman is the son of Anjani and Kesari and is son of the wind-god Vayu, who according to several stories, played a role in his birth. If yoga is the ability to control one's mind Hanuman is the quintessential yogi having a perfect mastery over his senses, achieved through a disciplined lifestyle tempered by the twin streams of celibacy and selfless devotion. In fact, Hanuman is the ideal Brahmachari, if there was one, he is a perfect karma yogi since he performs his actions with detachment, acting as an instrument of destiny rather than being impelled by any selfish motive. While Hanuman is one of the central characters in the ancient Hindu epic Ramayana, the evidence of devotional worship to him is missing in the texts and archeological sites of ancient and most of the medieval period.
According to Philip Lutgendorf, an American Indologist known for his studies on Hanuman, the theological significance and devotional dedication to Hanuman emerged about 1,000 years after the composition of the Ramayana, in the 2nd millennium CE, after the arrival of Islamic rule in the Indian subcontinent. Bhakti movement saints such as Samarth Ramdas expressed Hanuman as a symbol of nationalism and resistance to persecution. In the modern era, his iconography and temples have been common, he is viewed as the ideal combination of "strength, heroic initiative and assertive excellence" and "loving, emotional devotion to his personal god Rama", as Shakti and Bhakti. In literature, he has been the patron god of martial arts such as wrestling, acrobatics, as well as meditation and diligent scholarship, he symbolizes the human excellences of inner self-control and service to a cause, hidden behind the first impressions of a being who looks like an Ape-Man Vanara. Hanuman is stated by scholars to be the inspiration for the allegory-filled adventures of a monkey hero in the Xiyouji – the great Chinese poetic novel influenced by the travels of Buddhist monk Xuanzang to India.
The meaning or the origin of word "Hanuman" is unclear. In the Hindu pantheon, deities have many synonymous names, each based on the noble characteristic or attribute or reminder of that deity's mythical deed. Hanuman has many names like Maruti, Bajrangbali, Mangalmurti but these names are used. Hanuman is the common name of the vaanar god. One interpretation of the term is that it means "one having a jaw, prominent"; this version is supported by a Puranic legend wherein baby Hanuman mistakes the sun for a fruit, attempts to heroically reach it, is wounded and gets a disfigured jaw."Hanuman": the name derives from the Sanskrit words Han and maana. This epithet resonates with the story in the Ramayana about his emotional devotion to Sita, he combines two of the most cherished traits in the Hindu bhakti-shakti worship traditions: "heroic, assertive excellence" and "loving, emotional devotion to personal god". Linguistic variations of "Hanuman" include Hanumat, Hanumantha, Hanumanthudu. Other names of Hanuman include: Anjaneya, Anjaneyar, Anjanisuta all meaning "the son of Hanuman's mother Anjana".
Kesari Nandan, based on his father, which means "son of Kesari" Maruti, or the son of the wind god. Sankata Mochana, the remover of dangers The earliest mention of a divine monkey, interpreted by some scholars as the proto-Hanuman, is in hymn 10.86 of the Rigveda, dated to between 1500 and 1200 BCE. The twenty-three verses of the hymn are a riddle-filled legend, it is presented as a dialogue between multiple characters: the god Indra, his wife Indrani and an energetic monkey it refers to as Vrisakapi and his wife Kapi. The hymn opens with Indrani complaining to Indra that some of the soma offerings for Indra have been allocated to the energetic and strong monkey, the people are forgetting Indra; the king of the gods Indra responds by telling his wife that the living being that bothers her is to be seen as a friend, that they should make an effort to coexist peacefully. The hymn closes with all agreeing that they should come together in Indra's house and share the wealth of the offerings; the orientalist F. E. Pargiter theorized.
According to this theory, the name "Hanuman" derives from the Tamil word for male monkey, first transformed to "Anumant" – a name which remains in use. "Anumant", according to this hypothesis, was Sanskritized to "Hanuman" because the ancient Aryans confronted with a popular monkey deity of ancient Dravidians coopted the concept and Sanskritized it. According to Murray Emeneau, known for his Tamil linguistic studies, this theory does not make sense because the Old Tamil word mandi in Caṅkam literature can only mean "female monkey", Hanuman is male. Further, adds Emeneau, the compound ana-mandi makes no semantic sense in Tamil, which has well developed and sophisticated grammar and semantic rules; the "prominent jaw" etymology, according to Emeneau, is therefore plausible. Hanuman is mentioned in both the
Ganesha known as Ganapati, Vinayaka or by numerous other names, is one of the best-known and most worshipped deities in the Hindu pantheon. His image is found throughout India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bali and Nepal. Hindu denominations worship him regardless of affiliations. Devotion to Ganesha is diffused and extends to Jains and Buddhists. Although he is known by many attributes, Ganesha's elephant head makes him easy to identify. Ganesha is revered as the remover of obstacles, the patron of arts and sciences and the deva of intellect and wisdom; as the god of beginnings, he is honoured at the start of ceremonies. Ganesha is invoked as patron of letters and learning during writing sessions. Several texts relate mythological anecdotes associated with his birth and exploits. Ganesha emerged as a deity as early as the 2nd century CE, but most by the 4th and 5th centuries CE, during the Gupta period, although He inherited traits from Vedic and pre-Vedic precursors. Hindu mythology identifies him as the restored son of Parvati and Shiva of the Shaivism tradition, but he is a pan-Hindu god found in its various traditions.
In the Ganapatya tradition of Hinduism, Ganesha is the supreme deity. The principal texts on Ganesha include the Ganesha Purana, the Mudgala Purana, the Ganapati Atharvashirsa. Brahma Purana and Brahmanda Purana are other two Puranic genre encyclopedic texts that deal with Ganesha. Ganesha has been ascribed many other epithets, including Ganapati and Vighneshvara; the Hindu title of respect Shri is added before his name. The name Ganesha is a Sanskrit compound, joining the words gana, meaning a group, multitude, or categorical system and isha, meaning lord or master; the word gaṇa when associated with Ganesha is taken to refer to the gaṇas, a troop of semi-divine beings that form part of the retinue of Shiva, Ganesha's father. The term more means a category, community, association, or corporation; some commentators interpret the name "Lord of the Gaṇas" to mean "Lord of Hosts" or "Lord of created categories", such as the elements. Ganapati, a synonym for Ganesha, is a compound composed of gaṇa, meaning "group", pati, meaning "ruler" or "lord".
Though the earliest mention of the word Ganapati is found in hymn 2.23.1 of the 2nd-millennium BCE Rigveda, it is however uncertain that the Vedic term referred to Ganesha. The Amarakosha, an early Sanskrit lexicon, lists eight synonyms of Ganesha: Vinayaka, Vighnarāja, Dvaimātura, Gaṇādhipa, Heramba and Gajanana. Vinayaka is a common name for Ganesha that appears in Buddhist Tantras; this name is reflected in the naming of the eight famous Ganesha temples in Maharashtra known as the Ashtavinayak. The names Vighnesha and Vighneshvara refers to his primary function in Hinduism as the master and remover of obstacles. A prominent name for Ganesha in the Tamil language is Pillaiyar. A. K. Narain differentiates these terms by saying that pillai means a "child" while pillaiyar means a "noble child", he adds that the words pallu and pell in the Dravidian family of languages signify "tooth or tusk" "elephant tooth or tusk". Anita Raina Thapan notes that the root word pille in the name Pillaiyar might have meant "the young of the elephant", because the Pali word pillaka means "a young elephant".
In the Burmese language, Ganesha is known as Maha Peinne, derived from Pali Mahā Wināyaka. The widespread name of Ganesha in Thailand is Phra Phikanet; the earliest images and mention of Ganesha names as a major deity in present-day Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam date from the 7th- and 8th-centuries, these mirror Indian examples of the 5th century or earlier. In Sri Lankan Singhala Buddhist areas, he is known as Gana deviyo, revered along with Buddha, Vishnu and others. Ganesha is a popular figure in Indian art. Unlike those of some deities, representations of Ganesha show wide variations and distinct patterns changing over time, he may be portrayed standing, heroically taking action against demons, playing with his family as a boy, or sitting down on an elevated seat, or engaging in a range of contemporary situations. Ganesha images were prevalent in many parts of India by the 6th century; the 13th-century statue pictured is typical of Ganesha statuary from 900–1200, after Ganesha had been well-established as an independent deity with his own sect.
This example features some of Ganesha's common iconographic elements. A identical statue has been dated between 973–1200 by Paul Martin-Dubost, another similar statue is dated c. 12th century by Pratapaditya Pal. Ganesha has the head of a big belly; this statue has four arms, common in depictions of Ganesha. He holds his own broken tusk in his lower-right hand and holds a delicacy, which he samples with his trunk, in his lower-left hand; the motif of Ganesha turning his trunk to his left to taste a sweet in his lower-left hand is a archaic feature. A more primitive statue in one of the Ellora Caves with this general form has been dated to the 7th century. Details of the other hands are difficult to make out on the statue shown. In the standa
Sanskrit is a language of ancient India with a history going back about 3,500 years. It is the primary liturgical language of Hinduism and the predominant language of most works of Hindu philosophy as well as some of the principal texts of Buddhism and Jainism. Sanskrit, in its variants and numerous dialects, was the lingua franca of ancient and medieval India. In the early 1st millennium CE, along with Buddhism and Hinduism, Sanskrit migrated to Southeast Asia, parts of East Asia and Central Asia, emerging as a language of high culture and of local ruling elites in these regions. Sanskrit is an Old Indo-Aryan language; as one of the oldest documented members of the Indo-European family of languages, Sanskrit holds a prominent position in Indo-European studies. It is related to Greek and Latin, as well as Hittite, Old Avestan and many other extinct languages with historical significance to Europe, West Asia, Central Asia, South Asia, it traces its linguistic ancestry to the Proto-Indo-Aryan language, Proto-Indo-Iranian and the Proto-Indo-European languages.
Sanskrit is traceable to the 2nd millennium BCE in a form known as the Vedic Sanskrit, with the Rigveda as the earliest known composition. A more refined and standardized grammatical form called the Classical Sanskrit emerged in mid-1st millennium BCE with the Aṣṭādhyāyī treatise of Pāṇini. Sanskrit, though not Classical Sanskrit, is the root language of many Prakrit languages. Examples include numerous modern daughter Northern Indian subcontinental languages such as Hindi, Bengali and Nepali; the body of Sanskrit literature encompasses a rich tradition of philosophical and religious texts, as well as poetry, drama, scientific and other texts. In the ancient era, Sanskrit compositions were orally transmitted by methods of memorisation of exceptional complexity and fidelity; the earliest known inscriptions in Sanskrit are from the 1st-century BCE, such as the few discovered in Ayodhya and Ghosundi-Hathibada. Sanskrit texts dated to the 1st millennium CE were written in the Brahmi script, the Nāgarī script, the historic South Indian scripts and their derivative scripts.
Sanskrit is one of the 22 languages listed in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India. It continues to be used as a ceremonial and ritual language in Hinduism and some Buddhist practices such as hymns and chants; the Sanskrit verbal adjective sáṃskṛta- is a compound word consisting of sam and krta-. It connotes a work, "well prepared and perfect, sacred". According to Biderman, the perfection contextually being referred to in the etymological origins of the word is its tonal qualities, rather than semantic. Sound and oral transmission were valued quality in ancient India, its sages refined the alphabet, the structure of words and its exacting grammar into a "collection of sounds, a kind of sublime musical mold", states Biderman, as an integral language they called Sanskrit. From late Vedic period onwards, state Annette Wilke and Oliver Moebus, resonating sound and its musical foundations attracted an "exceptionally large amount of linguistic and religious literature" in India; the sound was visualized as "pervading all creation", another representation of the world itself, the "mysterious magnum" of the Hindu thought.
The search for perfection in thought and of salvation was one of the dimensions of sacred sound, the common thread to weave all ideas and inspirations became the quest for what the ancient Indians believed to be a perfect language, the "phonocentric episteme" of Sanskrit. Sanskrit as a language competed with numerous less exact vernacular Indian languages called Prakritic languages; the term prakrta means "original, normal, artless", states Franklin Southworth. The relationship between Prakrit and Sanskrit is found in the Indian texts dated to the 1st millennium CE. Patanjali acknowledged that Prakrit is the first language, one instinctively adopted by every child with all its imperfections and leads to the problems of interpretation and misunderstanding; the purifying structure of the Sanskrit language removes these imperfections. The early Sanskrit grammarian Dandin states, for example, that much in the Prakrit languages is etymologically rooted in Sanskrit but involve "loss of sounds" and corruptions that result from a "disregard of the grammar".
Dandin acknowledged that there are words and confusing structures in Prakrit that thrive independent of Sanskrit. This view is found in the writing of the author of the ancient Natyasastra text; the early Jain scholar Namisadhu acknowledged the difference, but disagreed that the Prakrit language was a corruption of Sanskrit. Namisadhu stated that the Prakrit language was the purvam and they came to women and children, that Sanskrit was a refinement of the Prakrit through a "purification by grammar". Sanskrit belongs to the Indo-European family of languages, it is one of the three ancient documented languages that arose from a common root language now referred to as the Proto-Indo-European language: Vedic Sanskrit. Mycenaean Greek and Ancient Greek. Mycenaean Greek is the older recorded form of Greek, but the limited material that has survived has a ambiguous writing system. More important to Indo-European studies is Ancient Greek, documented extensively beginning with the two Homeric poems. Hittite.
This is the earliest-recorded of all Indo-European languages, distinguishable into Old Hittite, Middle Hittite and Neo-Hittite. I
Yama or Yamarāja is a god of death, the south direction, the underworld, belonging to an early stratum of Rigvedic Hindu deities. In Sanskrit, his name can be interpreted to mean "twin". In the Zend-Avesta of Zoroastrianism, he is called "Yima". According to the Vishnu Purana, Yama is the son of sun-god Surya and Sandhya, the daughter of Vishvakarma. Yama is the brother of Sraddhadeva Manu and of his older sister Yami, which Horace Hayman Wilson indicates to mean the Yamuna. According to the Vedas, Yama is said to have been the first mortal. By virtue of precedence, he became the ruler of the departed, is called "Lord of the Pitrs". Mentioned in the Pāli Canon of Theravada Buddhism, Yama subsequently entered Buddhist mythology in East Asia, Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka as a Dharmapala under various transliterations, he is otherwise called as "Dharmaraja". In Hinduism, Yama is the son of Surya. Three hymns in the 10th book of the Rig Veda are addressed to him. In Puranas, Yama is described as having four arms, protruding fangs, complexion of storm clouds with a wrathful expression.
He wields a noose. Yama is the son of Saranyu, he is brother of Shraddhadeva Manu and the step brother of Shani. His wife was Goddess Dhumorna and his son was Katila. In Buddhism, Yama is a dharmapala, a wrathful god or the Enlightened Protector of Buddhism, considered worldly, said to judge the dead and preside over the Narakas and the cycle of rebirth; the Buddhist Yama has, developed different myths and different functions from the Hindu deity. In Pali Canon Buddhist myths, Yama takes those who have mistreated elders, holy spirits, or their parents when they die. Contrary though, in the Majjhima Nikaya commentary by Buddhagosa, Yama is a vimānapeta – a preta with occasional suffering. In other parts of Buddhism, Yama's main duty is to watch over purgatorial aspects of Hell, has no relation to rebirth, his sole purpose is to maintain the relationships between spirits that pass through the ten courts, similar to Yama's representation in several Chinese religions. He has spread and is known in every country where Buddhism is practiced, including China, Vietnam, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and United States.
In Chinese texts, Yama only holds transitional places in Hell where he oversaw the deceased before he, the Generals of Five Paths, were assigned a course of rebirth. Yama was placed as a King in the Fifth Court when texts led to the fruition of the underworld that marked the beginnings of systemizations. Yama can be found in one of the oldest Japanese religious works called Nipponkoku Genpō Zenaku Ryōiki, a literary work compiled by the Monk Keikai in 822. Yama was introduced to Japan through Buddhism, he holds the same position title as other works depict him – a judge who imposes decisions on the dead who have mistreated others. Naraka in Hinduism serves only as a temporary purgatory where the soul is purified of sin by its suffering. In Hindu mythology, Naraka holds many hells, Yama directs departed souls to the appropriate one. Elevated Mukti-yogyas and Nitya-samsarins can experience Naraka for expiation of sins. Although Yama is the lord of Naraka, he may direct the soul to a Swarga or return it to Bhoomi.
As good and bad deeds are not considered to cancel each other out, the same soul may spend time in both a hell and a heaven. The seven Swargas are: Bhuvas, Tharus, Savithaa and Maha; the idea of Naraka in Sikhism is like the idea of Hell. One's soul, however, is confined to 8.4 million life cycles before taking birth as a human, the point of human life being one where one attains salvation, the salvation being sach khand. The idea of khand comes in multiple levels of such heavens, the highest being merging with God as one; the idea of Hell comes in multiple levels, hell itself can manifest within human life itself. The Sikh idea of hell is where one is apart from the Guru's charana. Without naama one is damned. Naama is believed to be a direct deliverance by God to humanity in the form of Guru Nanak. A Sikh is hence required to take the Amrit from gurubani, panj pyare to come closer to naama. A true Sikh of the Gurus has the Guru himself takes that person into sach khand. In the Jātakas the Narakas are mentioned as Yama's abode.
It is noted that all of Samsāra is subject to Yama's rule, escape from samsāra means escape from Yama's influence. The Vetaranī River is said to form the boundary of Yama's kingdom. Elsewhere, it is referred to as consisting of Ussadaniraya, the four woeful planes, or the preta realm. Naraka is translated into English as "hell" or "purgatory". A Naraka differs from the hells of western religions in two respects. First, beings are not sent to Naraka as the result of a divine punishment. Instead, a being is born into a Naraka as a direct result of his or her previous karma, resides there for a finite length of time until his karma has exhausted its cumulate effect. Mandarin Diyu, Japanese Ji
Asuras are a class of divine beings or power-seeking deities related to the more benevolent Devas in Hinduism. Asuras are sometimes considered nature spirits, they battle with the devas. Asuras are described in Indian texts as powerful superhuman demigods with bad qualities; the good Asuras are called Adityas and are led by Varuna, while the malevolent ones are called Danavas and are led by Vritra. In the earliest layer of Vedic texts Agni and other gods are called Asuras, in the sense of them being "lords" of their respective domains and abilities. In Vedic and post-Vedic texts, the benevolent gods are called Devas, while malevolent Asuras compete against these Devas and are considered "enemy of the gods". Asuras are part of Indian mythology along with Devas and Rakshasas. Asuras feature in one of many cosmological theories in Hinduism. Monier-Williams traces the etymological roots of Asura to Asu, which means life of the spiritual world or departed spirits. In the oldest verses of the Samhita layer of Vedic texts, the Asuras are any spiritual, divine beings including those with good or bad intentions, constructive or destructive inclinations or nature.
In verses of the Samhita layer of Vedic texts, Monier Williams states the Asuras are "evil spirits and opponents of the gods". Asuras connote the chaos-creating evil, in Hindu and Persian mythology about the battle between good and evil. Bhargava states the word, including its variants and asura, occurs "88 times in the Rigveda, 71 times in the singular number, four times in the dual, 10 times in the plural, three times as the first member of a compound. In this, the feminine form, asuryaa, is included twice; the word, has been used 19 times as an abstract noun, while the abstract form asuratva occurs 24 times, 22 times in each of the 22 times of one hymn and twice in the other two hymns". Asura is used as an adjective meaning "powerful" or "mighty". In the Rigveda, two generous kings, as well as some priests, have been described as asuras. One hymn requests a son, an asura. In nine hymns, Indra is described as asura. Five times, he is said to possess asurya, once he is said to possess asuratva.
Agni has total of 12 asura descriptions, Varuna has 10, Mitra has eight, Rudra has six. Bhargava gives a count of the word usage for every Vedic deity; the Book 1 of Rig Veda describes Savitr as an Asura, a "kind leader". In texts, such as the Puranas and the Itihasas with the embedded Bhagavad Gita, the Devas represent the good, the Asuras the bad. According to the Bhagavad Gita, all beings in the universe have both the divine qualities and the demonic qualities within each; the sixteenth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita states that pure god-like saints are rare and pure demon-like evil are rare among human beings, the bulk of humanity is multi-charactered with a few or many faults. According to Jeaneane Fowler, the Gita states that desires, greed, emotions in various forms "are facets of ordinary lives", it is only when they turn to lust, cravings, conceit, harshness, hypocrisy and such negativity- and destruction-inclined that natural human inclinations metamorphose into something demonic. Asko Parpola traces the etymological root of Asura to *asera- of Uralic languages, where it means "lord, prince".
Scholars have disagreed on the nature and evolution of the Asura concept in ancient Indian literature. The most studied scholarly views on Asura concept are those of FBJ Kuiper, W Norman Brown, von Bradke, Benveniste, Rajwade, Darmesteter and Raja, Banerji-Sastri, Skoeld, SC Roy, Shamasastry, Schroeder, Hillebrandt, Lommel, Segerstedt, Gerschevitch, Macdonnell, Hermann Oldenberg, Geldner and Jan Gonda. Kuiper calls Asuras a special group of gods in one of major Vedic theories of creation of the universe, their role changes only during and after the earth and living beings have been created. The sky world becomes that of Devas, the underworld becomes that of Asuras. Deity Indra is the protagonist of the good and the Devas, while dragon Vrtra, one of asuras is the protagonist of the evil. During this battle between good and evil and destruction, some powerful Asuras side with the good and are called Devas, other powerful Asuras side with the evil and thereafter called Asuras; this is the first major dualism to emerge in the nature of everything in the Universe.
Hale, in his review, states that Kuiper theory on Asura is plausible but weak because the Vedas never call Vrtra an Asura as the texts describe many other powerful beings. Secondly, Rigveda never classifies Asura as "group of gods" states Hale, this is a presumption of Kuiper. Many scholars describe Asuras to be "lords" with different specialized knowledge, magical powers and special abilities, which only choose to deploy these for good, constructive reasons or for evil, destructive reasons; the former become known as Asura in the sense of Devas, the as Asura in the sense of demons. Kuiper, Brown and others are in this school. Asuras believed in their own powers. Ananda Coomaraswamy suggested that Devas and Asuras can be best understood as Angels-Theoi-Gods and Titans of Greek mythology, both are powerful but have different orientations and inclinations