When a person dies, what happens after that? Does he go to Yama Loka like this answer suggest: What happens after death? or he remains at "familiar" places for 10 days?

Swami Sivananda says:

The soul which passes out of the body after death is termed ‘Preta’, one that is bound on its onward march to the Beyond. The soul in its disembodied form hovers about its original and familiar places for ten days. It is in the form of a ghost during these ten days. The astral body takes shape from day to day with the formation of the head, eyes, and other limbs of the Linga Sarira, fed and nourished by the sesamum and water poured out in libation over the stones which represent the ancestors.

He says only on 11th day does the soul departs to Yama Loka.

The soul is fully embodied on the eleventh day. It starts on its journey to the judgement seat of Lord Yama, the God of death. It takes one full year from the time of death to reach Lord Yama’s place. The path is beset with obstacles, distress and difficulties. The man who has done the most wicked deeds suffers more. But the difficulties can be removed and the journey be rendered easy and comfortable by the oblations and offerings given by the son of the deceased during the first year of the soul’s journey and by feeding pure and learned Brahmins. The son should offer rice-balls to the father, without weeping.

I have read the same thing at other places also that the soul remains at home for around 10 days and that might be the reason why 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th day after death is important.

  • 1
    Okay it's gonna scare the crap out of me if this question turns out to be true. Jun 26, 2016 at 18:15
  • I think consciousness of person works on such condition... If a person believes in that (soul remains and etc. etc..) then that thing will seem to happen to him.. if a persons consciousness doesn't believe than that will not happen(as everything is illusion except Brahman).... I think the period between death and rebirth is like sleeping in evening and waking in morning... some may dream in the sleep phase (like who believe)... while some don't have knowledge how night passed... they just find alive the next day (non believer)... I think consciousness of person creates dimensions by vasanas.
    – Tezz
    Jun 27, 2016 at 0:42
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    I think that is not soul. Soul is vague term. It is Subtle body or Atman with other 4 layers.
    – The Destroyer
    Jun 27, 2016 at 8:23

1 Answer 1


Yes, It does. It has been explicitly stated in Preta Khanda Chapter 15, Verse 72 of Garuda Purana

देहं प्राप्तः क्षुधाविष्टो गृहे द्वारे च तिष्ठति ।
दशमेऽहनि यः पिण्डस्तं दद्यादामिषेण तु ॥

Having assumed a new body tormented by hunger he stands at the threshold of his house. The tenth day pinda should be accompanied with the offering of flesh.

After that he goes to yamaloka. Please read that chapter and Preta Khanda

  • 4
    A small addition - "On the tenth day a ball of flesh should be given, O Lord of Birds, or a ball of mâsha, since flesh is forbidden in the Kali Yuga at the ceremony for the forefathers." (Garuda Purana 11.37-38), just to point out that flesh should not actually be offered, in case someone thought that.
    – user1995
    Mar 14, 2018 at 2:37

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