Heard of the Naraka called Punnama. Is there any description of how the Naraka will look like? How the soul in that Naraka can be liberated? What are the ways to avoid that Naraka?

  • the naraka is called 'Put'. Put-nama becomes Punnama in Sanskrit, meaning ('Naraka named Put'). It's like saying LAN network (LAN itself means Local Area Network)
    – ram
    Commented Jun 16, 2020 at 23:01

1 Answer 1


According to Manusmṛti, it's a special hell reserved for sonless parents:

punnāmno narakād yasmāt trāyate pitaraṃ sutaḥ |
tasmāt putra iti proktaḥ svayameva svayambhuvā || 9.138 ||

Because the Son delivers his father from the hell called Put, therefore has he been called Putra, Deliverer from Put, by the Self-existent One Himself. — (9.138)

Medhātithi, however, doesn't interpret the verse literally. He says naraka simply refers to the form of life the sonless man will take in his next birth on Earth:

This is a declamatory supplement to the Injunction of begetting children.

'The hell called Put'—is the name given to the four kinds of elemental life on the Earth. And from this is the father delivered by his son, as soon as he is born; which means that he is born next in a divine life.

It is for this reason that he is called 'Putra,' 'Deliverer from Put.'—(138)

What are the ways to avoid that naraka?

  1. Niyoga (if the man is impotent or has a deadly disease)

    On failure of issue, the woman, on being authorised, may obtain, in the proper manner, the desired offspring, either from her younger brother-in-law or from a Sapiṇḍa.—(9.59)

    If a son is born of the wife of a man, either dead or impotent or diseased, by one who has been duly authorised,—that son is declared to be kṣetraja, soil-born.—(9.167)

  2. Take another wife (who can deliver a son).

    Āpastamba (Aparārka, p. 100).—‘So long as one's wife is endowed with virtue and offspring, one shall not take to another wife; if she be wanting in either of the two, he shall take to another.’

  3. Adopt a son preferably from the same caste. For details, see Dattaka Mīmāṃsā and Dattaka Candrikā

  • Upvote! I’ve read this definition for son. In our Puranas, they talk about various narakas, do they have any mention of put naraka? Just out of curiosity. And then is पुत्र actually पुत्त्र —> पुत् + त्र? Thanks in advance!
    – Adiyarkku
    Commented Jun 15, 2020 at 18:50
  • 1
    Vishnu Purana seems to have a reference according to this link. 'And then is पुत्र actually पुत्त्र —> पुत् + त्र?' - I think this is an invention of Manusmriti. Apte says if this derivation were true, पुत्रः it should be written as पुत्त्रः - but we know from other scriptures this is not the case. @Archit Commented Jun 15, 2020 at 19:53
  • Thank you clears a doubt
    – Adiyarkku
    Commented Jun 16, 2020 at 6:23
  • 1
    @Archit, the meaning of the word Putra is derived from Putaat-Traayate - He who saves from Put. त्र means protect. Just like Kshatriya is Kshataat-Traayate - He who saves from injury.
    – ram
    Commented Jun 16, 2020 at 23:05
  • 1
    it's putaat traayate. Putaat is 5th vibhakthi (From Put, Saves). Yes, looks like the t gets merged. Same with Kshataat traayate for Kshatriya
    – ram
    Commented Jun 17, 2020 at 18:45

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