There are 28 types of punishments mentioned in the Garuda Purana. If seen in detail, they are all cruel. Hope these are told because human beings will not do any bad things during their lifetime. In other words, to create a fear among human beings e.g., if you do this, you will face this punishment from Garuda Purana. But nowadays people are doing all sorts of falsehoods by keeping aside these myths.

So do human beings undergo these punishments for real or this is all just a myth?

This is not opinion-based question.

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    Here is similar question already closed as off-topic. Yours is a opinion based question. hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/28190/… – SwiftPushkar Aug 6 '18 at 9:26
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    @SwiftPushkar I clearly mentioned it is not opinion based. If answer is not known it is out of topic, Too broad etc. People cannot acquire knowledge by these answers. Too many questions unanswered because nobody knows the answer. – Parthasarathy Raghavan Aug 6 '18 at 9:29
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    Questions can also be created like "Are Puranas a myth to generate devotion in humans?" etc.. This is an unnecessary question asking for opinions. Visit Help Center to know which type of questions to ask. – Pinakin Aug 6 '18 at 10:12
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    @SwiftPushkar Just as air cannot be seen such as karma. Any body do not know about past karmas. As nobody knows past, future karma is the word used. Nobody can clearly explain. Could you highlight in the ithihasas and Upanishads about punishments? I am not taking personally. Framing a question is difficult. Labelling is easier. – Parthasarathy Raghavan Aug 6 '18 at 12:42
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    @HayagreevRam When we die we cannot identify whuch us heaven or heel. We cannot come and answer in this HSE. So all are puranic based just like a story telling. – Parthasarathy Raghavan Aug 7 '18 at 6:31

Yes, description of hell can be highlighted in itihaas (Mahabharata for example). It is just not Garuda purana

Does itihaas mentions about Hell?

Book 18 Svargarohanika Mahabharata

When Yudhisthira chooses to stay in Hell with this brothers, Indra and other gods appears before him and tells him that

....He who enjoys first the fruits of his good acts must afterwards endure Hell. He, on the other hand, who first endures Hell, must afterwards enjoy Heaven....

Does itihaas says Hell to be endured because of bad karma?

Also, Indra tells that Yudhishthira had to experience (although for a moment) Hell because he has deceived Drona

, I (Indra) caused thee to be sent for having a view of Hell. Thou hadst, by a pretence, deceived Drona in the matter of his son. Thou hast, in consequence thereof, been shown Hell by an act of deception.

Details of Hell

Now this chapter of Mahabharata also describes what is the view of Hell Yudhishthira saw (

The path was inauspicious and difficult and trodden by men of sinful deeds. It was enveloped in thick darkness, and covered with hair and moss forming its grassy vesture. Polluted with the stench of sinners, and miry with flesh and blood, it abounded with gadflies and stinging bees and gnats and was endangered by the inroads of grisly bears. Rotting corpses lay here and there. Overspread with bones and hair, it was noisome with worms and insects. It was skirted all along with a blazing fire. It was infested by crows and other birds and vultures, all having beaks of iron, as also by evil spirits with long mouths pointed like needles. And it abounded with inaccessible fastnesses like the Vindhya mountains. Human corpses were scattered over it, smeared with fat and blood, with arms and thighs cut off, or with entrails torn out and legs severed.

He beheld a river full of boiling water and, therefore, difficult to cross, as also a forest of trees whose leaves were sharp swords and razors. There were plains full of fine white sand exceedingly heated, and rocks and stones made of iron. There were many jars of iron all around, with boiling oil in them. Many a Kuta-salmalika was there, with sharp thorns and, therefore, exceedingly painful to the touch.

Also Yudhishthira heard that voices in Hell requesting him to stay for more time as they were being tormented (like what Garuda purana may describe)

Do thou remain here, O Bharata, for even a short while. As long as thou art here, O thou of Kuru’s race, torments cease to afflict us.’

  • You have not cited the source. Just looks like copy and pasting. – Parthasarathy Raghavan Aug 7 '18 at 6:24
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    @ParthasarathyRaghavan Yes he has cited sources. Check again. – Rickross Aug 7 '18 at 12:51

There are lot of persons here who are masters of vedas and will give you an excellent answer. I am not as muchas experienced to them but will give an answer to my knowledge.

Here you have asked a question about a specific purana in Hinduism named Garuda Purana, First you should understand that Vedas or any other purana is not an absolute rule to be obeyed. It just says the best practice of meeting the god

1. Vedas says about cleanliness of one inside a temple and says about the food to be offered to the god

But it does not mean God will not accept anything other than that. See the image below he is Kannapa Nayanar. He keeps the leg on the eyes of lord shiva and meat is offered to him. He does not care.

enter image description here

There is also a similar story in Ramayana - Sabari offers half eaten fruits with lord rama.

enter image description here

So, from here you can realize that God will accept anything which has love.

2. Why God is creating fear in humans in the name of punishments?

God will do anything to save you from suffering, Literally Anything! here is an example God consumes poison.

enter image description here

This has created an everlasting stain on the neck of Lord Shiva, why does he do that? Just to save you(everyone) and me from suffering. It is ultimately us who choose the wrong path and end up in the wrong place(hell). So remember god does not hold the key to hell, it is with us to choose the right path.

There is a similar statement in Bhavat Gita to prove this,

BG 9.25: Worshippers of the celestial gods take birth amongst the celestial gods, worshippers of the ancestors go to the ancestors, worshippers of ghosts take birth amongst such beings, and my devotees come to me alone

credits: Uday Krishna for providing verse number and completing the statement.

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    Your answer is not to my question. Have you read the 28 punishments mentioned in GP? All know that God will not let his devotee suffer. But for atheist this rule is not applicable. – Parthasarathy Raghavan Aug 9 '18 at 9:14
  • @ParthasarathyRaghavan, An atheist can enjoy any place in Hinduism(Heaven, Hell) etc., except getting moksha. Moksha is like the real home of God, if you one doen not believe then one cannot travel because for an atheist God is imaginary so do his home and finally it the DECISION OF AN ATHEIST NOT GOD! – VISWESWARAN NAGASIVAM Aug 23 '18 at 1:56
  • @viswsesran How an atheist can go to heaven? Contradiction in the statement. As per Hindusim am atheist is bound to go to hell! – Parthasarathy Raghavan Aug 24 '18 at 6:14
  • @ParthasarathyRaghavan, No an atheist won't go to hell(if he is not a sinner) according to Hinduism. If you have any citations in scriptures you can post it here. But beware of translation errors by authors of the holy book. – VISWESWARAN NAGASIVAM Aug 24 '18 at 6:28

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