Life after death is found in Hinduism, the Atmans are taken by Yama then they are judged and go either to heaven (abode of Indra) or to hell (abode of Yama), however this residence is temporarily and not eternal then they will reincarnate again at the end.

Can gods like Yama and his assistants have bodies while the judged Humans are just Atmans without bodies?

So, the question is: Do gods like Brahma, Vishnu, Indra and Yama, in their Lokas, have bodies or are they just Atmans?

  • Possible duplicate of hinduism.stackexchange.com/q/10118/8735
    – Ketan
    Jan 6, 2020 at 20:53
  • @Ketan it's not duplicate, I ask about if gods have bodies or they are just Atmans (spirits). I ask also about humans after death, in Yama's abode, are they Atmans or have bodies like Yama and his assistants.
    – salah
    Jan 6, 2020 at 21:19
  • Atman is the background canvas on which infinite images are drawn in nature/Prakriti. They have bodies but can control its creation, dissolution unlike common earthly beings as atman of all as per Geeta and Hindu belief is already immortal. This is the also the crux of Raja Yoga. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoga_Sutras_of_Patanjali
    – user16530
    Jan 7, 2020 at 7:00

3 Answers 3


Do gods like Brahma, Vishnu, Indra and Yama, in their Lokas, have bodies or are they just Atmans?

Yes they have bodies according to the Brahma Sutras.

Ramanujacharya in his Sri Bhashya says:

The devas, from Brahma downward, possess a body and sense-organs, is declared in all the Upanishads.


The dharmasâstras, itihâsas, and purânas also, which are founded on the different brâhmanas, mantras and arthavâdas, clearly teach that Brahma and the other gods, as well as the Asuras and other superhuman beings, have bodies and sense-organs, constitutions of different kinds, different abodes, enjoyments, and functions.

  • These bodies could be just the forms that the devas take on in visions, without implying that the devas have a corporeal nature.
    – user28653
    Nov 1, 2022 at 13:52

The gods have a body.


Then all the illustrious dwellers in heaven went in a body unto him of a hundred sacrifices and thousand eyes, viz., their chief, that grinder of Asuras.


People in Naraka have to have bodies, because some of the names of the Narakas imply eating something like Krimibhakṣa (worms) or Śvabhojana (dogs). You could argue they mean eaten by the thing, but that would also mean a body. It does not really make sense for souls to need food by themselves.


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