What is the punishment in hell for destroying the statues of gods in temples?

In Sri Vaishnavism, Brahman makes himself accessible to humans in 5 forms: Para, Vyuha, Vibhava, Archa, and Antaryami.

Para refers to the form of Vishnu that exists in Vaikuntha.

Vyuha and Vibhava refer to different types of Vishnu avataras.

Antaryami is Brahman existing inside the Jiva.

And Archa refers to temple statues of Vishnu. Vishnu enters into them through his dharmabhutajnana (consciousness) and imbues the statue with shuddha-sattva.

So, destroying a statue of Vishnu is like killing God.

What is the punishment in hell for people who destroy statues of gods in temples? For example, the Muslim invaders of India destroyed many statues in temples.

According to the Srimad Bhagavatam, the punishment in hell for killing a Brahmana is being roasted by heated metal for millions of years:

The killer of a brāhmaṇa is put into the hell known as Kālasūtra, which has a circumference of eighty thousand miles and which is made entirely of copper. Heated from below by fire and from above by the scorching sun, the copper surface of this planet is extremely hot. Thus the murderer of a brāhmaṇa suffers from being burned both internally and externally. Internally he is burning with hunger and thirst, and externally he is burning from the scorching heat of the sun and the fire beneath the copper surface. Therefore he sometimes lies down, sometimes sits, sometimes stands up and sometimes runs here and there. He must suffer in this way for as many thousands of years as there are hairs on the body of an animal.

So I imagine destroying a statue of the supreme Brahman is a very, very heinous sin that will lead to lots of intense suffering.

Does any scripture specify what the punishment is?

  • @SK Kind of. Want more information.
    – Ikshvaku
    Commented Feb 18, 2020 at 2:48
  • The question is referring to Vaishnava idols in specific, but not all idols in general. So answer cannot be general Commented Feb 18, 2020 at 4:33
  • 1
    first your statement of "destroying statute of ...... is like ... God" is absoultely wrong God cannot be destroyed by destruction of statue.. only the peoples belief is hurt when you hurt million people belief that is papa karma ..idol are mere representation they are not god themselves idol should be worshipped in antaryami bhava.. not idol itself deity its like identify you as your body.. destruction of body doesnt destroy person residing in the body for that matter same concept applies for idol
    – Prasanna R
    Commented Feb 18, 2020 at 10:57


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