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1.does mahabharat, ramayan(or puran /upnishad)have any verses where it says there might be a less punishment for sins in kaliyug??

Or are punishment same in all yuga

2.Also if one do sin knowing it's a sin and if one does without knowing if it's sin or not, so both are punished same or one who knows is punished more

Like would one be punished for any act as severly as in other yugas.

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  • I have made an important edit to the answer. Sorry, I missed including this important information before. It deals with the certain aparādhas (probably unintentional) which are exempt from daṇḍa. So, if you are interested, you may check it.
    – Bingming
    Mar 15 at 17:20

1 Answer 1

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Firstly, there is no concept of 'sin' in the framework of Hindu traditions.
There is a concept of pāpa or adharma but that's not equivalent to 'sin'.

tyajedeśaṁ kṛtayuge tretāyāṁ grāmamuśrjet /
dvāpare kulamekaṁ tu karttāraṁ ca kalau yuge //
~ Parāśara smṛti (1.25)

Here, Parāśara states a reduction of the severity of daṇḍas for serious pāpas, as per yuga. Doing pāpa (such as mahāpātaka) in Kṛtayuga entails tyāga of deśa, in Tretāyuga tyāga of grāma, and in Dvāparayuga tyāga of kula. But in Kaliyuga, there should be only tyāga of the pāpakarttā (i.e. kartṛtyāga), and not of his deśa/kula/grāma. For e.g. in Dvāparayuga, if a man from a certain kula committed Brahmahatyā, his kula itself was tyājya by the jāti but in Kaliyuga the Brahmaghātaka only would be tyājya and not his kula. Tyāga of kartṛ (pāpakartā) should be taken here to mean avoidance of saṁsarga (tyāgohisaṁsargaparihāra) with him/her, as said by Kāśīnātha Upādhyāya in Dharmasindhu after quoting Parāśara smṛti. In his comm. on Parāśara smṛti, Mādhavācārya states that kartṛtyāga refers to avoidance of sambhāṣaṇa, etc. with the pāpakartā (kartṛtyāgaḥ sambhāṣaṇavarjanam), in alignment with Kāśīnātha Upādhyāya.

Daṇḍa bestowed by a Rājā upon an aparādhin, doesn't depend on the latter's intention while committing the aparādha. In this way, it's similar to legal punishments, where criminal is punished upon violating law, regardless of the criminal's intention (while committing crime).

In the section Daṇḍanimitteṣu Daṇḍabhedavyavasthā of Daṇḍiviveka,
Vardhamāna quotes Vyavasthaupayikavargasaṅgraha -

jātirdravyaṁ parimāṇaṁ viniyogaḥ parigrahaḥ /
vayaḥ śaktirguṇo deśaḥ kālo doṣaśca hetavaḥ //

It's stated here that there are 10 factors, to be taken into consideration while bestowing daṇḍa on an aparādhin, viz. - jāti (of the aparādhin), dravya (subject of aparādha), parimāṇa (of aparādha), viniyoga (of aparādha), parigraha, āyu (of the aparādhin) , śakti (of the aparādhin), deśa (of the performance of aparādha), kāla (of such aparādha), and the specific doṣa.

None of these 10 factors include the aparādhin's intention while committing the aparādha. But there are some special cases (which might involve unintentional performance of aparādha on the part of alleged aparādhin) under viniyoga, where the said aparādhin is exempt from daṇḍa.
Two such realistic cases are -
(I) aparādha committed under moha, mad, etc. (mohamadādibhiradaṇḍanam)

sameṣvevaṁ parastrīṣu dviguṇastūttameṣu ca /
hīneṣvarddhaṁ damo mohamadādibhiradaṇḍanam //
~ Yājñavalkya smṛti (2.214) ; Agni Purāṇa (258.11)

Upon quoting mohamadādibhiradaṇḍanam, Vardhamāna adds (in Daṇḍaviveka) -

mohaścittavaikalyaṃ, mado madyādijanitā vikṛtāvasthā ādipadādunmādādisaṃgrahaḥ

moha is the vaikalyam of citta, mad is the vṛkata-avasthā that's janita by [consumption of] madya, etc., 'ādi' refers to avasthās such as unmāda (mental illness).

(II) aparādha committed owing to prāṇātyaye i.e. fear of risk on the life (of the said aparādhin) To state this special exemption, Vardhamāna (in Daṇḍaviveka) quotes Kātyāyana -

prāṇātyaye tu yatra syādakāryyakaraṇaṃ kṛtam /
daṇḍastatra tu naiva syādeṣa dharmmaḥ smṛto bhṛguḥ //

This special exemption is revealed by Bhṛgu (syādeṣa dharmmaḥ smṛto bhṛguḥ).
Vardhamāna (in Daṇḍaviveka) adds upon quoting this śloka-

tena cihnādavinābhūtālloptādirūpāt pramāṇāntarādvā cauryyādau niściteʼpi tat kāraṇaṃ yadi yathoktaḥ prāṇātyaya heturavadhāryyate tadā tasya na doṣaḥ, "ātmānaṁ gopāyīta" iti vidhidarśanāt nityasyāsya vidheratikramāyogāt /

Even though traces of the aparādha, existing in the form of implements left or in any other form, conclusively prove theft and/or other aparādhas, yet if the motive of those aparādhas turns out to be apprehended loss of the aparādhin's own life, no culpability whasoever then attaches to its (aparādha's) commission, for there's a permanent & hence untransgressable vidhāna viz. "(One should save one's self)"

In both these cases (I, II), the said aparādhin is exempt from daṇḍa, as per śāstras.

For further information on the 10 stated factors, check here.

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