I am asking this question because after death how can be yama punished the soul. Because no fire can burn the soul , and no water can wet the soul. So how can the yama punished the soul after death . According to his bad thing that he done. When alive .

  • No one punishes the soul. Just like here, i.e. earth, we take up a body and that body gets punished. That is what is traditionally is told everywhere. But I have heard of some other theories like we don't actually get a body but every thing we did back here scrolls in front of us and we feel them. If its a good deed then we feel happy and if its bad, you know, you feel like you are getting burnt in a pan of hot boiling oil(the pain must be that much intense)
    – Priteem
    Aug 4, 2015 at 13:36
  • 5
    It's because in addition to your physical body, you also have a Sukshma Sharira, aka a spiritual body or subtle body. It's the Sukshma Sharira that receives the punishments (or rewards) you're referring to. Aug 4, 2015 at 14:18
  • Here is some more information about why soul cannot be punished, only body can be punished: hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/5449/119. Here is some information about the three types of boides in human beings: hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/6529/119.
    – Sai
    Aug 4, 2015 at 15:48

1 Answer 1


To understand this you should know the Five Layers of Human body, though its been described here, I will just put the brief overview of them, and will talk only about the two which are related to your question.

The five layers being

  • Annamaya kośa — Food filled sheath ------------------------ GROSS BODY
  • Prāṇamaya kośa — Life air filled sheath -------------------- SUBTLE BODY
  • Manōmaya kośa — Mind filled sheath ------------------------- SUBTLE BODY
  • Vijñānamaya kośa — Knowledge filled sheath (Intellect)-- SUBTLE BODY
  • Ānandamaya kośa — Bliss filled sheath ---------------------- CAUSAL BODY

The body in which we are currently living into is GROSS BODY or Annamaya Kosa, when we die ( mostly said as Pran left the body ), is equivalent to the SUBTLE BODY AND THE CAUSAL BODY leaving the GROSS BODY.

To better understand, the soul actually reside in the CAUSAL BODY, when someone dies, only the GROSS PART of the BODY dies, hence the SUBTLE PART AND THE CAUSAL PART are still alive. The Manomaya Kosa of Subtle body is responsible for keeping memories and Vijnanamaya Kosa for keeping the intellect, they both go with the dead non GROSS part of the body. The Subtle body being Subtle in nature, remembers the shape and form of the originial body ie. Anamaya Kosa or Gross body, hence takes the form when leaving it, that's why the Ghost possess the same shape as the Gross part of them( when they were alive ).

This DEAD part of the body, I will call as SUBTLE+CAUSAL, actually goes through heaven or hells depending on the Karma.

Though different scholars possess different views.

  1. The scholars according to whom, the heaven and hell is just another dimension of earth, quote as the SUBTLE+CAUSAL to go equally through them without alterations and cut there Karma, either bad or good. The Manomaya Kosa remembers the pain or happiness the DEAD part goes through, and the Vijnanamay Kosh keeps trained the DEAD part for future.
  2. There is another branch of scholars which believe that Heaven and Hells are all different planetary systems, with different rules to govern and different society of people living there. Hence according to the Karma, the DEAD part of the body, gets a new Annamaya Kosh or GROSS BODY ( alternatively called as gets birth ) in heaven or hell, and then they go through the happiness and pain accordingly. It is same as taking birth in another planet, the only difference being the habitat and prosperity of the planet.

For complete liberation of the soul, it has to come out of all the FIVE layers of body, which is not done by death. Death is just liberation from ANNAMAYA KOSA.

  • 1
    You got it backwards - it's the Annamaya Kosha that is the gross body, and the it's the Anandamaya Kosha that's called the causal body. Gross means made of matter. Aug 19, 2015 at 22:12
  • sorry i will correct that ..
    – Mr. K
    Aug 20, 2015 at 5:21
  • curious how does the universe come into the picture if everything is on earth
    – PirateApp
    Dec 3, 2020 at 9:08

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