Where did Duryodhana go after his death? Though he had committed many wrong deeds, I just wanted to know where he went to. Heaven or hell?

Also, what about the Pandavas? Did they go to Krishna's abode or Heaven?

I have heard that Karna went to his father's adobe, Suryaloka.

Can someone give authentic reference so as to where each of them went after death ?


1 Answer 1


Duryodhana went to Heaven first after his death. Yudhisthira saw him in heaven as the king when he entered there:

Arrived at Heaven, king Yudhishthira the just, beheld Duryodhana endued with prosperity and seated on an excellent seat. He blazed with effulgence like the sun and wore all those signs of glory which belong to heroes. And he was in the company of many deities of blazing effulgence and of Sadhyas of righteous deeds. Yudhishthira, beholding Duryodhana and his prosperity, became suddenly filled with rage and turned back from the sight.

And regarding other Pandavas and Karna, they were not present in heaven immediately, but had gone to hell. Messengers from heaven lead Yudhisthira to hell through an unauspicious path where he heard them screaming:

"Thus addressed, they answered him from all sides, saying, ‘I am Karna!’ ‘I am Bhimasena!’ ‘I am Arjuna!’ ‘I am Nakula!’ ‘I am Sahadeva!’ ‘I am Dhrishtadyumna!’ ‘I am Draupadi!’ ‘We are the sons of Draupadi!’ Even thus, O king, did those voices speak.

But, if you are wondering why Pandavas went to hell, then it was just an illusion by Yama to test Yudhisthira and deceive him as he had deceived Drona about his son:

O son of Pritha, thy brothers, O king, were not such as to deserve Hell. All this has been an illusion created by the chief of the gods.

O king, that desirous of doing thee good, I 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. After the manner of thyself, Bhima and Arjuna, and Draupadi, have all been shown the place of sinners by an act of deception. Come, O chief of men, all of them have been cleansed of their sins. All those kings who had aided thee and who have been slain in battle, have all attained to Heaven.

But you might be wondering why Duryodhana got to go to heaven. This is because, he fought like an warrior in the battle and died a khsytriya's death. And as Krishna had told in Bhagavad Gita, if one dies in the battle doing his duty, then he goes to heaven:

hato va prapsyasi svargam [BG 2.37]
- If you get killed in battle field, then you'll attain heaven.

And those whose sins are more enjoy heaven first and then enter to hell. So after death they attained heaven. And after having spent their time there they then proceeded to their respective abodes. Like you have said, Karna went to surya loka, Yudhisthira entered into the God of Righteousness and so on. The 5th chapter of Swargarohanika parva mentions all these.

Reference: Mahabharat, Swargarohanika Parva

  • thank you so much for your post.it is one of the best post kurukshetra content.As per the quote one who get killed in battlefield will attain heaven,thus karnan who got killed in battlefield would have ended in heaven.this is the only mistake i found.
    – user908
    Oct 7, 2014 at 22:27
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    @karnan nice that you like the post. Karna in hell was a deceptive test for Yudhisthira, he didn't actually ended up in hell.
    – Be Happy
    Oct 13, 2014 at 3:37
  • @karnan: A small correction. Karna ended up in Surya-lokha, the abode of lord Surya, his father :) Nov 18, 2014 at 9:19
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    There is an interesting story connected to this incident. As Yudhishtira was travelling to heaven, a dog accompanied him, protecting him from the ravages of Mount Meru. When Yama invited him into heaven, he refused to let Yudhishtira keep the dog. Yudhishtira made it clear that the dog had to come, since it had most faithfully followed him, but Yama wouldn't have it. Yudhishtira decided to reject heaven and turned around to leave. Just then, the dog morphed back into Indra, who had disguised himself to test Yudhishtira. Oct 2, 2019 at 11:55

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