“Yamaraja is not a fictitious or mythological character; he has his own abode, Pitrloka, of which he is king. Agnostics may not believe in hell, but Sukadeva Gosvami affirms the existence of the Naraka planets, which lie between the Garbhodaka Ocean and Patalaloka. Yamaraja is appointed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead to see that the human beings do not violate His rules and regulations. As confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (4.17):

karmano hy api boddhavyam boddhavyam ca vikarmanah
akarmanas ca boddhavyam gahana karmano gatih

“”The intricacies of action are very hard to understand. Therefore one should know properly what action is, what forbidden action is, and what inaction is. “”One should understand the nature of karma, vikarma and akarma, and one must act accordingly. This is the law of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The conditioned souls, who have come to this material world for sense gratification, are allowed to enjoy their senses under certain regulative principles. If they violate these regulations, they are judged and punished by Yamaraja. He brings them to the hellish planets and properly chastises them to bring them back to Krishna consciousness. By the influence of maya, however, the conditioned souls remain infatuated with the mode of ignorance. Thus in spite of repeated punishment by Yamaraja, they do not come to their senses, but continue to live within the material condition, committing sinful activities again and again.”

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Fifth Canto, Chapter 26 – Text 06

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