Sri Garuda Purana Part 2.
Dharma (Preta-ghost) Kaanda Chapters 1-20.
1/. Garuda’s Query
2/. Results of actions
3/. Description of Hell
4/. Pre-death and post death rites
5/. Annual rites for the deceased
6/. The glory of Vrishosarga
7./ The story of five ghosts
8/. Person authorised to perform rites
9/. The king authorised to perform rites
10/. The gratifying nature of Shraddha
11/. Doors of departure
12/. Importance of Dharma
13/. Obsequial rites
14/. Merits of Gifts
15/. Observances immediate after Death
16/. Life anfter death
17/. Glory of Shravanas
18/. Life after Death
19/. Life after Death
20/. Functions of the Departed Soul

"Functions of the departed soul."

Garuda Purana Part 2. chapter 20.

Garuda said:
1. Having obtained a new body where does a preta shelter ?
Released from pretahood, where does he go to live in ?

2 - 3. Passing through torments in hell which number eighty four lakhas, and guarded by Yamaraj and his thousand attendants, how do the pretas get released and how do they roam about this mortal world ?

The Lord said:
4.O king of birds, hear me, I shall tell you about the region where pretas live. Men attain pretahood by stealing other man's riches, by indulging in sexual intercourse with another man's wife or by doing acts of treachery.

5.Having incurred sins, they seek for redemption in their progeny. Being bodiless as well as suffering from hunger and thirst they roam about here and there.

6. Even the captives released from prison are frightened at their sight. They seek for means to kill their kith and kin.

7. They bolt doors on their ancestors, put obstacles in the way of manes, departed for fathers. Like theives, they snatch the manes's food in the way before it reaches them.

8. They like to return to their previous home, stay on the roof and watch the activities of their kin. They enjoy causing disease and grief to their relatives.

9-11. Having asumed a form of changing nature tertian, and such like fevers they cause diseases due to cold or wind, like head ache or cholera. They stay at dirty places like that where refuge is left, and enjoy in the company of other ghosts and partake of the waste foods and drink left out unattended by their hosts.

12. In this way, the sinful pretas move about freely.

 Garuda said:
13-14. How do the pretas behave and in what form ?
How is it possible to know their attitude, since the pretas do not speak to us? If you are pleased to do me a favour, you clear away my doubts. O Lord, I hear that in the Kali yuga many people become ghosts.

15.The ghost torments his family members through various enemies. While he was in the human form he was affectionate to his relatives, but now in ghost hood he is inimical, and hostile towards them.

16. He who is devoted to Rudra, follows the path of righteousness, honours the Supreme Lord Vishnu and the Devas, satiates guests, speakes the truth and pleasent words, is not tormented by pretas.

17. He who does not observe sacrificial and purificatory rites, who has no faith in the Vedas, hates righteous deeds and indulges in falsehood, is tormented by the pretas. Furthermore by these unrighteous acts one becomes himself a preta in the Kali yuga.

18.From the Satya yuga to the end of the Dwarpara yuga, nobody became a preta nor did anyone suffer from their evil influences.

19-20.It is observed that of many children born of one and the same mother, one child is happy, one is addicted to bad habits, one is blessed with good progeny, one is tormented by pretas, one abounds in wealth, one gets sons who die young, one is burdened with the offspring of many daughters, and one is constantly with daggers drawn towards his relatives. This is all due to the bad intentions of pretas, O Garuda.

21. A woman who remains without husband, but still makes children, or one who becomes barren in life, or gives birth to children that die at an early age, there is loss of wealth and cattle. All these are the sufferings caused by pretas.

22. If there is a sudden change in a persons nature, or a sudden emnity with his relatives, or an unexpected calamity, that suffering should be known to be the doing of a preta.

23.If a person loses faith in religion or if he loses the means of livelihood or if he feels greedy in excess (for food or aquiring material things) or if there is a regular quarell at home, that suffering should be known to be caused by a preta.

24-25.If he slays his parents or reproaches gods/God or the brahmanas and is found guilty of murder and the like, these are all symptoms of pretas.

26.When crops do not grow up, though there are sufficient rains and good soil; when the expenditures go up and income is reduced; when quarrels rise in gravity, and severity, again these should be recognised as the doings of pretas.

27.When on travels to foriegn lands, he is distressed by the onrush of wind, O lord of birds, that suffering is due to pretas.

28.When he associates with the people of low caste or when he performs disreputable acts (lying, cheating, stealing, or worse) or when he is interested in acts of unrighteousness, (meat eating, illicit sex, gambling, intoxication - liquor, drinking alcohol, smoking, taking drugs) that suffering is due to the influence of pretas.

29.When the hoarded wealth is destroyed by misfortune or when the work in operation bears no fruit (business collapse) or when there is a loss of wealth due to undue taxation or due to fire or theft, that suffering is due to pretas.

30.When an incurable disease sets in, or when children suffer from pain or when a wife suffers immensely, that is also due to pretas.

31.When one loses faith in the Vedas, Smritis, Puranas, and Dharma-shastras, this is also the work of pretas.

32.When one abuses the gods (the Supreme Lord or His Devas), or gurus, brahmins in their presence or absence, that aberration of nature is due to pretas.

33.This is due to pretas and to no other cause when a person suffers from loss of livelihood or break in social position or break in the continuity of lineage.

34.When women suffer an abortion or do not conceive or when the children die at an early age that suffering is caused by pretas.

35.When he does not perform the annual sraddha rites with all sincerity or has no desire or inclination to do so, that is a preta trying to deny the offering to one's manes (forefathers)( this way they become more powerful).

36.When on pilgrimage if one indulges in sexual intercourse or neglects his duties or when he fails to prosper though he has done acts of piety - that is the suffering due to pretas.

37.When both husband and wife quarrel at meal times, when there is a strong inclination to harm others, that suffering is due to pretas.

38.When trade does not prosper though he has gone abroad where he lives in separation from wife and family, that is due to preta.

39.When he lives in foreign lands or when he loses his position at home, that is due to pretas.

40. When he is inimical to his people, regards his son as his enemy, when he has no interest in home and feels uncomfortable there, that suffering is due to pretas.

41. When he refuses to obey his parents and has no love for his wife, is of cruel or callous nature, is lost in his own affairs, that suffering is due to pretas.

42. If the funeral rites are not performed in the prescribed way, the soul of the deceased (in rebirth) deviates from the righteous path and falls in the company of the wicked. Then Vrsotsarga is the only rite to redeem him, (the rite of releasing a bull infavour of the deceased).

43.O Garuda, a person becomes a ghost and undergoes the sufferings thereof, if he dies an accidental or untimely death or if his body is not cremated properly.

44.O best of birds, when the descendent knows of all this, he should conduct those rites which may release the deceased from ghosthood. If he does not perform these rites for the ghost then at his own death he in turn becomes a ghost and suffers after death.

45.The person whose house is haunted by a ghost does not feel happy or comfortable. He loses faith, pleasure, devotion, discrimination as well as wealth.

46.His previous good lineage is finished, it breaks either at the third or fifth generation. Moreover hitherto on, in every birth he lives a wretched poor and sinful life.

47.There are people who have fierce, dreadful, disfigured and ghostly appearance, who have no regard or honour for their caste, progeny, parents, or womanfolk, who put on fashions to attract lusty persons, go an unpleasent way and talk loosely. Alas, it is painful to see them suffer, under the force of fate, from the recollection of their past sinful deeds.


22/. On attaining Ghosthood
23/. On Ghosthood
24/. Sins of Omission and Commission, Premature Death of Children; Gifts.
25/. On sons and grandsons
26/. On the rite of uniting the dead with the deceased ancestors
27/. Episode of King Babhruvaahana
28/. Gifts for the Ghost
29/. Rites after death
30/. On bestowing gifts
31/. On bestowing gifts II
32/. The Origin of life
33/. The world of Yaama
34/. Results of virtue and sin
35/. Rites of Sapindikarana and Shraddha
36/. On fast and pilgrimage
37/. Gift of a vessel filled with water
38/. On salvation, Heaven, Gifts, Pilgrimage, and good deeds.
39/. Rules of impurity (asaucham & mritakam)
40/. On accidental death
41/. Releasing the Bull (Vritsarga & Narayan Bali)
42/. On bestowing gifts
43/. On performing a Shraddha
44/. On accidental death
45/. The mode of annual Shraddha
46/. Results of activity
47/. On sins and Vaitarani
48/. On Dharma and Adharma
49/. Method of Final Release

Brahma (Moksha – Release) Kaanda chapters 1-29 Glorify Vishnu as Supreme.

1/. Classification of the Puranas; The nature of the Deities.
2/. Puranic Trinity; Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva; Their respective roles.
3/. Creation of the Universe; Variaion due to difference in Gunas.
4/. Gunas and their nature; Imbalance and Equilibrium
5/. Deities and their relative status
6/. Deities and their relative status II
7/. Praise of Lord Vishnu by the Deities and sages
8/. Praise of Lord Vishnu by the Deities and sages II
9/. Nature of Deities and the serial order of their position.
10/. Creation primary and secondary
11/. Cause of Ignorance
12/. Praise of Vishnu by Brahma.
13/. Creation of Deities after dissolution
14/. Nature and form of Vishnu and benefits of Vaishvadeva
15/. Incarnations of Vishnu
16/. Incarnations of Mahalaxmi
17/. Forms of Bharati in different births
18/. Incarnations of Rudra (Shiva) and after
19/. The episode of Niilaa
20/. The episode of Bhadraa
21/. The episode of Kaalindi
22/. The episade of Laxmanaa
23/. The episode of Jambavatii
24/. The glory of Venkatesha and Lord Srinivaasa
25/. Glory of Venkatesha and the method of worship
26/. On the mountain Venkata, Svaamipushkarini and the Deities residing there.
27/. Visit to places of pilgrimage
28/. Anecdotes of the glory of Vishnu
29/. On unfolding the mystery and secret of reality.

Tirumala temple vimanasSri Vyenkateshwar (Balaji) at TirumalaThe Golden Vimana at Tirumala