Yama The God of Death
Yama is the messenger or god of death and the judge of men. He is represented as a green coloured man, clothed in red garments and wearing a crown. He wears a flower on his head. He carries a mace in one hand, and a noose in the other for catching his victims. He is sometimes shown as having four arms and sometimes two. His mount is a black buffalo.
The twin brother of Yami, who later became the river Yamuna, he was the first mortal to (lie and having discovered the way to the other world, is the guide of those who depart this world, lie has two ravenous dogs, each with four eyes and wide nostrils. They guard the road to his abode and wander amongst men summoning them to their master. In the Puranas, Yama is called the judge of men who, when they die, are brought before him amid Chitragupta (the Record Keeper) with whom their actions have been recorded. The virtuous are conveyed to heaven (Swarga) and the wicked to different regions of hell (Namaka). After death the soul takes four hours and forty minutes to reach Yama. Therefore a dead body should not be cremated before this time has elapsed.
Brahma, after creating the world, realized that a place for judgement and punishment for the wicked was wanting. He therefore requested Vishwakarma, the architect god, to create one. This legendary place created for Yama has a mild and salubrious climate and there is no fear of enemies or any affliction of mind or body. Each person is rewarded according to his past deeds. To the virtuous awl to the sinner Yama appears in different forms. To the virtuous he appears like Vishnu, with a charming, smiling lace and lotus-like eyes. To the wicked he appears to have limbs ‘three hundred leagues’ long, hair like gigantic reeds and eyes like deep wells. Yama is also the guardian of the South.