Monday 9 May 2022

The Concept Of Devil and Angel Comes from Hinduism | Papa and Punya Purusha

Have you seen the concept of angel and devil in cartoons, typically as illustrated above?

Contrary to popular belief, this concept is not from Christianity in its originality. This is a stolen concept from Hinduism. This is part of Hindu tantra.

In Hindu Tantra, we have a reference to two entities we refer to as the Punya Purusha and Paapa Purusha.

Quoting the shlokas:

पाप पुरुष ध्यानं -
तदाशावासनवयं वाम कुक्षि स्थितं अङ्गुष्ट परिमाणकं ।
ब्रह्महत्या शिरोयुक्तं कणकस्तेय बाहुकम् ।
मदिरापाण हृदयं गुरुतल्प कटीयुगम् ।
तत् संसर्ग उपद्वन्द्वं उपपातक मस्तकम् ।
खड्गचर्म धरौ दुष्टं अधोवस्त्रं सु दुस्सहम् ।

pāpa puruṣa dhyānaṃ -
tadāśāvāsanavayaṃ vāma kukṣi sthitaṃ aṅguṣṭha parimāṇakaṃ ।
brahmahatyā śiroyuktaṃ kaṇakasteya bāhukam ।
madirāpāṇa hṛdayaṃ gurutalpa kaṭīyugam ।
tat saṃsarga upadvandvaṃ upapātaka mastakam ।
khaḍgacarma dharau duṣṭaṃ adhovastraṃ su dussaham ।

The shloka above is the dhyana mantra for the Paapa Purusha ( personification of Sin )

He resides in your left underarm. His body parts are associated with different types of the five major paapa ( sin ). He holds a sword and wears a dirty vastram ( a dirty dhoti ). He is the size of your thumb. The paataka ( sin ) of killing a Brahmana forms his head. The paataka of stealing gold forms the hands. The paataka of consuming intoxicants forms the heart. The paapa of sexual misconduct forms the hip region. The paapa of being around such people ( who do all these mentioned sins ) form the feet. The upa-paatakas ( 2nd or 3rd degree sins ) form the forehead..

Also, the paapa Purusha is said to be thumb-sized. As per the Kathopanishad, the atma within man is also of the same size ( one angushtha ).

The five major sins ( pancha maha paatakas ) are often mentioned in the Upanishads.

For example, the Ganapati Upanishad of Atharva Veda reveals in the verse:

sa paJNcha-mahaa-paapaat pramuchyate

saha = he
paJNcha = five
mahaa-paapaat = great sins
pra-muchyate = is freed

Meaning and commentary :

He is freed from the great five sins.

The great five sins :

1. brahma hatyaa ( killing of braahmaNa : A Veda teacher )
2. suraapaanam ( eating or drinking intoxicants )
3. steyam (thievery)
4. gurvanganaagamaha = ( seducing guru's wife )
5. sansargaha = association with people who commit the mentioned 4 sins even after knowing about it 

पुण्य पुरुष ध्यानं -
अश्वमेध शिरस्कञ्च वाजपेय भुजद्वयम् ।
सोमपाण समंकुक्षी जितेन्द्रिय कटिद्वयम् ।
सत्संयोग पदद्वन्द्वं साङ्गोपाङ्ग कलेवरम् ।
सार्ध त्रिकोटि रोमानं दिव्य दृष्टि विलोचनं ।
जय जीवेत संयुक्तं चिन्तयेत् पुण्य पूरुषं ॥

puṇya puruṣa dhyānaṃ -
aśvamedha śiraskañca vājapeya bhujadvayam ।
somapāṇa samaṃkukṣī jitendriya kaṭidvayam ।
satsaṃyoga padadvandvaṃ sāṅgopāṅga kalevaram ।
sārdha trikoṭi romānaṃ divya dṛṣṭi vilocanaṃ ।
jaya jīveta saṃyuktaṃ cintayet puṇya pūruṣaṃ ॥

The dhyana shloka above describes the Punya Purusha ( Personification of good merits ).

The Punya Purusha's body parts constitute the merits of various yaagas. For instance, the head represents the merits obtained from an Ashwamedha Yaaga. The merits of Vajapeya yaaga constitute the hands etc.. The Punya Purusha resides at the right underarm.


We meditate on the Papa and Punya Purushas during Bhuta Shuddhi. For instance, during the Purvanga Puja of Chandi Homa, we meditate upon the Paapa Purusha as per the dhyana shloka and invoke the seed mantra ( bijas ) of the wind and fire elements to dry and burn the Paapa Purusha to incineration and to finally expel 'him' out of the body using specific formulae and visualizations. 

We similarly meditate on the Punya Purusha and invoke the bija mantra for water and visualize a drenching amrita ( nectar ) in our body.

The video below is on a complete Bhuta Shuddi procedure as per Shakta Tantra. You will find the refernce for Papa and Punya Purusha in this video ( at min 10:35)

Ramakrishna Paramahamsa Physically Encounters The Purushas

The great enlightened master, during His sadhana as a Shakta, used to do the Bhuta Shuddhi. During the meditation on Papa and Punya Purusha, a transformation took place within Him and He literally witnessed the mentioned entities emerge out from his body, with the forms as described in the dhyana shloka.

The Papa Purusha was wearing a dirty dhoti, with terrible red eyes and he was holding a dagger. The Punya Purusha appeared auspicious with a Trishula with ochre garb and these entities started to fight. The Punya Purusha ultimately killed the Papa Purusha.

The Punya Purusha later manifested as a mentor to the Paramahamsa, threatening to stab Him with the trishula if He deviated from His sadhana.


  1. Interesting article! While the concept of sin is universal, (though the definition of what it constitutes is variant), I wouldn't go as far as claiming that the papa-purusha is the same as the almost-as-powerful-as-God Abrahamic devil. As a corollary, that would reduce the concept of Parabrahmam to just Punya, which I'm sure you would not agree with.