Real Name: Yama Dharma

Occupation: God of the dead

Legal Status: Citizen of Nirvana

Identity: The general populace of earth is unaware of Yama except as a mythological figure.

Other Aliases: Kala (time"), Kritanta, Mritya (death"), Pitripati ("lord-of-the-fathers"), Dharmaraja ("king-of-virtue"), Dakshinapatis, Antaka ("he-who-ends-life"), Preta-Raja ("king-of-ghosts"), Samana ("the leveler"), Samavurtri ("impartial judge"), Sraddheheva ("god of funerals"), Udambara ("man of the ficus tree"), Vaivasvata ("son of Vivasvat"), Asu-niti, Chos-Rygal Phyi-Sgrub (Tibetan name), Emma-O (possible Japanese name), Yama-Raja (Balinese name),

Place of Birth: Unrevealed

Marital Status: Married

Known Relatives: Surya (father); Saranyu (mother), Tvashtri (grandfather/uncle), Indra, Agni, Vayu (uncles); Ratri, Ushas (aunts), Chhaya (maternal aunt); Indu, Chandra (alias Soma) (half-brothers); Yamunda (wife, alias Yami); Dyaus (grandfather); Prithivi (grandmother);

Group Membership: The Gods of India (The Daevas) and Vedic Gods (Adityas), member of an unnamed cabal of underworld gods

Base of Operations: Yamapura 

First Appearance: Thor Annual #10  

History: Yama is a member of the Adityas, an extra-dimensional race of beings who were once worshipped by the ancient Dravidian and Aryan tribes of Eastern Europe. The Adityas were overthrown by a race of demons known as the Rakshasas who were in turn overthrown by the Devas, descendants of the Adityas lead by the gods Vishnu, Brahma and Shiva. Vishnu and his brothers were part of the ascendant Hindu religion that replaced the worship of the old Vedic gods; any Vedic deities who lost his worship rites were called Asuras. Under the new Hindu religion, mortal souls were not taken to the underworld anymore and were reincarnated in new lives as per the kind of person they were in life. If a good person died, they returned in a higher position while those of evil intent returned as a lower life form. The truly evil were imprisoned in the underworld of Patala where Yama stood guard over the imprisoned Rakshasas. In Hinduism, Yama was revered as an embodiment of law and judged over souls that entered his realm, deciding where they should go after death. A minor god named Chitragupta assisted him by keeping an account of the welfare of mortals deciding on where mortals were assigned.

Yama is the son of the sun god, Surya Vivasvat, one of the Adityas who survived into the Hindu pantheon, and brother of Chandra, who became Soma, the wine-god. He took the river-goddess Yamuna as his wife, but some myths claim she was also his sister. According to Vedic tradition, Yami and Yamuna were once mortal, and when their mortal lives came to an end, they became rulers of the afterlife. He was a respected deity of the Dravidian and Aryan tribes of Eastern Europe, but under Hinduism, he became a judge over the shades (ghosts) of mortals passing through the underworld. Like several Hindu gods, his worship was carried throughout Southeast Asia. Worshipped under the name Yama-Raja in the Philippines, it is unconfirmed if he was also Emma-O of the Japanese gods

Over several centuries, Yama became annoyed by the lack of regular and steady new subjects and entered into an unholy alliance with six other gods of the dead to unite their realms. Their dark ritual, however, released a primal entity known as Demogorge the God Eater from the dawn of time who consumed him believing him to be a degenerated god. Yama was rescued by a number of warrior gods lead by Thor of the Asgardians god. Humiliated after his experience, Yama broke off and severed connections with the other gods of the dead rather than incur further indignation.

His current activities are unknown.

Height: 7 0
Weight: 445 lbs.
Eyes: Green
Hair: Black

Unusual Physical Features: In his true godly form, Yama has green skin.

Strength Level: Yama possesses the normal strength level of a male Daevas of his size, height and build who engages in extensive physical exercises; his exact strength level is unknown, but he can lift (press) about 35 tons under optimal conditions.

Known Superhuman Powers: Yama possesses the conventional physical attributes of the Daevas or Hindu gods. Like all Daevas, he is extremely long-lived, but he is not immortal like the Olympian gods. He has aged at an extremely slow rate since reaching adulthood and cannot die by any conventional means. He is immune to all Earthly diseases and is resistant to conventional injury. If he were somehow wounded, his godly life force would enable him to recover with superhuman speed. It would take an injury of such magnitude that it dispersed a major portion of his bodily molecules to cause him a physical death. Even then, it might be possible for a god of significant power, such as Varuna, Mitra, Vishnu or Shiva or for a number of Hindu gods of equal power working together to revive him. Yama also possesses superhuman strength and his Daeva metabolism provides him with far greater than human endurance in all physical activities. (Daeva flesh and bone is about three times as dense as similar human tissue, contributing to the superhuman strength and weight of the Hindu gods.)

Yama also has latent mystical powers occult in nature such as the ability to conjure hellfire. He could cast physical illusions isolated only to the specific senses of certain mortals such as when he gave the mortal Muslim warrior Mahdi a fiery sword without any true power.

Pets: Yama owns Sarameyau, a dog of indiscernible breed spawned from Sarama, the dog of Indra, to stand guard at the gates of the underworld. Yama also often rides upon a huge black buffalo.

Base of Operations: Yama rules the realm of Yamalya, a division of the other-dimensional realm of Patala set aside for the souls of his Vedic worshippers and presides within a palace named Sanjeevani, built by Tvashtri, the architect god. The structure has three doors so that the shades of mortals passing through cannot see the place of judgment to which they are assigned. The Vaitamee river which circles the edifice was enchanted by Agni, the fire-god, to give harmless passage to the pious who swim through it while beings of evil intent suffer torments and pangs while crossing its boiling water. All spirits who enter Patala are required to swim this river to reach their place of judgment. Souls who are good in life are restored to new life on earth according to the lives they lead in life; sinners are cast into the pit of Patala ruled by Ravanna and the Rakshasas, demonic enemies of the gods.

Comments: This bio pretty much contains how Yama has appeared in the Marvel Universe; he has not been seen in the DC Universe.

Clarifications: Yama should not be confused with:

Last updated: 02/12/12


Back to Main Page