Yama (Devanagari: यम) or Yamarāja (यमराज), is a deity of death, dharma, the south direction, and the underworld who predominantly features in Hindu and Buddhist mythology, belonging to an early stratum of Rigvedic Hindu deities

In Sanskrit, his name can be interpreted to mean “twin”

He is also an important deity worshipped by the Kalasha and formerly by the Nuristani peoples, indicating his prominence in ancient Hinduism

In Hinduism, Yama is the son of sun-god Surya and Sanjana, the daughter of Vishvakarma

Yama is the brother of Sraddhadeva Manu and of his older sister Yami, which Horace Hayman Wilson indicates to mean the Yamuna

According to the Vedas, Yama is said to have been the first mortal who died

By virtue of precedence, he became the ruler of the departed, and is called “Lord of the Pitrs”

Mentioned in the Pāli Canon of Theravada Buddhism, Yama subsequently entered Buddhist mythology in East Asia, Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka as a Dharmapala under various transliterations

He is otherwise also called as “Dharmaraja”