Punishment For Apostasy In Hindu Dharma

1. Apostates shall become slaves

📚Narada Smriti 5.35📚
An apostate from asceticism shall become the king’s slave. He can never be emancipated, nor is there any expiation of his crime.”  (source)

📚Vishnu Smriti 5.152📚
An apostate from religious mendicity shall become the king’s slave.”  (source)

2. Death for Apostasy

📚Vishnu Purana 3.17📚
Do thou, whose wisdom is immeasurable, instruct us in some device by which we may be able to exterminate the enemies of the gods.” When the mighty Visnu heard their request, he emitted from his body an illusory form, which he gave to the gods, and thus spoke: This deceptive vision shall wholly beguile the Daityas, so that, being led astray from the path of the Vedas, they may be put to death; for all gods, demons, or others, who shall be opposed to the authority of the Veda, shall perish by my might, whilst exercised for the preservation of the world.”  (source)

3. Hell for Apostasy

📚Shrimad Bhagavatam 5.26.15📚
If a person deviates from the path of the Vedas in the absence of an emergency, the servants of Yamarāja put him into the hell called Asi-patravana, where they beat him with whips. When he runs hither and thither, fleeing from the extreme pain, on all sides he runs into palm trees with leaves like sharpened swords. Thus injured all over his body and fainting at every step, he cries out, “Oh, what shall I do now! How shall I be saved!” This is how one suffers who deviates from the accepted religious principles.”  (source)

📚Devi Bhagavatam Purana 7.39.21-30📚
To preserve My Commandments, I have created the Brāhmaṇa and the Kṣattriya castes. My secrets are all embodied in the Śrutis. For that reason, the words of the Śrutis are no doubt to be known and observed by the sages. O Mountain! When the Dharma (righteousness) declines and the Adharma (unrighteousness) reigns supreme, I then manifest Myself in the world as Sākambharī, Rāma, Kṛṣṇa and others. Therefore, the Devas, the preservers of the Vedas, and the Daityas, the destroyers of the Vedas are classified. Whoever does not practise according to the Vedas I have created many hells for their lessons. When the sinners hear of those hells, they get extremely terrified. The king should banish those stupid persons from his kingdom and the Brāhmins should not talk with them nor take them in their own lines nor when partaking of food, those who forsake the Vaidic Dharma and go for shelter to another Dharma.”  (source)

📚Skanda Purana📚
A man who transgresses the Vedic path and goes along a despicable path is cast into Asipatravana by the servants of Yama. But if he takes his holy bath in Dhanuṣkoṭi, he is not thrown therein.”  (source)

📚Narada Purana 1.15.79-80📚
I shall tell you the sufferings of the atheists who turn their faces away from Hara and Hari. They will be compelled to eat salt for ten million years. Then, they are scorched and fried in red hot sand in Raurava hell. These men of sinful acts remain in that hell for the period of a Kalpa. O ruler of men, in other hells also (they are tortured) like this.”’  (source)

📚Narada Purana 1.15.130b-131a📚
Those who have ceased to perform the rites and the yajnas for Pits (manes) and Devas, those who stay outside the part of the Vedas, are notorious as heretics. They undergo all sorts of tortures.””  (source)

📚Narada Purana 1.15.89📚
Those who have abandoned the five great sacrifices go to the hell Lalabhaksa. One who abandons worship goes to the hell Raurava. The person who abandons his religious duties is called a heretic by learned men. He and a person who associates with him are great sinners. They fall into hells in a serial order, in the course of thousand and millions of kalpas.”  (source)

📚Vamana Purana 12.34📚
He who forsakes the Vedas, sacrificial fire, preceptor, wife, and parents, is hurled down from the peaks of mountains by the servants of Yama.”  (source)

📚Devi Bhagavatam Purana 8.22.2-52📚He who transgresses the path of the Vedas in times other than those of calamity and danger and follows other paths even to a trifling distance, that sinner is taken by Yamadûtas to Asipatra Kânana and there whipped severely. Not being able to bear that, he runs wildly to and fro and is pierced by the sharp edged Asi leaves on both his sides. His whole body being cut asunder, he cries “Oh! I am killed!”and faints away. Then feeling himself pained very much, he tumbles down at every step. Thus the sinner suffers for violating the path of the Vedas.…The man who, getting even a trifling wealth and food-stuff, does not perform the five Mahâ Yajñâs and gives not a share of that to the Devas and feeds his own belly with that like a crow, is taken by the ferocious Yamadûtas to the worst Krimibhojana Naraka for his sinful deeds. This hell is one lakh Yoyanas wide and is the reservoir of worms. It causes terror to the inhabitants of the hell. That sinner assumes the form of an insect and is eaten up on return by the insects and thus passes his time there. When a man does not give any share to the Atithis or the guests and does not offer oblations to the Fire and eats his food, he, too, goes to the above hell…”  (source)

4. Examples of Apostasy

📚Matysa Purana 24.47-49📚
Brihaspati then went and deluded the other sons of Raji with false philosophy and established the Jina religion opposed to the Vedas, though himself a knower of the Vedas and Indra on finding the sons of Brihaspati propagating a religion different from the Vedas based on a show of reason only killed them with his mighty thunderbolt.”  (source)

📚Vishnu Purana 4.9.6-7📚
replied Vrihaspati, “I had been applied to by you before, I could have done anything for you that you wished; as it is, I will endeavour and restore you in a few days to your sovereignty.” So saying, he commenced a sacrifice for the purpose of increasing the might of Indra, and of leading the sons of Raji into error, and so effecting their downfall. Misled by their mental fascination, the princes became enemies of the Brahmans, regardless of their duties, and contemners of the precepts of the Vedas; and thus devoid of morality and religion, they were slain by Indra, who by the assistance of the priest of the gods resumed his place in heaven…”  (source)

📚Shrimad Bhagavatam 9.17.13-16📚
Brhaspati, then offered oblations to fire (with malevolent purpose against the sons of Raji and made them stray from the path of religion) and Indra slew them once and all as they swerved from the path (of righteousness) and not a single son (of Raji) survived.”  (source)

📚Vishnu Purana 3.17.35-44📚
Upon the conclusion of their prayers, the gods beheld the sovereign deity Hari, armed with the shell, the discus, and the mace, riding on Garud́a. Prostrating themselves before him, they addressed him, and said, “Have compassion upon us, O lord, and protect us, who have come to thee for succour from the Daityas. They have seized upon the three worlds, and appropriated the offerings which are our portion, taking care not to transgress the precepts of the Veda. Although we, as well as they, are parts of thee, of whom all beings consist, yet we behold the world impressed by the ignorance of unity, with the belief of its separate existence. Engaged in the duties of their respective orders, and following the paths prescribed by holy writ, practising also religious penance, it is impossible for us to destroy them. Do thou, whose wisdom is immeasurable, instruct us in some device by which we may be able to exterminate the enemies of the gods.” When the mighty Vishńu heard their request, he emitted from his body an illusory form, which he gave to the gods, and thus spake This deceptive vision shall wholly beguile the Daityas, so that, being led astray from the path of the Vedas, they may be put to death; for all gods, demons, or others, who shall be opposed to the authority of the Veda, shall perish by my might, whilst exercised for the preservation of the world. Go then, and fear not: let this delusive vision precede you; it shall this day be of great service unto you, oh gods!”  (source)

📚Vishnu Purana 3.18.1-11📚
PARÁŚARA.–After this, the great delusion, having proceeded to earth, beheld the Daityas engaged in ascetic penances upon the banks of the Narmadá river; and approaching them in the semblance of a naked mendicant, with his head shaven, and carrying a bunch of peacock’s feathers, he thus addressed them in gentle accents: “Ho, lords of the Daitya race! wherefor is it that you practise these acts of penance? is it with a view to recompense in this world, or in another?” “Sage,” replied the Daityas, “we pursue these devotions to obtain a reward hereafter; why should you make such an inquiry?” “If you are desirous of final emancipation,” answered the seeming ascetic, “attend to my words, for you are worthy of a revelation which is the door to ultimate felicity. The duties that I will teach you are the secret path to liberation; there are none beyond or superior to them: by following them you shall obtain either heaven or exemption from future existence. You, mighty beings, are deserving of such lofty doctrine.” By such persuasions, and by many specious arguments, did this delusive being mislead the Daityas from the tenets of the Vedas…”  (source)

📚Vishnu Purana 3.18.7-14📚
might be the duty of those who go naked, or who go clothed in much raiment: and so the Daityas were seduced from their proper duties by the repeated lessons of their illusory preceptor, maintaining the equal truth of contradictory tenets; and they were called Arhatas, from the phrase he had employed of “Ye are worthy (Arhatha) of this great doctrine;” that is, of the false doctrines which he persuaded them to embrace. The foes of the gods being thus induced to apostatize from the religion of the Vedas, by the delusive person sent by Vishńu, became in their turn teachers of the same heresies, and perverted others; and these, again, communicating their principles to others, by whom they were still further disseminated, the Vedas were in a short time deserted by most of the Daitya race…”  (source)

📚Vishnu Purana 3.18.14-26📚
Then the same deluder, putting on garments of a red colour, assuming a benevolent aspect, and speaking in soft and agreeable tones, addressed others of the same family, and said to them, “If; mighty demons, you cherish a desire either for heaven or for final repose, desist from the iniquitous massacre of animals (for sacrifice), and hear from me what you should do. Know that all that exists is composed of discriminative knowledge. Understand my words, for they have been uttered by the wise. This world subsists without support, and engaged in the pursuit of error, which it mistakes for knowledge, as well as vitiated by passion and the rest, revolves in the straits of existence.” In this manner, exclaiming to them, “Know!” (Budhyadwam), and they replying, “It is known” (Budhyate), these Daityas were induced by the arch deceiver to deviate from their religious duties (and become Bauddhas), by his repeated arguments and variously urged persuasions, When they had abandoned their own faith, they persuaded others to do the same, and the heresy spread, and many deserted the practices enjoined by the Vedas and the laws. The delusions of the false teacher paused not with the conversion of the Daityas to the Jaina and Bauddha heresies, but with various erroneous tenets he prevailed upon others to apostatize, until the whole were led astray, and deserted the doctrines and observances inculcated by the three Vedas. Some then spake evil of the sacred books; some blasphemed the gods; some treated sacrifices and other devotional ceremonies with scorn; and others calumniated the Brahmans. “The precepts,” they cried, “that lead to the injury of animal life (as in sacrifices) are highly reprehensible. To say that casting butter into flame is productive of reward, is mere childishness. If Indra, after having obtained godhead by multiplied rites, is fed upon the wood used as fuel in holy fire, he is lower than a brute, which feeds at least upon leaves. If an animal slaughtered in religious worship is thereby raised to heaven, would it not be expedient for a man who institutes a sacrifice to kill his own father for a victim…”  (source)

📚Vishnu Purana 3.18.49-50📚
Let therefore a prudent person carefully avoid the conversation, or the contact, and the like, of those heretics who are rendered impure by their desertion of the three Vedas. The ancestral rite, although performed with zeal and faith, pleases neither gods nor progenitors if it be looked upon by apostates…”  (source)

📚Shiva Purana📚
O lord, favourably disposed towards your devotees, those Asuras have resorted to Buddha’s religion and philosophy, thanks to our good fortune and hence they have eschewed all Vedic sacred rites. Shiva said:- But the great Asuras are my firm devotees. They shall be killed only by me, for they have been forced to abandon their excellent virtue under false persuasion. Let Visnu or any one else slay them now that they have been made to abandon their Dharma. The Asuras of the three cities have become devoid of devotion to me.”  (source)