Lord Krishna said, “O Garuda, listen carefully as I explain how men derive their particular traits from their previous activities. After being punished in hell, sinful persons again attain a human birth with the characteristic traits of their sins. In other words, sinful men who were punished in hell, after once again attaining a human birth on earth, are marked with characteristic signs of their past sins.”
“One who was a habitual liar is born with a speech defect so that he stammers, or perhaps he is born dumb. One who had killed a brahmana is born as a leper, or with tuberculosis.
A drunkard is born as a person with black teeth. One who had stolen gold has bad nails. One who had intimate relations with his preceptor’s wife has a skin disease. One who had associated with sinful people is born in a low family.”
“One who took meals at another’s house as an uninvited guest is born as a crow. A brahmana who performed sacrifices for low-class people is born as a village pig. One who had performed many such sacrifices is born as a donkey. One who had eaten indiscriminately becomes a tiger in the jungle. One who had scolded others without cause becomes a cat. One who imparts knowledge to undeserving people becomes a bull. One who offered stale food to a brahmana becomes a hunchback. One who was malicious to others is born blind, and a book thief is also born blind. One who habitually stole fruit is born as a monkey.”
“One who accepted food that was offered unwillingly is born impotent. One who was averse to self-realization is born as a stupid businessman. A thief of gold may be born as an alligator. One who had poisoned others becomes a snake. One who had sex with an ascetic woman becomes a ghost. One who stole water becomes a chataka bird. One who stole chickpeas becomes a mouse.”
“One who raped an immature girl becomes a serpent. One who coveted his preceptor’s wife becomes a lizard. One who interfered with the flow of water becomes a fish. One who deceived a woman becomes an owl. One who did not make a promised donation to a brahmana becomes a jackal. One who had blasphemed brahmanas becomes a tortoise. One who maintained himself by worshiping deities becomes a chandala.”
“One who kept a shudra woman becomes a bull. One who kicked the sacred fire becomes a cat. One who indulged in sex at an improper time becomes a eunuch. One who had stolen perfume becomes a person with a foul odor.”
“O Garuda, these are the signs whereby a person’s past sins can be ascertained.”