“Yama: In Indian mythology, the lord of death. The Vedas describe him as the first man who died. The son of the son god Surya, he presides over the resting place of the dead. In the Vedas, he was a cheerful king of departed ancestors, but in later mythology he became known as the just judge who punished the deceased for their sins.”
Excerpted from: Stevens, Mark A., Ed. Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Encyclopedia. Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, 2000.