Definition - What does Naraka Loka mean?
According to Hindu cosmology, the universe is divided into multiple worlds known as Loka. Of these Loka, Naraka Loka is considered to be one of the lowest spiritual planes, similar to the concept of Hell in Christianity.
It is believed that after people die, their spirit's Karma is judged in Naraka Loka, after which it transcends to the next Loka.
Yogapedia explains Naraka Loka
Naraka Loka is a purgatory for souls who have committed negative actions on the earthly plane, otherwise known as Bhu Loka. Although it is similar to the concept of Hell, souls only stay in Naraka Loka temporarily. It is believed they serve a karmic sentence here, before moving on to another Loka.
Naraka Loka is mentioned in Vedic texts, and it is believed that there are 28 different types of hell within this plane. The Bhagavata Purana describes Naraka Loka as residing at the bottom of the universe, below earth, but above Patala, otherwise known as the 'Seven Realms of the Underworld.'
Naraka Loka is portrayed in Vedic literature as a dark and evil place, only intended for people who have committed truly immoral actions in their earthly life. It is believed to be the home of Yama, the God of Death, who weighs the vices and virtues of souls before deciding which Loka they should reside in next.