Ancient word Yama (Sanskrit यम) means twin. Yama also refers to forming a pair, act of checking or bridle.
Yama founds mention in Riga Veda (ऋग् वेद) where this name refers to bridle, rein or curb. Yama is also mentioned in the Bhagvat Puran (भागवत पुराण) where Yama means suppression, restraint or the act of checking.
This name is also referred in Yagyavalakya (याज्ञवल्क्य), Manu-Smiriti (मनु-स्मृति) and Mahabharata (महाभारत) as self-control forbearance or a great moral rule. Reference of this name is also found in Paraskar-Grihaya-Sutra (पारस्कर-गृह्य-सूत्र) where Yama denotes a rule or observance.
Yama is the god who rules over the spirits of the dead, he is regarded as the first of men and the son of Vivasvat (विवस्वत्) the sun and his wife Saranyu, while his brother, the seventh मनु and his twin sister is Yami, his abode is in some region of the lower world called Yamapura (यम-पुर).
In Hinduism, Yama is the "Guardian of the Directions" of the south and the son of Brahma. Yama is the 162nd and the 866th names of Lord Vishnu as listed in the Vishnu-Sahasranama as the Controller, the Lord who controls all within is called Yama.
Yama is the name of Lord Ganesa as the Pranayama.
Yama is a somewhat popular name in the USA. According to the chart shown here, Yama is adopted by more than 50 people in the USA as the name of their kids. But Yama is also name from another origin. Yama is not a popular name in India also. Yama is adopted by few people in India as the name of their children. Because Yama is the god of death.
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