The Concept of Heaven and Hell

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We all are very much aware of the fact that God is very kind and merciful. He has given us human beings total freedom to find the absolute truth in this world and a state of absolute bliss by following a self-chosen course of action. Neither does God become angry with those who commit mistakes or sins, nor does he punish anyone. Every individual reaps the fruits of one’s own doing through This universe created by God permits the human beings to learn from their own experience and set a benchmark for an improved status in the astral world. Heaven and hell have also been created for this very purpose. 

While pronouncing a sentence, a judge has no ill will or hatred towards the accused criminal. On the contrary he (or she) sincerely hopes that the person being punished appreciates the consequences of the committed crime and learns a lesson to never repeat such an act in future, thus spending his life in an upright and correct manner. God is the supreme judge of cosmos.

All faiths of the world,all religions of the word are have the same belief that after death the soul of the dead has to go to either heaven or hell.

“I think different religions are different doors to the same house.Sometimes I think the House exists and sometimes I don’t.Its a great mystery.” ~Steve Jobs

Hence there should not be any doubt about this concept. The Hindu spirituality also states that in between ‘death and rebirth’, one has to experience heaven or hell based on his cumulative deeds in this world . By Gods will, this system enables us human beings to make amends for the past misdeeds-so that we can improve our future and the upcoming births.

The time span spent by the soul in the astral world is about three years or more depending upon the discretion of the invisible God Almighty,the Supreme Being. About one-third of this time,we human beings spend in sleeping and taking rest. (This is the reason why after someone’s death people pray for them to REST IN PEACE -R.I.P-)

This rest is needed because the soul gets tired and stressed because of of living in this world. That’s right the soul also shares our stress,in fact the main burden is on the soul only.

After death when our soul leaves the body,it is so exhausted, that it is more or less unconscious (inactive).

Hence, immediately after death,our soul being inactive,unconscious and devoid of sensitivity, is not in a position to feel the full impact of the punishment it is due to receive wiz heaven or hell. A patient undergoing surgery under sedation, does not feel any pain. Once the initial period of rest, one-third period of his stay in the astral world is over, the soul ‘awakens’ with renewed freshness and awareness. During this later period the soul reviews the bad and good deeds it has been associated with while inhabiting the body of the deceased person, in heaven or in hell.

The natural system of divine justice devised by God Almighty, does not punish or reward a person immediately after committal of an act of virtue or sin. There is a time-lag between his actions (verbal-mental-physical) and reactions (punishments and rewards as hell and heaven). Just As future acquisition of fruits is ascertained while sowing the seeds, the ultimate punishment or reward (Karma-phal) of good and bad deeds (in thoughts, words and actions) become integrally attached to the soul in concentric layers which unfold one after the other at the appropriate time.Just Like a farmer sows seeds of different plants, which take their own time to mature and bear fruit, acts of virtue and sin cause their effect at the appropriate time. After the soul awakens, the imprints of various good and bad deeds do not merely remain in the storage of his or her memory, but manifests into a consequential product. Throughout our life we commit so many good and bad deeds, which we forget in due course of time, but the soul, as a witness of everything keeps a meticulous record within itself .

Suppose a Thief ignores the voice of his conscience while committing theft. Let us also assume that the stealing goes unnoticed and thereby unpunished in this world.He escapes the punishment and roams about freely in the world. But in his ‘soul’ it is a seed of bad deed that he has sown. After some time, even if he forgets his theft and becomes a normal person his soul keeps it as a permanent record as a file.Whenever a seed is sown, it grows into a tree every-time different in shape and in size. So does an act of sin transform it into misery of hell?

Hell has been described in a variety of ways in the scriptural literature of various faiths. Hell has a connotation related to the personal circumstantial view of an individual in his life, which obviously differs from person to person.The concept of hell varies from person person depending on his activities, lifestyle, habits, interests, actions, surroundings, company,etc.

For a doctor a room filled with filth is like hell, whereas a sweeper is not much affected by the foul smell.

A death sentence, which a martyr or an already dying person hears with a smile, terrifies others.

A sensitive person would find it difficult to forget a minor insult, whereas the most disgraceful treatment given to a thick-skinned shameless person may not affect him at all.

Therefore, for individuals having different personalities, different types of hell would be required. (A standard model of hell would not serve the purpose). Scriptures mention about the emissaries of death (Yamdut or Yamraja) who forcibly drags the soul towards hell. These so-called messengers of death are not independent beings, but are in fact mental images created by the soul of the dead itself. As and when we humans sow the ‘seeds’ of activities (Karma), our inner-consciousness produces enforcers of divine justice,who we are often scared of. The life-span of these divine prosecutors depends upon the period for which the wrong-doer is required to stay in hell. Having accomplished their job, they become extinct. The wardens created for enforcement of punishment to a particular soul do not stay longer to punish someone else. As a matter of fact in the astral world, all material life ceases to exist and the spiritual one unfolds.

According to spiritual scientists, the conscious mind which dwells on material things dies,and the part of the human brain above the threshold of consciousness survives. This part mainly contains, facts and consequences of all the activities the soul has done though-out its life span, in its true perspective. In this state of mind, the soul becomes totally deprived of all logic and the argumentative power, which in normal course of life justifies each and every action done by us.

Our mental body (Shukshama sharira) co-exists with our physical body and has four components of mind, namely:

 Mann (the source of longings,desires and aspiration)

Mann

Buddhi (also known as intellect,buddhi is the faculty which creates,stores,manipulates,analyzes the data available and then takes decisions as to which course of action we should follow.)

Intellect or Buddhi

 Chitta (which stores the inherent traits , inclinations,habits and temperament of one and all present around us in the materialistic world)

Chitta (Inner vision) will show him exact pictures of what he has seen before

Ahankar (Also known as ego, ahankar is the appraisal of a person for oneself in the material world)

Ahankar or Ego

When a man is physically alive in the materialistic world, his mental body remains partly active with the first two exterior shells of mind, namely Mann and Buddhi governing the activities of his physical body. The remaining two secret compartments remain subconscious when man is in the living state. A hypnotist in fact puts the external mind (Man and Buddhi) to sleep and gives hypnotic suggestions to the inner subconscious components (Chitta and Ahankar), which create a real physical experience for the subject. For instance, one is hypnotized and is told that he or she is swimming, he actually believes it and starts moving his hands and legs in the act of swimming. The same holds true in life after death.

Thus hell and enforcers of divine justice do not have an independent existence as such. There are no courts of law for divine justice and related office personnel like the earth has. Innumerable human beings die each moment,each day. Rendering justice to them would require a complex establishment. There is absolutely no feasibility of such a complex set up for dealing with the dead beings.

The scriptures mention that Yam is the personnel who does the decision-making on allotting heaven or hell to the soul of the dead on the basis of records maintained by Chitragupta in his court. In Sanskrit, Yam means ‘disciplining one’s own self’ and Chittragupta or Chittagupta means the Chitta which is secret or hidden wiz the Chitta keeps the record and self-control delivers the judgment. When the combined total sins which deeply embedded in the psyche of human beings become illumined since everything is stored in a person’s unconsciousness, his soul is forced to take cognizance of them thus paying for his sins.Thus each being has a hell of its own which becomes extinct,the moment he is re-born in a different body.

Let us now understand the concept of Yamduts, the emissaries of death.A moth is usually attracted by fire and appears to be forcibly drawn towards it by some independent entity. Similarly when a soul is brought to divine justice and undergoes punishment on its own, one often gets the feeling that he is being forced by aliens. These deliverers of divine justice appear in a shape,form, complexion and description which the human soul has seen,read or studied according to his faith and religious beliefs in the materialistic world. These deliverers of justice converse with the soul in his native language as well.

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Yamduts accoding to Hindu Belief

In order to punish and reform itself the inner-self (sub-consciousness)produces an exclusive hell within, wherein the traits accumulated from activities of previous life become personified as living images, and the soul is subjected to torment, anguish and humiliation.All of us have different perceptions of physical suffering such as being roasted or an intense experience of remorse, mortification and embarrassment,of hell The kind and degree of punishment would depend on the emotional susceptibility of the soul.The purpose of hell is to make the soul suffer so that it is able to learn a lesson by connecting his sinful deeds with the ultimate consequence. The duration and degree of punishment also depends on the degree of his sin and the required reformation. In order to punish a soul, which repeats mistakes in successive life cycles, heavy punishment is designed. For physically committed sins, the physical counterparts are punished and for the evil thoughts, mind of the soul is made to suffer.

So does the inner-self have an inbuilt arrangement of self- punishment for evil deeds? Sinful acts which are not kept secret are generally punished for in this very world, whereas for the remaining, the being has to undergo suffering in the astral world. (The provision of confession in Christianity is to enable the person to unburden the soul of sins kept as secret). Divinity has established this system to enable the being to make penance for most of the grievous sins and proceed for the next birth as a pious being without the burden of consequences of sins committed in previous life. The commander-in-chief does not permit a wounded soldier to go back to the front till he recuperates. Since, otherwise, he would not serve his purpose and instead of fighting would be preoccupied with the injury. For the similar reason, barring a few exceptions most of the sins of the individual are wiped out after the reformatory treatment and the being proceeds for the next birth with a clean slate.

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The advantage of hell does not lie merely in weakening the impact of sins on the soul but is also reformatory. It relieves the living being from past evil habits in future life and make it remember the consequences. The voice of conscience is in fact a memory of this lesson. Thieves, evil doers and murderers become restive while committing the crime. It indicates the faint recollection of the punishment suffered in hell for similar deeds in earlier life. But alas! People do not pay heed to their voice of conscience and fall again and again in the trap of sin.

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