The Concept of Heaven and Hell
God is hub of all religions and belief systems of all over this beautiful planet. I respect every religion and belief system of the world. There is a great rationale behind these systems and people get high moral strength from them. Besides, these refine our thinking and enable us to deal with ups and downs of our life in a great way. We can maintain a balanced mindset and well pruned behavior through inculcating the gist of what these religious texts convey.With all respect and admiration to all religions, I am of the firm belief that nobody can rule out the utility of religion. Religion will always remain an integral part of human life.
One aspect of religions i.e. Heaven and Hell has been engaging my mind for a long time. I thought and rethought over it as to why God intended these places for us mortals after our passage of time on earth. This hub is the outcome of such pondering. I understand that more understanding people could explain the concepts of Heaven and Hell in a far better way. This is my own humble effort to grasp something out of these great concepts. If something useful comes your way on reading this, it would be God's Grace on us and all credit goes to Him only.
Relevance of Concepts of Hell and Heaven
Just observe the system of reward and punishment established by us mortals whose intellect is so finite vis-a-vis GOD's. Is there any provision of an eternal reward even for a genius like Einstein, or an eternal punishment to a murderer like Hitler or Osama bin Laden. Absolutely no. If we humans who are nothing before God, the most exalted one, can make a rational system appealing to the common sense, how God, having an infinite intellect can make a provision of eternal heaven and eternal hell ? If we give it a thorough thought, we will conclude that this theory needs some more insights and fresh contemplation.
Why we worship and bow before God ,it is because we regard that He is the most perfect and the most exalted ; and that He cannot do anything wrong; that whatever creation He has made ,He has made it perfect. His law is the most perfect unlike that made by us mortals. How can the Most Merciful One torture his creatures endlessly without mercy. God is God because His creation is perfect ( see the nature and universe ) and His law is also perfect and we humans cannot fathom the limit of all that. If at all God has created heaven and hell, these two might be all perfect without the wrong description made by us humans.
As for me, I can accept these two entities with proportion to the mistakes or wrongs committed by us mortals and also with provision of release from heaven and hell after exhausting of our good or bad actions. I even imagine far better and far perfect system of heaven and hell after the passage of our lifetime on earth. So I agree with the view that the existing concepts are to be correctly examined,evaluated and understood by all right thinking persons.
How the Concept of Heaven and Hell Should be Understood
I like the concept of heaven awarded in lieu of our good actions and punishment of hell on account of our bad actions but in proportion of our good or bad actions and not at all eternally. With the passage of intensity of good or bad actions, we regain our mortal state in the forms in which we were before our death. This much I accept and beyond this my soul, mind and heart do not feel contented to abide by any religious instructions.
I don't want to see God as cruel in agreeing to the existing concepts of heaven and hell. If God is God, He will do everything to take us to the righteous path, to the path of enlightenment , to the path of light, to the path of bliss, to the path of truth and ultimately to Himself rather than to condemn us in the abhorrent place like eternal hell. The sooner the international community takes up this idea for a proper scrutiny, the better it is.
A Pragmatic Approach : Useful and Constructive
It is not without any reason that rationalists, atheists and agnostics cannot comprehend these concepts. If we are truly religious, we should concentrate on the contents of the religious stuff deeply and pick up the real import and insight. God has given us a great gift, this human body and also an intellect to think and decide truly.We should ponder over the facts that man's search for God and Spirituality has not ended, and it is still going on. In every age, aspects of religion have been thought and rethought and new dimensions introduced so as to make them in tandem with the relevant times.
Every time, enlightened beings came and examined the religious stuff in the light of their wisdom and instilled a real awakening in the masses. Religious thinking has been like a flowing river, turning its course every time when it is flooded with rational thoughts. To stop all thinking will not serve the purpose for which religions were meant. So, it would be appropriate to keep the flow of religious thinking on for betterment and salvation of humankind.
© Harish Mamgain
Do you believe in hell?
- 13% Yes ,of course.
- 88% Nopes
This poll is now closed to voting.
How do the Hindus view the Concept of Hell
The concept of Heaven and Hell is an integral part of most of the prominent religions of the world. Hindu Texts also describe this concept but there is no provision such as an Eternal Heaven or Eternal Hell.
A Hindu religious text named Garuda Purana mentions about plight of the people going to hell and the picture described is very horrible, yet most of the Hindus while adhering all the funeral rites as mentioned in the said religious text, do not pay much attention to the concept of hell mentioned in that sacred text.
Why ? It is because in their wisdom, they are sure that this was a system evolved by the ancient people to maintain a strict system of moral order in the society as kings lacked the required force and resources to keep watch over the errant behavior of the rogue elements. One will be surprised to know that no Hindu is afraid of the so called Hell, nonetheless, fear of God and devotion to God is much more in the minds of the people. Interestingly, people talk more about heaven than hell.
Wisdom of the Enlightened Beings
There is a vast treasure-house in the form of various texts in the midst of us, which reveals that great sages like Vashisht, Astavakra, Adi Shankracharya, Gautama Budha, Raman Maharshi, Ramkrishna Paramhans and so on attained the real perfection.They described about the essence of God truly and through their enlightened words removed the dust from the eyes of the common people. It is due to the guidance of these enlightened beings that common Hindus are free thinkers. Concepts like hell and heaven do not bother them at all.
They see God in a very different perspective and everyone is free to assume God as personal or formless ( as pure Brahman) and there is not the least force on anyone. Also, sages have told ages ago that one cannot attain the real essence by merely reading lacs of sacred books, pranayamas ( breath control) and chanting GOD's name constantly like a parrot.
However one can attain it by meditating on God through intellect and understanding the essence of our whole existence that is called Self or Spirit or Atman (Soul). One can attain it when one is able to know himself entirely different from body as a pure Soul, and this is the purpose of our whole existence that is to know our Self or Spirit or Soul. Now what is the use of concepts of Hell and Heaven in all this ? I think, these concepts are meant for searching inside our conscience and enhancing ourselves as better human beings, rather than living under a constant fear, and the one who is hell bent on evolving as a person to differentiate between body and Soul is not scared at all. Such a person roams free without any hindrances whatsoever. Such is the path shown by the bright and enlightened guys, and this way the Hindus worship God and wish to know Him.