HEAVEN AND HELL/ਭਿਸਤੁ ਅਤੇ ਦੋਜਕੁ
The subject of Heaven & Hell is a common topic all over the world. Religions basically use these concepts to control their followers. These subjects are discussed in detail from a perspective of the philosophy contained in Sabd Guru. Gurbani uses them as metaphors. One needs an open mind and rigorous honesty to examine these. Dogma aside, no human has even an iota of knowledge as to the presence or absence of these places, called heaven and hell where we supposedly go after death. These are not as much the creation of God as they are that of human consciousness at the time of death. The consciousness at the time of death determines the supposed to be experience after death, which in fact is solely dependant on the deeds done during life. If the consciousness is cheerful and benevolent at the time of death, it will remain the same after death. Similarly, if it is one of violence and anger, it will reflect accordingly as well. Guru Nanak describes this phenomenon in Siri Raag in the following words:
ਅਮਲੁ ਕਰਿ ਧਰਤੀ ਬੀਜੁ ਸਬਦੋ ਕਰਿ ਸਚ ਕੀ ਆਬ ਨਿਤ ਦੇਹਿ ਪਾਣੀ ॥ ਹੋਇ ਕਿਰਸਾਣੁ ਈਮਾਨੁ ਜੰਮਾਇ ਲੈ ਭਿਸਤੁ ਦੋਜਕੁ ਮੂੜੇ ਏਵ ਜਾਣੀ॥ਮਤੁ ਜਾਣ ਸਹਿ ਗਲੀ ਪਾਇਆ॥ ਮਾਲ ਕੈ ਮਾਣੈ ਰੂਪ ਕੀ ਸੋਭਾ ਇਤੁ ਬਿਧੀ ਜਨਮੁ ਗਵਾਇਆ ॥
Amal kar ḏẖarṯī bīj sabḏo kar sacẖ kī āb niṯ ḏeh pāṇī, Ho¬ė kirsāṇ īmān jammā¬ė lai bẖisaṯ ḏojak mūṛė ėv jāṇī. Maṯ jāṇ sėh galī pā▫i▫ā. Māl kai māṇai rūp kī sobẖā iṯ biḏẖī janam gavā▫i▫ā.
Make good deeds the soil, and let the Word of the Sabd be the seed; irrigate it continually with the water of Truth. Become such a farmer, and faith will sprout, and know it to be heaven and hell, you fool! Do not think that your Husband Akal Purkh can be obtained by mere words. You are wasting this life in the pride of wealth and the splendor of beauty.-----Guru Nanak, Siri Raag, AGGS, Page, 24
Sikh thought does not believe in heaven & hell after death. Instead, its emphasis is being a better human being following and enjoying the God’s Word in the company of holy people. One is advised to reach a mental poise through singing God’s praises and meditating. One is urged to deliberate and reflect upon Akal Purkh at each step in one’s daily life. While living, one should realize the Akal Purkh vibrating everywhere in Mother Nature. The entire universe and every living thing resonate with this vibration. To be living in heaven during one’s earthly existence means living according to the will of the Akal Purkh and singing the praises of Its virtues. Guru Arjan describes in Raag Dhanasari, and Ramkali that reciting the Name of the Akal Purkh in the presence of the Holy Company is tantamount to salvation and heaven.
ਮੁਕਤਿ ਬੈਕੁੰਠ ਸਾਧ ਕੀ ਸੰਗਤਿ ਜਨ ਪਾਇਓ ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਧਾਮ॥ਚਰਨ ਕਮਲ ਹਰਿ ਜਨ ਕੀ ਥਾਤੀ ਕੋਟ ਸੂਖ ਬਿਸਾ੍ਮ ॥
Mukat Bakunth Sadh Ki Sangat, Jan Payeou Har Ka Dhaam, Charan Kamak Har Jan Ki Thaati Kot Sookh Bisraam.
Liberation and heaven are found in the Company of the Holy and the humble servant finds the home of the Akal Purkh. Its lotus feet are the treasure of Its humble servant. In them, he finds millions of pleasures and comforts. -----Guru Arjan, Raag Dhanasri, AGGS, Page 682-10
ਜਹ ਰਾਖੈ ਸੋਈ ਮੁਕਤਿ ਥਾਨੁ ॥ ਜੋ ਜਪਾਏ ਸੋਈ ਨਾਮੁ ॥ ਅਠਸਠਿ ਤੀਰਥ ਜਹ ਸਾਧ ਪਗ ਧਰਹਿ ॥ਤਹ ਬੈਕੁੰਠੁ ਜਹ ਨਾਮੁ ਉਚਰਹਿ ॥
Jah rākẖai so­ī mukaṯ thān.Jo japā­ė so­ī nām. Athsath Tirath Jeh Saadh Pug Dhareh, Teh Bakunth Jeh Naam Ouchreh.
Wherever Akal Purkh keeps me that is the place of liberation for me. Whatever It makes me chant, is Its Name. Wherever the saint puts his feet, there are 68 pilgrim stations. Where ever the Name of the Akal Purkh is uttered, there is heaven. -----Guru Arjan Raag Ram kali, AGGS, Page 890-14 & 15
Ignoring the development of virtues and suffering by indulging in five lower instincts is living in Hell. In the teachings (ਦੀਖਿਆ) contained in Sabd Guru, there is no place called Heaven or Hell where people are destined to go after they leave the world. Other religions do believe that God created eternal heaven for the comfort of faithful in Islam or people with higher social status among the Hindus or those saved by Christ in Christianity, after their death. They also believe in Hell where all non-believers or the low caste persons who ignore Akal Purkh’s commandments will suffer forever. Sikhism does not believe in castes here or after death. An individual who considers every one equal is religious.
ਅਗੈ ਜਾਤਿ ਨ ਜੋਰੁ ਹੈ ਅਗੈ ਜੀਉ ਨਵੇ ॥ ਜਿਨ ਕੀ ਲੇਖੈ ਪਤਿ ਪਵੈ ਚੰਗੇ ਸੇਈ ਕੇਇ ॥
Agai Jaat Na Joar Hai Agai Jeo Navay, Jin Kee Laykhai Pat Pavai Changay Say-ee Kay-ay.
In the world hereafter, social status and power mean nothing. The soul is new, in the eager. Those few, whose honor is confirmed, are good.-----Guru Nanak, Raag Asa, AGGS, Page, 469-6
ਗਲੀ ਭਿਸਤਿ ਨ ਜਾਈਐ ਛੁਟੈ ਸਚੁ ਕਮਾਇ ॥
Galee Bhisat Na Jaa-eai Chutai Such Kamaey.
One does not get a passage to heaven by mere talking. It is achieved by living a truthful life. -----Guru Nanak, Raag Majh, AGGS, Page, 141-2
ਗਗਨੰਤਰਿ ਵਾਸਿਆ ਗੁਣ ਪਰਗਾਸਿਆ ਗੁਣ ਮਹਿ ਗਿਆਨ ਧਿਆਨੰ ॥
Gagnantar Vaasiaa GouN Pargaasiaa GouN Meh Giaan DhiaanaN.
When one pays attention to spiritual wisdom, then the wisdom is enshrined in mind. This is the state of dwelling in heaven. -----Guru Nanak, Raag Sorath, AGGS, Page, 635-5
ਇਹੁ ਮਨੂਆ ਖਿਨੁ ਊਭਿ ਪਇਆਲੀ ਜਬ ਲਗਿ ਸਬਦ ਨ ਜਾਨੇ ॥
Ayh Manoo-aa Khin Oobh Pa-eaalee Jab Lag Sabad Na Jaanay.
Human mind wanders about, in one moment it seems as if it is in heaven, and at the next moment it finds itself in hell. This pattern keeps repeating until one understands the meanings in the Sabd. -----Guru Nanak, Raag Parbhati, AGGS, Page, 1345-13
The Sikh Gurus denied that beyond this earth, somewhere else in the universe, there existed a particular place known as heaven, with all the earthly comforts such air-conditioned bungalows having a free flow of wine, women, meats, and slaves etc. Nor is there a hell with drums of burning oil to singe our souls.
The reason most of us believe in religion is that after death we want to get admission to heaven and are frightened of being thrown into hell. The goal of human life should not be to qualify for admission into a non-existent heaven or being scared of a mythological hell but to become a better God fearing person. Hell and heaven are right here on this earth during one’s lifetime.
If one disconnects from one’s consciousness and the sense of justice, truth, and fair play he is in hell. If one stays in touch with God, he is in heaven. A person is judged by his deeds and not by his beliefs. God is nobody's private inheritance. Nobody can claim a franchise in Akal Purkh. The followers of the major world religions claim: My religion is the only true faith; people believing in any other faith will go to hell. Conversion of non-members to my faith will `save' them. It seems that they claim to be the only chosen people of God, as if God discriminates against the billions of other people living on this earth. In fact we are all children of God and have equal rights. One creates one’s own inner state of being happy or sad. Sikhism does not have missionaries. It is a faith of attraction and not of promotion but it respects all faiths.
The following are metaphorical examples of heaven of gods:
ਸਿਵ ਪੁਰੀ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਇੰਦ੍ਰ ਪੁਰੀ ਨਿਹਚਲੁ ਕੋ ਥਾਉ ਨਾਹਿ ॥ ਬਿਨੁ ਹਰਿ ਸੇਵਾ ਸੁਖੁ ਨਹੀ ਹੋ ਸਾਕਤ ਆਵਹਿ ਜਾਹਿ ॥ ਜੈਸੋ ਗੁਰ ਉਪਦੇਸਿਆ ਮੈ ਤੈਸੋ ਕਹਿਆ ਪੁਕਾਰ ॥ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਕਹੈ ਸੁਨ ਰੇ ਮਨਾ ਕਰਿ ਕੀਰਤਨੁ ਹੋਇ ਉਧਾਰੁ ॥
Siv Puri Braham Inder Puri Nehchal Ko Thauo Naaeh, Bin Har Sayva Sukh Nahi Ho Saakat Aaveh Jaaeh, Jeso Gur Oupdesia Mai Taiso Kahia Pukaar, Nanak Kahai Sun Ray Mana Kar Kirtan Ho-ay Oudhaar.
No place is permanent including the realm of Shiva, Brahma, and Indra, with out serving the Akal Purkh, there is no peace at all, and the materialistic keeps coming and going. Says Nanak, listen, people: sing the praises of Akal Purkh, and you shall be saved. -----Guru Arjan, Gauri Malva, AGGS, Page, 214-9 & 10
ਹਕੁ ਹਲਾਲੁ ਬਖੋਰਹੁ ਖਾਣਾ ॥ ਦਿਲ ਦਰੀਆਉ ਧੋਵਹੁ ਮੈਲਾਣਾ ॥ ਪੀਰੁ ਪਛਾਣੈ ਭਿਸਤੀ ਸੋਈ ਅਜਰਾਈਲੁ ਨ ਦੋਜ ਠਰਾ ॥
Hak Halal Bakhoroh KhaNa, Dil Daree-aou Dhovoh MailaNa, Pir Pachanai Bhisti Soyee Azraa-eell Na Doj Thara.
Let what is earned righteously be your blessed food. Wash away pollution with the river of your heart. One, who realizes the Prophet attains heaven and the Azraa-eel Messenger of Death, does not cast him into hell. ----- Guru Arjan, Rag Maru, AGGS, Page, 1084-7
ਰੋਜਾ ਧਰੈ ਨਿਵਾਜ ਗੁਜਾਰੈ ਕਲਮਾ ਭਿਸਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥ਆਪੁ ਜਨਾਇ ਅਵਰ ਕਉ ਜਾਨੈ ਤਬ ਹੋਇ ਭਿਸਤ ਸਰੀਕੀ ॥ਕਹੈ ਕਬੀਰਾ ਭਿਸਤ ਛੋਡਿ ਕਰਿ ਦੋਜਕ ਸਿਉ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਨਾ ॥
Roza Dharai Niwaz Guzarai Kalma Bhist Na Hoi, Aap Jnaaey Avar Kou Janai Tub Hoi Bhist Sirikee, Kahai Kabir Bhisat Chodh Kar Dozak Seo Man Manaa.
Keeping your fasts, reciting your prayers, and reading the Kalma, the Islamic creed, shall not take you to paradise. As you see yourself, see others as well; only then will you become a partner in heaven. Says Kabir, I have abandoned paradise, and reconciled my mind to hell. -----Rag Asa, Kabir, AGGS, Page, 480-5, 8 & 9
Kabir lived until last years of his life in Benaras, where alone in the estimation of Hindus deliverance may be obtained. Those who died in Magahar town have no hope of ultimate beatitude. To beat the superstition and using common sense, Kabir moved to Magahar and died there.
ਤੂੰ ਨਾਪਾਕੁ ਪਾਕੁ ਨਹੀ ਸੂਝਿਆ ਤਿਸ ਕਾ ਮਰਮੁ ਨ ਜਾਨਿਆ ॥ ਕਹਿ ਕਬੀਰ ਭਿਸਤਿ ਤੇ ਚੂਕਾ ਦੋਜਕ ਸਿਉ ਮਨੁ ਮਾਨਿਆ ॥
Toon Napaak Paak Nahin Soojhai Tis Ka Maram Na Jania, Keh Kabir Bhist Tat Chooka Dozakh Seo Man Mania.
You are impure and are not conscious about the Pure Akal Purkh; you have not known Its secret. Says Kabir I have just missed heaven and my mind is in consonance with hell.-----Raag Parbhati, Kabir, AGGS, Page, 1350-9 & 10
ਅਗੀ ਪਾਲਾ ਕਪੜੁ ਹੋਵੈ ਖਾਣਾ ਹੋਵੈ ਵਾਉ ॥ਸੁਰਗੈ ਦੀਆ ਮੋਹਣੀਆ ਇਸਤਰੀਆ ਹੋਵਨਿ ਨਾਨਕ ਸਭੋ ਜਾਉ ॥ ਭੀ ਤੂਹੈ ਸਾਲਾਹਣਾ ਆਖਣ ਲਹੈ ਨ ਚਾਉ ॥
Agī pālā kapaṛ hovai kẖāṇā hovai vā¬o, Surgai ḏī¬ā mohṇī¬ā isṯarī¬ā hovan Nānak sabẖo jā¬o, Bẖī ṯūhai salāhṇā ākẖaṇ lahai na cẖā¬o.
If fire and ice were my clothes, the wind was my food, and even if the enticing heavenly beauties were my wives; O, Nanak-all this shall pass away! Even then, I would worship and adore You, and my longing to chant Your Praises would not decrease. -----Guru Nanak, Var Majh, AGGS, Page, 142-5 & 6
Kabir clearly states that for a man of God, heaven is the place in Holy congregation, where the name and praises of God are sung:
ਜੋ ਜਨ ਪਰਮਿਤਿ ਪਰਮਨੁ ਜਾਨਾ ॥ ਬਾਤਨ ਹੀ ਬੈਕੁੰਠ ਸਮਾਨਾ ॥ ਨਾ ਜਾਨਾ ਬੈਕੁੰਠ ਕਹਾ ਹੀ ॥ ਜਾਨੁ ਜਾਨੁ ਸਭਿ ਕਹਹਿ ਤਹਾ ਹੀ ॥ ਜਬ ਲਗੁ ਮਨਿ ਬੈਕੁੰਠ ਕੀ ਆਸ ॥ ਤਬ ਲਗੁ ਹੋਇ ਨਹੀ ਚਰਨ ਨਿਵਾਸੁ ॥ ਕਹੁ ਕਬੀਰ ਇਹ ਕਹੀਐ ਕਾਹਿ ॥ ਸਾਧਸੰਗਤਿ ਬੈਕੁੰਠੈ ਆਹਿ ॥
Jo jan parmiṯ parman jānā, Bāṯan hī baikunṯẖ samānā, Nā jānā baikunṯẖ kahā hī, Jān jān sabẖ kaheh ṯahā hī, Jab lag man baikunṯẖ kī ās, Kaho Kabīr ih kahī¬ai kāhi, Sāḏẖsangaṯ baikunṯẖė āhi.
That mortal who claims to know the Akal Purkh, is beyond measure and beyond thought. By mere words, he plans to enter heaven. I do not know where heaven is. Everyone claims that he plans to go there. As long as the mind is filled with the desire for heaven, he does not dwell at the Akal Purkh's Feet. Says Kabir, unto whom should I tell this? The Company of the Holy is heaven. -----Bhagat Kabir, Raag Gauri, AGGS, Page, 325
ਸਭੁ ਕੋਈ ਚਲਨ ਕਹਤ ਹੈ ਊਹਾਂ ॥ ਨਾ ਜਾਨਉ ਬੈਕੁੰਠੁ ਹੈ ਕਹਾਂ ॥ ਆਪ ਆਪ ਕਾ ਮਰਮੁ ਨ ਜਾਨਾਂ ॥ ਬਾਤਨ ਹੀ ਬੈਕੁੰਠੁ ਬਖਾਨਾਂ ॥ ਜਬ ਲਗੁ ਮਨ ਬੈਕੁੰਠ ਕੀ ਆਸ ॥ ਤਬ ਲਗੁ ਨਾਹੀ ਚਰਨ ਨਿਵਾਸ ॥ ਖਾਈ ਕੋਟੁ ਨ ਪਰਲ ਪਗਾਰਾ ॥ਨਾ ਜਾਨਉ ਬੈਕੁੰਠ ਦੁਆਰਾ ॥ਕਹਿ ਕਮੀਰ ਅਬ ਕਹੀਆ ਕਾਹਿ ॥ ਸਾਧਸੰਗਤਿ ਬੈਕੁੰਠੈ ਆਹਿ ॥
Sabẖ ko¬ī cẖalan kahaṯ hai ūhāŉ, Nā jān¬o baikunṯẖ hai kahāŉ, Āp āp kā maram na jānāŉ, Bāṯan hī baikunṯẖ bakẖānāŉ, Jab lag man baikunṯẖ kī ās, Ŧab lag nāhī cẖaran nivās. Kẖā¬ī kot na paral pagārā, Nā jān¬o baikunṯẖ ḏu¬ārā“Keh Kamir Ub Kaheyai Kaaeh, Sadh Sangat Baikunth Aaeh.
Everyone speaks of going there. But I do not even know where heaven is. One who does not even know the mystery of his own self? He speaks of heaven, but it is only talk. As long as the mortal hopes for heaven, he will not dwell at the Akal Purkh's Feet. Heaven is not a fort with moats and ramparts, and walls plastered with mud. I do not know what heaven's gate is like. Says Kabir, now what more can I say? The Company of the Holy is heaven itself. -----Bhagat Kabir, Raag Bhairo, AGGS, Page, 1161-10, 12 & 13
He further asserts in a neutral mood; why worry, whatever will be after death, will be?
ਸੁਰਗ ਬਾਸੁ ਨ ਬਾਛਇਐ ਡਰੀਐ ਨ ਨਰਕਿ ਨਿਵਾਸੁ ॥ ਹੋਨਾ ਹੈ ਸੋ ਹੋਈ ਹੈ ਮਨਹਿ ਨ ਕੀਜੈ ਆਸ ॥
Surg Baas Na Bacheyai Darai Na Narik Nivaas, Hona Hai So Hoyee Hai Maneh Na Keejai Aas.
Don't wish for a home in heaven, and don't be afraid to live in hell. Whatever shall be will be? So don't let your hopes go up too high in your mind.-----Kabir, Gauri Poorbi, AGGS, Page, 337-10
Guru Arjan in Raag Gauri, Sukhmani, and in Raag Asa elaborates in a negative way, urging us to let go of the ego.
ਅਨਿਕ ਤਪਸਿਆ ਕਰੇ ਅਹੰਕਾਰ ॥ ਨਰਕ ਸੁਰਗ ਫਿਰਿ ਫਿਰਿ ਅਵਤਾਰ ॥
Anek Tapasia Karay Ahnkaar, Nark Surag Fir Fir Avtar.
If after much austerity one is inflated with ego, he transmigrates repeatedly in Hell and Heaven. -----Guru Arjan, Gauri Sukhmani, AGGS, Page, 278-13 & 14
ਤਿ੍ਹੁ ਗੁਣ ਮਹਿ ਵਰਤੈ ਸੰਸਾਰਾ ॥ ਨਰਕ ਸੁਰਗ ਫਿਰਿ ਫਿਰਿ ਅਉਤਾਰਾ ॥
Treh Goun Meh Vartai Sansara, Nark Surag Fir Fir Autara.
The world deals in three modes: Transmigrating repeatedly, going to hell or to heaven.-----Guru Arjan, Raag Asa, AGGS, Page, 389-7
Other metaphoric exemplary hymns of Sabd Guru;
ਚਉਰਾਸੀਹ ਨਰਕ ਸਾਕਤੁ ਭੋਗਾਈਐ ॥ ਜੈਸਾ ਕੀਚੈ ਤੈਸੋ ਪਾਈਐ ॥
Chaurasy Narak Sakat Bhogaa-eeai, Jaisaa Keechai Taiso Paa-eeai.
A materialistic falls and suffers in 84 hells. As he acts, so does he suffer!-----Guru Nanak, Raag Maru, AGGS, Page, 1028-6
ਨਰਕ ਘੋਰ ਬਹੁ ਦੁਖ ਘਣੇ ਅਕਿਰਘਣਾ ਕਾ ਥਾਨੁ ॥
Narak Ghor Bhau Dukh Ghanay Ekirtghana Ka Thaan.
There are many sufferings in the horrible hell, the abode of ungrateful people.-----Guru Arjan, Sloke Var Gauri Mahala 4, AGGS, Page, 315-9
ਜੋ ਸਿਮਰੰਦੇ ਸਾਂਈਐ ॥ ਨਰਕ ਨ ਸੇਈ ਪਾਈਐ ॥
Jo Simrande Saan-eeai, Narak Na Sayee Paa-eeai.
Those who remember God, they do not go to hell.-----Guru Arjan, Raag Majh, AGGS, Page, 132-9 & 10
ਅਠੇ ਪਹਰ ਭਉਦਾ ਫਿਰੈ ਖਾਵਣ ਸੰਦੜੈ ਸੂਲਿ ॥ਦੋਜਕਿ ਪਉਦਾ ਕਿਉ ਰਹੈ ਜਾ ਚਿਤਿ ਨ ਹੋਇ ਰਸੂਲਿ ॥
Aṯẖė pahar bẖa¬uḏā firai kẖāvaṇ sanḏ¬ṛai sūl, Ḏojak pa¬uḏā ki¬o rahai jā cẖiṯ na ho¬ė rasūl.
Twenty-four hours a day, he wanders about, driven by his hunger for food. How can he be saved from hell, who does not keep the prophet in mind?-----Vaar Gauri, Guru Arjan, AGGS, Page 319-20
ਹਰਿ ਸੋ ਹੀਰਾ ਛਾਡਿ ਕੈ ਕਰਹਿ ਆਨ ਕੀ ਆਸ ॥ ਤੇ ਨਰ ਦੋਜਕ ਜਾਹਿਗੇ ਸਤਿ ਭਾਖੈ ਰਵਿਦਾਸ ॥
Har So Hira Chaad Kai Kareh Aan Ki Aas, Te Nar Dozakh Jahegay Sat Bhakhai Ravidas.
Forsaking the diamond like Akal Purkh, if people rely on the others, they will go to hell, Ravidas says this truth. -----Sloke Kabir # 242, AGGS, Page, 1377
Deva Loka is heaven where only the pure souls go.
Patala is hell.
Pitri Loka is the world where ancestors go after death to live continuously.
Mythological story in Mahabharata, compiled by the Brahmin sage Vyasa, depicts heaven as the place of Hindu God VISHNU located on Mount Meru. It is entirely made of gold. Its circumference is 80,000 miles. All buildings are made of jewels. Vishnu is seated on white lotuses and Lakshmi sits on the right hand. The fragrance from her body spreads to 800 miles.
Brahma’s heaven: called Braham-puri is 800 miles X 400 X 40 miles high. It contains all the excellences of heaven. All the beings created on earth are found there. The world of Brahma extends over 10,000 yojanas -- one yojana being equal to four miles -- on the Mahameru Mountain as described in Devi Bhagavata. There are eight cities in this heaven, each of which measures 2500 square yojanas in extent. In the center of Mahameru is Brahma’s city Manovati.
Indra’s heaven: Indra is the king of gods. His heaven is called Amaravati located east of the Manovati, city of Brahma. Amaravati conveys the idea of an eternal city, but according to AGGS all the gods and goddesses will pass away ultimately, therefore the concept of this Eternal City cannot hold true. AGGS describes the eternal city as Abichal Nagar or everlasting city of the Lord, AGGS, page 785. Also Begumpura is the city of bliss, AGGS, page 345 Bhagat Ravidas.
In Hindu literature 28 different divisions of hell are described.
In Christianity and in the Old Testament metaphorically speaking, heaven is the transcendent dwelling-place of the living God.
The Christian belief in the existence of Heaven as a reward for the righteous, and Hell as a place of punishment for the unrepentant is rooted in the abstract principles:
a) Do not store treasures on earth but in heaven where moth and rust do not destroy and thieves do not steal. (Matthew 6:19-20.)
b) Fear not those who are not able to kill the soul but fear who can destroy both soul and body in hell (Matthew 10:28.)
However the biblical metaphor makes it clear that God does not identify himself with heaven, nor can he be contained in it (cf. 1 Kgs 8:27); and this is true, even though in some passages of the First Book of the Maccabees "Heaven" is simply one of God's names (1 Mc 3:18, 19, 50, 60; 4:24, 55).
The depiction of heaven as the transcendent dwelling-place of the living God is joined with that of the place to which believers, through grace, can also ascend, as indicated in the Old Testament accounts of Enoch (cf. Gn 5:24) and Elijah (cf. 2 Kgs 2:11). Thus heaven becomes an image of life in God. In this sense Jesus speaks of a "reward in heaven" (Mt 5:12) and urges people to "lay up for you treasures in heaven" (ibid. 6:20; cf. 19:21). The New Testament amplifies this idea of heaven in relation to the mystery of Christ. To show that the Redeemer's sacrifice acquires perfect and definitive value, the Letter to the Hebrews says that Jesus "passed through the heavens" (Heb 4:14), and "entered, not into a sanctuary made with hands, a copy of the true one, but into heaven itself" (ibid. 9:24). Since the Father loves the believers in a special way, they are raised with Christ and made citizens of heaven.
Hell is the State of Those who Reject God.
At the General Audience of Wednesday, 28 July 1999, the Holy Father reflected on hell as the definitive rejection of God. In his catechesis, the Pope said that care should be taken to interpret correctly the images of hell in Sacred Scripture, and explained "hell is the ultimate consequence of sin itself... Rather than a place, hell indicates the state of those who freely and definitively separate themselves from God, the source of all life and joy".
Purgatory Is a place Necessary for cleansing and Purification; In the Catholic view, people who repented sinful activity, but have not yet been completely purified are sent here to be purged, after which they eventually enter heaven.
Before humans enter into full communion with God, every trace of sin within them must be eliminated and every imperfection in their souls must be corrected
At the General Audience of Wednesday, 4 August 1999, following his catecheses on heaven and hell, the Holy Father reflected on Purgatory. He explained that physical integrity is necessary to enter into perfect communion with God therefore "the term purgatory does not indicate a place, but a condition of existence", where Christ "removes ... the remnants of imperfection".
Islam teaches that, on the Day of Judgment, Known only to Allah, each human being will be held accountable for everything he or she have done, said, made, intended, and thought during the course of earthly life. Each person’s record will be judged by Allah, and according to the person’s good or evil deeds, the individual will be sent to either to Paradise or hell.
Evil doers who are engulfed in sins are the companions of hell fire where they will live for ever. As for righteously striving believers, they will be among the people of Paradise where they will live for ever. (The Qur’an, Surah 2:81-82.)
Hell or Dozakh: Muslims have categorized hell in to seven divisions and souls are sent to different hells according to their actions. The punishment of disbelief in Allah is laid out in terrifying detail in the Qur’an in a variety of hells e.g. being chained and consumed with fire etc.
1. Johunum: The purgatory hell.
2. Laza: Blazing fire.
3. Al-Hutamah: An intense fire.
4. Saerr: A flaming fire.
5. Saqar: A scorching fire.
6. Al-Jahim: A huge hot fire.
7. Hawayah: A bottomless pit.
Bahista or Heaven:
The paradise of Muslims described in Quran is a place that gives pleasure through each of the senses. The faithful meets the young beautiful damsels known as houris or Apsaras. They are presented as a reward to the heroes fallen in the battle. Heaven’s inhabitants shall have the most desirable and the best of the fruits. They will also have plenty of the flesh of fowl to their heart’s desire.
Whoever does good works and believe in Allah, will be offered gardens, rivers, and pure companions -----Ref Qur’an, Surah IV-57 and 70-35
Whabism and radicals in peace loving Islam have hijacked this sentence from Qur’an.
Hell and heaven are right here on this earth, depending upon how one is leading his life. Once someone is on the spiritual path and the veil of illusion of the lower self is lifted through Akal Purkh’s Grace, and one visualizes the Higher Self, life on earth becomes a life in heaven. Divine Knowledge makes this possible with the eradication of doubt and duality. Harmonies of heaven resound in one’s divine nature. Otherwise one lives in hell, detached from Akal Purkh’s name hidden by the veil of illusion of lower instincts.
ਨਿੰਦਾ ਹੋਇ ਤ ਬੈਕੁੰਠਿ ਜਾਈਐ ॥ ਨਾਮੁ ਪਦਾਰਥੁ ਮਨਹਿ ਬਸਾਈਐ ॥
Ninḏā ho¬ė ṯa baikunṯẖ jā¬ī¬ai., Nām paḏārath maneh basā¬ī¬ai.
If I am slandered, I go to heaven; the wealth of the Naam, the Name of the Akal Purkh, abides within my mind. -----Kabir, Gauri, AGGS, Page 339-3
Virinder S. Grewal