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In Hindu is their any idea of what afterlife awaits non- Hindus

March 25, 2008

 

 
     

Namaskar everybody,Smile

Within the vast myriad of Hindu sacred texts there is basically this understanding that all seem to agree on: that after one leaves this body, the soul goes to a loka, a heavenly state of existence. This heavenly state is a temporary state of existence that is

A) determined by your karma or 

B) determined by whatever you focused your mind on throughout your life and in the last hours of your life (thus the reason most Hindus strive to die consciously…aware, chanting the their mantra with their mind fixed on the Divine). 

According to the sacred texts whatever form and name you had for the Divine is how it will appear in this heavenly state of existence (unless your mind was focused on something else then that would be what your heavenly state of existence would be like). So if you’ve always thought of heaven being a place where Jesus is, then that’s exactly what "heaven" will be like. 

Just to give an example. Hindu sacred texts do mention Pitriloka and Devaloka; the heaven (loka) of the ancestors (pitri) and the heaven of the divine beings (devas). But the texts do mention other heavens, but not by name…only pitriloka and devaloka appear by name. Again, though, this heavenly state of existence is just a temporary place between incarnations…between lives. There are a few stories told in some Hindu sacred texts about either 

A) people who died and didn’t realize they died and so their heavenly state of existence just continued on until they finally realized they had died and 

B) people who incarnated and remembered their past life with great detail and even the heavenly state of existence in between.

 Anyways, this is the same for all people whether they are Hindu or nonHindu. Of course the heaven is temporary because karma is the fuel of reincarnation and so long as their is still karma to burn, eventually the soul will need to reincarnate to burn it off (Please note that in some Hindu sects within texts that they hold as sacred it says that one can reincarnate into a loka and not necessarily back on Earth, and this is based on their karma and their sadhana…spiritual practice…. if this sounds somewhat familiar it’s probably because you’ve heard similar ideas in Buddhism and Jainism which teach a similar teaching, whether or not the Hindu sects are the originators of this idea or they borrowed from the other two religions is unknown with any amount of good certainty, but it is a shared concept). Ultimately the goal of every Hindu is not heaven, it is moksha….union with the Divine (being united with the Divine). Saivites and Shaktas say that at moksha the soul merges into the Divine and they become one. Vaishnavas say that at moksha the soul merges with the Divine, but they do not become one…instead the soul becomes the eternal companion to the Divine. And of course there is lots of variations within the sects and subsects as to which of these or a combination of these ideas, etc. In the end Hindus don’t distinguish between Hindu and nonHindu. If one is not a Hindu you are not condemned, you are not denied. As one Hindu guru said it "the goal of every Hindu is to return to God and no soul will ever be denied this….even if it takes many lifetimes to get there. Each religion teaches a sadhana that will help them reach a spiritual goal, but if they discover God in all things and in themselves and awaken to reality, they will achieve moksha…regardless of what religion they are on. Every religion gives us the tools, but it is up to us to use them." 

                                                                                         

ANURAG

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