- If we are inspired by these positive traits, we create heaven for ourselves. On the contrary, selfishness, greed, discord, jealousy, and ill will go to create conditions which constitute the warp and woof of hell.
- Some of us make hell of the best circumstances, while others make heaven under most unfavourable conditions. It all depends on how we look at things, whether we curse the darkness a thousand times and remain under its cover or light a candle and get rid of the cover of darkness.
We all are familiar with the names of heaven and hell. These are believed to be the final destinies of humankind. Virtuous will go to heaven and vicious to hell; and this would be decided by the Almighty Allah. So, it is obviously related to the world hereafter. Then why are here and what is our purpose? Answer is simple. We are here to make it to one of these (the heaven or hell). As such our actions and deeds will affect our destiny. So I must say that actual heaven and actual hell are in the minds and hearts of people.
Positive ideas make for heaven, while negative ones lead to hell. Selflessness, cooperation, fellow-feeling, and harmony are all mental and emotional states. If we are inspired by these positive traits, we create heaven for ourselves. On the contrary, selfishness, greed, discord, jealousy, and ill will go to create conditions which constitute the warp and woof of hell. All this boils down to the fact that the higher values of life make the world an enjoyable place, while selfishness, fear, avarice create conditions which make the world a hell, an order of life which one would always like to shun. Heaven and hell are therefore, all in the minds of men. The surroundings in which we live will be a veritable hell if we lose touch with higher human values of life, while the same conditions make a milieu worth living and worth enjoyable if the higher attributes of our life inspire our thoughts and actions.
An inquisitive student wanted to know where the hell and heaven exist. The teacher took him to a far off place. He pointed towards a high gate. On the top of that was written—- Hell. The disciple was happy. The teacher took the disciple inside the gate. Ten persons, both men and women, were sitting round the table. All looked lean, thin and miserable. There lay a lot of eatables on the table. Each of the persons had a long spoon tied to his/her right hand. Everyone tried to take the spoon to his or her mouth. But it was too long to feed the holder. They were crying hungry, in spite of the ample food before them.
The teacher and the disciple came out. They came across another gate, which was just like that of the hell. On it, was written—- Heaven. On going inside, they saw the same table, the same food, the same ten persons sitting round the table, and the same spoons tied to their hands. All the ten persons looked healthy, happy and gay. Everyone was feeding others with the spoon. The student felt satisfied.
The reality underlying the concept of hell and heaven can be summarized thus—– hell means discord, non-cooperation and selfishness; on the other hand, cooperation, goodwill and selflessness constitute heaven. Thus it lies in our hands whether we live in hell or heaven. Bad actions make life hell, while good actions create heavenly conditions. One, who knows the rule and follows it, is never worried about hell and heaven. He doesn’t fear death; he isn’t afraid of hell because he feels that he has done nothing to deserve it.
If our youth make their life a heaven-like, they will do well to live in harmony with whomsoever they come into contact, and help their mates.
To talk of selflessness and harmony is very easy, but to lead actually a life of these qualities is much more difficult. The reason is obvious. Each one of us is born as an individual and as such, has his/her idiosyncrasies, which work as angularities. To live a life, which creates heaven, one must try to round up these angularities, so that one may give no pricks to anyone and goes about in the society smoothly and freely. The first step in this direction is to try to meet everyone on his level and prove that I am as you are while the difficulty with us is that we try to force the other person to know that he/she is, as I am. This is a very difficult job and needs constant efforts for years.
Not just physical efforts but also the emotional and mental endeavours are needed. To create an atmosphere of goodwill and harmony, one must have a pure heart and a sympathetic approach which is based on deep rooted brotherhood, and oneness. In the present time, the life is full of fraud and deceit, because our hearts are not pure; we nurture jealousy and indulge in cut-throat competition.
If you do not feel jealous or envious of your fellow competitors and help those who are preparing for the competition together with you, you will see for yourself what difference the change in your thought and action, has been brought about.
Life of discord makes a hell of the high conditions. In some of our families, the life is very smooth, while in others, it is very difficult, and that too, under the same conditions. The only obvious reason is the difference in the approach to the ‘self’.
We must remember that charity begins at home. To live in harmony in the society we have to live in harmony with those whom we have to share things night and day.
There is no locality as heaven and hell. They exist everywhere and within everyone. It is only for us to make use of this great privilege, which nature provides us. Nature cannot help us so long as we pollute her with our unhealthy thought currents. When the physical body dies, the emotional body, being the outermost body, becomes the field of consciousness, of the Jivatma. The unhealthy emotions must show unpleasant reactions, and the healthy emotions do leave a healthy effect on this body. In poplar language people talk of heaven and health of the emotional body, which belong to the world other than the physical world. Those who always have charitable thoughts and feelings of goodwill for others have very pleasant life after death. As a matter of fact, persons of this class are afraid of neither death not the world called hell.
Some of us make hell of the best circumstances, while others make heaven under most unfavourable conditions. It all depends on how we look at things, whether we curse the darkness a thousand times and remain under its cover or light a candle and get rid of the cover of darkness.
In nutshell, things that unite create heaven; and those dividing create hell.
Aasif Gull is a student from Sogam (Lolab) and can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org