Guruji, in human life, how realistic is the concept of heaven and hell that has been mentioned in our scriptures?
We think that life starts without birth upon this earth. In reality, our soul has entered into this body after dwelling in many different bodies, in different life-times. Just as a river carries dirt and impurities as it flows on, so also all of us have carried with us the samskaras(impressions and effects) of our past eighty-four lakh lives. These may have been positive or negative and are stored in our genes. Negative impressions are the ones that are depicted as hell while the positive ones are depicted as heaven. To explain further, as a meditator progresses in meditation, he or she experiences certain samskaras of past lives. When the mind relives negative experiences of past lives, these experiences are considered as hell whereas when positive experiences are re-lived by the mind, they act as a source of joy and are considered as heaven.So, both heaven and hell exist in our minds.
Also, as ‘jeevatma’ prepares to leave the body at the time of death, the mind opens out into a fourth dimension and all the happenings of our past lives are played before the mind, in a flash of seconds. Thus,at the final moment, we experience heaven or hell on earth itself.So, in effect, we are the creators of our heaven and hell. Before coming to this human form, we have already crossed eighty-four lakh lives. The pictures of all these lives are embedded in our genes as ‘prarabdas’ or past deeds. It is only after we have experienced all these ‘prarabdas’ that we are able to go onto the path of salvation. This is what is meant by the phrase “being realised”. It is acertainty that every human being on earth will be required to undergo the various experiences of heaven and hell, according to his or her deeds in various life-times.