Heaven and Hell
by Sri Chinmoy
Heaven and hell are largely in our mind. If you treasure a good thought, then you are creating Heaven. If you cry to God for light, then you get a good experience, an illumining experience, and this experience is nothing but Heaven. Again, if you treasure a negative thought, then you are creating hell. Heaven and hell can be experienced every day.
When the mind becomes a victim to worries, anxieties and other undivine forces, when the mind is disturbed, agitated, tortured by ugly, impure and undivine thoughts, we feel that we are in hell. But when the beauty, light and divinity of the heart come to the fore and we try to reveal and manifest them in the aspiring world, then we feel that we are in Heaven.
We do not have to wait for death to find hell or Heaven. Both of them are within us in our daily life, in our daily conduct. If we are always soulful and surrendered, we are in a position to remain always in Heaven in this very life on earth.
Each time I enjoy a pure thought,
I feel that I am living
In my own homemade Heaven.
Just because we have not yet experienced the Infinite, the Immortal and the Eternal, we feel that the opposite—the finite—is hell. But the that we are experiencing every day is only a passing phase. It is like an overcast day. For a few hours the sun may not shine, but finally the sun comes out. Each individual has an inner sun. This inner sun is now covered by fear, doubt, worries, anxieties, imperfections and limitations. But a day will come when we will be able to remove these clouds and then the inner sun will shine brightly.
If we believe in hell, then we are only belittling our own inner potentiality. We are all God’s children. For us there is no hell; there is only light. But if we do not see the truth in the way that the truth has to be seen, then there is inner pain. This pain is bound to occur every day in our life. The truth is there, but we have to see the truth in the proper way. Then only will we see that life has its true meaning.
To find Heaven on earth
Is not a difficult task.
Your gratitude-heart can show you
Where Heaven is.
Every day we can have a sense of Heaven. Heaven means infinite peace, light and bliss. When a seeker prays and meditates, he enters into Heaven. When his mind is calm and quiet, when his mind is tranquillity’s flood, his heart becomes all-giving and his life becomes Divinity’s Reality. Heaven is not a place; it is a state of consciousness. When we free our mind from the meshes of ignorance, when we liberate our existence from the mire of earth, we see, feel and grow into Heaven.
Beauty upon beauty
Descends from Heaven
When my heart becomes the receptivity
Of luminescent stillness.
What is the spiritual value of the earth?
Those who accept life, those who accept Mother-Earth as something real, feel that they have a bounden duty to perform here. This duty is nothing other than conscious realisation of God. Unconscious awareness of God everybody has. If one is not an atheist, if one does believe in God, then he will have awareness or at least unconscious awareness of God. But a seeker becomes consciously aware of God’s Presence. He meditates on God and gradually, gradually, his own consciousness develops to such an extent that he feels God’s Presence constantly, everywhere. He feels that it is his bounden duty to reveal God’s Presence, which he feels and which he sees with his own heart and his own eyes. Finally, he feels that he has to manifest his realisation of the highest Truth. Realisation and manifestation of the ultimate Truth have to take place here on earth, and nowhere else.
A sincere seeker is a divine hero. He fights against teeming darkness to fulfil God’s Will here on earth. Otherwise there will always be a yawning gulf between earth and Heaven. This earth of ours must be transformed into Heaven, into a place of joy, peace, bliss and delight.
Be ready to fly, my body.
You will enjoy flying
Like your big brother, soul,
In the silence-vision of Heaven.
Be ready to walk, my soul.
You will enjoy walking
Like your little brother, body,
In the sound-reality of earth.
When you say that earth can easily be transformed into Heaven, do you mean physically as well?
You have to know what we mean by Heaven. Heaven does not mean a place with big houses, big palaces or estates. No! Heaven is in our mind. When we enjoy divine thoughts, we are in Heaven. When we cherish undivine thoughts, we are in hell. Heaven and hell are states of consciousness.
What each human being has is consciousness. It is through consciousness that we see reality. When we aspire, our finite consciousness becomes infinite. This is Heaven. It is certainly true that we will all have a divine life, but that does not necessarily mean a physically immortal life. The consciousness of Heaven is immortal. But if we feel that the physical will remain immortal, as Heaven is immortal, we are mistaken. This physical body will live for sixty, eighty, one hundred, perhaps even two hundred years and then go.
The very conception of Heaven is something bright, luminous, delightful and, at the same time, immortal. But we have to know what is immortal in us. It is the aspiring consciousness in us. When we say that earth will be transformed into Heaven, that means that anything that is within us or in the world which is now imperfect, obscure or unaspiring will be transformed eventually into perfection.
Where is the marriage
Of Heaven and hell?
The marriage of Heaven and hell
Is in the mind’s dry desert
And in the heart’s loving nest.