Do Hindus believe in heaven and hell?
Yes, they do. But the Hindu concept of heaven and hell is entirely different from the Judeo-Christian belief.
According to Hinduism, heaven is not a physical place where a person goes after death to enjoy pleasures as a reward for living a virtuous life on this earth. In Hinduism, the heaven, called svarga, is a state of super consciousness, blessedness and bliss that exists within the human body. It can be experienced by a spiritually matured person during the heightened intensity of meditation. Heaven is also an invisible, subtle world where a soul rests and learns between births. But a soul that has attained Moksha remains there to evolve and merge with its source of origin, the Supreme Soul.
In Hinduism, hellis not a place where a sinner’s soul is toured and burned by the eternal fire, without any hope of ever joining God. Hindus believe hell, Narak, is an unhappy, tormented and distressful state of mind experienced during during physical existence on earth.
This state of consciousness can also be experienced by a soul after death and before taking next birth. Hindus consider hell a temporary condition of one’s own creation. One can reverse this situation by following a spiritual path and attaing good Karma.
This Q/A was taken from the book Hinduism: Myth and Reality written by Ajit Adhopia and published by Inderlekh Publication.