If God has given us the power of choice (free will), why he has not given us any choice about our taking birth here or not?

According to Hindu beliefs, this earth is the karma bhoomi, where the fruits of actions of your past births (other than the effects of extreme evil deeds that have to be suffered in hell till a period and extreme good deeds that have to be enjoyed in heaven till a period) have to be exhausted through your experiences in the current birth. Till a person attains self-realization/ god realization/ sakshatkarNirvana, the repeated cycles of births and deaths shall continue.

It is like the process of alchemy to turn a rusted piece of Iron to pure gold. Till the process ends, the chemical treatments (the births, pains and pleasures and deaths) will continue.

Whether you are going to accelerate the process (by doing more of good) or decelerate it (by engaging in evil deeds) – the choice is given to you.

Whether to pass or fail in an examination is up to you. But you have to necessarily sit for the exam. No choice!


If attaining Moksha is the aim of life in Hinduism, why there are mentions about Swarg (heaven) and Narak (hell)?

Let us first read a funny anecdote that Sri Ramakrishna said. Sri Keshab Chandra Sen was a very popular religious leader in Kolkotta and he was the chief of Nav Vidhan Brahma Samajam. The Samajam was one of the prominent and powerful spiritual movement in Kolkotta and Kesab had many admirers and followers. He was quite rich. He was a very powerful orator too and admired by many.

Keshab Chandra Sen & Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

He was fortunate to come across Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and got gradually and deeply attracted to the saint. He could understand that whatever lofty spiritual subjects he was lecturing on, Sri Ramakrishna was a living and practical embodiment of them.

He used to listen to Ramakrishna’s freewheeling talks on religion and spirituality in rapt attention.

One day he said to Sri Ramakrishna, “Swami, I want you to teach me much more deeper insights into spirituality”. Ramakrishna said laughingly, “I can teach you alright, but if you listen to them and act on them, your Samajam and all would vanish!”

Swiftly, Keshab said, “then whatever you have taught me is good enough, Swami”.

Hope you get the purport of this story here. Not all religious people are in search of Moksha. Most of them want happy and prosperous life in this world and they want to enjoy life in higher worlds too. If scriptures say ‘if you do these acts of punya, conduct great fire sacrifices, feed poor in large scale, construct temples and so on, God will be pleased with you and give you a life in heaven post death’.

At the same length, people need to be warned of leading a life of extreme suffering in the hell, if they engage in evil and atrocious acts in this life.

Thus Swarga and Naraga have their purpose to ordinary people who are very much bound to Samsara and have no keenness to get out of it. Despite whatever suffering they undergo, people will still cling to life and hope that enjoyment will come in due course.

The concept of moksha is attractive only to spiritually more evolved people who could understand that life is like a dream of never ending wants and hunting behind happiness by trying to meet the wants but not getting it mostly.

For such people, karma yoga is the path — working without attachment to the fruits of Karma. For them freedom from the hopeless cycle of births and death — moksha is the only meaningful goal in life.


If a person is compassionate, law abiding, kind, loving, considerate and leads a good personal life, but doesn’t believe in God, would he really go to hell?

If we seriously analyse the interpretations given by staunch believers in Abrahamic religions (particularly Christianity and Islam), we will have to painfully conclude that a kind, loving, considerate, compassionate and law abiding person will have to end up in hell because he has not accepted Jesus Christ/God/ Creator.


From whatever I understood from the explanations/ interpretations available on Bible scriptures (here in Quora and a few other sites) I gather the following ideas (knowledgeable Christians can correct me if there are mistakes in my understanding):

  • When a person dies, this physical body perishes but soul remains as if in sleep.
  • The soul remains in this state of suspended animation till the ‘Day of Judgment’.
  • There is an alternative interpretation available (again based on quotes from Bible) that the souls of those believers in Jesus Christ, immediately upon death, end up in heaven and remain there blissfully, but without their bodies. (both good people as well as sinners, who are believers, end up in heaven).As per the same alternative belief, the souls of non-believers (be it sinners or good people) end up in hell, suffering in blistering fire/ in darkness etc.
  • ‘When the day of Judgement’ comes, (God only knows when), those believers of God will get their buried bodies resurrected and they will reach heaven (with a body) to remain in eternal joy in the presence of God for ever. It includes both sinners and good people. Sinners are cleared off all their sins purely based on their faith on Jesus Christ. He had already shed his blood on their behalf and that blood purifies the sins of all the believers.
  • On the day of judgement, those who are alive too will be judged the same way — Are you a believer or not believer? Your fate is frozen accordingly.
  • In case of non-believers, on the day of judgement, they too get the body resurrected, but they continue to suffer eternally in hell.
  • Man gets only one birth/ chance to live in this world. Soul lives for ever and it is either in heaven (in case of believer) or in hell (in case of non-believer, irrespective of whatever good qualities he possessed). So, better believe in Jesus Christ while you are alive! You are NOT entitled for any more chance.


From whatever I understood from the explanations/ interpretations available on Koran scriptures (in a few other sites) I gather these ideas (Knowledgeable Muslims can correct me if there are mistakes in my understanding):

  • When a person dies, their body perishes but soul remains as if in sleep
  • Those souls who have done good deeds and have faith in Allah are taken royally to the heaven, and will enjoy being there till the day of judgment
  • Those souls who have done evil acts and have no faith in Allah will be painfully dragged out of their bodies and they will end up in hell to suffer
  • The souls with a mix of good and bad deeds remain in the state of suspended animation till the ‘Day of Judgment’, but in the grave they will undergo suffering for their evil deeds , waiting for the day of judgment.
  • On the day of Judgment, Allah comes to the rescue of those locked in the grave yard. If the person had sinned but has faith in Allah, he is saved by Allah’s grace and sent to Heaven. For a non-believer, the fate is sealed. He has to suffer eternally in hell. His acts of good are of no avail to him.
  • People of all other faiths who worshiped any other God (other than Allah) are also doomed. They are all cursed to live in Hell.
  • Man gets only one birth/ chance to live in this world. Soul lives for ever and it is either in heaven (in case of believer) or in hell (in case of non-believer, irrespective of whatever good qualities he possessed). So, better believe in Allah while you are alive! You are NOT entitled for any more chance.


  • Every human being is potentially divine. Only problem is people don’t know it (unless they go deep into practical spirituality) because of maya and ego.
  • Lured by maya and deluded by ego, man does lots of acts (karmas) which may be good or evil. A man naturally does both in varying proportions.
  • Every Karma creates a Karma phala (fruit of karma) which one has to enjoy or suffer. A bad karma’s effect does not cancel out a good karma’s effect or vice versa. Accounts of good and bad acts have independent existence.In this specific case, the man who is “kind, loving, considerate, compassionate and law abiding” has really accumulated good fruits (called Punya) because all these are essentially qualities that are part of Satva guna (pure and auspicious qualities). These qualities will be for his benefit irrespective of whether he is a believer or not.
  • Human birth does not end in one life. It is a continuous on going process : birth-live-die-next birth-live-die and so on. It is called Samsara. It is there because you have to enjoy or suffer whatever good or bad that you keep doing till you settle all your accounts.
  • It is by God’s will that the next birth takes place with a specific load of fruits of one’s previous karmas (from the total account done across may previous births). While the person enjoys or suffers by exhausting his previous fruits of karma, he keeps engaging in fresh karmas (good or bad, prompted by his likes and dislikes) too in this birth that will start adding to his karma loads leading to future births!
  • In between two births, the soul may also undergo a stint in Heaven (to enjoy the extraordinary punyas acquired in previous births) or in Hell (to suffer the extraordinary sins acquired on account of outright evil acts committed in previous births).
  • But it has to return to earth in any case to continue the process with the balance loads. Unfulfilled desires on account of all the experiences keep on goading the souls to to hopelessly engage in karmas and getting caught in the samsara cycle.
  • But where is the end to this maddening cycle? There are two ways – Bhakti or Gnyana. Understand the futility of samsara, understand the hopelessness of running behind fulfilling desires, shun the deluding maya, shun your ego — surrender to God. When the surrender is total, God saves you out of compassion on you from samsara and takes your soul to his eternal abode. This is the path of Bhakti.
  • In the path of Gnyana, you inquire: Who am I? Am I this perishing body? Who is true the enjoyer or sufferer? Is it the body, mind, ego, soul or what? I am atman; the witness; imperishable. This way, the soul further realizes that it is none other than the Almighty (Brahman), but getting all along deluded by maya and ego! When this self-realization happens (after many births), there is no more desire to fulfill. There is no fear of death. ‘I am eternal. There is no more birth and death for me.’ “Aham Brahmasmi” (‘I am Brahman”).