Hell and heaven exist in our minds

Published: 18th August 2013 12:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th August 2013 12:29 PM   |  A+A-

There is a place called heaven, where we go to after death. There is another place called hell, where all the bad people go to after death.

Right? Sorry, wrong. There is no other heaven or hell, besides the place where you are in right now. What makes life heaven or hell for you?

It is that invisible factor called the mind. The mind is nothing but the flow of your thoughts. Some thoughts are neutral—thoughts of trees, animals, birds, plants, environment, nature etc. They are neither good nor bad. They just exist. Some thoughts are positive. Not just positive for your own growth, but they are those thoughts that are good for everyone in general—thoughts of peace, prosperity, love, joy, happiness, bliss, contentment, valour, energy, wisdom.

There are some thoughts which are bad—not just for everyone, but for one’s own self in the long run. These thoughts may give some temporary joy—desire for some object or person which is not really necessary for our life at the moment, anger when that desire is not fulfilled, greed for having more and more of what we desire, delusion when the desire is fulfilled and we enter into an addiction, thinking that there is no happiness without it, arrogance and ego which make us the centre of our lives, attracting all attention to ourselves and jealousy when we see someone else having all that we love to have.

These positive and negative thoughts are tiny little rivulets that we allow to flow through the canvas of our mind. With constant digging of the channel, the increased force of these thoughts carves out the soil beneath and the rivulets begin to flow as strong currents. So what may be a temporary experience of peace, joy, bliss, wisdom, strength and energy—becomes a permanent flow of these thoughts. What was a weak flow of desire, anger, hatred, jealousy, delusion and greed becomes mighty waterfalls of such thought patterns. It is then that you have successfully carved out your own heaven or hell.

When there are thoughts of unity, love and gratitude—it shows in the work you do. Everything done is so precise, beautiful, in the right place at the right time. There is harmony in relationships, there is good health, there is success in all actions, there is strength in the face of failure, there is acceptance when even the whole world collapses. Everything is possible by you. This is the heaven, not established by some God, but by your own thoughts, words and actions.

On the contrary, when you feel only sorrow, you are depressed for no reason, the only dialogue that you have is shouting to be heard and get people to listen to you, when you wish there is abundance, but there is not enough money to go by, when you are always discontent with what you have and feel sorry that others have more than you, when your life is filled with anger, hatred, jealousy, suspicion, doubt, pessimism, cynicism—know that you have successfully charted out your whole world which is a big hell to pull through day in and day out.

 —Swahilya Shambhavi (


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