More English Articals
Where is Heaven?
Where is Hell?
Who Decides Where You Go After Death
- Beloved Osho,
The scientists went into space and reached different planets, but they are not yet able to locate heaven and hell. Could you tell me, where heaven is and where hell is?
They will never locate heaven and hell anywhere. They are fictions, lies told to humanity to keep it enslaved, to console it in its suffering and torture, to prevent it from any revolution that could change the whole scene on the earth.
But in a certain sense, those words are significant. They are usable but only for your psychology, not for your geography.
And you know perfectly well where they are.
Everybody knows moments when he is in hell and moments when he is in heaven. These are states of the mind. Most of the time you are in hell. Once in a while, on the weekend, perhaps you have a bit of heaven too.
That bit of heaven is dangerous. It Keeps you in hell, hoping for that little bit of heaven: “Tomorrow it will be coming. So it is only a question of somehow spending today, and just waiting patiently for tomorrow.
Hell is the state of the mind in turmoil, in neurosis, in psychosis – spilt, in schizopherenia; a chaos, feeling no meaning, no purpose, and darkness all around. There are moments – you are perfectly acquainted with them: those moments are hell. It is not a reality outside you, it is what you create inside you.
And in the same way, sometimes just tired of hell – continuous suffering, torture, you cannot take it any more – you relax for a moment. And a slight breeze, a little coolness – you have a glimpse of heaven: in your love, in your friendship, in watching a sunrise, a sunset, or in just looking at the immensity of the universe, the stars. If you can see beauty, if you can be sensitive to the delicate music of existence, you will have a few moments here and there, scattered, which you can call heaven.
But this is not what the religions have been telling you. The say there is heaven above your heads, far away in the clouds, and a hell below you, far below.
The earth is round! What is above your head? Heaven, if it existed, or hell, if it existed, would be in constant trouble, because your head is continuously moving with the earth. They would go crazy! Hell would be trying to remain below your feet; heaven would be trying to remain above your head. And the earth is revolving on its own centre not only that, it is also going around the sun.
No such heaven, no such hell exist.
Yuri Gagarin, the first man who went closest to the moon, who had the first close look and circled around the moon, the first question he was asked in Soviet Russia was, “Did you see God there?”
He said] “I did not see anybody.” So in Moscow they have a planetarium. In golden letters on the gate of the planetarium is written, “There is no God. Yuri Gagarin has looked and He has not been found.”
You can go to the farthest stars – one day man will go, but he will not find God. And you will not find heaven and hell anywhere; they have never been there.
Religions have been playing upon your greed, your fear, your tremendous need for protection.
Man is in a very precarious condition. All kinds of fear – and particularly the fear of death, sickness, disease, old age – and they go on increasing. It is not only man that is evolving; diseases keep evolving along side by side. The fear of poverty, the fear of dying hungry in a street, the fear that perhaps nobody needs you – that you are just accidental, that if you are gone nobody will ever miss you… There are layers and layers of fear in your psychology.
The priests become aware of your fear very early, in the very early time of humanity. They were the first psychoanalysts. And your fear can be exploited, you just have to be convinced that if you do certain things you need not fear. If you do certain other things, then certainly you will fall into even deeper and darker spaces, into hellfire.
The earth is only a place where you have to prove whether you are worthy of enjoying heaven, or you deserve hell. They exploited your greed. Who does not want no sickness, no old age, to be always young, fresh? They created a heaven for your greed; it is the projection of your greed. And hell is the projection of your fear.
Naturally, someone has to be in the seat of judgment; otherwise, who is going to decide where to send you? Without a judge there will be difficulties: the stronger people, although they have committed every kind of crime, may enter into heaven; simple people who have never committed any crime will have to go to hell. No, somebody has to be there with omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent powers; somebody who can see all, who can be present everywhere, who knows all, who can do everything. An absolutely powerful God is needed to decide.
And it seems to be logical. If there is going to be something like a hell and a heaven, then somebody has to be decisive, and somebody has to force you to go to the right place. So they created God. Out of your fear and greed you accepted heaven and hell, and then you had to accept God.
From Death to Deathlessness
- And my idea of heaven is not something far away, a heaven in the sky where only angels live… Do you know that angels don’t perspire? They don’t need any deodorants. And do you know, in heaven there are no pubs, because pubs are not needed. There are rivers of wine, so you can jump into the rivers and drink to your heart’s content. And there are beautiful women who never grow old, who are stuck at the age of eighteen. Centuries and centuries have passed, but they are stuck at the age of eighteen. The have golden bodies. Just think of it! It seems more like a nightmare. Golden bodies? With eyes of sapphire?
- My idea of heaven is not unearthly. Heaven is here—you just have to know how to live it. And hell too is here, and you know perfectly well how to live it. It is only a question of changing your perspective, your approach towards life.
The earth is beautiful. If you start living its beauty, enjoying its joys with no guilt in your heart, you are in paradise. If you condemn everything, every small joy, if you become a condemner, a poisoner, then the same earth turns into a hell – but only for you. It depends on you where you live, it is a question of your own inner transformation. It is not a change of place, it is a change of inner space.
Live joyously, guiltlessly, live totally, live intensely. And then heaven is no more a metaphysical concept, it is your own experience. Enough for today.
- Hindus keep saying that all desires are wrong, but in heaven you have wish-fulfilling trees. You just sit underneath the tree – Kalpatarus, wish-fulfilling trees --- you desire anything, and immediately, instantly it is fulfilled. Instant coffee is a very new thing – Hindus have know instant fulfillment for all desires! Just sit under the Kalpavrisksha. Here they go on talking against desires, and there the same desires are going to be fulfilled. Here they go on talking against women…
- The Hindu saint goes on saying that the women is the door to hell, and in their heaven there are beautiful Apsaras, beautiful women – Urvasi, Menaka … thousands … They have golden bodies; they are always young. In fact, they have been stuck at the age of sixteen for millions of years; they have never grown beyond it. It seems they were born at exactly sixteen and they have remained sixteen. Here, the woman is the door to hell and the saints are hoping that sooner or later all this austerity, asceticism will be finished and they will enjoy heaven forever and forever. And what are you going to enjoy there?
-- the same women who are the doors to hell here.
The same money, the same gold which you go on calling dust… in heaven even the flowers are made of gold. I would not like such a heaven! Flowers made of gold cannot have any perfume. A rose flower made of gold will be ugly, it will be dead. Gold cannot be alive.
- The master transcends. Beyond the sorrow of hell, beyond the great joy of heaven… He is no longer interested in pain and pleasure.
Hell and heaven are not geographical places but psychological experiences. And they are not separate either, they are two sides of the same coin. If you have one, the other is there just waiting for the right opportunity to assert itself.
- This is something tremendously beautiful—remember it. The so-called religious people are all desirous of heaven and the heavenly joys; they are not religious at all. And these are the people who will suffer in heaven… in hell. Wherever they are it is not going to make much difference because it you desire one, the other follows it like a shadow.
- The religious person, the so-called religious person, is not going to find peace even in heaven because his whole desire for heaven is basically wrong. The desire for pleasure is wrong because it contains the other side, pain. You cannot divide them, they are indivisible one.
- This is one of the greatest contributions of Buddha: that he helped religious consciousness to go beyond heaven and hell. Otherwise Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, they are all confined to the world of heaven and hell. Their ultimate desire is how to attain heavenly joys. Buddha says the ultimate is how to drop all desire, even that of heaven, because only when all desire disappears are you in a state of absolute freedom. He calls it nirvana. When the mind ceases, then you yourself are bliss. But it happens not because of desiring, it happens only when the state of desirelessness has been achieved. When desires have left you, in that space, bliss starts growing in you.
- 9. So my whole work here is to deprogram you—from God, from hell and heaven, from all religions, from all political ideologies, which are nothing but exploitations of you.
- 10. Why has man been so interested in heaven and hell? A poor man needs a promise; otherwise living will be impossible. Hope is his opium. He knows here there is nothing possible, only after death. That’s why all the religions keep giving hope to the poor—after death you will be rewarded. “Blessed are the poor for they shall inherit the kingdom of God. I want you to be freed completely from heaven and hell.
Hell is your fear projected. Heaven is your greed projected. And when we can create paradise here, why bother with something which nobody knows exists or not, because nobody has ever come after death to inform us.