Shri Amar Muni
DOES HELL EXIST?
Now the eighth brahmin by name Akampit arrived. The
Bhagavan said to him,--'You have found in Vedas these two contradictory
(indian writing gadapg 123)
It means: (a) In the next life there is no hell nor are
there inhabitants in hell. (b)Those who eat food of sudras (men of the
fourth caste among Hindus) go to hell. Since you have found these
contradictory statements in the Vedas, you have entertained the doubt
whether there are inhabitants of hell, in the next life, or not?
The belief that there are no inhabitants of hell has
arisen because the abodes of such deities as Chandra (Moon etc.) are
visible even now; while the inhabitants of hell are not. How can we even
infer that there are inhabitants of hell who are totally different from
heavenly beings, human beings, animals and birds?
These are proofs of the existence of the Inhabitants
1. Just because only you cannot see them you say that
there are no inhabitants of hell? If so, then even there are objects like
lions and tigers not seen by you...Does it mean that they do not exist? It
is not true that "what is perceived only by the external senses is
directly perceptible?" because by the direct perception (atma- pratyaksa)
narakas are visible to the omniscient directly.
Thus that which is known by the senses is not called in
fact 'directly visible (tangible) and existent substance, because even
after the activities of the senses end, the substance continues to exist.
Thus the senses can perceive only a very small aspect of the nature out of
multitudinous and infinite natures of a substance. When that is so, how
can that be called the precept of the substance arising through a 'hetu'
(an indicator). As for instance, the inference can be this is a pot,
because in the past a trustworthy man indicated such a thing is called a
pot. It does not come to our notice, on account of too much of practice as
we are making inferences (we need not remember the indication) but it is
not direct perception. The knowledge arising through other external
factors, except the soul, is in fact not direct perception (pratyaksa) but
is paroksa (indirect knowledge). The 'kevaljnani', omniscient can see
directly the inhabitants of the hell.
2. Where are the most serious sins punished? Where are
the fruits of extremely horrible sins to be experienced? Not in the
incarnation of animals, insects, etc. because no extreme and severe.
punishment is experienced there. They get pleasant air, water, light,
shelter in the shadows of trees, food and other pleasures. Where there is
not the least of such pleasures, but where there are the experiences of
only tortures like being cut, torn, pierced, burnt, baked and beaten on
rocks, etc., who are such souls? The answer is that such are only
the inhabitants of hell who experience these agonies.
3. In normal life a person who commits one murder is
hanged but only once, but a person who commits thousands of murders where
is the punishment in proportion to the offence committed by him? We must
say that only hell is such a place where sinners do not die even after
being cut to pieces. Again and again the limbs are cut to pieces
out of their bodies, they unite and assume their original form, and they
have to experience again the torture of being cut to pieces, being pierced
again and again.
4. The reasons for uttering a lie are fear,
attachments, hatred, illusion and ignorance. They are not present at all
in the (sarvajna) an omniscient. He need not utter lies. So, how can the
statement about hell existing in reality given by such an omniscient be
Then "there is no hell in the next birth" what is the
meaning of this vedic statement? It only means that an inhabitant of hell
after death does not again become inhabitant of hell in his next birth.
This explanation given by the Bhagavan cleared the
doubt of Akampit and he with his three hundred pupils became a disciple of