The promise of heaven is to be found in all of God’s religions, but the heaven of God is a spiritual place, not physical.
113. The promise of heaven as a reward for doing good in this life is promised in all the religions of God, but a physical heaven, with all of these stifling, physical limitations, is not what is intended by this promise: Baha’i Faith: “It is my wish that you shall arise to live according to these teachings and exhortations; that all of us may be divinely strengthened, enter the paradise of the spiritual Kingdom, diffuse the lights of the Sun of Truth, cause the waves of this Most Great Ocean to reach all human souls,”
(Bahá’í Faith, Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 461)
Heaven, as I said, is promised in all the religions of God; what is not so readily realized though, is that these religions also hint at, or come right out and tell you, that the heaven spoken of by God’s messengers, is not a physical place, but a spiritual place; more like a state of mind or spiritual state of being: Christianity: Luke 11:20 “If I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.” Luke 21:31 “….. When ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.” Luke 17:20 “And when he (Jesus) was demanded of (by) the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:” Luke 17:21 “Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” The kingdom of God (what some people refer to as heaven) is not a physical place to be observed. You can’t say it is here or it is there, for the kingdom of God, or heaven, is found within us, or, the Kingdom of God, is part of us. “The Kingdom of God is inside of you, and it is outside of you.” (The Gospel of Thomas) So, in keeping with this thought, death to the spiritually enlightened soul is just a path, or a doorway leading into the next spiritual world: Judaism: Ecclesiastes 7:1 “A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of (ones) death than the day of one’s birth.” Death is not something we should really be afraid of in this world. For those individuals whose souls are right with God, death is, in fact, a messenger of joy, for it leads those people longing for the next life, to the kingdom of the beloved; in which case: Psalms 116:15 “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.” For that means these spiritual beings are coming home to the Father. So, spiritual reality dictates: Ecclesiastics 7:8 “Better is the end of a thing than the beginning there-of.” In fact, Proverbs 20:27 “The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD.”
BAHA’I FAITH: “In the spiritual world, the divine bestowals are infinite, for in that realm there is neither separation nor disintegration which characterize the world of material existence. Spiritual existence is absolute immortality, completeness and unchangeable being. Therefore we must thank God that He has created for us both material blessings and spiritual bestowals.”
(Bahá’í Faith, Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i World Faith – Abdu’l-Baha Section, p. 266)
BABI RELIGION: “Announce unto them the joyful tidings that following this mighty Covenant there shall be everlasting reunion with God in the Paradise of His good-pleasure, nigh unto the Seat of Holiness. Verily God, the Lord of creation, is potent over all things.”
(The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 50)
Babi Religion: “Verily in this Day all that dwell on earth are the servants of God. As to those who truly believe in God and are well assured in the signs revealed by Him, perchance He will graciously forgive them the things their hands have committed, and will grant them admission into the precincts of His mercy.” “To enter the peerless and exalted Paradise of His good-pleasure.”
(The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, pp. 19 and 33)
On a further note: Christianity: 1 Peter 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” 1:4 “To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, (at the separation of your physical body)” 1:6 “Wherein ye greatly rejoice,” 2 Peter 1:13 “Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;” 1:14 “Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle (the physical body), even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath.” 2 Corinthians 5:1 “For we know that if our earthly house of this (body) tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” Mark 10:30 “In the world to come eternal life.”
Though we cannot say, for certain, just what heaven really is, or what it is actually like, beyond what we are being told in the writings of God’s messengers, heaven must partly be a state we find ourselves in, like a frame of mind or state of being we find ourselves in, after we discard this physical body and are confronted with the consequence of all our actions in this life. Judaism: Enoch “The spirits of heaven, in heaven shall be their dwelling,” “It shall be said to the holy in heaven that they should seek out the secrets of righteousness, the heritage of faith:” “But you were formerly spiritual, living the eternal life, and immortal for all generations……. for the spiritual ones of the heaven, in heaven is their dwelling.” (The Book of Enoch, Apocrypha) Ezra “O receive the gift that is given you, and be glad, giving thanks unto Him that hath led you to the heavenly kingdom.” (Deuterocanonical Apocrypha, Esdras 2 (Ezra 4))
BAHA’I FAITH: “Shield them, I entreat Thee, O my Lord, from the assaults of their evil passions and desires, and aid them to obtain the things that shall profit them in this present world and in the next.” (the spiritual world to come)
(Bahá’í Faith, Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 300)
BABI RELIGION: “Haste ye then to attain the celestial Paradise and the all-highest Garden of His good-pleasure in the presence of the One True God, could ye but be patient and thankful before the evidences of the signs of God.” “Sail upon the sea of the heavenly kingdom of His good-pleasure, and to partake of the choice fruits of the paradise of His divine Oneness.” “When true worship is offered, the worshiper is delivered from the fire, and entereth the paradise of God‘s good-pleasure.” “Indeed, no paradise is more glorious in the sight of God than attainment unto His good-pleasure.”
(The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, pp. 71, 77 and 101)
JUDAISM: Zechariah 12:1 “(The LORD) stretcheth forth,…..and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him.” Isaiah 42:5 “Thus saith God The LORD, He that created the heavens, and stretched them out; He that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; He that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein:” “I beseech thee, my son, look upon the heaven and the earth, and all that is therein, and consider that God made them of things that were not.” (Deuterocanonical Apocrypha, Maccabees 2)
After the death of our physical body we are a spirit, in God’s image: Judaism: Genesis 1:26 “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:” Genesis 9:6 “for in the image of God made he man.” Genesis 1:27 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” So we are of the spirit when we die, because God is a spirit: Christianity: John 4:24 “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit.” So, what would be the use of a physical place to take up our new spiritual existence? John 3:6 “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” John 6:63 “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing:” 1 Corinthians 15:50 “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.” Romans 8:8 “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” Hebrews 2:5 “For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak.” Paul hints at the existence of a world to come, a world where angels can be found not under subjection. This place, this world to come, is where heaven is to be found, because it is a place where angels can be found. According to Jesus, in Matthew, heaven is a place where angels always behold the face of God: Matthew 18:10 “…angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.” In heaven where flesh and blood cannot inherit.
As Bahá’ís we recognize that the terms heaven like hell are symbolic for man’s state of being in which we can experience small aspects of right here in this earthly life. One just needs to keep in mind that it is to the spiritual that God calls us to and not to the physical. Christianity: Luke 10:8 “And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you:” 10:9 “And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.” Once again, The Kingdom of God, or Heaven, is come nigh unto us, or heaven, which again, is not a physical place, can be found right here on this earth, as well as, in the next world: Judaism: 4 Ezra “And he answered me, saying, The most High hath made this world for many, but the world to come for few.” (Deuterocanonical Apocrypha) Christianity: John 3:13 “And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man (Jesus) which is in heaven.” Heaven, like hell, can be found right here in this world, not just in the next life. It is just not observable to us with the naked eye, but it is felt in the heart of the righteous. Judaism: Psalms 139:8 “If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.” (The Psalms of King David, Holy Bible, Old Testament) Baha’i Faith: “The paradise and hell of existence are found in all the worlds of God, whether in this world or in the spiritual heavenly worlds.” (Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i World Faith, p. 323) And if this isn’t enough evidence to make you question the physical nature of heaven, Thomas tells us: Christianity: THOMAS 2:51 “His (Jesus’) disciples said to Him, ‘When will the repose of the dead come about, and when will the new world come?’ He (Jesus) said to them, ‘What you look forward to has already come, but you do not recognize it.”’ Luke 21:31 “The kingdom of God is nigh at hand.” “But you do not recognize it.” (because) “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:” (for) “the kingdom of God is (found) within you.” And Thomas 2:3 “The Kingdom is inside of you.” (Apocrypha, The Gospel of Thomas) Baha’i Faith: 6. “O SON OF BEING! Thy Paradise is My love; thy heavenly home, reunion with Me. Enter therein and tarry not. This is that which hath been destined for thee in Our kingdom above and Our exalted dominion.” (Baha’u’llah, The Arabic Hidden Words) Christianity: 1 Corinthians 15:49 “And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” 1 Corinthians 15:50 “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God (heaven);” Paul states this quite plainly here, flesh and blood, or the physical body, cannot inherit the Kingdom of God, which in essence differentiates this world from the next, which can’t be physical in nature because Paul tells us that the physical body of man can’t go there, because, as I have been trying to demonstrate, heaven is not a physical place. 2 Corinthians 5:1 “For we know that if our earthly house of this (spirit) (the tabernacle, the human body) were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” Romans 14:17 “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” 1 Corinthians 4:20 “For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.” What it all comes down to is this; heaven is not a physical place to take up our new spiritual residence in, and even on this worldly plane of existence, heaven is not visible, but exists more as a spiritual state of being found within us, because again: Christianity: John 4:24 “God is a Spirit.” And this, again means, that our souls are of the spirit as well, being created in the image of our creator. Judaism: Genesis 1:26 “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:” Genesis 1:27 “And God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Christianity: 2 Corinthians 3:17 “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” Paul tells us the same thing that Jesus did, the Lord is spirit not physical, so than, man being created in God’s image is spiritual also: John 3:6 “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” Here we find that Jesus makes the distinct, distinction between flesh and the spirit. He indicates that flesh is of the body, while the spirit is in the image of God. John 4:23 “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father (God) in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. (For) God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
Clearly when it comes to God, and us being created in His image, it’s all about that which is spiritual of nature. God’s writings clearly tell us that God is spirit and our true God like image is also of a spiritual nature. So, for us to truly come close to The One Who Created us, we can only do this in a spiritual way, because He is a spirit and we can only truly connect with Him spiritually, because He is a spirit. God has no physical, solid, presents for us to connect with. He has no physical existence for us to interact with; that is absolutely, entirely not possible for us in this physical body. So it only stands to reason that Jesus tells us that God wants us to worship Him in the spirit, how else are we really going to worship Him? For us to “worship him,” we “must worship him in spirit,” I mean, how else are we going to worship someone Who has no physical form for us to connect with; Who only exists in a spiritual existence; there is no other way. And, since He, has no real physical body and He only has existences in a spiritual existence, it only makes sense that we can only have true interaction with Him in a spiritual way and that we will only be able to really connect with Him in a spiritual way, when we pass on out of this physical existence. So for us to have any true interactions with God, that we will actually be able to understand and recognize for what it really is, this can only be done in our true spiritual, God like image, in our true spiritual form. Which, of-course can only happen if we are spiritual, in a spiritual, nonphysical plane of existence, or in this case a nonphysical afterlife, or in heaven if you will, that is not physical; a place that “flesh and blood cannot inherit,” (Paul, King James Bible, 1 Corinthians) But then, I am only trying to use reason and logic here, to try and comprehend something that is physically well beyond our limited capacity to understand in this very limited physical world of existence we find ourselves living in. But as for our next coming life, is there really any surprise that it is going to be a spiritual life in nature? I mean, Jesus tells us that we are, in reality, gods. That is not saying, that Jesus was saying that we are The God, but that we are gods – in our True, Creators image: Christianity: John 10:34 “Jesus answered – Is it not written – Ye are gods?” And David also tells us this: Judaism: Psalms 82:6 “I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.” (King James Bible,) Now, I don’t know if this statement from Jesus and David comes to you as a surprise or not, but it really shouldn’t. I mean, how else could we really approach The One, True God. We have to be like Him and created in His very image if we are ever really going to approach Him. I mean, how else could we really approach One-So-Great, The Creator of Everything and everyone in existence, it only makes sense; which, again can only mean that our true God like created image and likeness has to be in a spiritual form in a nonphysical, spiritual heaven.
As for the belief some people, of today, hold in their minds about heaven, that heaven is some literal place of existence on the other side of life we will go to when our bodies rise, with real pearly gates to gaze upon and streets lined with real physical gold gleaming in the sun light. I mean, what’s the point? Even in this world God’s messengers show very little interest in the treasures and ornaments of this world. Christianity: Luke 18:22 “Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.” Luke 12:34 “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Luke 18:25 “For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” God has no interest in the treasures of this life. It is only the human heart that He has real interest in: Baha’i Faith: “God does not behold differences of hue and complexion; He looks at the hearts.” (Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i World Faith p. 267)
CHRISTIANITY: Luke 10:27 “Thou shalt love The Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind:” So what would be the use of real physical treasures in heaven? That is not saying that some will not see these things when our spiritual eyes start to open, when we are close to death and we are being welcomed into the next life? My grandmother saw these things, when she was on her death bed, and that is what she was expecting to see. It’s just that real physical treasure holds no real value in the next life, and it is the spiritual heart that will take us further into the next world, then the transitory things we are leaving behind in this life. The treasures we lay up for that spiritual existence are the deeds preformed right here in this life, Luke 12:21 “He that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” (hath nothing) 6:45 “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good;” 12:33 “Sell that ye have, and give alms (to the poor); provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. Matthew 19:21 “Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven.” Luke 12:34 “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Jesus had so little interest in worldly transitory things he ask nothing for himself or his disciples though this man’s wealth could have helped them because they lived in extreme poverty: Luke 9:58 “And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” So Baha’i Faith: “Place not thy reliance on thy treasures. Put thy whole confidence in the grace of God, thy Lord. Let Him be thy trust in whatever thou doest, and be of them that have submitted themselves to His Will. Let Him be thy helper and enrich thyself with His treasures; for with Him are the treasuries of the heavens and of the earth. He bestoweth them upon whom He will, and from whom He will He with holdeth them. There is none other God but Him, the All-Possessing, the All-Praised. All are but paupers at the door of His mercy; all are helpless before the revelation of His sovereignty, and beseech His favours.” (The Proclamation of Baha’u’llah, p. 49) Real treasures, are not physical in nature, and are found with God in His spiritual heaven and, in reality, most people see heaven as a spiritual place we go to after we leave this mortal sphere of existence behind us with the casting aside of this mortal body: and, I believe, the other religions of God say or hint at this as well. Baha’i Faith: “Give them, moreover, to drink of the living waters of Thy knowledge, and ordain for them the good of this world and of the world to come.”
(Bahá’í Faith, Baha’u’llah, Prayers and Meditations by Baha’u’llah, p. 109)
BABI RELIGION: “In this mountain I have remained alone, and have come to such a pass that none of those gone before Me have suffered what I have suffered, nor any transgressor endured what I have endured! I render praise unto God and yet again praise Him. I find Myself free from sorrow, inasmuch as I abide within the good-pleasure of My Lord and Master. Methinks I am in the all-highest Paradise (heaven), rejoicing at My communion with God, the Most Great. Verily this is a bounty which God hath conferred upon Me; and He is the Lord of unbounded blessings.”
(The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 16)
(The Qur’an (Yusuf Ali tr), Surah 4)
(The Qur’an (Yusuf Ali tr), Surah 6)
Islam: 35. “Allah (God) is the Light of the heavens and the earth.” “The parable of the Garden (heaven for Muslims) which the righteous are promised! — beneath it flow rivers: perpetual is the enjoyment thereof and the shade therein: such is the End of the Righteous; and the End of Unbelievers is the Fire.” Muhammad calls the garden (a name of heaven for the Muslims) a parable which is something not to be taken literally, or physically, as in a non-literal, spiritual heaven.
(The Qur’an (Yusuf Ali tr), Surahs 13 and 24)
Islam: 58. “Those who believe and work deeds of righteousness — to them shall We give a Home in Heaven, — lofty mansions beneath which flow rivers, — to dwell therein for aye; — an excellent reward for those who do good.” “For such He has written Faith in their hearts, and strengthened them with a spirit from Himself” “perchance (they) might grow in spiritual understanding?” “Truly it is the Party of Allah, that will achieve Felicity.” Allah has put faith in the hearts and strengthened us, with a spirit from Himself, the believers that they might grow in spiritual understanding and felicity. He reinforces His followers with spirituality fitting for a spiritual heaven because, “The pure spirit escapes from the bonds of the body.”
(The Qur’an (Yusuf Ali tr), Surahs 29, 80 and The Masnavi Vol 6)
Islam: 45. “The righteous (will be) amid Gardens and fountains (of clear-flowing water). (Their greeting will be): ‘Enter ye here in Peace and Security.’ And We shall remove from their hearts any lurking sense of injury. There no sense of fatigue shall touch them.” This serene vision, of the peace and tranquility of heaven, seems to describe a somewhat spiritual state of being with our hearts, or pure essence of being, being freed up from all the anguish and painful memories we acquired during our earthy life. It is to our spiritual state of being, our spirit, that finds peace from bad memories, not the physical clay of the body of man or woman. And, to verify that this interpretation, of this understanding, of there being a spiritual state of heaven in Islamic teachings is correct; we have, unquestionable validation from Muhammad’s very own words; right out of the Quran: “(Here is the knowledge) of the Parable of the Garden (Heaven), which the righteous are promised: in it are rivers of (celestial) water incorruptible: rivers of milk of which the taste never changes; rivers of wine, a joy to those who drink; and rivers of honey pure and clear. In it there are for them all kinds of fruits, and Grace from their Lord.” “(Can those in such ultimate, unimaginable Bliss, coming from an all Loving, kind Creator)” “For Allah (God) is to all people most surely full of (all) kindness, (and is) Most Merciful.” “to all people!!!” “really be compared to such as shall dwell forever in the Fire, and be given, to drink, boiling water, so that it cuts up their bowels (to pieces)?” This is a very stark contrast to how Muhammad describes Allah in the Quran: “For Allah is to all people most surely full of (all) kindness, (and is) Most Merciful.” Which, in reality, tells us that hell is also non-literal just like heaven, for how could a truly All Loving God possibly create even one soul that is going to suffer thus throughout eternity like that; its unimaginable to the intelligent mind; but don’t get me wrong there is really very much a hell for the spirit, you just can’t imagine it yet!
(The Qur’an (Yusuf Ali tr), Surahs 15 and 47)
Islam: 25 “But give glad tidings to those who believe and work righteousness, that their portion is Gardens, beneath which rivers flow, (heaven). Every time they are fed with fruits therefrom, (from heaven), they say: ‘Why, this is what we were fed with before,’ for they are given things, (God’s holy words), in similitude (allegories, symbolisms, parables); and they have therein companions (pure and holy); and they abide therein (forever).” This verse clearly indicates the symbolic, spiritual nature of heaven in the teachings of Muhammad, “for they are given things in similitude,” talking about heaven in symbolic terms, and if there is any doubt to this, Muhammad follows this verse next, with another verse that clearly tells us that Allah chooses to use symbolic allegories in His writings. So, in-other-words, Allah uses similitudes and allegories to prove us and separate out His good believers from the chafe that is encumbered with attachment to this world and blind to His spiritual nature and essence. 26. “Allah disdains not, (likes) to use the similitude of things, lowest as well as highest. Those who believe know that (this) is truth from their Lord; but to those who reject His Faith say: ‘What means Allah by this similitude?’ By it He causes many to stray, and many He leads into the right path, but He causes not to stray, except those who forsake (the path).”
(The Qur’an (Yusuf Ali tr), Surah 2)
ZOROASTRIANISM: 43. “Zarathushtra asked Ahura Mazda (God): ‘O Maker of the material world, thou Holy One! What shall be his reward, after his soul has parted from his body, who has cleansed from the Nasu the man defiled by the dead?” 44. “Ahura Mazda answered: ‘The welfare of Paradise thou canst promise to that man, for his reward in the other world.” Again, heaven comes, in the Zoroastrian faith, for the most part, after we shed this mortal body.
(Zoroaster, The Zend-Avesta, Avesta – Vendidad Fargard 9)
Zoroastrianism: 1. “Grant that reward which Thou hast appointed to our souls, O Ahura Mazda! 2. Of this do Thou Thyself bestow upon us for this world and the spiritual;” (heaven in this earthly life and the spiritual heaven of the next world)
(The Zend-Avesta, Avesta – Yasna 40)
(Zoroaster, The Zend-Avesta, Avesta – Yasna 71)
Zoroastrianism: “From the same jug, Mazda distributes the portion to all. But one gets honey and another gets poison as his share. The pot is the same, and so its content is the same. The mentality of the recipient makes the difference.” (ZOROASTER, Hymns of Atharvan p. 833) As I said, it’s all about the mentality of the believers whether they find themselves in heaven or hell. It’s all just a state of spiritual mind.
HINDUISM: “Seek refuge in thy soul; have there thy heaven, (true heaven is to be found within the soul), under the spirit’s buckler from the world, which hath wisdom’s mark!” Heaven is of the spirit, spiritual in nature, and is found within the soul, not the physical existence.
(Hindu, Bhagavad Gita (Edwin Arnold tr) chapter 2)
Hinduism: “Krishna speaketh in this wise! Yea, and whoso, full of faith, Heareth wisely what it saith, Heareth meekly, when he dies, Surely shall his spirit rise To those regions where the Blest, Free of flesh, in joyance rest.”
(Hindu, Bhagavad Gita (Edwin Arnold tr) chapter 18)
Hinduism: 240. “Single is each being born; single it dies; single it enjoys (the reward of its) virtue; single (it suffers the punishment of its) sin.” “Leaving the dead body on the ground like a log of wood, or a clod of earth, the relatives depart with averted faces; but spiritual merit follows the (soul).” “Let him therefore always slowly accumulate spiritual merit, in order (that it may be his) companion (after death); for with merit as his companion he will traverse a gloom difficult to traverse.” “That companion speedily conducts the man who is devoted to duty and effaces his sins by austerities, to the next world, radiant and clothed with an ethereal body.”
(Hindu, Laws of Manu 4)
Hinduism: “The heaven of the Atman is, of course, liberation, that state where the individual soul becomes merged in the Brahman or Paramatman, which is pure essence, intelligence and joy.” Not physical bodily form, but mentally spirit free from flesh.
(Hindu, The Dharma Sutras, Apastamba Prasna I, Patala 8, Khanda 22)
BUDDHISM: 13. “Blinded indeed is this world. Few are those who see the truth. Like a bird breaking out of the net, few are those who go to heaven.” The righteous, spiritual, seeing man becoming free of the physical body is like the bird breaking free of the net is one of the few who make it into spiritual heaven beyond.
(Buddhist, Dhammapada – Sayings of the Buddha 1 (tr. J. Richards))
Buddhism: 13. “Wake up and don’t be careless, but lead a life of well-doing. He who follows righteousness lives happily in this world and the next.” “Lead a life of righteousness, and not a life of wrong-doing. He who follows righteousness lives happily in this world and the next.”
(Buddhist, Dhammapada – Sayings of the Buddha 1 (tr. J. Richards))
Buddhism: 13. “Arise; do not be thoughtless. Follow the path of virtue. The virtuous rest in bliss in this world and in the next. Follow the path of virtue; do not follow the wrong path. The virtuous rest in bliss in this world and in the next.”
(Buddhist, Dhammapada – Sayings of the Buddha 2 (tr. J. Richards))
Buddhism: 18. “Make a refuge unto yourself, Quickly strive and become wise. Purged of taint and free from stain, To heavenly state of the Noble will you attain.” Heaven, is a noble state of mind, where our physical bodies cease to exist to us and we become spiritual not physical.
(Buddhist, Dhammapada – Sayings of the Buddha 3 (tr. J. Richards))
Buddhism: “When we subject ourselves to the least differentiation or particularization, transformation takes place: otherwise all things would be as void as space, as they inherently are. By letting our minds dwell on evil things, hell arises. By letting our minds dwell upon good acts, paradise is manifested.” (Buddha, Sixth Patriarch) It is our state of mind that matters for this world and the next, heaven and hell are states of mind.
SABEANISM: “If he to whom I speak listeneth and he to whom I call is established (in the faith) and is knit into the communion of Life (Haiyi/God) and built into the great fabric of Reality, I will take his hand and be his saviour and guide to the great Place of Light and to the Everlasting Abode (heaven).” (Sabeanism, Ginza Rba- chapter 18)
Sabeanism: “Those who seek of Him find, and to those who ask of Him it will be given. For to him that standeth at a closed door Thou wilt open the closed door. In the Place of Light (paradise), Thou wilt wipe away and remove from us our sins, trespasses, follies, stumblings and mistakes and wilt cast them into the hells of the earth and the nethermost limbos of darkness. Thou wilt raise us up as sinless (spiritual beings), and not as guilty, as virtuous and not as vicious before thee, Manda-d-Hiia.” (Sabeanism, Ginza Rba- chapter 35)
Sabeanism: “Bliss and peace there shall be on the road which Adam built well. Bliss and peace there shall be on the road which the soul takes. Go, soul, in victory to the place from which you were transplanted, the place of joy, in which the face shines (heaven). The face shines in it, the form is illumined and does not grow dim. The soul has loosened its chains and broken its fetters. It shed its bodily coat, then it turned about, saw it, and shuddered. The call of the soul is the call of life which departs from the body of refuse.” It is the soul, not the physical body that takes the road to heaven. The physical body is cast aside. (Sabeanism, Bliss and Peace)
Sabeanism: “Raising my eyes and lifting up my countenance toward the Place which is all portals of radiance, light, glory, beauty, repute and honour and to the Abode which is all beams of light; I adore, laud and praise the Mighty, Strange (other-worldly) life.” “The assembly of souls which proceeded from Him, on the Last Day, when they leave their bodies, will rejoice in Him, will embrace Him and will rise up and behold the outer Ether and the everlasting Abode.” (Sabeanism, Ginza Rba- chapter 9)
Sabeanism: “Great First Word, (God) which assured me sight in mine eyes, pour wisdom into my heart! Open the eyes of my understanding!” “Wreath is light, its weapon the living word, and its seal the chosen, pure one (the manifestation of God). Every man who openeth it and readeth therein shall live, shall be whole and his name will be set up in the House of Life, in the name of The Great Sublime Life from worlds (of light?).” (Sabeanism, Ginza Rba- chapters 63 and 171)
BABI RELIGION: “Know thou of a certainty that by Paradise is meant recognition of and submission unto Him Whom God shall make manifest, and by the fire the company of such souls as would fail to submit unto Him or to be resigned to His good-pleasure. On that Day thou wouldst regard thyself as the inmate of Paradise and as a true believer in Him, whereas in reality thou wouldst suffer thyself to be wrapt in veils and thy habitation would be the nethermost fire, though thou thyself wouldst not be cognizant thereof.”
(The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 81)
Babi Religion: “If ye believe in Me, ye will provide good for your own souls, and if ye believe not in Me, nor in that which God hath revealed unto Me, ye will suffer yourselves to be shut out as by a veil. For verily I have been independent of you heretofore, and shall remain independent hereafter. Therefore it behooveth you, O creatures of God, to help your own selves and to believe in the Verses revealed by Me…”
(The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 100)
Babi Religion: “They that truly believe in God and in His signs, and who in every Dispensation faithfully obey that which hath been revealed in the Book — such are indeed the ones whom God hath created from the fruits of the Paradise of His good-pleasure, and who are of the blissful. But they who turn away from God and His signs in each Dispensation, those are the ones who sail upon the sea of negation.”
(The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 147)
Babi Religion: “THERE is no paradise, in the estimation of the believers in the Divine Unity, more exalted than to obey God‘s commandments, and there is no fire in the eyes of those who have known God and His signs, fiercer than to transgress His laws and to oppress another soul, even to the extent of a mustard seed. On the Day of Resurrection God will, in truth, judge all men, and we all verily plead for His grace.”
(The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 78)
Babi Religion: “All believe in Him, and still they have imprisoned him on a mountain! All are made glad in Him and they have abandoned him! No fire is fiercer for those who have acted thus than their very works; likewise for the believers no heaven is higher than their own faith!”
The Bab: (Shoghi Effendi, The Dawn-Breakers, p. 245)
(Bahá’í Faith, Baha’u’llah, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 132 and The Arabic Hidden Words)
Baha’i Faith: “According to Them, Heaven is the state of perfection, and Hell that of imperfection; Heaven is harmony with God‘s will and with our fellows, and Hell is the want of such harmony; Heaven is the condition of spiritual life, and Hell that of spiritual death. A man may be either in Heaven or in Hell while still in the body. The joys of Heaven are spiritual joys; and the pains of Hell consist in the deprivation of these joys.”
(Bahá’í Faith, Dr. J.E. Esslemont, Baha’u’llah and the New Era, p. 190)
Baha’i Faith: “The soul of man is immortal; it survives physical death. The goal of the individual during his life should be to develop those spiritual qualities and attributes which will enhance the soul in its eternal journey. Heaven is thus interpreted as the state of possessing those qualities and Hell as being bereft of them.”
(Moojan Momen, The Babi and Baha’i Religions, p. xxiv)