Do Hindus Believe in Heaven?

Every religion has its set of beliefs regarding the afterlife, but do Hindus believe there is a heaven after death?

Yes, Most Hindus hold this belief that heaven exists. Heaven is described in some religions as the ultimate home for individuals who have led virtuous lives, in others as a temporary residence between rebirths as Hindus do. 

Let’s see what heaven and hell mean to Hindus, some of their beliefs about life after death, and whether they believe ghosts can haunt the Earth. 

Hinduism | Heaven Beliefs

Hindus hold a different view of the afterlife than Christians, Jews, or Muslims. Hindus believe that a soul can go to several planets or realms between death and rebirth into the next life.

Hindus hold that there are seven higher and lower worlds. Bhuh, Swah, Bhavah, Mahah, Tapah, Janah, and Satyam are the higher realms. Atala, Sutala, Vitala, Rasatala, Talatala, Patala, and Mahatala are the lowest realms.

When individuals live moral lives while on Earth, they ascend to the higher worlds:

  • Most people will travel to Swah to get awards for their good actions. They will eventually reincarnate, usually as a human.
  • Brahmaloka is made up of Satyam, Tapah, and Jana. It is said that Brahmaloka is the highest heaven. This is the place where souls travel to merge with Brahman and put an end to the cycle of life and death. The atman will never experience rebirth from this point on.

The bottom of the seven low planets is Patala. People who were terrible during their time on Earth will suffer in this region for a while. The way Catholics see this region of suffering is akin to how they see purgatory.

A bad person’s atman will stay in Patala for an eternity until they’ve fully atoned for their actions. This individual will reenter a body after being cleaned in Patala.

Reincarnation from Patala will not take the shape of a person but instead an animal or bug, in contrast to rebirth from the upper planets.

When you can observe, Hindus do think that there are specific areas where spirits travel as they transition from one life to the next.

However, these locations do not correspond to the Judeo-Christian notions of heaven and hell.

The heavenly and lower realms are considered actual locations constrained by space and time rather than destinations where souls travel and stay for all eternity.

Where Do Hindus Go After Death?

Hindus’ ideas on what occurs after death are fundamentally based on reincarnation. Where a soul goes is viewed as a phase of rebirth from one existence to the next and as a component of a continuous journey.

Hindu Reincarnation

Hindus believe reincarnation is a natural aspect of every soul’s journey toward unification with Brahman, the highest spirit.

People are revived or reincarnated as another person, an animal, or a bug according to the excellent or terrible activities they perform on Earth.

Reincarnation occurs to aid the soul in realizing that nothing they seek on Earth would satiate their innermost longings.

Souls learn lessons via reincarnation with each life they live, and eventually, they find genuine fulfillment and are freed from all earthly wants.

Discover our collection of 16 reincarnation books if you want to understand more about the topic in general.

Reaching Brahman

Hinduism holds that everyone’s soul originates from Brahman, the highest spirit. All souls have a spiritual consciousness called Brahman from which they originate and to which they return.

The pinnacle of wisdom and success is to unite with the divine power and return to an eternity of serenity and rest.

Do Hindus Believe in Ghosts?

Hindus hold that a person’s spirit travels back to Earth via reincarnation and takes on a new body, whether an animal or a human.

Reincarnation has reduced the amount of ghost believing compared to some western faiths. The spirit always has a destination in mind, whether it’s to the higher or lower worlds or to an instant rebirth.

It is thought that the soul waits for its departure from the body if after-death ceremonies are not conducted right away or are performed poorly.

Hinduism, however, holds that individuals do not turn into ghosts and torment departed loved ones.

Final Thoughts

Hindus believe that passing from this lifetime to the next is only a transition, not its conclusion.

Death is not viewed as a total loss but rather with optimism, and Hinduism views death as the culmination of unity with Brahman and the beginning of reincarnation.