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Why do hindus believe in reincarnation and heaven and hell?

can you please explain why they believe in both, 1 more thing, say i was a bad human in this life and then i am turned into a plant, how am i meant to be good and move up if i am a plant? and also hindus are not allowed to eat anything that are living and must respect it, how come plant are living yet they still eat them?

7 Comments

  • So when a human being kills a plant – say I want to eat spinach or corriander – what kind of Karma is generated, if at all?

    Is killing a plant like setting that Jiva free from its plan life, so that it has served what it did for bad conscience in the previous life?

    Regards,

    Rahul

  • From Gita:

    बहूनि मे व्यतीतानि जन्मानि तव चार्जुन ।
    तान्यहं वेद सर्वाणि न त्वं वेत्थ परन्तप ॥
    We have gone through many birth and deaths, you do not remember them, but I do.

    वासांसि जीर्णानि यथा विहाय नवानि गृह्णाति नरोऽपराणि ।
    तथा शरीराणि विहाय जीर्णान्यन्यानि संयाति नवानि देही ॥
    The way people leave old clothes and wear new ones, soul also leaves old bodies and adopts a new one.

    त्रिविधं नरकस्येदं द्वारं नाशनमात्मनः।
    कामः क्रोधस्तथा लोभस्तस्मादेतत्त्रयं त्यजेत्‌॥
    Attachment, anger and greed are the three which take a soul to hell so, these three should be avoided all times.

    The hell is not permanent, you finish the effects of your bad deeds and then you come back to cycle of death and birth again. There is concept of heaven in Hinduism but that is not permanent either, one is sent back when his good deeds are exhausted. So attaining heaven is not a goal for true Hindu. His ultimate goal is to get free from the cycle of reincarnation and merge and become one as God.

    If you did bad and you became a plant, you don’t have conscience left (this is why human life is so important). So you don’t know good or bad and will need to wait for your turn when effects of your bad deeds are over. Then you get a chance again to do good.

    Answer to your question about eating: Have you seen the movie Avatar? Remember the scene where Neytiri had to kill the animal to save Jake. Before killing she regrets and prays for the animal. Well, Hinduism is very much like that. It is sin to kill any other living being. Even plants have life so technically you should not kill them. But one has to eat to live. So here comes the tough part. Scriptures say that “jeevo jivasya bhojanam” (one animal is food for another). Also, saving own life is the important too. You cannot refrain from eating meat if there are no veg food available. One can eat meat and that’s ok in Hinduism as long as you understand the balance in nature, respect it and return it back. How you return it is tough. When you cut a tree, do you plant a new one? Do you feed other animals because you ate meat from them? The nature runs in delicate balance. You have to make sure that you are doing minimal damage to nature whether you eat meat or veg. So eat meat as it is chicken’s destiny to be eaten but do not go on killing every chicken known. So to answer your question, you can eat anything you like when you understand the percussion and are ready to return something for it. Hope that helps.

  • Hindus do not have heaven and hell in the same way Christians do. Hindus do have a similar thing called Swarg and Nark, but they are places where the Gods and demons live. So its only the circle of reincarnations for Hindus.
    Secondly about the plant thing, I think Hindus find plants to be doing really good things for everyone, like providing food, providing shelter and other things.
    About eating plants when they are living, Hindus believe that by plucking fruits and vegetables of a plant they are not killing it. The plant will continue to grow only a part of it would be eaten thus they would not be killing any form of life. Therefore some extreme Hindus people choose not to eat onions as they are the roots of the plant and thus eating them means uprooting the plant.

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