Heavens In World Religions Essay

1861 words - 7 pages

Heavens in World Religions

All over the world many religions believe heaven is located in many different places. Some have been lead to believe it is actually an undiscoverable, unreachable place on earth; only those who have died can seek and dwell in it. Whereas some religions believe heaven may not even be located on earth. In fact, heaven isn’t always just a place; some believe it is a state of being (Zaleski).

Heaven is often only seen as somewhere free from hunger, thirst, pain, deprivation, disease, ignorance, and strife although heaven may be free of all these things they are not the only gifts that await you. Other more rewarding gifts to look forward to are complete contentment, perfect knowledge, everlasting rest, overwhelming peace, communion with God, and ecstatic joy (Zaleski). Most cultures, if not all, have multiple images of heaven, this wonderful place abundant with gifts and happiness is mostly portrayed with order. It contains the blueprints of all the creations on earth, the resting spot for all earthly rulers to direct and govern, and the values by which to determine the beauty, goodness and truth (Zaleski). It’s pretty much safe to say all religions preach that your one way ticket to heaven is through praiseworthy activity such as performing sacrifices, or enduring great suffering. On the other hand, heaven is also understood as the reward for a life well lived, the fulfillment of the hearts deepest desire and the ultimate reference point for all human motivation and hope (Zaleski). Yet many view that heaven is accessible only as the free gift of a divine being. Either way all religions have different understandings of after life, and different beliefs and teachings.

Religions, such as Islam, Judaism, and Buddhism all have three things in common; one must earn a spot in heaven, they believe in some type of God or ruler, and have an image of how heaven was created and what it looks like.

When it comes to “earning” a spot in heaven, these three religions don’t share the same views. In the Jewish bible there is a passage that goes: “Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.” (Daniel 12:2-3). This passage is basically telling us who will go to heaven and who won’t. To translate it means many of those who sleep in the ground will awake to ever lasting life, some will awake to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who were wise and believed they lived a good life will be resurrected into happiness. Those who didn’t live a fulfilling life will only awake to their shame and contempt (Johnson). At least in Judaism there are two outcomes, to live in happiness or shame, in Buddhism there is multiple alternatives, actually six to be exact.

In Buddhism, there isn’t an actual place where...

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