I pray you’ll be our eyes, and watch us where we go.
And help us to be wise in times when we don’t know
Let this be our prayer, when we lose our way
Lead us to the place, guide us with your grace
To a place where we’ll be safe
– Sung by Celine Dion
As a child I often wondered and posed this question to my mom- “Mamma where do people go after they die?” To which my mom would reply, “darling they go to Heaven”. I just believed what she said until I started attending Sunday Church classes where I got to know that according to Roman Catholics there is a place called “Purgatory” where people arrive after death for the process of purification. Apparently, depending on the the sins one has committed in his earthly life he is led from purgatory to Heaven or Hell. (I am for sure going to Hell :P). Well that did satiate my curiosity for a while but not long enough for me to wonder what would Heaven or Hell be like!
A funny instance that I came across once:
A guy dies and goes to purgatory and is asked by St. Peter- “My son since you have not sinned much on earth let me give you the opportunity to chose between Heaven & Hell”
So the guy (smart a** that he was) asked St. Peter- “Can I take a look at both before I make the decision?”
To which St. Peter says- “Go ahead my son”
The guy takes a look at Heaven first. He is shocked to see a sad looking place, with people wearing white garments and looking all dull, pale and sad. He then goes to Hell and to his amusement what he sees- Hot chicks waiting at the entrance to welcome him, discotheques, a fountain of beer and all the possible delightful things he could have ever imagined was there. He quickly returned to Purgatory where St. Peter was waiting for him.
He said,” St. Peter I have made up my mind and would like to go to hell”. St. Peter asked him, “Are you sure? Because once you choose to go to hell, there is no returning.” To which he promptly replied, ” Yes, I am very sure”
And so he goes to hell all excited and thrilled to experience the unending ecstasy of death. On his arrival what he sees, fire burning everywhere, rotten bodies and misery surrounding everywhere. He is in disbelief beyond imagination and runs to Satan and says, “this is not what I saw. This is not the place where I wanted to be.” To which Satan replies in his satanic laugh,” That was our advertising department”. And then he orders his assistants to throw this man in the fire of hell.
What we often see is not what we get. I personally do not know if there is a life at all after death (though I am extremely curious to know). But what I do know and believe is, do your deeds on earth (of course good ones) and leave it there, because Heaven and hell are on earth itself. I find it very weird when people say you know what, I am an atheist.I don’t believe in God. I say to myself, good for you. Be that way! Not that I have anything against them or their thought, but maybe I am just too traditional in my thoughts.
Once a priest asked me, do you follow the religion religiously? To which I politely said, No I don’t do everything that is religious, but I believe in leading a spiritually enriched life. Salvation is not only in Heaven but in every good thing you do on earth. I guess if you do not hold vengeance against someone, do not hurt someone on purpose, help people around you in small ways and do not kill, its just enough to be called Human on earth.