THE EIGHTH GANADHARA: AKAMPIT
DOES HELL EXIST?
Now the eighth brahmin by name Akampit arrived. The Bhagavan said to him,--'You have found in Vedas these two contradictory statements':
(indian writing gadapg 123)
It means: (a) In the next life there is no hell nor are there inhabitants in hell. (b)Those who eat food of sudras (men of the fourth caste among Hindus) go to hell. Since you have found these contradictory statements in the Vedas, you have entertained the doubt whether there are inhabitants of hell, in the next life, or not?
The belief that there are no inhabitants of hell has arisen because the abodes of such deities as Chandra (Moon etc.) are visible even now; while the inhabitants of hell are not. How can we even infer that there are inhabitants of hell who are totally different from heavenly beings, human beings, animals and birds?
These are proofs of the existence of the Inhabitants of hell
1. Just because only you cannot see them you say that there are no inhabitants of hell? If so, then even there are objects like lions and tigers not seen by you...Does it mean that they do not exist? It is not true that "what is perceived only by the external senses is directly perceptible?" because by the direct perception (atma- pratyaksa) narakas are visible to the omniscient directly.
Thus that which is known by the senses is not called in fact 'directly visible (tangible) and existent substance, because even after the activities of the senses end, the substance continues to exist. Thus the senses can perceive only a very small aspect of the nature out of multitudinous and infinite natures of a substance. When that is so, how can that be called the precept of the substance arising through a 'hetu' (an indicator). As for instance, the inference can be this is a pot, because in the past a trustworthy man indicated such a thing is called a pot. It does not come to our notice, on account of too much of practice as we are making inferences (we need not remember the indication) but it is not direct perception. The knowledge arising through other external factors, except the soul, is in fact not direct perception (pratyaksa) but is paroksa (indirect knowledge). The 'kevaljnani', omniscient can see directly the inhabitants of the hell.
2. Where are the most serious sins punished? Where are the fruits of extremely horrible sins to be experienced? Not in the incarnation of animals, insects, etc. because no extreme and severe. punishment is experienced there. They get pleasant air, water, light, shelter in the shadows of trees, food and other pleasures. Where there is not the least of such pleasures, but where there are the experiences of only tortures like being cut, torn, pierced, burnt, baked and beaten on rocks, etc., who are such souls? The answer is that such are only the inhabitants of hell who experience these agonies.
3. In normal life a person who commits one murder is hanged but only once, but a person who commits thousands of murders where is the punishment in proportion to the offence committed by him? We must say that only hell is such a place where sinners do not die even after being cut to pieces. Again and again the limbs are cut to pieces out of their bodies, they unite and assume their original form, and they have to experience again the torture of being cut to pieces, being pierced again and again.
4. The reasons for uttering a lie are fear, attachments, hatred, illusion and ignorance. They are not present at all in the (sarvajna) an omniscient. He need not utter lies. So, how can the statement about hell existing in reality given by such an omniscient be false?
Then "there is no hell in the next birth" what is the meaning of this vedic statement? It only means that an inhabitant of hell after death does not again become inhabitant of hell in his next birth.
This explanation given by the Bhagavan cleared the doubt of Akampit and he with his three hundred pupils became a disciple of the Bhagavan.