No Lucifer in Hinduism


Idea of eternal damnation is an impossibility within Hinduism.

There is a hell, Naraka, for sure..and the hindu versions of boiling oil and other assorted cruelties remain. But the idea that an act, however heinous, once done condemns forever is not possible.

Allow me to explain. Every Asura, Rakshasa and other principalities of the nether world are all incarnations of a older, often nobler principle. Who by the deviance of their wills, or the pride of their powers, start their descent into the offices of ignorance.

Every chief power of the dark realm finds his or her end at the hands of a Divine manifestation within Hindu mythology. Death to evil in this case acts as a salvation, a redemption of the fallen soul.

Sometimes, one does not wait for Death to redeem. Either at the gates of death. Or in events that bring the full force of death, redemption is granted.

This idea of release from the karmic bonds of existence, however dire and twisted it may be, offers a hope which is absent elsewhere.

Shiva, in a poem by Sri Aurobindo, is referred thus β€œIs he God then, whom the forsaken seek, things of sin?”.


Hiranyakashipu, a demon who compels the descent of Vishnu as Narasimha, gains his powers by performing sever austerities to Brahma. Killed by Narasimha, the soul released from the shackles of the perverted self, would go back to its source after working out the fruit of its karma.

Ravana, said to be an ardent devotee of Shiva, had Vishnu as Sri Rama to come and stop him. Again, killed by a Godhead and the soul returns to source after karmic debts are paid.

The idea that God, who exceeds all our measures of morality, should be vengeful or wrathful to a tribe or people or non-believers, is to make Him or Her or It very limited in conception.

Above all to limit individual action by the notion of eternal condemnation is a brutal idea. Perhaps effective in keeping the simplistic lot under the umbrella of a particular creed. But utterly useless to anyone who ventures to think deeply.

An Omniscient God would, by definition, pervade all things. Including the evil that befalls the world. Including the other sundry godheads that may piggyback on His Omnipotence. His infinite variety would not be limited to a single name. Or form.

The Highest God would be compassion and love, instead of breathing fire. One day he might come as warrior, as the cleanser of our souls. Another day as the lover, who woos us with the music of heavens. Yet another day perhaps he might come as the mother who lulls us into a primordial sleep. Each manifestation would take the most beneficial aspect towards the child-soul.

The next time, someone condemns you in the name of religion, remember the karmic dues might take an eternity to pay but your reaching the highest goal, to the very bosom of the Infinite, is a done thing.

Lucifer and his ilk, are the spiritual counterparts of Icarus, not examples to prove the irreversibility of the effects of sin. Let your heart be not worried.


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  1. EdFirst of all thanks for the comment. I took a look at your site, especially the post on the caste system, and have to confess you have nailed it just right. As for your comments, I agree. I too have had many run into the preacher types many times. Understanding, especially the holistic ones comes as an inner opening and not a mental comprehension. At times I think it is futile to engage with such missionary types. But still deal with it because if there is none to talk about alternatives possible, the world would be poorer by assuming that the results of a single system to be the only possibility.And I like the fact you quote Swami Vivekananda πŸ™‚

  2. I dont have a comment , I have a question (it would be a dumb one) However why do we always see gods to be different…. when its a single supreme power… I have always wondered why we try to give a face , body when we (I) feel that the power is so superlative that it cant have a shell …

  3. Interesting subject. I've written related in my blog about Hindus' views of the afterlife and karmic law. I've studied Hinduism for some time now and I found some problems with this philosophy. If the law of karma is perfect and never fails, then everything in this world is just. Man-made justice is futil. Pablo Antuna Hinduism Beliefs

    • Pablo, first of all thanks for the comment. And checked your wonderful and comprehensive blog on perusing it in leisure, so much to take in.

      While I agree with your assertion on Karma being an iron law, the way its conventionally formulated at least, I believe things are not so cut and dry. There always seems to be the possibility of an extra terrestrial intervention, as when the Avatar or Vibhuthi arrives or as a sanction of an out of turn grace in response to a fervent prayer and devotion, to efface the effects of Karma.

      I shall put out my thoughts on Karma as another entry perhaps!

  4. What you wrote is very true. Similarly, ” Heaven & Hell” concepts are NOT important in Hinduism . Even Lord Krishna states in the Bhagavad Gita, that “heaven” and “hell” are not permanent places where soul stays, but only temporary stations where soul rests. Once in NY Times square, a preacher told me ” Ed, being a Hindu, You will go to hell” I answered: ” Dear Sir, why should I go to a Christian hell, when we Hindus have seven hells to go to.” Poor preacher was speechless. Poor preacher did not know the fact that Hindu Puranas talk about seven hells. Hindus have seven heavens , seven hells and seven earths. Swami Vivekananda wrote : “In India, the idea of the goal (salvation) is this: There are heavens, there are hells, there are earths, but they are not permanent. If I am sent to hell, it is not permanent. The same struggle goes on and on whatever I am. How to go beyond all this struggle is the problem …….. The Indian idea is not to go to Heaven. Get out of this earth, get out of hell, and get out of heaven! What is the goal? It is freedom! You must be free” (Complete Works 6:57)

  5. Syam Trust me, there are no dumb questions in this topic πŸ™‚ Our instinct to provide a name and form to any abstraction is deeply ingrained in our natures. That said, the Hindu way of having many Gods can be a good example of what impels people to conceive of many Gods. I have covered this in a new blog post here[1]. Along the way I also address some popular opinions about the Hindu way of many Gods. [1]…..


  1. […] want to subscribe to the RSS feed for updates on this topic.Powered by WP Greet BoxThere was a question in an earlier post of mine on Hinduism. Why the many Gods in Hinduism? If God is one why does He(or […]

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