As per my knowledge, according to the concepts of Karma if you be bad (sinful) in your life you'll be reincarnated or if you be good you'll be going to heaven. So bad men will undergo rebirth, then who's going to hell?

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    The vedas do not speak of hell. It is only the puranas where the concept in introduced. But even in the puranas there are no permanent hells, only temporary hells. In the end all go back to God. Jan 21, 2018 at 4:07
  • The concept is the bad men after proper punishment of bad deeds and after necessary purification will take rebirth. Jan 21, 2018 at 8:53

2 Answers 2


No. If one does bad deeds first one goes to hell only (provided he did not atone for the sins while living). One does not get rebirth immediately.

And, after the torments of hell are over, one gets born again as various beings, depending on the residue of the sins the soul is still having.

Manu Smriti 12.54. Those who committed mortal sins (Mahapataka), having passed during large numbers of years through dreadful hells, obtain, after the expiration of (that term of punishment), the following births

12.55. The slayer of a Brahmana enters the womb of a dog, a pig, an ass, a camel, a cow, a goat, a sheep, a deer, a bird, a Kandala, and a Pukkasa.

... etc..

Similarly, from the Vishnu Smriti's chapter XLIV:

  1. Now after having suffered the torments inflicted in the hells, the evil-doers pass into animal bodies.
  2. Criminals in the highest degree enter the bodies of all plants successively.
  3. Mortal sinners enter the bodies of worms or insects.
  4. Minor offenders enter the bodies of birds.
  5. Criminals in the fourth degree enter the bodies of aquatic animals.
  6. Those who have committed a crime affecting the loss of caste, enter the bodies of amphibious animals.
  7. Those who have committed a crime degrading to a mixed caste, enter the bodies of deer.
  8. Those who have committed a crime rendering them unworthy to receive alms, enter the bodies of cattle.

Also, in heavens, the stay is not permanent. After merits (Punya) expire, they will throw one out of the heavens :D and one will be back to where he was.

So, to answer your question

Who's going to hell?

It's the sinners who go there, provided they failed to perform the necessary Prayaschittas (or the expiation measures) while living.

Manu Smriti 11.52. Thus in consequence of a remnant of (the guilt of former) crimes, are born idiots, dumb, blind, deaf, and deformed men, who are (all) despised by the virtuous.

Manu Smriti 11.53. Penances, therefore, must always be performed for the sake of purification, because those whose sins have not been expiated are born (again) with disgraceful marks.

So, the pattern is this:

Good deeds-----> Heavens-------> Rebirth

Bad Deeds------> Hells----------> Rebirth.

And not like as you have said. (viz: good deeds-heavens and bad deeds-rebirth.)

  • Whats ment by caste and mixed caste
    – Xlam
    Jan 20, 2018 at 19:43
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    Caste means the Varnas- Brahmins, Kshatriya, Vaisya and Sudra. Mixed caste means Varna Sankara who are created out of proscribed marriages. @Xlam
    – Rickross
    Jan 21, 2018 at 5:37
  • In the context of English: "caste = jaati / family tree" & "division = varna / class". Classes are only 4 (Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaishya, Shudra), which are eternal. Castes can be so many, coming & going in the course of several years. @Xiam
    – iammilind
    Jan 21, 2018 at 6:12
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    @iammilind I am talking about how the word caste is used in the verses in my answer. There the original Sanskrit word used for caste is not JAti but Varna. So, to keep things uncomplicated, that's how i feel it is better to explain.
    – Rickross
    Jan 21, 2018 at 6:22
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    Yes many translations use "caste" for varna. But English meaning of jaati is caste. We can see that use in many Indian govt official forms & terms. E.g. "caste based reservations". Due to this when someone reads "caste" in place of "class", it gives a wrong impression that Hinduism is having casteism. This includes our tag as well. See my downvoted meta answer.
    – iammilind
    Jan 21, 2018 at 7:06

Every being has all 3 qualities in more or less forms within them:

  • sattva - illumination
  • rajas - passion
  • tamas - ignorance

Those with increased quality of tamas / ignorance or darkness, go to hell.
While rajas holds at whichever region one is; And sattva promotes to higher regions than the present one.

BG 14.18 - Those with sattva (goodness) go higher [regions]; those with rajas (passion) remain in the middle [regions]; those with tamas (ignorance), who conform to the lowest actions, go down [regions].

Some general context is mentioned in this answer.

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