From what I can gather, the Vedas and Upanishads and Hinduism in general state that punishment via hell or rebirth in a bad state of life, and Heaven or rebirth in a good state are always temporary as is all existence and everything other than God. Ditto for everything in between. Literally everything, without exception is temporary except God. Even if one were a being in heaven or a terrible asura for trillions of years, eventually that existence and the universe itself will cease and be reborn. The being in heaven may be reborn on Earth as a human, ditto for the asura.

So no heavenly being is ever safe from ending up as an asura or as a bug or something, and no asura is ever doomed to permanently be stuck as an asura and may end up as a human eventually who could reach God on a long enough timeline? Same for all levels of heavenly beings on through animals and bugs and down to asuras, with the only permanent abode being union with God after Moksha. And Moksha is available to all on a long enough timeline?

Is this correct? Could someone please provide some scriptural references (Vedas, Upanishads, etc.) that make it unambiguous that there is no such thing as someone who is forever reborn or permanently dwells in a certain domain, as all domains, beings, etc. are temporary?

If I am wrong, and certain beings do permanently dwell in one domain and/or some domains (other than God) are permanent, could someone provide these references as well?

If it is a mixed bag, and some texts say there are no permanent destinations, and others say there are, which is stated with the highest frequency?

  • Does this answer your question? Does Gita support doctrine of eternal samsara? – mar Sep 27 '20 at 3:54
  • that is kinda correct. hell,earth & heaven are permanently temporary i.e they are created and destructed in a never-ending cycle. Whereas moksha/salvation is permanently permanent - neither created nor destroyed but ever existing. And this is the primary difference between Hinduism and Abrahamic religions. They copy the concept of Hell & Heaven from us, but believe those are permanent. I think the reason is to motivate people through fear & punishment, which is needed for the spiritually degraded & materialistic people.. similar to how police deal with blue-collar vs white-collar criminals. – mar Sep 27 '20 at 6:18
  • the answer depends upon which philosophical school of Hinduism you are asking about; whether the advaita, visistadvaita, or the dvaita - as different schools have different eschatological assertions. The "Introduction' here can give you an overview of the differences - wisdomlib.org/hinduism/book/brahma-sutras – Swami Vishwananda Sep 27 '20 at 9:39

Are all worlds and existences except God temporary in Hinduism?

There are three eternal, fundamental entities: God (Brahman), souls (Jivatmas), and insentient matter (Prakriti).

The eternality and immortality of the soul is described in the second chapter of the Bhagavad Gita:

2.20 - The jīva is never born; it never dies; having been existent in the past, it will never cease to be. Unborn, eternal, abiding and primeval, it is not slain when the body is slain.

Death is when the Jivatma leaves the body, and acquires another one:

2.13 - Just as the Jiva passes through childhood, youth and old age [pertaining to that body], so [at death] it passes into another body.

Insentient matter is also eternal:

13.20 - Know that both Matter and Spirit are without beginning...

And of course, the Lord is eternal:

4.6 - Though I am unborn and immutable by nature, and though I am the Lord of all beings, yet by employing My own Nature (Prakrti) I am born by My own free will.

However, the worlds like Earth, heaven, etc. are created at the beginning of the kalpa (an aeon; a particular length of time), and destroyed at the end of it. Where then do the souls and matter go when the worlds are destroyed? The souls then rest in Brahman in a sleep-like state, and the matter that is used to create the worlds also rests in Brahman, but in a very rudimentary state:

9.1 - All beings, O Arjuna, are assimilated into My Nature at the end of a cycle of time (kalpa). Again I send them forth at the beginning of a new cycle.

This only applies for people who are still trapped in the cycle of birth and death. Those who are liberated however, and the world in which they live, do not undergo destruction or creation. Their world is eternal, and they never take birth again.

14.2 - Resorting to learning this, and participating in My Being, they are not born at the time of universal projection, nor do they suffer at the time of its dissolution.

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