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During human birth we can advance spiritually (especially when one is born in a Hindu family) while in heaven there is only pleasure and enjoyment.

Which is better - heaven or human birth ?

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    Yes human birth is better than pleasures in heaven like in Shiva Purana too..It is mentioned that the human birth is difficult to attain even for the gods and asuras.
    – LSSJ Broly
    Apr 2, 2022 at 2:27
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    think of it like this - if you want to leave a company, it is better to be an individual contributor like engineer. if you are janitor, you can't leave cos you don't have any money. if you are ceo, you can't leave cos you get too much money. similarly, narak you can't leave cos you're forced to stay by others, and svarg you can't leave cos you're forced to stay by yourself. but manushyas can come and go as they please.
    – ram
    Apr 2, 2022 at 3:05

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Human life is more conducive to attain Atma sakshatkaaram, as well as to progress spiritually compared to lives in certain other planes(lokas) , is well-known by its emphasis on vedantic texts (Brahma Vidya)of Vedic literature.

Narada Puran says

durlabhaṁ mānuṣhaṁ janma prārthayate tridaśhairapi

“The human form is exceedingly rare. Even the celestial gods pray to attain it

(Katha Upanishad /Adhyaya 2 /Valli 3)

यथादर्शे तथात्मनि यथा स्वप्ने तथा पितृलोके । यथाप्सु परीव ददृशे तथा गन्धर्वलोके छायातपयोरिव ब्रह्मलोके ॥ ५ ॥ yathādarśe tathātmani yathā svapne tathā pitṛloke | yathāpsu parīva dadṛśe tathā gandharvaloke chāyātapayoriva brahmaloke || 5 ||

As in a mirror, so within one's self; as in dreams, so in the world of the manes; as indistinctly seen in water, so in the world of the Gandharvas; as of light and shade, so in the world of Brahma. (English Translation wisdomlib)

HH Shankara’s Commentary: Com.—How is explained. As one in the world sees his own image reflected in a mirror very distinctly, so the realisation of the atman in one's intelligence, when spotless like a mirror, becomes clear. As in dreams, the perception is indistinct and produced, i.e., (obscured) by the reminiscences of the waking state, so indistinct is the realisation of the atman in the world of the manes, being engrossed in the enjoyment of the fruits of karma. As the image of one's self reflected in water is seen indistinctly, with the various parts not defined, so is the realisation of the atman in the world of the Gandharvas certainly indistinct. Thus, it is inferred from the authority of the shaastras, even in other worlds, it is only in one, the Brahmaloka, that it is very distinct, as that of light and shadow and that (Brahmaloka) is hard to attain requiring as means, a combination of very special karma and knowledge, i.e., (worship). The drift, therefore, is that one should attempt to realise the atman even while here (in this world). (Courtesy : Wisdomlib)


mana eva manushyanam karanam bandha-mokshayoh bandhaya visayasango muktyai nirvisayam manah (Amrita-bindu Upanishad )

“For man, mind is the cause of bondage and mind is the cause of liberation. Mind absorbed in sense objects is the cause of bondage, and mind detached from the sense objects is the cause of liberation.”


Bhagavad Gita 6.5

uddhared ātmanātmānaṁ nātmānam avasādayet ātmaiva hyātmano bandhur ātmaiva ripur ātmanaḥ

Elevate yourself through the power of your mind, and not degrade yourself, for the mind can be the friend and also the enemy of the self.(English Translation Swami Mukundananda)


Bhagavad Gita 9.21

te taṁ bhuktvā swarga-lokaṁ viśhālaṁ kṣhīṇe puṇye martya-lokaṁ viśhanti evaṁ trayī-dharmam anuprapannā gatāgataṁ kāma-kāmā labhante

When they have enjoyed the vast pleasures of heaven, the stock of their merits being exhausted, they return to the earthly plane. (English Translation by Swami Mukundananda)


Srimad Bhagavatam 11.10.26

tāvat pramodate swarge yāvat puṇyaṁ samāpyate kṣhīṇa puṇyaḥ patatyarvāganichchhan kāla-chālitaḥ

“Residents of heaven enjoy the celestial delights until their merits have been exhausted. Then they are reluctantly forced to fall back to the lower abodes by the passage of time.” (English Translation by Swami Mukundananda)


Dhuruva stuti verse 5

sA brahmaNi sva-mahimanyapi nAtha mA bhUt kiM tvantakAsi lulitAt-patatAM vimAnAt

what to speak of those who fall down from heaven caused by the cut of sword of Time?


Any karma which becomes the cause for ones trasmigration to heaven, isn't boundless in nature , resulting in ascertainment of the tenure over there, although it's not likely abode to experience self realisation (in such lives).

which is better ? It depends on one's aspiration. If the aspirant targets - freedom from all limitations , then the choice is vedanta . If the aspirant chooses to dwell in world of pleasures(swarga), then karma Kanda shows the path . There is no enforcement in the Vedic literature(amenable to all ). Choice of one path over other is a matter of one's own tendencies.

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For people who do Punya (Karma) is said to attain Heaven , Heaven is just nothing but a better place than Earth and those who do Papa(Akarma) is said to attain Narak. Neither of these are good places For those who want to attain The lotus feet Of Lord who resides in the Vikunta. Earth is a place for us to choose where to go, For those who do Vikarma in Earth attain the Vaikundha where they could find Vishnu in the form they meditate. Vikarma is just surrendering ourselves to Krishna in every way. So Yes Earth is a better place that Heaven if your will and wish is to attain Lord Narayana and only Ture Faith and Bakthi and a True Guru takes you there

Om Namo Narayana

Sarvam Krishnarpanam

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