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Fate Of Sinners In Hinduism

The redemption for the sinners in Hinduism is different from Christianity. The sins you committed will not be washed by God because divine nature resides in every living being and realization of this true redemption. In Hinduism, the person has to realize the futility of sin and cleanse it and merge with God. This may take several births.

A closer and deeper study of the fundamentals principles of Hinduism reveals that though there is no room for forgiveness of sin in Hindu teachings yet they fill the heart of a sinner with dignified hope and confidence in the amelioration of the undesirable condition and the attainment of perfectly moral life in course of time.

Whatever may be the cause of his sins, they can be exhausted and put an end to by suffering. Having suffered once and having paid all this karmic debts in the form of sorrow and sufferings of every description here and hereafter, he becomes as pure as snow. He suffers because he sins, but deliverance from evil tendencies and vicious propensities is entirely in this own hands. However degraded and fallen a man may be, the moment he is awakened to his higher nature, the Blissful Self, learns to identify himself with it rather than with the form, he feels himself a better man and all his evil actions are burnt in the fire of wisdom.

‘Even if thou art the most sinful of all sinners, yet shall thou cross over all sins by the raft of wisdom (Gita IV. 36).

In considering  the fate of sinners in Hinduism the first great truth of Hinduism which must never be forgotten is that the Divine nature resides in man. We may call that Divine nature by any name we choose – God, Atman – its totality resides in Man.

In the wickedest sinner that Godhead resides in the innermost heart of his being, with as perfect awfulness of the Godhead as in the heart of the greatest saints. Brahmin and pariah are equally divine; and the Brahmin who spurns the pariah but spurns the Godhead dwelling in his own self. This is a well know teaching of Vedanta.

To realize the God within is the sole task of human life and that Godhead is found equally in sinners as in saints.

No man is born perfect. According to Hindu teachings every jiva has to tread the Pravritti marga before he returns Home through the Nivritti marga. During his wanderings in search of happiness he blunders, makes mistakes, commits sins and through prolonged suffering and sorrow learns the needed lesson of vairagya, dispassion and then at long last, established himself on the Path of perfection and self realization.

One who is called sinner today will be become saint tomorrow through self realization.

There is no reason for sinner to be downcast and dejected. He is the master of his destiny if he learns to make the right choice now, and tries to improve himself through self effort.

Hinduism does not accept the theory which merely asks for grace without earnest and persistent effort for eradication one’s vicious tendencies. It is clearly indicated Hindu scriptures that grace does not serve as a means of removing sin without serious effort on the part of the sinner.

The most important way for expiation of man’s sins as per Hinduism is through acquisition of wisdom and right understanding of his real inner nature.

Another method of expiation of sin is through the devotion of one’s Ishta Devata (personal deity) and by seeing the Ishta Devata in all living beings. By chanting the name of Ishta Devata and doing service to all living beings and nature.

Source excerpts from an article titled “Sinner’s Fate in Hinduism” in Vedanta Kesari October 1945 Issue by Dr. M. H. Syed. M.A., Ph. D., D Litt