held in the divine presence in California, USA in 2016. A devotee asked if merging with God and attaining heaven ends the cycle of birth and death.
Here is what Swami said:
Heaven is like a holiday that you get when you do well in your exams. You go to enjoy yourself; you do not have to study; you do not have to worry about going to school and you can do what you want for a few days. Once your holidays are over, you have to go back to your class. That’s what happens when you go to Heaven; you come back again to continue your studies. (Laughter and applause)
So, Heaven is not the ultimate, it is just a reward for the good that you have done. Hell is not the ultimate, it is the punishment for the bad you have done. That is how to understand it; if you do not do well, you have to repeat your class, work harder and do more assignments – that is Hell! (Laughter) If you do well, you get to go for a holiday; that is Heaven! So, he is back from his holiday again to continue his studies.