Question: Is there life after death? Will there be a judgement of what has been done in this life? Will there be punishment, reward or a sentence? If so, will it be eternal?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, there is life after death. Death is not and can never be the end. To me, life and death are like two rooms. During the day I work in the living room, and at night I take rest in the bedroom. Life is my living room; death is my resting room. Both I equally need in order to love, serve and please God.

Right now, death is something unknown, and most people are afraid of the unknown. But we have to realise that death is an important part of God’s Cosmic Game and a natural step in our evolution. An individual works very hard and makes considerable progress during his lifetime, let us say. But after playing the life-game for a certain number of years, he usually becomes tired. One cannot continue playing any game or sport without rest. We need rest so that we can start playing again with renewed energy and enthusiasm. So death is a well-deserved rest for the divine warrior who has been fighting hard on earth for the Lord Supreme.

At the end of the earthly sojourn, the individual soul passes on to the other world and offers to the Absolute Lord Supreme the quintessence of the experience that it had on earth. The Absolute Supreme, from His transcendental Height, evaluates the soul. But there is no hard and fast rule about punishment, reward or sentence. Whatever God does with the individual soul — although it may seem like a punishment or reward — is done from His transcendental Vision-Light for the progress of the soul. But even the worst possible human being will never be condemned to eternal punishment or torture.

The reason God created human beings was not to punish them but to love them and give them opportunities to transform themselves steadily and unerringly into divine beings.