Tian Chinese Zhou Dynasty Oracle script for tian, the character for "heaven" or "sky". In the native Chinese Confucian traditions, Heaven Tian is an important concept, where the ancestors reside and from which emperors drew their mandate to rule in their dynastic propaganda, for example. Heaven is a key concept in Chinese mythology, philosophies and religions, and is on one end of the spectrum a synonym of Shangdi "Supreme Deity" and on the other naturalistic end, a synonym for nature and the sky.
After their conquest of the Shang Dynasty in BC, the Zhou people considered their supreme deity Tian to be identical with the Shang supreme deity Shangdi. Heaven is said to see, hear and watch over all men. Heaven is affected by man's doings, and having personality, is happy and angry with them. Heaven blesses those who please it and sends calamities upon those who offend it. Mozi believed that spirits and minor gods exist, but their function is merely to carry out the will of Heaven, watching for evil-doers and punishing them.
Thus they function as angels of Heaven and do not detract from its monotheistic government of the world. Heaven ordered the sun, the moon, and the stars to enlighten and guide them.
Heaven ordained the four seasons, Spring, Autumn, Winter, and Summer, to regulate them. Heaven sent down snow, frost, rain, and dew to grow the five grains and flax and silk that so the people could use and enjoy them. Heaven established the hills and rivers, ravines and valleys, and arranged many things to minister to man's good or bring him evil.
He appointed the dukes and lords to reward the virtuous and punish the wicked, and to gather metal and wood, birds and beasts, and to engage in cultivating the five grains and flax and silk to provide for the people's food and clothing.
This has been so from antiquity to the present. By the time of the later Han Dynasty , however, under the influence of Xunzi , the Chinese concept of Heaven and Confucianism itself had become mostly naturalistic, though some Confucians argued that Heaven was where ancestors reside.
Worship of Heaven in China continued with the erection of shrines, the last and greatest being the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, and the offering of prayers.
The ruler of China in every Chinese dynasty would perform annual sacrificial rituals to Heaven, usually by slaughtering two healthy bulls as a sacrifice. Heaven Christianity The Assumption of the Virgin by Francesco Botticini at the National Gallery London, shows three hierarchies and nine orders of angels, each with different characteristics. Traditionally, Christianity has taught that Heaven is the location of the throne of God as well as the holy angels ,   although this is in varying degrees considered metaphorical.
In traditional Christianity, it is considered a state or condition of existence rather than a particular place somewhere in the cosmos of the supreme fulfillment of theosis in the beatific vision of the Godhead.
In most forms of Christianity , heaven is also understood as the abode for the redeemed dead in the afterlife , usually a temporary stage before the resurrection of the dead and the saints ' return to the New Earth. The Gospel of Matthew frequently uses the phrase " Kingdom of Heaven ", where the other Synoptic Gospels speak of the " kingdom of God ", one of the key elements of the teachings of Jesus in the New Testament.
It is our meeting with the Father which takes place in the risen Christ through the communion of the Holy Spirit. Hindu cosmology Attaining heaven is not the final pursuit in Hinduism as heaven itself is ephemeral and related to physical body. Only being tied by the bhoot-tatvas, heaven cannot be perfect either and is just another name for pleasurable and mundane material life. According to Hindu cosmology , above the earthly plane, are other planes: Since heavenly abodes are also tied to the cycle of birth and death, any dweller of Heaven or Hell will again be recycled to a different plane and in a different form per the karma and "maya" i.
This cycle is broken only by self-realization by the Jivatma. This self-realization is Moksha Turiya, Kaivalya. The concept of moksha is unique to Hinduism and is unparalleled.
Moksha stands for liberation from the cycle of birth and death and final communion with Brahman. With moksha, a liberated soul attains the stature and oneness with Brahman or Paramatma. Different schools such as Vedanta, Mimansa, Sankhya, Nyaya, Vaisheshika, and Yoga offer subtle differences in the concept of Brahman, obvious Universe, its genesis and regular destruction, Jivatma, Nature Prakriti and also the right way in attaining perfect bliss or moksha.
In the Vaishnava traditions the highest Heaven is Vaikuntha , which exists above the six heavenly lokas and outside of the mahat- tattva or mundane world. It's where eternally liberated souls who have attained moksha reside in eternal sublime beauty with Lakshmi and Narayana a manifestation of Vishnu. However, the Nasadiya Sukta questions the omniscience of this overseer. Jannah The Quran contains many references to an afterlife in Eden for those who do good deeds.
Beneath it flow rivers. Perpetual is the fruits thereof and the shade therein. Such is the End of the Righteous; and the end of the unbelievers is the Fire. Children automatically go to Heaven when they die, regardless of the religion of their parents.
The concept of Heaven in Islam differs in many respects to the concept in Judaism and Christianity. Heaven is described primarily in physical terms as a place where every wish is immediately fulfilled when asked.
Islamic texts describe immortal life in Heaven as happy, without negative emotions. Those who dwell in Heaven are said to wear costly apparel, partake in exquisite banquets, and recline on couches inlaid with gold or precious stones. Inhabitants will rejoice in the company of their parents, spouses, and children. In Islam if one's good deeds outweigh one's sins then one may gain entrance to Heaven.
Conversely, if one's sins outweigh their good deeds they are sent to hell. The more good deeds one has performed the higher the level of Heaven one is directed to. It has been said that the lowest level of Heaven, the first one, is already over one-hundred times better than the greatest life on Earth. The highest level is the seventh Heaven. Houses are built by angels for the occupants using solid gold.