Visitor: It is said in the scriptures that by doing virtuous deeds people are assured of heavenly enjoyments after death.

Bhagavan: Maybe. But are you sure that what all you do are virtuous actions only? Even then after heavenly life, you have to experience the fruits of actions which had not yet fructified. One would have to roll again and again, endlessly, in the cycle of birth.

V: That is why I sought Bhagavan's clarification.

Bh: Our aim should be the attainment of eternal bliss by realizing the truth. How can you aspire for karmic results?

V: Without proper understanding, many people are mad after heavenly enjoyments.

Bh: One might think that heaven is a place of enjoyment. However, things are not very different from this world there. Attachments, prejudices, jealousies etc. are there too. That enjoyment too is perishable for everything is centered on the ego. Because of pleasures, one's mind would not then turn inward in search of truth.

It is such a waste!

After the good karma which gave one the enjoyments of heaven are over one has to return.

What needs to be done is to inquire: 'for whom is this desire for heavenly enjoyment?' Such an inquiry is an absolute necessity.

V: People wrongly superimpose permanence on heavenly enjoyments.

Bh: How can it be? Everlasting bliss can be obtained only by eliminating the cycle of birth and death. Heaven is not the place for the realization of truth.

V: It means that we should not aspire for the fruits of actions but surrender them to God. This also implies we should make an attempt to attain self-knowledge here and now.

Bh: We do not know where heaven is nor as to how it is.
But we aspire for unknown things. In contrast, all the requirements for self-knowledge is ready at hand.
Why bother about unknown things when the wise ones
have shown us the way to attain Self-knowledge here itself?

- N.N.Rajan, More Talks With Ramana Maharshi,
13.4.42 afternoon