The Bhagavata Ethics part10

The apparent contradiction raised against God's spotless character by the existence of material suffering is resolved when we consider both the purpose and mercy behind the existence of such suffering and how it is intimately connected with God's plan to bring those who have turned away from Him to the condition of infinite happiness.
Science of Identity Foundation – Tusta Krishna Das
In the common-place books of the Hindu religion in which the rajo and tamo-guna have been described as the ways of religion, we have descriptions of a local heaven and a local hell; the Heaven as beautiful as anything on earth and the Hell as ghastly as any picture of evil. Besides this Heaven we have many more places, where good souls are sent up in the way of promotion! There are 84 divisions of the hell itself, some more dreadful than the one which Milton has described in his “Paradise Lost”. These are certainly poetical and were originally created by the rulers of the country in order to check evil deeds of the ignorant people, who are not able to understand the conclusions of philosophy. The religion of the Bhagavata is free from such a poetry. Indeed, in some of the chapters we meet with descriptions of these hells and heavens, and accounts of curious tales, but we have been warned somewhere in the book, not to accept them as real facts, but as inventions to overawe the wicked and to improve the simple and the ignorant. The Bhagavata , certainly tells us a state of reward and punishment in future according to deeds in our present situation. All poetic inventions, besides this spiritual fact, have been described as statements borrowed from other works in the way of preservation of old traditions in the book which superseded them and put an end to the necessity of their storage. If the whole stock of Hindu theological works which preceded the Bhagavata were burnt like the Alexandrian library and the sacred Bhagavata preserved as it is, not a part of the philosophy of the Hindus except that of the atheistic sects, would be lost. The Bhagavata therefore, may be styled both as a religious work and a compendium of all Hindu history and philosophy.

The Bhagavata does not allow its followers to ask anything from God except eternal love towards Him. The kingdom of the world, the beauties of the local heavens and the sovereignty over the material world are never the subjects of Vaishnava prayer. The Vaishnava meekly and humbly says, “Father, Master, God, Friend and Husband of my soul! Hallowed be Thy name! I do not approach You for anything which You have already given me. I have sinned against You and I now repent and solicit Your pardon. Let Thy holiness touch my soul and make me free from grossness. Let my spirit be devoted meekly to Your Holy service in absolute love towards Thee. I have called You my God, and let my soul be wrapped up in admiration at Your greatness! I have addressed You as my Master and let my soul be strongly devoted to your service. I have called You my friend, and let my soul be in reverential love towards You and not in dread or fear! I have called you my husband and let my spiritual nature be in eternal union with You, for ever loving and never dreading, or feeling disgust. Father! let me have strength enough to go up to You as the consort of my soul, so that we may be one in eternal love! Peace to the world.”!