Does hell exist? What about the hell menu card?
Hell is essentially a place for reformation – like a prison. Just as a country is ruled by the national government, the universe is ruled by a universal government. Just as the national government sends those who break the state laws to prison, the universal government sends those who break the universal laws to hell. Just as the ultimate purpose of the prison is to reform the prisoners and the punishments in prison are meant as an impetus for reformation, the ultimate purpose of hell is to reform the errant souls and the punishments in hell are meant as an impetus for reformation.
Just as the government may deter people from crimes by telling them about the rigors of prison life, the so-called hell menu card – the description of various sufferings in hell – is meant to deter people from breaking God’s laws.
This kind of deterrence is a part of religion at the level of fear. Some religious leaders who don’t have love for God and are unable to inspire love for God among others may repeatedly refer to hell to use fear for pushing people towards morality and compliance with scripture.
However, if we aspire to love God and lead our lives according to that aspiration, then we don’t have to bother about such things, just as citizens aspiring to get the Bharat Ratna and leading their lives accordingly don’t have to bother about being sent to Tihar Jail.