Life and death are a part of human life. But what happens to life after death? For thousands of years, people have discussed the answer to this question. There are various ideas on whether there is an afterlife and what happens to someone after death. Religious scriptures and texts talk about life after death. People who have been through near-death experiences also share their stories.
Let’s have a look at religious beliefs on life after death.
Hindu Beliefs: According to the Hindu religion, the human soul is immortal and never dies. After the death of a human, the soul(atman) is reborn in a different body through reincarnation. It is the good and the bad, actions (Karma) that determine the fate of the soul. The ultimate goal is to achieve “moksha,” i.e liberate oneself from the cycles of rebirth and become a part of an absolute soul.
Islamic Beliefs: In their teachings, life after death is known as Akhirah. They believe that on the day of Judgement, Allah raises their soul from the grave and judges it on its actions. Those who performed good deeds will enter Jannah (Heaven) and, those who performed bad deeds will get Jahannam(Hell). For them, life on earth is a short period until they live eternally.
Christian Beliefs: Among this religion, there is a contrast in the views depending upon the denomination. One set of Christians believe that after death, the soul is presented to God. God then judges the life spent on the earth and assigns the soul to Hell or Heaven. On the other hand, Roman Catholics believe that after death the soul reaches Purgatory, where the people who have committed sins are purified in cleansing fire.
Buddhist Beliefs: This religion does not believe in souls. After death, one is either reborn in a new form or achieves the stage of “Nirvana.” Like other religions, Buddhists believe in actions performed on earth. Thus, liberation from the cycle of birth and rebirth (Nirvana) can only be achieved by those who have attained enlightenment.
Jewish Beliefs: Among the jews, there are varying views regarding life after death. According to ancient Jewish laws, all people would descend in a dark place called the Sheol. After their teachings further developed some Jews believed that the soul and body will reunite, will others believed that the soul would be eternal.
However, similar or different the beliefs on life after death may be one should always respect each other’s views.