Be it be an animal or human being, facing death is a difficult task for anyone. Losing our near and dear ones breaks us internally. We start thinking about the mysterious aspects of life that come after death. What happens to the dead? Is there an afterlife? Or they simply go to heaven? These are some of the questions which arise in our mind. Different religions have contrasting viewpoints regarding life and death. Let’s look at what different religions have to say about life after death.
In Hinduism, death is considered very spiritual and it staunchly believes in the reincarnation of souls and rebirth. Hinduism says after the death of a person his soul travels to the other world and again returns to the earth to begin a new journey. Hindus are cremated and not buried. This is because Hindus consider that the human body is made up of 5 elements i.e. water, fire, earth, space, and air and by cremating the elements are returned to their spheres. There is a belief that the soul returns to the world with a new body.
Christianity places its belief in heaven. They believe that after death the soul of the believer passes to heaven and enjoys the freedom from sins and sufferings. The Bible states that those who do not believe in Jesus will end up in hell, whereas those who do will end up in heaven achieving salvation. Initially, they believed only in burial but nowadays both burial and cremation are practised.
Islam states that the present life is a preparation for the existence in the next realm. Death is merely a journey from one world to the other. Prophet taught three things can help a person after death: knowledge taught, charity given and prayers by a righteous child. When a person dies, his body is washed and covered in a white clean cloth. While burying the deceased Muslims gather and perform prayers.
The origin of Buddhism is itself attributed to death. Lord Buddha was prompted by the awareness of death to explore the truth of his existence. Buddhism explains death as a break from the world of materialism. For them, it’s not a continuation of the soul but it’s an awakening. Rebirth is possible but the life of the reborn will be driven by the actions that he did in his past life. Monks and family members recite prayers while a person is close to death to keep his state of mind at peace.