Explain Different Religious Teachings on Life After Death

Topics: Reincarnation, Hinduism, Karma Pages: 2 (680 words) Published: March 2, 2005
Over two thousand years ago Saint Tiruvalluvar wrote that "Death is like falling asleep, and birth is like awakening from that sleep." The early Hindu's did not believe in Heaven, nor did they ascribe to such desire. Their early teachings were that they would be reunited with Mother Nature. There was no yearning to live eternally – their prayers were for a healthy life. The notion of reincarnation and Heaven evolved over time. In the Hindu religion, righteousness and to be without sin is of paramount importance. They are the determining factors whether one goes to Heaven or Hell. The Hindu's teach, "As it does and as it acts, so it becomes: The doer of good becomes good, and the doer of evil becomes evil…" Hindus moved onto believe in a cyclical time span. This means they believe people don not live and die just once but are reborn a number of times before reaching their final state. Hindus believe that after death the soul is reborn in this world to live a new life. What the person and into which caste they are reborn into is decided by there karma. Karma will try to increase their goof karma by keeping dharma which is their duty to the Gods. The process of being born growing, dying and being reborn is called samsara. It is the goal of every Hindu to be freed from this cycle in order to be in the presence of God or become on with God. The idea of reincarnation derives from the Bhagavad-Gita. There are three four verses imparticular, the first one talk about the soul not ever being born or dying that it is always alive and it is therefore the body which dies. "It (the self) is not born, and It does not die; nor is it ever that this One having been nonexistent becomes existent again. This One is birthless, eternal, undecaying, ancient; It is not killed when the body is killed." - Gita Ch. 2 Verse 20 The second verse related to reincarnation states "As after rejecting (discarding) worn-out clothes a man takes up other new ones (clothes), likewise after...

Bibliography: Hinduism: Origins, Beliefs, Practices, Holy Texts, Sacred Places ISBN: 0195221443
Hinduism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introduction S.) Kim Knott ISBN: 0192853872
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