Life after death is the belief that people would exist in some type of form after they die. This belief is known in many religions such as Christianity, Sikhism, and Hinduism. Some people believe that after death, their spirits or their soul would go into a spiritual realm, like Heaven. Other people believe that they will be reborn and relive the cycle of life, but they would most likely be unable to remember their other life. Leading on to this view, people believe that they will continue to live this continuous cycle of rebirth until they have succeeded and reach their ultimate goal, which is to enter a spiritual realm. In contrast to this, other people believe that we only have one life and that the dead goes to a specific place/realm. This is determined by God on Judgement Day, where God will judge you based on your actions in your life.
Hindus believe in Samsara which is a continuous cycle of life, death, and reincarnation. When a person dies, their atman (the eternal soul and the part of Brahman which lives within people) is reborn in a different body. Atman involves the idea of the person as a spirit rather than a human being. Atman can be reborn a lot of times (up to 8,400,000), which is stated in the Bhagavad Gita: “As a person casts off worn-out clothes and puts on new ones, so does the atman cast-off worn-out bodies and enter new ones.” Hindus believe that an atman may enter swarg (the Hindus heavenly realm) or narak (the Hindus hellish realm) for a period before rebirth.
By living life according to teachings in the scriptures will lead to moksha, which is freedom from samsara and is the Hindu’s goal. The purpose of each life is to purify people’s mind and heart, to free atman from the body and the material world and can reach the final goal of Moksha. Some Hindus believe that the atman is absorbed into Brahman because they are the same, whereas other Hindus believe that atman and Braham are different, so after moksha, they both stay separate. They believe that atman will be in the existence of Brahman but it will be unique and individual. For example, the Maitri Upanishad states:
“Even as water becomes one with water, fire with fire, and air with air, so the atman becomes one with the Infinite Atman (Brahman) and thus attains final freedom.”
There is some evidence about the Hindu’s belief about life after death because many people have claimed to see past life memories, such as Taranjit Singh. When Taranjit Singh was 6 years old, he claimed that in his past life he was born in Chahhchela village in Jalandhar, his real name was Satnam Singh and his father’s name was Jeet Singh. He also claimed that he went to school at the time of his death. On September 10, he said that a scooter-rider hit him as he was returning home from school and died the following day. This belief gives people a second chance. If someone had bad karma in their previous life and gets reborn, they can do good karma in their next life to “repay” their karma for their previous life.
However, a weakness is that it is a curse. For example, someone can be brought up in a rich family in their previous life and then suddenly, they are brought up in poverty in their next life. This shows that it is a curse because people would not know what will happen to them in their next life. Secondly, it is a belief. Although people have been claiming to see past life memories, there is not any scientific evidence or proof that it is real. Some people may think that people who believe that they saw a past life memory is lying and making it up.
Christians believe in life after death because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. They believe that God’s divine plan for humankind is part of Jesus’ death and resurrection. When Jesus died on the cross, he paid for people’s sins and restored people’s relationship with God, which is called the atonement. The Bible teaches Christians that the dead will be raised and brought before God for judgement at the end of the world. The Apostles’ Creed teaches Christians that Jesus resurrected from the dead: “The third day He arose again from the dead”.
Christians believe that they only have one life so they only have one chance to do the right things (not just good actions) so they can go to Heaven after they die. Some Christians believe that for people to go to Heaven, they must believe in Jesus, the son of God, whereas others believe that anyone can go to heaven from the parable of the sheep and the goat because it says that “all nations will be gathered before him” to be judged on their actions and the way they treat others. Heaven is a place where there are eternal life and the place of angels and the Throne of God. Heaven is described as “paradise” and a “higher place”, compared to the Underworld or Hell. Protestants believe that they must accept Jesus Christ as their saviour, and then Jesus will assume their sins.
Many Christians believe that after they die, God will judge the deeds they have done or failed during their lifetime. Some Christians believe in “The day of Judgement”, which is when everybody would be judged at the same time. Others believe that judgment day happens in two stages, which are the personal judgment (this happens when you die) and the definitive judgment (this happens at the end of time).
Most Christians believe in Hell, which is a place where the souls of the unsaved suffer the consequences of sin. The Bible describes Hell as a “wrath” and “everlasting destruction”. In the 19th Century, the threats of Hell (such as paintings) persuaded many people to become Christians and go to Church so they can go to Heaven. However, Christians believe that God is loving and forgiving. Therefore, if people repent, then they will be forgiven which is why some Christians reject the idea of Hell or believe that people can get out of Hell. Other Christians believe that their loving and forgiving God would never send people to a place of everlasting suffering (Hell). People believe that the idea of hell comes from the valley of Gehenna outside Jerusalem. During Biblical times, the valley of Gehenna was where fires were burned every day. However, during medieval times, the idea of Hell was a place of demons and fire.
Roman Catholics believe that there is place in between Heaven and Hell called Purgatory. These Christians would pray for the dead to get them into Heaven. It is a place where people’s souls go to if they are not ready to go to heaven. To get to Heaven from Purgatory, Christians would be free from their sins.
A weakness is that there is not any evidence about whether the Christian’s belief of life after death is true, so people do not know if there is Heaven or Hell because it is a belief. Another weakness is that people are not given a second chance. Nevertheless, some Christians may argue that there is a second chance by repenting and praying to God to forgive their sins.
A strength is that it allows people to lead a good life because they know that after their death, they would be judged. This would also benefit the world and the society we live in. For an example, if people were caring for the ill and doing the right things, it encourages other people to do the same thing, which makes the world a happier place to live in and more people would go to Heaven.
Sikhs believe in the idea of reincarnation. This means that after people die, they are reborn in a new body. They also believe the cycle of samsara, where people experience the cycle of life, death, and rebirth. Sikhs believe that we will experience the continuous cycle of rebirth unless we seek liberation. This is where we are free from the cycle of rebirth and have achieved Mukti, which is where we can be united with God.
Karma is an action, which has consequences. For example, bad karma, such as stealing, forces you to live the continuous cycle of rebirth, whereas good karma removes the bad karma. Karma, in a way, determines your future because it affects their next life. Therefore, rebirth depends on your actions in your previous life – so it is not a random occurrence. If you perform bad karma, you will suffer in your next life. Therefore, Sikhs perform good deeds (good karma) to free themselves from the cycle of reincarnation.
Mukti is the final goal of Sikhism, where Sikhs are free from the cycle of rebirth. In Mukti, Sikhs can finally unite with God. To achieve, Mukti, Sikhs must live a virtuous life and do deeds, which will make them closer to God.
Buddhists believe in samsara, which is the cycle of life and death, and they also believe in karma. Buddhists believe that by doing good karma, they will gain enlightenment. Like Sikhs, Buddhists believe that good karma results in a better rebirth, whereas bad karma results in a worse rebirth. Buddhists believe that we can be reborn as any form of being such as, humans, animals, gods, demi-gods or ghosts. Escaping samsara (the cycle of rebirth) is called enlightenment or Nirvana.
After being enlightened or reaching Nirvana, Buddhists believe that we will no longer be reborn. Being enlightened means that Buddhists can see the world as it is and accepts the Four Noble Truths.
Buddhists believe in life after death because the Buddha stated:
“Long is the cycle of birth and death to the fool who does not know the true path.”
This means that humans are born an infinite amount of time unless they have achieved enlightenment.
The Torah states that after deaths Jew will reunite with their family members who have died. However, in the Tenakh, there is a reference to a place, Sheol. This is where the souls and spirits of the dead weight to be purified.
The Talmud suggests that after death, we will either go to Gan Eden or Gehenna. Gan Eden is a pace of paradise whereas Gehenna is a place of suffering and punishment. However, some Jews believe that Gehenna is a place where we can learn from our wrongdoings and be purified.
Jews believe that God judges people depending on how good or evil they have been throughout their life.
“God will bring every deed into judgement.”
Life after death is known as Akhirah. Muslims believe that people who live a good life will go to a place of paradise, Jannah. They also believe that people who live a bad will go to Hell, Jahannam.
However before they go to either of those places, Muslims believe that we would go to Barzakh. This is where the souls wait until Judgement Day. On Judgement Day the soul will be judged by Allah.
“[It will be] the Day when no soul shall have power [to do] aught [ie anything] for another”
You don’t have to be religious to believe that there is life after death. Some people refuse to accept that after they die, nothing will happen.
They want to believe that there is something after death – anything!
However, other people argue that after you die, your gone – no life after death or anything. They believe that you just stay in your grave forever.
There are many instances where people were dead for a couple of minutes and then came back to life.
There is a video I watched on YouTube about a woman who died for 90 minutes and then came back to life. Incredible,right? She said that after she died, she “crossed over into this other realm”; she also said that her body was floating in a white space, where she felt free.
What do I believe?
There must be life after death. There are so many interviews about people who had near-death experiences and claimed that there was another “realm.”
As a Christian, I do believe that there is life after death because of my faith and religion. However, I do respect those who do not believe in life after death. Now my question is: Do you believe in life after death?
I find watching videos about people who had a near-death experience interesting because they tell us what they when they “died.”It proves that there is life after death because people have experienced it.
I know that some of you may think that they are lying, but if everyone who had a near-death experience said that there is life after death, then it is more likely that it is true.
Comment down below what you think and whether you believe in life after death. I’m excited to hear your opinions!