Life After Death
All of the major religions believe in life after death. However the
ideas from religion to religion can vary greatly. I am going to look
at Hinduism and Christianity, two religions that I have been
surrounded by all my life, and the different perceptions they have of
life after death, and then I will give my own view.
"For certain is death for the born and certain is birth for the dead;
therefore, over the inevitable thou shouldst not grieve." This quote
from the Bhagwat Gita (Hindu holy book) sums up the Hindu perspective
on life after death. Hindus believe that the time they will spend on
earth is decided from the moment they are born, and that how long they
will live, chosen by God, can not be changed. Therefore, if a young
person dies the family can be consoled by the thought that the tine
they had spent on earth was what God had intended for them. Another
thought that comforts Hindus after the death of a loved one is their
belief in reincarnation. Reincarnation means to be born again.
According to the teachings of Lord Krishna, a person dying is "only
like the shedding of old clothes and putting on news ones". People can
be confident that the person that has died would have gone on to a
better life because they would have fulfilled their karma in life.
Karma is duties from God that humans must fulfil, such as praying,
being good to others and not killing man or animal. When someone is
reincarnated the soul transfers to another body and will eventually
become one with God.
When Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden they brought sin
into the world. This meant that from then on all people would be born
with original sin (the sin of Adam and Eve) and would be more likely
to do wrong than right. It also meant than human beings would not be
immortal and would eventually die. There was no suggestion that they
would go to heaven. Christianity developed from Judaism. This religion
believed originally that when people died they went to a dark place
under the earth called Sheol. Later, Jews began to believe that they
might share some sort of eternal life with God after death. When Jesus
died on the cross he was giving up his life for other people's sins
and demonstrating the love of God. When Jesus rose again he proved
that it was possible to overcome death and live with God for all
eternity. Christians were freed from the burden of original sin if
they followed Jesus' teaching and example and believed in him as the
Son of God. Jesus said, 'I am the resurrection and the life. He who
believes in me will live, even though he dies' - John 11:25-26. Many
Christians believe that one day Jesus will...