Has anyone seen heaven and earth
How do the five world religions see life after death?
People look for answers all their lives. Be it about the creation of the world, the question of the meaning of life or how it goes on after death. How the world must have come about has meanwhile been extensively researched scientifically. But when it comes to the afterlife, science reaches its limits. The subject remains a question of belief and religion. Each of the five world religions has its own ideas about it. Our article gives you an overview of the most important facts.
How Christians imagine life after death is shown in the Bible and the Creed. Three days after his crucifixion, Jesus rose from the dead and ascended to heaven. Since then, belief in eternal life has been an integral part of Christianity.
Believers who lived a life according to Christian morals go to heaven after their death. However, there is no uniform idea of what it looks like there. The New Testament describes heaven as a place where people meet God. In the Old Testament it was equated with paradise - the place Adam and Eve had to leave after defying God's prohibitions. For example, death from the perspective of Christianity is reflected in many funeral sayings and songs.
Even according to today's belief, sinners and bad people are punished. Instead of going to God, they are banished to hell. On Judgment Day, a person's good and bad deeds are weighed. This is how God decides who goes to heaven and who goes to hell.
In Judaism there is less talk about death than in other religions. Life before death plays a much more important role. Death is therefore seen as a transition between earthly and eternal life.
Jews differ widely about what will happen after this transition. Many Jews believe in the resurrection. Unlike in Christianity, in the Jewish faith all people are equal before God. Hell is regarded as a kind of intermediate station in which the souls of sinners are cleansed on their way to God. The relatives of the deceased pray regularly to please God and to support the deceased in his soul cleansing.
Muslims see death as a transition into another plane of life. As in many other religions, the distinction between paradise and hell has also spread in Islam. Muslims believe that after death they will walk across a bridge that leads to paradise. This is only broad enough for those who have lived a life according to Muslim values. Everyone else falls down to hell.
The body and soul of the deceased are separated by the Angel of Death Izrail. The angel of death decides whether the deceased has a good or a bad soul. Good people are brought before God before they enter the intermediate realm in the seven heavens.
Bad people are denied entry before the first heaven. An intermediate court will decide whether the sins will be punished. There the souls are asked questions about their beliefs. If you answer them correctly, you will have a life in Paradise until Judgment Day. If they give the wrong answer, they are in danger of going to hell.
Hinduism is one of many religions that believe in reincarnation. After death, a person's soul is reborn in another living being. Which form this will take depends on the karma - the sum of all positive, but also negative deeds and thoughts.
In the Hindu beliefs, death and rebirth are an eternal cycle. This cycle, which they call samsara, is seen as great suffering. Because reincarnation in certain living beings counts as punishment for bad deeds or qualities.
The cycle of reincarnation is through Moksha reached. Moksha means that the soul is redeemed and freed from all desires. Ultimately, through redemption, it is extinguished, which is the highest goal in life for the Hindus.
Since Buddhism developed from Hinduism, some parallels can be seen between the conceptions of the afterlife of the two religions.
Buddhists also believe in samsara - the cycle of reincarnation. Unlike the Hindus, the Buddhist cycle ends in nirvana. This is achieved when the soul is free from delusion, greed and hatred.
There is no single picture of nirvana. It doesn't describe a place. It also does not result in the quenching of the soul as it does with the Hindus. Rather, it is the highest level of consciousness a soul can reach. Buddha himself reached this state during his lifetime. But Buddhists also believe that reaching nirvana is a prerequisite for the soul to die out.
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