Death is often feared because it is considered as the end of life. However, when you try to analyze death in the light of different religious scriptures, you will find that most religions believe in eternal life.
Christianity, for instance believes in the continued existence of the soul that is ideally meant to reach Heaven and they eternal life there in the presence of God. Islam, too, believes in this sort of afterlife of the soul in Paradise or Hell after the Day of Judgment.
Moreover, accounts of near-death experiences also hint toward an afterlife as many people have seen an indescribable yet soothing light and even met their deceased loved ones there.
According to Buddhism and Hinduism, though, the soul tends to take birth again after death. In fact, as per these religions, the spirit soul’s next birth greatly depends upon the state of mind in which a person dies.
You can read about the Tibetan Buddhist teachings on death and rebirth on this page.
“Life, death and rebirth are inevitable.”- Rig Veda
Moreover, it is stated in Bhagavad Gita, “As person abandons worn-out clothes and acquires new ones, so when the body is worn out a new one is acquired by the Self, who lives within.”
The same Gita explains the spirit soul as, “It is only the body which dies, and not the soul. The soul can never be perished, burned by fire, or cut by a sword. The soul is eternal, and one who attains the knowledge of the self, know him to have attained me.”
The Hindus believe that the soul changes bodies just like we change clothes. Hence, throughout its existence, the soul takes birth and dies numerous times. These various rebirths are also referred to as the reincarnations of the soul.
Thus, simply put, the changeless spirit remains the same but its subtle covering, that is, the ethereal soul, is filled with desires and has a number of karmic debts, it takes birth in different species of life, whether as a micro-organism, animal, tree, or human being.
Unless these desires and karmic reactions are exhausted, transmigration of the soul from one body to another does not end.
The cessation of this cycle of birth and death is called salvation or ‘nirvana’ as per Buddhism. In case you are not sure about the concept of karma then suffice it to know that karma refers to one’s deeds and actions based on one’s intentions.
However, one does not tend to remember one’s previous births. Incidents of NDEs, though, give us a glimpse of what happens after death. Furthermore, individuals have reported unusual experiences during coma, too.
In addition, though not proven, some people have also reported remembering tits and bits about their past lives.
The phase between death and next birth is not clear but according to Spiritualscientist.com, during this time, the soul which is not spiritually advanced is prone to be attacked by negative energies.
Moreover, it is attached to its physical body even after death. Thus, it is recommended to follow the funeral rituals, cremate the body, and disperse the ashes and the urn in holy waters to help the soul move to its next destination instead of continuing to linger on the earthly plane.
Thus, the concept of death and repeated births emphasizes the importance of life and makes one inquire about its actual meaning and purpose.
As we all know, life, especially human life is a special gift from God because humans are endowed with much better intelligence than other beings. Thus, it is one’s responsibility to lead this life in a suitable manner and use it constructively.