Religious Beliefs on the After-Life Essay

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Death is a terrible tragedy that strikes everyone on this planet. It fills everyone’s mind with grief and dread. Perhaps for this reason, a belief in After-life maybe consistent with the psychological needs of the individual, since it acts as a measure of comfort. Every culture has a different perspective on After-life, which can be seen from an anthropological perspective. Anthropology is defined as ‘the study of people, or more properly, of human kind’ (Podolefsky, Brown and Lacy, 2009). There are various approaches to an anthropological study; this essay will focus on the cross cultural approach. The cross cultural perspective can be defined as a comparative study of aspects of two cultures (Thirumaran, 2011). This essay will…show more content…
In Hinduism, the body is just a temple for the soul. This soul is identified as part of the ‘the ultimate reality’ or an astral body (Firth, 2005). The body must be transformed and purified through fire to detach the spirit from its earthly bounds, so that the spirit can cross over. Once the soul has crossed, it will await judgment. On the other hand in the Islamic religion, the attachment of the soul to the body is highly essential. ‘In Islam it is presumed that life continues after death, and it is therefore essential to preserve the body’ (Starkey, 2009). To preserve the body, the Islamic followers tend to bury it. In the graves, the spirit of the body is faced with torments of the darkness, where the spirit suffers for the bad deeds of its life (Starkey, 2009). The spirits wait in the grave until they are called by Allah (Islamic god) to receive a judgment (Starkey, 2009) whereas the forgiven spirits will get a glimpse of paradise and find their graves very peaceful. These are a few points on how the body should be treated for after life according to Hinduism and Islamic cultures. For judgment, according to both the religion, has to reach a specific place. In both the religions, the souls are transported to this location by the Death Angel. According to Hinduism, the Death Angel is termed as Yamaraj. Yamaraj (Yama) has various followers called Yamduts, who will bring the soul to Yamlok (Indian Mythology, Hindu Mythology Articles). In Yamlok, an Angel
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