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Death in religion (2)

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Hindu believes in a life after death – the body is only a temporary material envelope. When the time comes to leave the life, it is said that all the faculties of action and excitement fold in the mind (manas) and mental folds in the breath (prana) and breath in the individual soul or Jivatman and finally it returns to Brahman and attains moksha or liberation.

However, if his karma has accumulated the result of too many negative acts (evil deeds), the atman incarnates in a new body on a planet like the Earth (or inferior, which is hell), in order to undergo the weight of his evil deeds. If karma is positive, he will live like a god or demigod, on one of the heavenly planets (superior to the Earth, or heaven).

Once exhausted its karma, the soul returns to earth in another body within a caste.

This cycle is called samsara. To break this perpetual cycle, the Hindu should live so that his Karma is neither negative nor positive, according to this verse from the Bhagavad Gita (II.11): “While speaking learned words, you are mourning for what is not worthy of grief. Those who are wise lament neither for the living nor the dead.” At the time of death the mind is separate from the body. The uninitiated will be taken by an irresistible urge to regain one, and this is what he will do. For cons, the initiate will find the door of liberation.


In Islam, the consequence of the death of the body is the separation of the latter with the soul (which is the angel of death, named Malak Al Mawt, who is responsible for this task). The body, meanwhile, must resurrect to rejoin the soul to the end of time when the Last Judgment. The Qur’an describes in detail and mentions many times the resurrection and the Last Judgement.

According to Islam, all beings are destined to die, as shown in Sura 3 – Ali ‘Imran (Family of Imran), verse 185: “Every soul will taste death.” Including the angel of death itself, which will be the last to die, but with the exception of God, which is eternal.

From the perspective of the ritual, when a Muslim is at the threshold of death, he must pronounce the last time the shahada, the testimony of Faith. Those who assist in agony should make him repeat it and read Sura 36 YA-SIN at the bedside of the dying because it encourages the soul to not be tempted by the Devil in the throes of death. After death, the body is washed and wrapped in pieces of white cloth (Al Kafn), the shroud, subsequently Muslims tell the funeral prayer Salat Al Janaza, preferably in the mosque, after which they proceed at the earliest possible funeral. The body is buried face towards Mecca or, if in a coffin, it is positioned such that Mecca is located to its right. The funeral rite consists of throwing earth on the shroud (if there is no coffin), while those present pray and invoke God to help the deceased to answer the questions of Monkar and Nakir, the two angels that question the dead in their graves.


In Jainism, as in Hinduism, the soul is subject to the cycle of birth and death. The soul is therefore a separate entity that travels beyond the limits and the disappearance of bodies.


In the Jewish religion, it is considered that death is merely the separation of body (guf) and soul (nefesh). This soul, once freed from its bodily envelope, goes according to actions performed in human life in different places. If the actions have been good and if the Jewish respected the commandments of the Torah’s, soul ascend to heaven in lower or higher degrees and thanks to the lightness of his soul. Unlike a life full of sins weigh down, the soul will be condemned to wander the earth, level 0, and desire perpetually unable to satisfy its lack of material body needs. A hellish state of wandering and suffering.

When a person dies, one must bury him after three days (the soul can return to the deceased’s body and can come back to life, within a period of three days. The only reason why they do not bury the dead on the same day is when death occurs just before or during a holiday (Yom-Tov). A man (volunteer of an association, the Chevra kaddisha, the “holy brotherhood”) who does not know the deceased, cleanses the body, heals wounds (if the deceased had), dresses in a white robe and covers the deceased’s head with his tallit that he wore during his life. Then, the removal of the body takes place in an hour. The body of the deceased, (head covered to toe) is exposed in a coffin in his house or in the hospital. Only family is allowed to stay around coffin. At that time, the person who cleaned the body reads the tehillim. Read tehillim is supposed to call the deceased’s soul, for the soul is seven days after the death, just above the body, and see and hear everything that happens in the room. Finally, the burial takes place. Friends and family go to the cemetery, a deceased tribute speech is delivered and blessings are recited before planting. When they bury the coffin, the mourners (son, brothers and relatives of the deceased) throw dirt on the coffin before the burial. Mourners then tear their clothes in mourning and finally recite kaddish.

The Jewish religion attaches extreme importance and a deep respect for the deceased. They then recite the Kaddish at least five times a day for one year from the funeral, in order to allow the soul of the deceased to get into heavenly “levels”.


Spiritualists believe that every individual exists before birth and incarnates on Earth to progress and live an educational experience. The incarnation causing a temporary loss of memory of past lives. The death of the material body releases the eternal spirit of the man, who then returns a “spiritual dimension” corresponding to their level of advancement.

Jehovah’s Witnesses

Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that at death the soul dies together with the body. The body and soul are all, one can not exist without the other, “and man became a living soul” (Gen 2: 7 TDMN). Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that some of the dead will be resurrected in a physical way on Earth (transformed into paradise) without pain (eg John the Baptist will have its head), and others (anointed Christians, the 144,000, the faithful apostles. ..) will be resurrected to heaven (spiritual) with a totally different spiritual body from the physical body (eg no sex male/female).

Latter-day Saints

Plan of salvation(The plan of salvation as taught by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Plan_of_Salvation.jpg)

For Latter-day Saints (Mormonism), the pre-existence, life before birth in the presence of God, life on earth, testing time and experience, and life after death, are part of the Plan of salvation. After death, the spirit world is the place where it is awaited the spirit of man between death and resurrection. It has two distinct parts: the spirit prison where those are received who have not obeyed the gospel or who have not accepted while they were on earth or who have not had the opportunity to hear it, and paradise. The gospel is taught in the spirit prison and those who accept the sacrament of baptism celebrated in their favor in the temples are in paradise. Every human being resurrected (meeting of body and mind) before being brought before God for final judgment which will take into account the totality of the judged person (knowledge, deeds, words, thoughts, desires, repentance). According to these criteria, one of the three degrees of glory, telestial, terrestrial or celestial (in the presence of God) will be assigned.


The high symbolic content of death and the strong emotional charge related to the death of human beings have shaped the imagination of men who have created a character, Death, who picks people at the end of their lives.

Two symbolic representations stand out: the sweet and austere. The first refers to sweet death that releases infinite suffering that life forces us. The second underscores the cruel, cold and irreversible side it can take when mourners mourn.

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