Essay, 2 pages (450 words)

Comparative religions

Death is certain to happen in life, that is why religions have beliefs about death, life after death and so on. Although, no human beings knows the answer to the question, is there an After Life? , all religions have their belief of what is going to happen to you after death. Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism are three different religions that share some of the same beliefs. In the after life, all three religions believe that the ultimate goal is to reach some sort of after life, but getting there is what differs between the three.

Buddhist accepts the basic Hindu doctrine of reincarnation and Karma, as well as the ultimate goal of the religious life, which is to the escape of the cycle of death and rebirth. Buddhist believe that what kept one bound to the birth and death cycle is desire. Buddhist also believe the life as Samsara, meaning perpetual wandering. Buddhist use the word rebirth rather than reincarnation. Rebirth implies the essence of a soul, while reincarnation means causality or independent origination. Buddhist philosophy preaches its people to detach themselves from the worldly pleasures and seek Nirvana that will ultimately pave the way for salvation.

Jainism believes that all people are caught in an endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth. Jainism stresses detachment from the world and austerity. In Jainism, death leads to the liberation of the soul into an individual state of total knowledge and bliss, although this process may take several cycles of death and rebirth. The only way to break this cycle is to accumulate good karma or credit for good deeds. Sikhs believe that upon death one merges back into the universal nature. Sikhs do not believe in heaven or hell.

Heaven is experienced by being in tune with God while still alive. Suffering and pain caused by ego is seen as hell on earth. During birth the soul emerges into earth consciousness, with all memory of past lives. The cycle of reincarnation ends when karma has been resolved and the Self God has been realized. This is called Moksha. Then the soul continues to evolve and mature, but without the need to return to physical existence. Sikhism teaches that the soul reincarnates when the body dies. Sikhs believe that good, or bad actions, determine what will happen at rebirth.

At the time of death, egotistical souls may suffer great pain. But for a good soul fortunate enough to achieve grace, they are liberated from the cycle of reincarnation. All three religions believe in reaching one main goal- being one with the absolute. No religion is the same, the way they receive the absolute is different, but getting there is the main goal. Buddhist get there by escaping the cycle of death, Jains want to accumulate good karma and detach them selves from the world. And finally, Sikhs believe in being one with nature and having a good soul to be with God.

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