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Life after Death

Is there life after death?

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At the moment of death the sum of all experiences O Thou compassionate Lord, Thou Who art
of life on earth comes to the surface of the mind – generous and able! We are servants of Thine
for in the mind are stored all impressions of past sheltered beneath Thy providence. Cast Thy glance
deeds – and the dying man then becomes absorbed of favor upon us. Give light to our eyes, hearing to
in these experiences. Then comes complete loss of our ears, and understanding and love to our
memory. Next there arises before man’s mind the hearts. Render our souls joyous and happy through
vision of his life to come, a vision regulated by his Thy glad tidings. O Lord! Point out to us the
impressions of his past deeds; and he no longer pathway of Thy kingdom and resuscitate all of us
recollects his life on earth. This complete through the breaths of the Holy Spirit. Bestow
forgetfulness of his past identity is death. upon us life everlasting and confer upon us never-
ending honor. Unify mankind and illumine the
– Simad Bhagavatam world of humanity. May we all follow Thy pathway,
Hindu Writings long for Thy good pleasure and seek the mysteries
of Thy kingdom. O God! Unite us and connect our
Those who remember me at the time of death will hearts with Thy indissoluble bond. Verily, Thou art
come to Me [God]. Do not doubt this. Whatever the Giver, Thou art the Kind One and Thou art the
occupies the mind at the time of death determines Almighty!
the destiny of the dying; always they will tend
toward that state of being. Therefore, remember
Me [God] at all times. – `Abdu'l-Bahá
Bahá’í Prayer
– Bhagavad Gita 8.5-7]
Hindu Writings
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The world beyond is as different from this world as this

All the living must die, and dying, return to the
world is different from that of the child while still in the
womb of its mother. When the soul attains the Presence ground; this is what is called kuei. The bones and
of God, it will assume the form that best befits its flesh molder below, and, hidden away, become
immortality and is worthy of its celestial habitation. The the earth of the fields. But the spirit issues forth,
nature of the soul after death can never be described, and is displayed on high in a condition of glorious
nor is it meet and permissible to reveal its whole brightness. The vapors and odors which produce a
character to the eyes of men. The Prophets and feeling of sadness, [and arise from the decay of
Messengers of God have been sent down for the sole their substance], are the subtle essences of all
purpose of guiding mankind to the straight Path of Truth. things, and also a manifestation of the shen
The purpose underlying Their revelation hath been to nature.
educate all men, that they may, at the hour of death,
ascend, in the utmost purity and sanctity and with
absolute detachment, to the throne of the Most High. – Confucianism Book of Ritual 21.2.1
The light which these souls radiate is responsible for the Buddhist Writings
progress of the world and the advancement of its
peoples. They are like unto leaven which leaveneth the
world of being, and constitute the animating force
through which the arts and wonders of the world are
made manifest. Through them the clouds rain their
bounty upon men, and the earth bringeth forth its fruits.
All things must needs have a cause, a motive power, an
animating principle. These souls and symbols of
detachment have provided, and will continue to provide,
the supreme moving impulse in the world of being.

– Bahá'u'lláh
Bahá'í Writings
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The progress of man’s spirit in the divine world If the dead are not raised (to another life), “Let us
after the severance of its connection with the eat and drink, for tomorrow we die…” But
body of dust, is through the bounty and grace of someone may ask, “How are the dead raised?
the Lord alone, or through the intercession and With what kind of body will they come?”…There
the sincere prayers of other human souls, or are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly
through the charities and important good works bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is
which are performed in its name. Though death one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is
destroy his body, it has no power over his spirit – another. The sun has one kind of splendor, the
this is eternal, everlasting, both birthless and moon another and the stars another; and star
deathless. As to the soul of man after death, it differs from star in splendor.
remains in the degree of purity to which it has
evolved during life in the physical body, and after So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The
it is freed from the body it remains plunged in the body that is sown is perishable, it is raised
ocean of God's Mercy. From the moment the soul imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in
leaves the body and arrives in the Heavenly World, glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power;
its evolution is spiritual, and that evolution is: The it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual
approaching unto God. body. If there is a natural body, there is also a
spiritual body…And just as we have borne the
likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the
likeness of the man from heaven. I declare to you,
– `Abdu'l-Bahá
Bahá'í Writings
brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the
kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit
the imperishable.

– Corinthians 15:32-50
Christian Writings
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How shall I lose the sin, yet keep the sense,

And love th' offender, yet detest th' offence? When I pondered on the ups and downs of life
How the dear object from the crime remove,
All I could see was that pain and sorrow were rife.
Or how distinguish penitence from love?
Unequal task! a passion to resign, Unreciprocated love, bereavement, loss of home,
For hearts so touch'd, so pierc'd, so lost as mine. Betrayal and frustration, wherever we many roam,
Ere such a soul regains its peaceful state, But through witnessing all that was negative
How often must it love, how often hate! We are enabled to realize the positive.
How often hope, despair, resent, regret, Through loss of all our worldly wealth
Conceal, disdain — do all things but forget.
We realize it can buy neither happiness nor health
But let Heav'n seize it, all at once 'tis fir'd;
Not touch'd, but rapt; not waken'd, but inspir'd!
We experience ecstatic reunion after long separation
Oh come! oh teach me nature to subdue, Without reaching the depths, we can’t experience elevation
Renounce my love, my life, myself — and you. As falsehood all around I view
Fill my fond heart with God alone, for he I learned to concentrate on all that is true.
Alone can rival, can succeed to thee. When I discovered that human love could never last
I learnt of God’s everlasting love, and cling on fast
How happy is the blameless vestal's lot!
The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
And when we reach the end after our good innings
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind! We know it is really just the beginning
Each pray'r accepted, and each wish resign'd; All these are but the steps to help us rise
Labour and rest, that equal periods keep; Up the ladder that leads to Paradise.
"Obedient slumbers that can wake and weep;"
Desires compos'd, affections ever ev'n,
Tears that delight, and sighs that waft to Heav'n.
– Joy Philippou PhD
Grace shines around her with serenest beams,
Bahá'í Poet & Author
And whisp'ring angels prompt her golden dreams.
For her th' unfading rose of Eden blooms,
And wings of seraphs shed divine perfumes,
For her the Spouse prepares the bridal ring,
For her white virgins hymeneals sing,
To sounds of heav'nly harps she dies away,
And melts in visions of eternal day.

– Alexander Pope
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Not like this world is the world to Come. In the

World to Come there is neither eating nor
drinking; no procreation of children or business
transactions; no envy or hatred or rivalry; but
the righteous sit enthroned, their crowns on
their heads, and enjoy the luster of the Divine
Splendor [God]. …the dust returns to the ground
it came from, and the spirit returns to God who
gave it.
– Ecclesiastes 12:7 Mid-point intermission:
Jewish Writings
Discussions & Dialogue
O people! Fear God, and whatever you do, do it
anticipating death. Try to attain everlasting
blessing in return for transitory and perishable
wealth, power, and pleasures of this world. Be
prepared for a fast passage because here you
are destined for a short stay. Always be ready
for death, for you are living under its shadow.
Be wise like people who have heard the
message of God and have taken a warning from
it…You must remember to gather from this life
such harvest as will be of use and help to you
hereafter [the next world].

– Nahjul Balagha, Sermon 67

Muslim Writings