The Journey Of Soul After Death In Hinduism

Death has remained an enigma, perplexing human civilizations since time immemorial. What lies on the other side of death, and the fate of our soul after passing away, continue to be profound mysteries. Even in the realm of modern science, a clear definition of the soul and its composition remains elusive.

Science demands tangible evidence, proof, or empirical observations to acknowledge the existence of the soul, yet no one has returned from the brink of death to provide the necessary evidence for scientific validation.

As a result, we find ourselves in a perplexing quandary, unable to ascertain the existence of places akin to heaven or hell. Are the stories we’ve heard since childhood mere products of human imagination, created to fill the void of the unknown?

This void in our understanding can evoke a deep sense of fear when contemplating death, despite our awareness that it is an inevitable fate awaiting all living beings on Earth, sooner or later.

The Nature Of Souls As Per Hinduism

In Hinduism, ancient seers and sages conducted extensive studies of this natural phenomenon, delving into its intricacies with great depth. Their profound insights and discoveries were subsequently distilled and documented in various texts and scriptures.

These texts went on to become sacred, forming the bedrock of our comprehension of why we—referring to all living beings—exist and what our ultimate life purpose entails.

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Among these teachings, there is a knowledge known as ‘Paraloka-Vidya,’ which elucidates the true nature of death and its connection to the attainment of ‘moksha,’ or liberation. This sacred wisdom offers profound insights into the cycle of life and death, as well as the path toward spiritual liberation.

Souls Are Immortal & Imperishable

In Hindu beliefs, souls are considered to be immortal and imperishable, possessing a purely spiritual nature. Souls are not tangible, physical entities that can be perceived through our senses. To elaborate, the soul itself lacks the capacity to experience sensations.

Instead, it is the body that serves as the conduit through which a soul experiences worldly emotions and sensations. One way to conceptualize the soul is as a form of energy, akin to how energy is never created nor destroyed but merely transforms. In a similar vein, souls are understood to be enduring and eternal, transcending the boundaries of physical existence.

The Physical Body Is Bound To Get Decayed

On the contrary, physical bodies are composed of earthly materials and are subject to decay, eventually returning to the elements of the earth. Thus, physical bodies are inherently temporary and destined to perish. This aligns with the Yogic Philosophy adage: ‘Everything that is created will be destroyed, sooner or later.

In Hinduism, the belief is that when we pass away, our souls undergo one of two fates. They either attain liberation, known as ‘moksha,’ where they break free from the cycle of death and rebirth, or they return to the earth to continue their journey through the process of reincarnation.

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Souls that are bound to this cycle will be reborn into new bodies until they achieve moksha, signifying the cessation of this perpetual cycle of death and rebirth.

Types Of Souls As Per Hinduism

Now, let’s explore Hinduism’s deeper insights into souls and their fundamental purpose. According to Hindu belief, there are two distinct types of souls: ‘Jivatman‘ and ‘Paramatman.’

Jivatman‘ refers to the individual soul residing within a living being, encapsulating the essence of that particular being’s consciousness and life force.

Paramatman,’ on the other hand, represents the universal soul, omnipresent throughout the cosmos. This universal soul is known by a multitude of names in various traditions, such as the Supreme Self, the Supersoul, the Universal Consciousness, Absolute Reality, Absolute Truth, God/Brahman, and many more. It embodies the all-encompassing, transcendent aspect of spiritual existence.

The Journey Of Souls According To Hinduism

It is believed that the Jivatman has a singular purpose for its existence, which is to attain union with the Paramatman as swiftly as possible, thereby breaking free from the endless cycle of life and death.

Within Hinduism, every living being possesses a Jivatman, but it is the human Jivatman that possesses the unique capability to achieve this reunion with the Paramatman. Consequently, the core foundation of Hinduism and its teachings centers around the aspiration to merge with the Supreme Self, the Absolute Reality.

When a human being passes away, their soul undergoes one of two destinies: liberation or rebirth in a different body. The nature of the life the soul experiences in its reincarnation is determined solely by the cumulative deeds, or ‘karma,’ it has amassed during its sojourn within the previous body. Karma plays a pivotal role in shaping the soul’s journey through this cycle of birth and rebirth.

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Where Do Souls Live Before Rebirth

If you’ve been following along, you might be wondering about the destination of a soul before it’s reborn in a different body. The Garuda Purana, a sacred Hindu scripture, provides a detailed account of this process. According to the Garuda Purana, when a person passes away, their soul is escorted to the abode of Lord Yama by his attendants, known as Yamaduta. In Lord Yama’s realm, the soul undergoes a 14-day journey, during which it experiences various trials.

Over these fourteen days, malevolent spirits face retribution, while virtuous and righteous souls are rewarded with reverence. Following this period, each soul is assigned a yoni based on their past life actions. Some souls return to take rebirth in a new body, while others attain moksha, liberation from the cycle of birth and rebirth.

For those unfamiliar with the term, ‘yoni’ represents the various forms of life that exist on Earth, encompassing human life, animal life, plant life, and more. Therefore, different types of yoni exist, and ‘Manushya Yoni’ in Hindu scriptures specifically denotes the human form of life.

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Shiba Prasad

Shiba Prasad

I've been captivated by India's ancient history and Vedic culture. What began as a hobby, reading books on Hinduism, has now turned into my full-time commitment, researching and writing for this blog. When not working, I enjoy spending time with friends.

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