Buddhist beliefs afterlife Christian

logoBuddhist beliefs about death fundamentally explore the concept of reincarnation, or a process in which one’s spirit is continuously “reborn” in another body until a state of ultimate enlightenment is attained. Unlike Christianity, a Buddhist soul can be reincarnated into five different realms rather than just one “heaven”. These realms are the animal kingdom; the hells; the realm of jealous gods; the human realm and the heavens. Determining where your soul resides is based on karma, or the accumulation of all your actions during a lifetime. Correct and compassionate deeds will allow your soul to be reborn in higher, more pure levels of existence, until that desired state of nirvana is reached.

More on the Buddhist Concept of the Afterlife

According to Buddhist thought, hell in not a place where one suffers in eternal torment; rather, it is a temporary abode where you are able to transcend the negative karma you accumulated during your earthly life. Buddhism does not accept the idea of a permanently “bad” soul as in Christianity but instead subscribes to the concept of a soul as an entity which is connected to the dynamic universe. Only an accomplished Buddhist (a non-returner) can be reborn in the higher heavens called Pure Abodes, while “formless realms” are meant for Buddhists who are capable of meditation on the arupajhanas, or the most supreme concept reserved for skilled meditators.

Ending Rebirth

Buddhist philosophy asserts that the process of death and rebirth is instigated because of our desire to want things, to crave excitement and value meaningless baubles above all else. To stop the endless cycle of rebirth and attain eternal freedom means reaching for nirvana, or a state of being where one is free from all desire. Since our physical bodies are considered the origin of suffering, being free from rebirth will free the soul from desire and suffering.

Western society has been hesitant to accept the Buddhist views of the afterlife because it involves literally vanishing into the nothingness of freedom from suffering, a specifically anti-Christian concept.

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Memories of perfect harmony  — Free Malaysia Today
We respected one another's values and beliefs, so much so that I filled my chest with teachings of Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Atheism and so on, in addition to the compulsory Islamic classes for all Muslim girls.

Popular Q&A

What are Buddhist beliefs of mortality and afterlife?

According to Buddhism, after death one is either reborn into another body (reincarnated) or enters nirvana. Only Buddhas - those who have attained enlightenment - will achieve the latter destination.The Buddha said of death: Life is a journey. Death is a return to earth. The universe is like an inn. The passing years are like dust. Regard this phantom world As a star at dawn, a bubble in a stream, A flash of lightning in a summer cloud, A flickering lamp - a phantom - and a dream.

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