My topic: The belief of the afterlife in different religions.


The three different religions that I will be researching about will be Buddism, Hinduism, and Taoism.

My sources:


Buddism:
http://www.religioustolerance.org/buddhism1.htm
http://www.buddhasutra.com/files/abhaya_sutta.htm

Hinduism:
http://www.contenderministries.org/hinduism/hindubeliefs.php
http://hinduism.about.com/od/reincarnation/a/quotes_2.htm

Taoism:
http://www.patheos.com/Library/Taoism.html



In this world we call home exist different people and different religions. These different religions have different perspectives on what happens when we die and how the afterlife works. It is important to study these different religions because many people have little knowledge on why some religions present themselves in the way they do. Many people misjudge and criticize why different religions dress the way that they do and act the way that they do. It is important for us to study other religions because we should appreciate how faithful they are for what they believe in and how it makes them a better person. It matters that we understand other religions because as years continue to grow, the world becomes more diverse. With a diverse world, we see different religions within our environment and our neighborhoods and we should understand why it is important to respect them for who they are and what they believe in. We should appreciate and respect them because their religions influences their personality and how they represent themselves. The different beliefs of the afterlife from these different religions impacts their current life on Earth. The religions that they believe in teaches them to do good and act right because if they do, the result of their afterlife will be wonderful.


The Beliefs:



Buddism

One of the basic beliefs of Buddhism is the conviction that happiness and good fortune are attainable to all, regardless of age, race or background. Buddhists believe that all negative mental states or "delusions" as they are referred to, can be overcome through the practice of meditation. By learning how to meditate, humans can develop peaceful and positive mental states or "virtues", and be able to solve the problems associated with their daily lives.


Quote:

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,

Analysis:

This quote from the Buddhist text is telling the reader to not feel sad about death. When it is stated Death is a return to earth Buddha is trying to tell the reader not to fear death for only you will be born again. Buddha believes that you should enjoy life and do good. He is trying to convey to the reader that time will pass by quickly and that you should enjoy it. When he says a bubble in a stream, he is trying say that it is born quickly and is quickly gone.





Hinduism

Most Hindus believe in an immense unifying force that governs all existence and cannot be completely known by humanity. Individual gods and goddesses are personifications of this cosmic force. In practice, each Hindu worships those few deities that he or she believes directly influence his or her life. By selecting one or more of these deities to worship, and by conducting the rituals designed to facilitate contact with them, a Hindu devotee is striving to experience his or her unity with that cosmic force.

Quote:

It is a secret of the world that all things subsist and so not die, but only retire a little from sight and afterwards return again… Nothing is dead; men feign themselves dead, and endure mock funerals and mournful obituaries, and there they stand looking out of the window, sound and well, in some new and strange disguise. -Emerson

Analysis:

In the first sentence, Emerson is saying that the world just so happens to have enough supplies for mankind to survive but it may seem impossible to realize because they often die and go away, but aren't necessarily gone, they return when the air is good for them. When he says that nothing is dead, he is trying to say that nothing goes extinct or forbidden, it just recreates itself into a new body or form. It is very intriguing when he says that when we create this funeral to honor the one we so dearly loved, he/she is in this other body, in this other lifestyle, clueless from his/her previous past.





Taoism

In the most general terms it can be translated as the path or the way. The Tao is the path that one must follow in life. From this perspective it is a code of behavior. The Tao is the natural order of all things and is based on the principles of Yin and Yang. Primarily speaking, however, Taoists believe that Tao is the universal life force or the underlying nature of all things that exist in the world. When Taoist has finally achieved perfect knowledge, he or she is no longer reincarnated, but becomes an immortal and lives among the gods.

Quote:

The moon does not fight. It attacks no one. It does not worry. It does not try to crush others. It keeps to its course, but by its very nature, it gently influences. What other body could pull an entire ocean from shore to shore? The moon is faithful to its nature and its power is never diminished. -Deng Ming-Dao


Analysis:

The quote of Deng Ming-Dao is quite unique. It explains how the moon does nothing, but is yet very influential. He uses the moon to represent how we should be. We should act as we feel in an appropriate manner instead of being a leader and always trying to impress someone. He is trying to convey that if we follow our own path and express how we feel without being inappropriate, nature itself would make you influential to someone/something else. In the last quote, he is referring to us on how we should be devoted and honest to whom we really are because it wouldn't make you less than who you are already and it wouldn't affect your control on who you are truly.



Conclusion:

With the three religions given and the curiosity that hides behind the secrets on where do you go when you die causes people in this world to act good. The influences and beliefs that you will end up in a worst place if you do bad in the world we live in today causes people from different religions to better themselves and treat others well. The similarities that lie hidden within these different religions are that they all must act good or else their gods and their beliefs will give them misery until they make the right decisions and care for those who surround their environments.