The questions surrounding death has
been around since the creation of life itself. At some point in time every
human being thinks or wonders about what happens after they die. Initially
science have said that death is the end but religious texts have provided some
insights as to what happens after humans pass on. The theories of what happens
after death varies across religion but they possess some similarities. Below
two religious prospective are viewed and how they compare to science.
According to Hinduism, death is not
the end, it’s another stage in the cycle for the soul. Hindus believe in
reincarnation which is the rebirth of the same soul in another body based on
the past actions of that soul (Karma). The soul according to the Bhagavad Gita is
an entity which cannot be destroyed.
Krishna said: O Arjuna, Just as boyhood, youth & old age are attributed to
the soul & the embodied soul continuously passes through these cycles,
similarly the embodied soul passes into another body at death. The wise man
does not get deluded & bewildered with such a change” (Bhagavad Gita:
Chapter 2 verse 13).
The verse above simply states that the after death, the soul leaves the
old body and enters a new one.
“O Arjuna, The
soul is never born nor dies at any time. Soul has not come into being, does not
come into being, and will not come into being. Soul is unborn, eternal,
ever-existing and primeval. Soul is not slain when the body is slain”(Bhagavad
Gita: Chapter 2 verse 20).
The above verse describes the soul as being indestructible. It says that
it was always there and cannot be destroyed. It passes on from body to body.
This description is similar to Einstein’s law of the conservation of energy
which states that energy cannot be created nor destroyed but only transferred
from one form to another. In simple terms the soul is a form of energy
according to the Bhagavad Gita.
Reincarnation is very difficult to prove. Dr. Ian Stevenson, a former
Professor of psychiatry dedicated his career to finding evidence of
reincarnation. Over his career, he has claimed to have found over 3,000
examples of reincarnation. He conducted a study which he titled ‘Birthmarks and
Birth defects corresponding to wounds on deceased persons’. From his study, he
stated that about 35% of children who claimed to remember past lives possessed
birthmarks and or birth defects. He also stated that in 43 of 49 cases in which
a medical document was obtained, it confirmed the correspondence between wounds
and birthmarks or birth defects. In a separate study, he interviewed 3 children
who gave their statements regarding memories they had not experienced and
through verification, he found that 92% of the statements were correct (Martin, 2016).
Christianity is another religion that believes in a life after death.
According to their scripture the Holy Bible, after death the soul will go one
of two places after being judged on Judgement day. The souls of the righteous
will enter heaven to be with god for eternity while the souls of the wicked
will be thrown down to hell and tortured for eternity.
when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He
will sit on His glorious throne”. “All the nations will be gathered before Him;
and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep
from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the
left” (Matthews 25:31-33)
The verse above
explains what will happen on judgement day, it describes how God will separate
the righteous from the wicked using the sheep and goat as an analogy.
and Christianity share one major aspect in common as it relates to death. They
both believe in a life after death. How they vary relates to what happens in
the afterlife. In the case with Hinduism the soul comes back into the physical
world in a new body. It experiences a series of births and deaths. As it
relates to Christianity, the soul experiences one birth and one death. The soul
is not returned to the material world after being judged.
Only recently have scientists started
conducting research and experiments to find the answers as to what happens
after we die. Most of the research they conduct is based on Quantum Theory which
is the theoretical basis
of modern physics that explains the nature and behavior of matter and energy on
the atomic and subatomic level. Recent studies have now led scientists to
believe in an afterlife. Robert Lanza, an expert in regenerative medicine and
the scientific director of Advanced Cell Technology Company has developed a theory
of Biocentrism: the theory that life and consciousness are fundamental to
understanding the nature of our reality, and that consciousness comes prior to
the creation of the physical universe. According to Lanza, our consciousness
does not die with us, it moves on, which suggests that consciousness is not a
product of the brain but rather something entirely different. His concept
implies that if the body creates consciousness, then consciousness dies when
the body dies. But if the body receives consciousness in the same way that a
cable box receives satellite/radio signals, then consciousness does not end at
the death of the physical vehicle