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Life after death, journey of the soul

Journey of the Soul: Navigating the Afterlife in Hinduism

By BRIMA CONTEHPublished 10 months ago 3 min read
What happens when we die? Does our soul go on a journey? In this first part of a two-part series, we explore the different beliefs about life after death and the journey of the soul.

Embarking on this profound exploration of Hinduism's perspective on life, death, and the soul's journey evokes a deep sense of contemplation. As we unravel the intricate tapestry of beliefs that guide Hindus through this metaphysical transition, one can't help but feel the weight of these spiritual concepts and the emotional resonance they carry.

In the heart of Hindu philosophy lies the profound notion that life and death are akin to changing clothes for the soul. Lord Krishna's timeless words echo, reassuringly and yet mysteriously, "The soul is neither born, nor does it ever die... Being eternal, immortal, and ageless, it is not destroyed when the body is destroyed." This foundational understanding forms the canvas upon which we paint the vivid imagery of the soul's journey beyond the veil.

The initiation of final rites takes center stage in the Hindu tradition, not as a mere ritual but as a sacred passage to ensure the soul's serene transition. There's a poignant beauty in this act, a collective effort by the living to provide solace to the departing soul and, in turn, find closure. Neglecting these rites, we are warned, may leave the soul in limbo, lingering in the earthly realm, potentially causing heartache and unrest among the living.

As we navigate through the cosmic choreography of the soul's departure, the resistance it displays to leaving the familiar shores of the physical body tugs at the heartstrings. It's a poignant reminder of the powerful bonds we form with the material world and our loved ones. The soul, entangled in these attachments, faces the discomfort of separation, and the symbolism is not lost—it mirrors the human experience of letting go, of saying farewell to the tangible and stepping into the intangible.

Yamdoots, the messengers of Yamraj, step onto this cosmic stage with a solemn duty—to gently untangle the soul from the physical body. It's a moment of profound significance, and one can't help but empathize with the soul's reluctance, its yearning to hold on to the warmth of earthly bonds. The wisdom embedded in Hindu samskaras, advising detachment in later life, unfolds as a compassionate gesture—a gentle nudge toward a smoother passage.

As the soul hovers in its earthly abode, thumb-sized and ethereal, for those thirteen days, the imagery is hauntingly beautiful. It's a period where the living, with love and devotion, offer rice balls—pinds—as a bridge between the material and metaphysical. Each grain of rice becomes a prayer, a gesture of remembrance, and a hope for the soul's graceful journey.

The soul, now in its ethereal form, experiences hunger and thirst, symbolic of its traversing through realms beyond the physical senses. The offerings made by the living, those rice balls and drops of water, become a lifeline for the soul—an ethereal sustenance that eases its journey. There's a profound poetry in this symbiotic relationship between the living and the departed, a dance of energies across dimensions.

As the soul embarks on its year-long odyssey through 16 cities, the emotional landscape unfolds. The karmic tapestry of each individual is laid bare, and the consequences, whether of virtue or vice, play out in vivid scenes. The cities become arenas of justice, where the soul reaps what it sowed. It's an emotional reckoning—a cosmic courtroom where the ledger of deeds is balanced with utmost precision.

In each city, there's a profound emotional charge—a resonance that echoes the lived experiences of the departed. It's a spiritual theater where the soul confronts the echoes of its actions, and we, as observers, can't help but be drawn into this cosmic drama.

As we pause here, on the precipice of Bhaayapad, with the wide expanse of the Vaitavarani river before us, the anticipation is palpable. The emotional undercurrents run deep, for this river holds the key to further transcendence. In the next episode, we will delve into the emotional and spiritual challenges of crossing this formidable river, exploring the depths of what it means to navigate the waters between life and the afterlife in Hindu cosmology. Join us as we continue this emotional and enlightening journey through the realms of Hindu philosophy.


About the Creator


B Conteh, a storytelling virtuoso, weaves enchanting tales where characters breathe life, emotions resonate, and the ordinary transforms into the extraordinary. Join the journey into immersive realms where dreams soar and courage is tested.

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