Nov 7, 2015

What the HELL happens after Death?


Wish there was someone who could share and describe the experience after their death. As much as it is scary, life-after-death is equally thrilling to talk about. Though almost all cultures on Earth believe that the story doesn’t end with one’s death, none of them shows a solid proof of what will really happen after one's death.
While Egyptians believed that the dead left the Earth and proceeded to live in a different Star, and the Greeks believed that the souls had to cross a river and be transported to the Underworld by a mythical boat-man, ancient Indians believed that regardless of caste, creed and race, everyone will be punished after death - for every ill thought and act, as per the laws of Garudapurana. While the righteous get to gracefully glide to the Heaven, the sinners are left to rot in the banks of the terrifying Vaitarani river! I did promise that this will be scary yet thrilling, didn't I? Read on for more.


Most interesting of all were the ancient Egyptians, who had elaborate beliefs in life after death, and immortality. They not only mummified the Pharaoh's bodies, but also placed their internal organs in canopic jars, kept food, drink, furniture, clothes, and jewelry which were to be used in their afterlife. It is also so intriguing to notice that the three Pyramids of Giza mimic the alignment and relative sizes of the three stars in the Orion (the Hunter) constellation. The most uncanny of all is - back in 2500 BC, when the Great Pyramid of Giza was built, the air shafts within it had aligned with high precision to Sirius star (and three other mystical stars) in the skies during that time. These stars symbolize Egyptian Gods (Isis, Osiris, etc.) that symbolize afterlife, resurrection, and immortality.  Through these shafts, the Kings’ souls are believed to have ascended to these stars for their after-life!

(If you were wondering, Sirius is nothing but Mirigasirisha nakshatra. Remember the comedy sequence from the movie Chandramukhi where Rajinikanth tells Vadivelu that it is demons' favorite star?)

Now, zooming to the Greeks' belief system, coins were used to be placed with the dead body, as payment for Charon, the boatman of the Underworld. He ferried souls across the river Styx to the land of the dead. And those who could not pay the fee had to wander the shores for a hundred years! (Read about an interesting experience on how I got access to such coins and came to know about Charon from another post)

While these cultures had such intriguing beliefs, no wonder Indians had even more elaborate beliefs. As per Garudapurana, which is one of the 18 Puranas of Hindu Mythology, there is a dreaded river called Vaitarani which is located midway between the world that we live in, and Naraka, the City of Yama Raja, the God of Death. A soul that has departed its body has to cross this river, after which it is judged at Yama’s place. Once the souls are judged, they get to proceed to either the Heaven or the Hell. While a righteous soul sees the Vaitarani river as though it is filled with nectar, it is a totally different case for the sinful souls. For them, it is said that the Vaitarani river is very frightening, filled with blood and heaps of bones on the bank. It is crowded with huge crocodiles and flesh eating birds, and filthy with faeces and urine. The souls that are left astray on the river will have to go through the torture without even getting a chance to go to the Hell and to be born again in some form at a later time. These souls that have not passed the Vaitarani are considered as “ghosts” who have not passed on for the next “journey”, and are stuck midway. And wait, that is not all. Garudapurana also lists 28 different terrifying punishments used in the Hell based on the sins committed by the souls. Just for the sake of sanity, I would like to refrain from elaborately explaining the punishments. If you still insist on knowing more, click on the below picture.

Quite interesting from everything above, there is an interpretation (or perhaps not an interpretation at all, but just based on pure "knowing") from the ancient yogis about what happens after death. As per the spiritual tradition, what is oneself is just the soul, but not the body or the mind. During the moment of death, when a soul departs its physical body, it loses the discretionary mind which usually helps someone spring back to routine after anything. Hence after losing the discretionary mind, whatever the tendency at the moment of death is, it multiplies. If someone dies in peace, the peacefulness grows exponentially within the soul. On the other hand, if someone leaves unwillingly or in sorrow, this will multiply into something terrible within them that it feels “Hell-like” and lasts much longer. (Now you know why they wish the dead, “RIP- Rest In Peace”!) So basically, Heaven and Hell are just experiential realities of the soul that departed the body, rather than “geographical entities”, such as underworld, higher worlds etc. And this makes much sense, and perhaps the stories in Garudapurana were all allegorical to this fact!


Now, keeping aside all these beliefs, what will really happen after death? With the rising inflation and plummeting value of the currency, maybe many more coins need to be thrown in, as part of the Greek tradition! And what if Charon isn’t accepting the Euro coin anymore?! Neither here, nor there. Neither in, nor out. A sail in Styx forever. And maybe I’ll get a “Kumbipaagam” punishment at the Vaitarani river as a bonus, for being lazy and spending too much time on this blog!!  Well, when I have a choice of what to believe, I’d rather choose to believe the ancient Egyptians, as it would be fantasical to explore Sirius after death. What the Hell! :)
                 
                                         ~

13 comments:

  1. Congratulations !Quite a profound content; it kindles your interest, but for sure one has to have the mental maturity even to read through the blog . you have great sense to ponder into unique topics. keep going :)

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    1. Thank you! Glad you liked it :). Almost all humans like to put blinders on, when it comes to the topic of death. In my opinion, knowing and recognizing that such an event is impending for everyone, and that we know-not when it is to arrive, will definitely make each one of us be more conscious of our actions during this brief time here.

      But the above article however, is just a potpourri of all interesting mythologies and mysticisms I've read and got amazed on the topic! :)

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  2. Hemanth machan u remind me of dad. He used to say that heaven and hell are not places but ones own situation. Whenever we are happy we are in heaven and in sorrow we are in hell. Anyway it would be better if l don't remember ur blog in my dying moments :D

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    1. Lol! All that is metaphorical mythology. The point is, bringing awareness all through one's life is very important, if that's not doable, at least bringing the awareness at one's final moment is said to be very crucial for one's next "journey". It is also said, if you try to watch that last moment at night before sliding into a sleep and try to be consciously happy at that one moment, the whole 6-8 hours of sleep would be total bliss, as that one drop of joy at the last moment multiplies exponentially. Sounds interesting, but it isn't easy to put into practice! :)

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  3. The blog post itself starts with the question, What happens? As nobody has returned back to tell about their death experience, every opinion will be either a guess or a belief (or even a lie). You have listed all the past and present day beliefs and guesses to be chosen as belief or guess of each of us and accept. Good work, that may make someone reply here his/her experience after death! Or the God Himself might come over here to reply to the question, 'What the hell happens after death?' ! Then only the mystery shrouding around this matter will unfold. Reading through this blog post is quite interesting and thrilling with much expectation to know about what people thought about this life after death through all the ages both the past and the present! Continue such postings that shall make all think over about themselves personally and others globally.

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  4. Replies
    1. Not sure if that's a compliment, but thank you! :)

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  5. Details of punishments after death has been given in Garudapurana. But, has anywhere the details of appreciations and rewards after death been given? Nowhere! Because, the society where people are living is already a heaven! Punishments are declared only to make a few people correct their wrong ways of life and thus, make also others live peacefully without their harming them. So, the aim of declaring such punishments must have been the making the living place totally a heaven rather than punishing after death!

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  6. Hello,
    just came across your blog. I have had what people call a 'death experience', and shared it briefly on my blog some years ago. If you would like to read my account of this, you will find it on:- http://lighthousevision.blogspot.co.uk/2010/12/my-near-death-experience.html

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    1. Very interesting! Thanks for sharing, Brenda!

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  7. Ahaa, its pleasant conbersation on the topic of this piece of writing
    here at tis website, I have reaad aall that, so at this time
    me also commenting at this place.

    ReplyDelete

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