Death in Hinduism

Death in Hinduism


A person’s spirit/soul (atman) is permanent; it lives beyond a biological death. Whereas, the physical body is a temporary placeholder, something you leave behind (with the rest of your material belongings) when you die.

It is akin to if your spirit was your physical body, then the clothes you wear on a daily basis would be the physical realm you inhabit over time.


Which body -- or form -- you take on depends on your karma. Your current life is based on the merits of your previous life, just as your current actions will determine your status in the next life. When you do something out of choice you are creating new karma, but when you are forced to do something, you are simply repaying your karmic debt.

For example, a fruit basket represents the accumulated karma from your previous lives, known as Sanchita Karma.

Prarabdha Karma is the portion of the accumulated karma that has "ripened" -- meaning, it's time to pay your dues.

Kriyamana Karma is everything we produce in the current life, or the additional new fruit basket.

Garuda Puran

Similar to the Bhagavad Gita, this scripture is a discourse between Lord Vishnu and his vahana, Garuda (an eagle), as they discuss death, after life, sin and virtue, funeral rites, etc. It provides insights into 4 major areas: Life after death, journey of the soul, birth and reincarnation Significance of mourning for 13 days The disentanglement between the body and soul The importance and 4 types of charity work

Panch Pranas: The Five Vital Energies

Our body's internal mechanism are under the control of 5 vital energies which control the entire "internal operating system." Each one of the 5 pranas will exit your body over a specific period of time once you stop breathing.

How to Strengthen Your Pranas

Pranayama, which is the main component of yoga, is the practice of breath regulation. The essence that we breathe in and out contains prana, which manifests itself as our life force. It is the process of elongation, extension, expansion, and lengthening of each breath. Pranayama and chanting mantras maintains pure Prana and increases our capacity to store Prana