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The Afterlife

Christianity, Hinduism and Jainism: Comparison and Contrast

     The Christian view on afterlife differs greatly from that of both Hinduism and Jainism. Christians believe in Salvation through Jesus Christ, and that after their death and judgement, they will be joined with him in heaven. Hindus and Jains Share a very similar belief on the afterlife- the concept of Nirvana. To both thi sis a totally indescribably state of liberation ane extinction of personality; the only difference is that in Hinduism this state is achieved by the unity of the Atman with the Brahman, while in Jainism this is not recognized.
   In both Hinduism and Jainism the belief of reincarnation is very central; before acieving Nirvana, or Moksha, the soul is reborn through many lives in diffrent forms. Through these lives perfection is reached before Nirvana, or for Hindus the Atma- Brahman union. For Jains the only was to achieve this perfection is from accumilatin good karma, while Hindus can achieve it through the many types of Yoga. Common practices are the Karma- Yoga (which is identical to the Jain karma belief) and . Christians, on the other hand, do not believe in reincarnation, but in judgement after death and life in heaven or in hell. Most Christians also believe in the reunititn gof the body with the soul in the afterlife. Some Christians ,mainly Catholics, believe in Purgatory, which is a cleansing process of the soul before heaven for the unpure, but not eternally damned.

The Sistine Chapel
Michelangelo's Christian Heaven

Marta Orlowska, January 2005

HRT 3MI Course Culminating Activity