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The Concept of Death in Hinduism

The concept of death in Sanatana Dharma (Hindu religion) is dealt comprehensively in the Bhagavad Gita. Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita that He is death in the form of Time. Time consumes everything, from the tiniest atom to all those mighty universes in the material world.

Death in the Vedas – The Vedic concept of death is that it is an integral part of the life of every living being on earth. The Vedic concept of death is elaborately explained in the Katha Upanishad by Yama, the god of death, to the young Nachiketa.

The teaching of Vedas is reiterated by Krishna in Bhagavad Gita. 

Krishna tells that there is no death for the jiva or soul, ‘Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor these rulers of men. Nor shall all of us cease to be hereafter.’ Death pertains only to the physical body and ‘...the soul merely changes bodies just as the body changes clothes.’

Krishna says: ‘What-ever object a person thinks of at the time of death, he attains to that object alone... Whoever thinks of only Me even at the time of death, attains to My state on abandoning his body. There is no doubt about this.’

He once again reinforces: ‘He who, at the time of his death, engages himself in remembering the Supreme Lord with full devotion, will certainly attain to Him.’

According to Shankaracharya, one is very fortunate to have got human birth for it is the only vehicle by which one can attain the ultimate goal of life, moksha or liberation, and hence it must not be wasted in living a frivolous life. More fortunate is he who has a burning desire for liberation.

Rituals pertaining to death is dealt in the Garuda Purana.

In nutshell, there is no end to life in Hinduism. There is only transformation. One form to another. The transformation from one being to another being. The cycle continues till the being attains moksha or liberation. 



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