A Buddhist and Christian look at Life after Death: The XIV Dalai Lama and Heschel views on the stages of death. In each religion every one dies a different way. I wanted to write about life after death because everyone has their own interpretation to where we go when we die. No one really knows the true answer until we die and then what? The question that is raised today is which religious concepts of life after death should we follow? In my paper I will talk about how His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama and rabbi Abraham J. Heschel address the concept of life after death from their faiths.
In Buddhism, Buddhist does not believe that during their lives they do not live and die once, instead they are a part of a continuous cycle which is known as samsara. Samsara can bring many births, deaths, and rebirths all according to how karma is played out in their lifetime. A person’s karma can play a very important role in a person’s life as to what their next life will become. The only way that Buddhist can become free from the cycle of samsara is by reaching a state of nirvana. When I hear of heaven or paradise, I often understand it as a place where a person goes to after they have died.
However, Buddhists believe it is possible to dwell in nirvana or state of bliss, when still alive. My interpretation of this is that our experience in life when reaching nirvana can be a heavenly experience. In order to reach the state of nirvana which is a state of enlightenment one has to have removed all the desires which promote selfish attitudes, like, greed, hatred and etc. and the idea that all things in life do not change. By doing these things Buddhist has to come to the realization of The Four Noble Truth and practice The Eight Fold Path (48).