Wednesday, October 2, 2019
A Tibetan Perspective on Birth and Death Essay -- Death Religion
Many religions and philosophies attempt to answer the question, what happens after a person dies? Some religions such as Christianity and Islam believe there is an afterlife. They believe that good and moral people enter Heaven or paradise and that bad and immoral people go to Hell. Other religions and cultures believe that death is final, and that nothing happens after a person dies. Buddhism and Hinduism have a different idea about death. Both of these religions originated in India. Buddhists and Hindus believe that death is not final. They believe that a person comes back after he or she dies. This process is known as reincarnation, and it provides opportunities for people to enter the world multiple times in different forms. Buddhists and Hindus want to reenter the world as humans, and they want to improve their status through reincarnation. In ancient India, many members of lower casts wanted to come back as members of higher casts. While this is an important goal of reincarnati on, the main goal is to reach either moksha (Hinduism) or nirvana (Buddhism). In other words, the goal is to reach a point of spiritual enlightenment that removes the person from the reincarnation process. Geoff Childs, an anthropologist examines the views of the Buddhist religion by studying the lives of the people in Tibetan villages. He looks at issues that adversely affect these people such as infant mortality. He carefully looks at the lives of people who have been left behind by deceased loved ones, and he pays careful attention to customs and traditions surrounding death. Tibetan Buddhists view death as a means of reaching spiritual perfection, and they seek to reach this level of spiritual perfection through living spiritually meaningful lives.... ...eath is is not a cessation in Buddhism. Death can be seen as a new beginning. A new opportunity to reach spiritual perfection. Infant mortality is a difficult subject to talk about for many Tibetan parents. Survivors are often faced with poverty and other extreme hardships after the loss of a loved one. However, Buddhism provides great comfort to survivors by teaching that Earthly bodies are impermanent. Tibetan cremation procedures place great emphasis on reincarnation. Tibetan views about death are focused on nirvana and spiritual perfection. These practices are spiritually meaningful for both the living survivors and the dead. Works Cited 1 Geoff Childs Tibetan Diary From Birth to Death and Beyond in a Himalayan Valley of Nepal (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004) 41. 2 Ibid., 54. 3Ibid., 54. 4 Ibid., 54 5 Ibid., 146. 6 Ibid., 147.