Most of us have read different opinions about death and what happens after death. But there is no positive proof for the existence of souls, immortal karma, reincarnation, or any spiritual after-life. I have nothing but respect for differing views based on religion, science or logic. But eventually truth and understanding will set us free. Not my truth or your truth but real truth…
While all religions admit the existence of soul, but they differ in what happens after death. For example, Hindu concept of soul revolves around transmigration and reincarnation. Muslims and Christians believe in the Day of Judgment when its fate will be decided.
Therefore, the soul of Muslims and Christians is locked in the grave of a person waiting the Day of Judgment when its fate will be decided, whereas the soul of a Hindu who believes in transmigration is immediately released after funeral so that it’s ready to enter into another body.
The question is:
Will God (One and the same God for entire humanity) make two types of souls one for Hindus and other for Muslims and Christians?
Therefore, it is time for scientific evaluation to form a logical opinion, one way or another.
I start with these lines from a scripture of Sikh religion Guru Granth by 5th Guru on death and its standard translation. I share the conclusions at the end.
pavnai meh pavan samaa-I-aa.
The wind merges into the wind.
jotee meh jot ral jaa-I-aa.
The light blends into the light.
maatee maatee ho-ee ayk.
The dust becomes one with the dust.
rovanhaaray kee kavan tayk.
What support is there for the one who is lamenting?
ka-un moo-aa ray ka-un moo-aa.
Who has died? O, who has died?
(Guru Granth: Page: 885, Raag: Raamkalee, Author: Guru Arjan Dev)
Science says the same as religion: We are recycled as the lines from Sikh Scripture Guru Granth say air merges with air, light merges with light, dust settles into dust… We are created from this environment and we go back to the environment.
All matter is a form created from formless Energy, i.e., Him/God/Creator/or whatever other name you like to choose. The creativity is infinite and the method of self-creativity is a real wonder when we look at the creation and growth of living organisms. A scientist cannot deny the feeling of being startled at Nature’s absolutely phenomenal and the most intelligent work of self-creation into all the complicated life forms including a human being through a greatly thoughtful and organized manner.
So, all of us are created out of universal energy and now at the time of death become part of universal energy. Most religions mean the same when life is imagined as a wave arising from the ocean and merging back into it. Viewed this way, reincarnation is a fancy name for recycling. All living organisms get recycled. That’s the law of nature and no one can avoid it.
The basic units of life (electrons, protons, neutrons, atoms and molecules) do not die but change form and rearrange themselves. These basic units of life do not grow old either and are ageless and timeless. The atoms in a child or a seedling are no younger than that of a wrinkled person or a yellowing leaf. So we can say that the soul (part of energy of the universe) never dies but body does. Soul does not die; it does not drown or swim across (na jio marai n doobai tarai (Guru Granth, page 151). The charged particles (electrons, protons, neutrons, atoms and molecules), which are basic units of creation including human body and Soul (atma) are created from and end up with the universal energy (parmatma) that we have explained above as divine force or highest of all or Lord of the Universe or almighty God… Therefore, the God of which we are part of is universal energy/energy of the universe, because the universe is all energy and the energy is all universe.
In the totality of things reincarnation, rebirth makes absolutely no-sense.
Since matter and energy may change form but are neither created nor destroyed, it means that we will always be around in some shape or form.
Logically, metaphorically reinterpreted, the terms reincarnation and transmigration really mean that after death everyone and every species that exhibits life become part of the greater biological life cycle. That is the logical way to look at birth and rebirth, reincarnation or transmigration.
In this concept of a larger biological life cycle, it remains immaterial whether one ends up pushing up roses or becoming a feeding frenzy for worms; either is equally meaningful. Insects, earth worms and others have roles to play as have plants, trees and rocks.
It’s only when we look at life in a specific form then death has a meaning, and we fall victim to our separation from rest of things. That separation is called the ego, generally a product of left hemisphere of brain as opposed to soul which is part of right hemisphere of brain. The ego is a false self that we made up based on the thought that we are separate. That iron curtain of selfish ego separates us from Universal Spirit/Universal Energy or God. Once we accept the God within and realize that it’s not possible to be separate from God and that we are one with God; then we know that we are love and we are peace and we are joy and we are happiness and we are eternal; and nothing to wait for after death. It’s realization that happens to some and not to others in this life and nothing to do with after death when each atom of our body merges with the environment and can become part of a plant or an animal or something else.
We have tried to provide alternate views using science and logic to questions that were perceived to be confusing and contradictory varying from faith to faith. The balance of ideas between science and religion is provided as much impartially as humanly possible. We hope these will be more acceptable to our next generation of science and technology. Although it would be wonderful if very religious people would pay attention but I doubt it. Have we settled the discussion on soul and reincarnation? Not likely, even though we have provided very logical answers.