Comparing The Afterlife Of Sikhism And Christianity - Religions In Contemporary Britain - Essay

3199 words - 13 pages

Select a theme, and compare how TWO sacred texts from faith communities covered in this unit address that theme.  Examples might include love; virtue; prayer; fasting; human relationships; sexuality; the afterlife; judgement; war; sin.
BA Hons
ST5250 Religions in Contemporary Britain
Phil Rawlings
Words: 2971
4th May 2018
While all religions have different opinions and beliefs about life and their journey, none can deny
that death is an inevitable part of life that happens to all of us, but is the afterlife and what is waiting
for humanity after death that remains a mystery to us. In this essay, I will be comparing the beliefs of
Christians, who predominately believe in an afterlife, and the beliefs of Sikhs who believe in
reincarnation and a cycle of life and death. The Bible has many references to the death and the
afterlife and so does the sacred text of Sikhism: The Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS). The SGGS is written
by a number of Sikh Gurus who are in communion with God, or Waheguru as He’s known as. Both
texts explain what is after death in each of their religions and how someone’s life and their actions
can affect their final destination.
In the Sikh religion, it is believed that everything that happens is Hukan, the will of Waheguru. The
Guru Granth Sahib states at death, the body is discarded and that the body is purely just a cover for
the soul. It is the law of nature that death is inescapable, those born must die and there is no one
who is exempt from death, rich and poor, high class and working class, young and old. The sacred
texts say, “Whosoever has come shall depart; all shall have their turn.” (SGGS:474) Waheguru has a
plan for everyone for all of time, their death is predestined. “With their death already preordained,
mortals come into this world. How can they remain here? They have to go to the world beyond.”
(SGGS:1022)[footnoteRef:1] Humans are unable to control when they’ll die, death doesn’t adhere to our time. [1: “The Concept of Death in Gurbani” n.p. [cited 28 April 2018]. Online: ]
Death can occur in childhood, mid-life or old age. It doesn’t acknowledge our plans or what we want
to do, time, age and place is insignificant. It is only death that matters. Only Waheguru can know the
time of our death. “Death does not ask the time; it does not ask the date or the day of the week.”
(SGGS:1244) Waheguru is the sole controller of death, what He plans for us is unavoidable. He is
omnipotent and can establish life and eradicate it with little effort and there is no one who has the
power to intervene or contend against Him. “Everyone comes here at the Lord’s command, leaves in
His will and remains merged, too, in the Lord’s will.” (SGGS:940)[footnoteRef:2] Like Christianity, Sikh’s believe that [2: “The Concept of Death in Gurbani” n.p. [cited 28 April 2018]. Online: ]
the soul is everlasting and imperishable unl...

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