Sikhism and the Afterlife

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Sikhism teaches that the soul reincarnates when the body dies. Sikhs do not believe in an afterlife that is either heaven or hell; they believe that good or bad actions in this life determine the life form into which a soul takes rebirth.

At the time of death, demonic ego-centered souls may be destined to suffer great agonies and pain in the dark underworld of Narak.

A soul fortunate enough to achieve grace overcomes ego by meditating on God. In Sikhism, the focus of meditation is to remember the divine Enlightener by calling out the name "Waheguru," either silently or aloud. Such a soul may attain liberation from the cycle of reincarnation. The emancipated soul experiences salvation in Sachkhand, the realm of truth, it exists eternally as an entity of radiant light.

Bhagat Trilochan, an author of Guru Granth Sahib scripture, writes on the subject of the afterlife, that at the time of death the final thought determines how one reincarnates. The soul takes birth in accordance with what the mind last remembers. Those who dwell on thoughts of riches or worries about wealth are born again as serpents and snakes. Those who dwell on thoughts of carnal relations are born into brothels. Those who remember their sons and daughters are born as a pig to become a sow birthing a dozen or more piglets with each pregnancy. Those who dwell on thoughts of their houses or mansions, take the form of a ghostly goblin type specter haunting houses remembered. Those whose final thoughts are of the divine, merge eternally with the Lord of the Universe to dwell forever in the abode of radiant light.

Translated Sikh Statement on the Afterlife

Ant kaal jo lachhamee simarai aisee chintaa meh jae marai
At the final moment, whom so ever remembers wealth, and dies with such thoughts...

Sarap jon val val aoutarai
is reincarnated as the serpent species over and over again.

AAree baa-ee gobid naam mat beesarai || rehaao ||
O sister, do not ever forget the Name of the Universal Lord. ||Pause||

nAnt kaal jo istree simarai aisee chintaa meh jae marai
At the final moment, whom so ever remembers relations with women and dies with such thoughts...

Baesavaa jon val val aoutarai
is reincarnated as a courtesan over and over again.

tAnt kaal jo larrikae simarai aisee chintaa meh jae marai
At the final moment, whom so ever remembers children, and dies with such thoughts...

Sookar jon val val aoutharai
is reincarnated as a swine over and over again.

Ant kaal jo mandar simarai aisee chinthaa meh jae marai
At the final moment, whom so ever remembers houses, and dies with such thoughts...

Praet jon val val aoutarai
is reincarnated as a ghost over and over again.

kAnt kaal naaraa-in simarai aisee chintaa meh jae marai
At the final moment, whom so ever remembers the Lord, and dies with such thoughts...

Badat Tilochan tae nar mukataa peetanbar vaa kae ridai basai
Saith Trilochan, that person is liberated and the yellow robed Lord abides in that one's heart."