Wednesday, October 21, 2009

SADGATI, the Last Rites and Mourning Mode

SADGATI, the Last Rites and Mourning Mode

Indian Holocaust My Father`s Life and Time- One Hundred and Eighty One

Palash Biswas

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Sadgati by Premchand, introduction and glossary
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"Sadgati" by Premchand. This is one of the best known stories by Premchand (1880 - 1936) and a classic example of Progressive writers' concern with the ... - Cached - Similar
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Satyajit Ray filmed two of Premchand's works – Sadgati and Shatranj Ke Khiladi. Sadgati (Salvation) is a short story revolving around poor Dukhi, ...

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Sadgati (The Deliverance): A film by Satyajit Ray ::
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Sadgati (The Deliverance)

1981, India. 52 min, Color, In Hindi with subtitles.

Producer: Doordarshan, Govt. of India (Indian National Television)
Screenplay & Direction: Satyajit Ray, based on the short story: 'Sadgati' by Munshi Premchand
Cinematography: Soumendu Roy
Editing: Dulal Dutta
Art Direction: Ashoke Bose
Sound: Amulya Das
Music: Satyajit Ray

Character: Performer
Dukhi Chamar: Om Puri
Jhuria, Dukhi's wife: Smita Patil
Dhania, Dukhi's daughter: Richa Mishra
Ghashiram, the Brahmin: Mohan Agashe
Lakshmi, Ghashiram's wife Gita Siddharth

An untouchable Dukhi (an out-caste, played by Om Puri) approaches the village Brahmin to request him to set an auspicious date for his daughter's upcoming wedding according to the Hindu astrology. The Brahmin promises to perform the task in exchange of Dukhi slaving over household chores in return.

Already ailing and weak due to a recent fever, Dukhi agrees and begins with cleaning the Brahman's house and stable. When he is asked to chop a huge block of wood, Dukhi's anger increases with each blow. Working in scorching sun, hungry and malnourished, the he dies. The corpse lies close to the road used by the Brahmins to go to the village well. The untouchables shun it for fear of police investigation. What can be done with the corpse of an untouchable that no one will touch?

Late in the evening, when no one looking, Brahmin ties a noose around its ankle, slides it out of the city limits and sprinkles holy water on the spot on the road to cleanse it of the untouchable's touch.
Special Jury Award, New Delhi, 1981
Other Online Reviews
Sadgati, Satyajit Ray Film & Study Collection
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Directed by Satyajit Ray
Produced by Doordarshan, Govt. of India (Indian National Television)
Written by Satyajit Ray (screenplay and dialogue)
Amrit Rai(dialogue)
Munshi Premchand (story)
Starring Om Puri
Smita Patil
Mohan Agashe
Gita Siddharth
Richa Mishra
Music by Satyajit Ray
Editing by Dulal Dutta
Release date(s) 1981
Running time 52 min
Language Hindi

Sadgati (The Deliverance) is a 1981 Hindi film, primarily made for TV, by Satyajit Ray, based on a short story of same name by Munshi Premchand. It is Ray's second Hindi film after Shatranj Ke Khiladi (The Chess Players) (1977).

The film won the National Film Award - Special Jury Award / Special Mention (Feature Film).

1 Plot
2 Cast
3 References
4 External links

[edit] Plot
The film is a satire on Indian caste system; when a poor and out-caste, village shoemaker, Dukhi (Om Puri), goes to village Brahmin (Hindu priest) (Mohan Agashe) to get the date of her daughter's marriage fixed, the Brahmin in turn asks for labour without pay in exchange, the ensuing events however turn the table against the priest, who in the end has to fore-go all the lofty tradition, including that of untouchability, he held so dearly, all this life, in his life as village priest.[1]

[edit] Cast
Om Puri - Dukhi
Smita Patil - Jhuria
RAJSHEKAR.H - The Brahmin
Gita Siddharth - The Brahmin's wife
Richa Mishra -Dhania
Om Puri - Dukhi Smita Patil - Jhuria MOHAN AGASHE - The Brahmin Gita Siddharth - The Brahmin's wife Richa Mishra -Dhania

[edit] References
^ Overview New York Times.
[edit] External links
Sadgati at the Internet Movie Database page
[hide] v • d • eFilms by Satyajit Ray

Director & Writer The Apu Trilogy Pather Panchali (1955) • Aparajito (1956) • Apur Sansar (1959)

Goopy & Bagha Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne (1969) • Hirak Rajar Deshe (1980)

Calcutta Trilogy Pratidwandi (1970) • Seemabaddha (1971) • Jana Aranya (1976)

Feluda series Sonar Kella (1974) • Joi Baba Felunath (1978)

Other films Parash Pathar (1958) • Jalsaghar (1958) • Devi (1960) • Teen Kanya (1961) • Rabindranath Tagore (1961) • Kanchenjungha (1962) • Abhijan (1962) • Mahanagar (1963) • Charulata (1964) • Two (1964) • Kapurush (1965) • Mahapurush (1965) • Nayak (1966) • Chiriyakhana (1967) • Aranyer Din Ratri (1970) • Sikkim (1971) • The Inner Eye (1972) • Ashani Sanket (1973) • Bala (1976) • Shatranj Ke Khilari (1977) • Pikoo (1980) • Sadgati (1981) • Ghare Baire (1984) • Sukumar Ray (1987) • Ganashatru (1989) • Shakha Proshakha (1990) • Agantuk (1991)

Writer Bankubabur Bandhu The Alien (1967) • Bankubabur Bandhu (2006)

Feluda series Baksho Rahashya (1996) • Bombaiyer Bombete (2003) • Kailashey Kelenkari (2007) • Tintorettor Jishu (2008)

Other films Goopy Bagha Phire Elo (1991) • Target (1995)

Jhuria and Dukhi ©Nemai Ghosh

Ghashiram, the Brahmin looks over the corpse of Dukhi ©Nemai Ghosh

My Father died of cancer in 2001 while my mother succumbed to SUGAR generated gangrine. My father was an AMBEDKARITE while my Mother was a religious woman committed to the People of the Village which was named after her. my Mother NEVER visited her Maternal family residing in Orissa. Since we Never visited the Place and lost connection with them with the death of my father, We could not just inform about the death of my parents.

My father was dead against the Brahaminical System but he was a man who dared not step outside his Community Discipline which roots in tradition. I have written so many times that my Village remained an EXTENDED Joint Family which ESCALATES all over the Geopolitics of the Victims of Indian HOLOCAUST, the partition. My villagers belong to East bengal roots and they folow the traditional life despite being connected LIVE Online with the Global Village around.

I, persoanlly had NEVER Been a RELIGIOUS man and it makes no difference what caste I belong to! What Religion my parents practiced and I inherit the subjective identity. But I always respected the Folk and Folklore. I respected indigenous life, lifestyle and culture. Hence, I had to perform with my family, the last Rites of my Parents as well as last rites of my Jethima and kakima.My father was popular in Terai region and my villagers insisted that I personally should visit every home in the area to invite everyone for the last rites of my parents. Coincidentally, it was Summer in its fiercest mode as My Father and Mother both died in the hottest season. I had to walk BARE Footed. My friends and teachers came down from HILLs and pleaded my villagers to allow me to use Chappals, which they did not.

I had to oblige the BRAHAMIN who had been my Class Fellow in Primary School Haridaspur. He was NEVER GOOD in studies and could not cross the primary barrier. I had been THRASHED so many times during my childhood as I always rejected to bow before the Brahmins!Who may not Pronounce SANSKRITA correctly nor may pass any Examination!

More over, aprt from my Father and CHHOTOKAKA, everyone in the family had been a HINDU by heart and tradition.I dared not to hurt their faith and sentiments!

But I NEVER Believe in SADGATI or SALVATION and see no role of religion in life! Religion does seem to be a CAuse of major Tension in the Global Village today, just because it has turned into a TITANIC Clash of civilisations! At the same time, Religion emerged as the best tool of strategic rural Marketing in this divided geopolitics as well as in the rest of the world. Superstitions have been ICONISED and Religion has been Mixed with Politics as well as Money matters. Thus, reincarnations of heaven and Hell, gods and Goddesses create MONEY! Hindutva is now GLOBAl as Zionism is or the ISLAM! RSS identifies Hindutva with our Nationality while ISLAM is ICONISED as Global Muslim Identity. The Global Village in itself does ICONISE Christian hegemony under Tri Iblis Corporate Zionist Imperialism and war Economy.

As I knew my Father, he Never sought SALVATION. He had a RSTLESS soul which was committed to pis Negroid Black Untouchable People. If the soul is IMMORTAL, logically it may not seek REST as his People are subjected to Persecution and ethnic Cleansing INFINITE!

My Mother was also a RELIGIOUS Woman who would recite GITA, ramayan and mahabharat and every Holy Script. She would worship any God and Goddess or their Incarnation. She fits into the system of salavation in accordance with the faith named Hindutva. But the Woman who would not rest or take her food until ensuring the harmony in her Extended Village family, provided her soul is IMMORTAL, I never believe taht she could OPT for SADGATI to get RID of her earthly life!

I was limited in the perforamnce of Last rites in the Village, basantipur only. I did not visit Haridwar or Gaya.

Now, I do face another DILLEMMA as my wife Sabita is head to bottom RELIGIOUS Rigid despite having a good Study base of society and Economy. She contrbutes a lot in my Social Activism and acompanies me in Awre campaigns. But She goes to the places of worships and visits the Gurus and Maharaj. She is a Follower of ramkrishan Mission by Heart. She is secular and behaves no Discrimination. but her mindset is BRAHAMINICAL as she believes in RITUALS and we may not DISSUADE her whereas my son Steve, is an ATHEIST who Changed his Brahaminical name Partha Pratim as Excallibur Stevens just to reject the Brahaminical system.Sabita was SHOCKED and Stunned! He is not CONVERTED and he mentionson s Hindu as his faith but Sabita would repent that he is not a Religious Person.

Now, Sabita is in Mourning Mode. On 16th Oct. her Mother depatrted and she had to do perform all religious rituals.I had no right to object as I Never opposed her religious behaviour though I had been trying to CONVINCE her the ROT within religion since the first day of our marriage.This time, I had to acomapny her to the Ganga Ghat and see her perform the Rituals as I myself had to perform on my Parents departure from this earth. At that time also , I was not a Believer neither I happen to be a Believer! I jsut try to remain Secular and Democartic as an Educated Man, specilly Husband should.

But Sabita is very Emotional and Hypersensitive who behaves as Hesteria pateient while she has not her way. she would not tolerate any difference as Brahaminical system is Feudal in behaviour. Thus, I may tolerate and bear with. But the problem is my son wopuld not Oblige her. She was stunned to see that her son Rejected to perform any Ritual and at the same time , he showed NO Respect to the Brahamin. She remained UPSET for days. We had to arrange as NIYAMBHANGA to break away from the Mourning Mode. her acquaintances and our relatives were invited for Lunch last day. my son was cooperative as he remains in Scial behaviour. But Once again , he is not ready to acompany her mother to her Maternal Home thousands Miles away in Bijnore. We had left him alone only last month while we visited the place to see her ailing Mother. We may not afford to leave him alone back to back month. So, sabita has to travel alone! Sorry!

My Brother Padma Lochan has already landed in Bijnore and provided , we succeed to arrange a RLY Ticket, he would recieve her in najibabad or Moradabad. He would help her to get the Return train also. This is the arrangement.

Sabita`s parents were not so a well to do family during our Marriage and thus, the Marrige could take place. Just because, they could not arrange a Better Son In law but Sabita could adjust with our life style despite her reservations. Now , the sitaution has changed as we remain in a status quo as POOR her family has turned the Fortune. They Have arranged a Grand Finale of last Rites and we have to believe that my Mother In Law has already booked a better place in her Celestial Abode!

Meanwhile, I got a Marriage Invitation card from udhamsingh Nagar. Harekrishna Dhali had been my Room partner in Benagl hotel, Malroad, Nainital during our student Life in DSB college. Deepti Sunder Mallick and Kapilesh Bhoj were my other two Room partners. We had been RAGGED very hard in the Craig land Hostel of GIC Nainital wherefrom we shifted in the Hotle Room. Me and kapilesh passed our BA part One from Mohan Niwas, the Residence of Tarachandra Tripathi. Other wise, we lived in the adventure of Bengal Hotel. Mr and Mrs S Guha Majumdar, the owners of the Hotel had been our local Gourdians besides Harish Dhaundial, My Father`s Dhimri Block comrade and Pratap Bhaia, an Ex Minister of UP government. During GIC days, kali Pad Mandal also spent some months with us.

Harekrishna had Music in his Graduation studies in Bareilly and he shifted late in DSB amidst the Strom of Mid seventies while we were involved deep NECK in students` movement, environment CHIPKO movement and Uttarakhandi Natoionality Movement. Deepti Sunder was also Indulged in Music and I had to cope with his Musical Troup.

We fought against Emergency together. We formed Naveen Sangha in dinesh pur. Harekrishana was very popular amongst the friend circle and he was elected as the President and they Considered me as Organising secretary keeping in mind my Writing Skills!

In 1977, mid term Elections, our people in Dineshpur bengali refugee area, decided to Support Indira Gandhi. They decided it in their public meeting in which I protested and walked out. My friends, the students and good chunk of masses stood by me. Harekrishana was the manager of the campaign. We friends were together but I was ousted from HOME and Village. We did not Campaign in Basantipur.I had left my books and notes at home as we havd been in winter vacation since december to mid februray and the Elections were scheduled in March. It was a Face to face, one to one situation betwen me and my father in the Terai region. I campaigned in Rampur and Shaktifarm also. But I had to appear in the B. A. part Two Exams almost unprepared without books and notes. But I passed well.

During this Turmoil, SUNDARPUR remained my Home. Harekrishna belonged to the village. His mother was very affectionate to me. Like basantipur, most of the Sundarpur Village belonged to Paundra Kshtriyas. Harekrishna is also a Paundra. But his villge was most united as oper as Basantipur. These remained the only Village in bengali area which remained INTACT as other villages saw most of its People to depart fror Bengal in late sixties while they got land Rights. The sold Eight Acre land just for Rs. two Thousand only. It continued till mid SEVENTIES until the Refugee Leaders, including my father ENSURED a BAN on land Transfer for the Dalit Refugees.

While we were amidst the Turmoil of Assmbly Elections in the same year, Harekrishna was Married. It was late in 1977. I may VISUALISE the Mariage Set Up as we all were in the Marriage Party which reched to ranifarm, in Pilibhit District.

Now , I got the invitaion of the marriage of their daughter, Nivedita.She was a small girl when Sabita saw her. The girl entered her Married world on 14th Oct. and we got the invitation by poast just today. I called Harekrishna in his Bank UCO Rudrapur.

Harekrishna Invited us for the Marriage last Month while we Visited Home! I had explained him why we might not attend. It was IMMINENT that we had to visit the place once again sooner or later as sabita`s Mother was in death bed.

We talked a while.It reminded me the face of the innocent refugee girl, PUSHPA who was the

Bride of Harekrishna. She was so COVERED as I never could see her face for almost a decade. She was only a class Six passed girl at her marriage time. Later she passed M. A. and led our mothers and sisters in agitation in defence of our Citizenship in 2001.

Sundarpur remained my second home during seventies wherefrom I would launch all my campaigns and we had a score of Educated Youngmen in the village to acompany us.

DEENO Dayal mandal was one of them. He was the student leader in the Highscholl after we left it and it was upgraded as GIC, Dineshpur. He cooperated us to mobilise the students. Even in Seventies, the Namoshudras fro Barishal District and Kshatriya Paundra parcticed Child Marriage. Thus, all the Paundra Girls in Basantipur and Sundarpur would get married before matuarity. Nivedita is now aged around late Twenties and perhaps thiry I remeber not. in my vilage the Paundra girls also study in Post Garaduation. My Friend Krishan`s daughter ASHA was married late even after her Graduation. The Scenerio has Changed. In my haridaspur Primary school days , I had to witness the marriage Ceremony of my class friends so many times.

Thus, DEENO got married to AMAVATI in his GIC days. I never saw the face of the Girl. It was the tradition. While , I was in Dhanbad, DENO was dead succumbed to gastric Alsur. When I returned to Meerut, I had to Amavati emerging a powerful Cong leader close to ND Tiwari.

During my Jagaran Days in Meerut, AMAVATI lost for ever and no body could trace her ack till this date. I mourn for this young Couple.

Sharada was a handsome BOY senoior to us in the Highschool and he would play the Female in Jatra. I was a regular visitor to his family. The man is now a Sadhuand seking salvation in Brindavan!

Arobindo and Jagadish were brothers. Jagadish passed MBBS and Aurobinda opened a medical Store with Bishnu Pada Biswas, the most reserve student amongst us who was married in childhood and lived with his in laws in Radhakant pur. Suddenly, Bishnu Pada disappeared with all Cash and Never Returned. Arobindo lao left for Delhi and he remains there.

Adhir Sardar was not educated. neither was Panch Kadi. But they had been excellent Jatra Players in their Village party and were very close to us. I hardly get any time to meet these fellows nowadays!

Radhakant Mandal was the Original President of Terai Udvastu Committee as my Father was the General Secretary. The man died in sixties. Hemnath, his brother emerged as the leader of the Village whop followed my father. I had Political diffrences with my father. And Hemnath was very senior to me but we enjoyed a special Friendship that the man NEVER opposed me in Public. Their Nephew KAMAL passed MBBS and he passed his graduation in the same batch to which Sabita beloneged

Hinduism, like other great religions, has specific rituals for honoring the deceased and addressing a family's grief. Dr. Vasudha Narayanan, Professor of Religion at the University of Florida and head of the American Academy of Religion, described Hindu ceremonies in a conversation with Beliefnet:

In most cases, the procedures are conducted almost immediately, within a 24-hour period. When a parent has died and the children live far away, other family members hold the body until the children arrive to do the last rites.

According to Hindu tradition and its sacred texts, only a male family member (such as a husband, father or son) can perform the last rites. However, in some cases women have taken on this role. In Vedic times, there were incidents of the putrika--a daughter who could assume the role of a son. In later years, the religious patriarchy interpreted the putrika as the grandson, and reserved the conducting of the last rites for males.

In most Hindu families, the body is bathed immediately after death, sometimes by women in the family. The ritual marks of the community, along with sacred ash, may be applied on the person's body, under the guidance of the priest who chants holy mantras, which vary in different Hindu communities. Before the body is cremated, the immediate family members put flowers on the body, rice in the mouth (as nourishment for the departed soul), and coins in the hands. The body is placed on a bier and taken to the cremation center. With the exception of the bodies of children and sanyasis, bodies are usually cremated. There are, however, some Hindu communities which practice burial.

When the person dies, the family is in a state of grief. To respect this, no cooking is done in the house until the cremation takes place. "There is a saying that the fire in the house is not lit until the fire in the cremation pyre has gone out," explains Narayanan. "Friends come in with food. There are very specific dietary injunctions also as to what people can and cannot eat, especially the person who has performed the last rites. The food is vegetarian, without onion and garlic. The foods are considered satvic (pure) foods."

In the place where the person died, a lamp is lit to light the way for the departed soul and water is kept there for its nourishment. The next day the ashes are collected and immersed in a river--particularly where two rivers meet; in the ocean; or scattered over the earth in India. "This whole time is one of ritual pollution. There are a certain number of days, depending on the community, after which the family is re-integrated into the society," says Narayanan. "That can happen after 13 days or 40 days--the specific number of days corresponds with caste and community."

While prayers for the dead are common in all faiths, including Hinduism, the introduction of bhajans (religious hymns) set to music at a gathering of mourners are a later innovation for Hindus in both India and the diaspora. "Frequently both here and in India you have the recitation of the thousand names of Vishnu," says Narayanan. "This is particularly common for people from South India. These invocations bring the peace that everyone is searching for in the days after death--peace for the mind and the soul."

The Shraddha ritual, in which food and prayers for the departed soul are offered, goes back to Vedic times. These feasts symbolically provide sustenance for the ancestors (rituals with similar philosophies are also found in China and Japan). In Hinduism, they are conducted every month for a year after the death, based on tithi (the phase of the moon), and then once annually by the same person who performed the last rites. In recent years, people have substituted other activities in lieu of the Shraddha, such as feeding the poor or giving donations to orphanages. Feeding people in memory of the dead is considered particularly meritorious.

"The protocol that surrounds the Hindu funeral in America has changed, the style and texture of the event is far more Americanized than any other rite of passage," observes Narayanan. Indeed, the body is not kept at home as in India but must be taken immediately to a funeral home, and the funeral services reflect Judeo-Christian ones, with mourners watching the rituals take place, while in India these are done in private.

What happens when you don't have a body or just body parts, as in the World Trade Center or Columbia tragedies? Says Narayanan, "Whatever part you have you do the cremation with that--it's comparable to when you find a limb during a war or a person is lost in a fire."

Asked if there is anything in the theory of reincarnation or Hindu philosophy that can give solace to the grieving, she says, "What gives solace is the notion of immortality of the soul. The soul never dies and we have discarded this body because the soul is here and always will be. When you read the verses in the Bhagavad Gita in your time of grief, they speak to you. When you read them in a class or at other times, they are very beautiful. But when you read them in a time of pain, they are almost like a revelation, and it's like a soothing hand on you."

Some Indian-Americans journey all the way back to India to immerse the ashes in the Ganges or visit many pilgrimage sites to seek blessings for the departed soul and solace for their own pain. As Narayanan explains, "Rituals give us a way of cathartically dealing with our grief. Every one of the rituals within the Hindu ceremonies is a reality check to help us confront our grief, interact with it, accept it and keep going on--both in life and spiritually."

Funeral Rites of the Hindus and the Buddhists

Uday Lama

As morbid as it sounds, but that life ends in death is inevitable; the question is how do we cope with such a loss?

By the way, a few days ago I came across a rather morbid web site called The screen is done in dark colors and interspersed with silhouette of a church and tombstones. In the center it provides an input box where, if you want, you can type in your birth date and your gender (a bare minimum of information for such a vital calculation). You then click the OK button to see "your personal date of death" ticking away in seconds. The website sells these clocks, but I wonder who would buy them and for what purpose. I liked its logo, however, that says "… friendly reminder that life is slipping away... second by second."

My own experience with the loss of a loved one came when my sister died after a prolonged illness. Although I was 8 years old at the time of her death, I still remember the various events that followed her death. My sister was married, hence Nepali social customs relegated her widower to be responsible for funeral ceremonies.

Nepal (and in general most of the Southeast Asian countries) is a male-dominated society, and this trend reflects in funeral customs as well. For instance, if a husband dies leaving a widow behind, the person leading the funeral charge would be his eldest son. If the eldest son is unavailable for any reason, his next son will take over the duties. If deceased male has no son, the funeral responsibilities goes to his father even though the departed soul may have living daughters.

Funeral rituals in Nepal are steeped in religious tradition, with Hindu priests and Buddhist Lamas providing spiritual guidance to the dead on its ultimate journey to the eternal world. Elaborate rituals are needed to propitiate gods and deities so that the soul may be given unhindered passage to its next destination. Sometimes, especially in Buddhist funeral ceremony, the soul itself needs to be convinced that it no longer belongs to this mortal world, and that it now needs to get prepared to travel to the ethereal world. All these arcane and complex funeral ceremonies are performed with a single aim: to ensure that the departed soul doesn't get stranded in the netherworld for lack of proper guidance on way to heavenly destiny.

Immediately after my sister's death, Lama priests were notified. Soon the priests and their lay helpers began to file into the house bringing with them their ceremonial accoutrements. It was the beginning of a three-day vigil over the dead body in repose. This vigil is very important for the Buddhists who believe that upon death the soul leaves the earthly body immediately but hovers around it for three days and that sometimes within this timeframe the soul may decide to reunite with the body causing an instance of miraculous resurrection. And so, in such an ambiance of bereavement and eternal hope the Lamas and the family began their vigil, somewhat akin to the Christian wake.

For three days the priests chanted religious texts in unison, rang bells and beat drums and blew tuba-like instruments at various interval. They burned many oil lamps and incense in front of the makeshift Buddha image constructed next to the dead body. All family members were required to be present at certain times of the day for prayer services. All friends and neighbors were welcome to burn oil lamps, provide offerings, watch the ceremony, or pray with the Lamas any time.

Emotionally and financially, funeral is quite a taxing time for the family. The Lamas and their entourage must be housed and provided for. All required ceremonial supplies must be purchased, and where needed, leather-less shoes must be purchased for the male members of the family, for they are prohibited from wearing leather shoes for a year. Also all household members are required to refrain from eating salt for the three days. This prohibition comes off at the end of the third day when the Lamas distribute a specially anointed salt to the family. But on the positive side, such a somber ceremony conducted by robed Lamas with the exclusive purpose of conciliating the departed soul of the beloved family member surely acts as a soothing balm.

The Hindus, on the other hand, believe in the hastened departure of soul. They believe that once it sheds the body, the soul prepares to depart immediately on its karmic journey, and as such, it's very important to cremate the body as soon as practicable so as not to provide any allurement for the soul to linger on to this side of the world. Therefore, Hindu customs require the body to be taken to the holy grounds and cremated as soon as all the family members have had a chance to view it.

It could very well be that climate may have played some role in determining the duration of the wake. The Buddhists, inhabiting cooler mountainous regions, could afford longer wake period without the fear of putrefaction, whereas the Hindus, occupying plainer, humid and hot regions, couldn't. This is just a conjecture, though. (Recently, I was talking to a Hindu friend of mine. He told me that now-a-days in most large cities in India a family can rent space in an air-conditioned mortuary should they need to keep the body longer for some faraway family members to arrive.)

Customarily, Buddhists bury their dead, but in Nepal and elsewhere, partly because of lack of burial grounds and partly because of Hindu influence, they cremate their dead and share the same burning ghat with the Hindus. The dictionary defines a burning ghat as "a level space at the head of a ghat for cremation." A ghat is defined as "a broad flight of steps that is situated on a riverbank and that provides access to the water especially for bathing." This is only partially true. A ghat is a riverbank with or without steps, which are man-made.

Hindu religion imposes certain criteria as to the ideality of death. For instance, death in a hospital or in a house is religiously undesirable. To assure quick salvation of the soul, the Hindus believe that one must seek to breath one's last lying on the bank of a sacred river (Hinduism considers any river a holy river) with a flurry of prayer emanating from his mouth. Growing up in Nepal, I have witnessed instances where a critically sick man, whose imminent death having been predicted by the attending priest, was hurriedly carried away from his home to a local riverbank for a death vigil. The irony was, just as death itself, the priest could only approximate - must less guarantee - the time of death. In some instances I have also witnessed situations where the predicted death didn't occur. Instead, the dying man got well enough to return to his home.

It is the ultimate wish of a Hindu to die and be cremated along a riverbank; the holier the river the better for the departed soul. Many Hindu holy shrines are built along famous riverbanks. Banaras, situated along the holy river Ganges, is the holiest of them all, considered so holy that every Hindu wishes to be anointed by the Ganges river's water at his death's door. Indeed, the desire to die on the bank of the Ganges river is so irrepressible that even today there are pious Hindus in India who make provisions to move to Baneras at an old age for the sole purpose of waiting to die on the bank.

At long last, my sister's three-day vigil ended. A long funeral procession of the chanting Lamas and male family members and friends accompanied my sister's body to the bank of river Baghmati. By prior arrangement, a pyre had already been built. As the Lamas read the last rites, the body was laid on the pyre. Then, as is customary, the first fire was lit by her husband, followed by other male family members, including myself. Soon fire consumed the woods and the cadaver, reducing both elements to a few ounces of ashes. The ashes were entrusted to the slow flowing river Baghmati to be carried away to the holy Ganges. The funeral rites having completed, the entire procession returned to my sister's home where a feast was prepared to say thank you and goodbye to the Lamas and their party as well as to all the family friends.

Once the feast is over and the guests depart one by one or en masse, and only when the core family members find themselves alone for the first time, does the real family mourning begin. It's also the time for the family to discuss the final funeral ceremony that must be held within a year.

The Hindus follow the same regiment in the disposal of the body. As the Brahmins chant funereal hymns, the living male member of the deceased family sets the first fire to the pyre. Unlike the Buddhists, who prefer immediate dispersal of the ashes over the river, the Hindus collect them in an urn for disposal in a special year-end ceremony. After cremation, family members return to their homes to begin an eleven-day mourning period during which the immediate family's diet get severely restricted. For instance, they're prohibited from eating salt, certain vegetables, and meat. They are also required to wear white-colored clothes only, and they must set aside anything made out of leather, such as watch band, belt, shoes, etc.

On the 10th day, the Hindu priests set up an elaborate ceremony where various gods and goddesses are invoked and worshipped in the name of the deceased, a great variety of foods are prepared and offered to the departed soul, and all family members participate in the worship and offering. On the 11th day, the priests perform the right of absolution freeing everyone from all the restrictions; henceforth, family members are free to return to their normal lives.

For the Buddhists, while the Lama priests set the family free of the dietary and sartorial restrictions at the end of the third day, it's time now to plan for the final funeral ceremony as early as can be arranged but certainly within a year. It's up to the family to decide the duration of such a ceremony that could last anywhere from a single day, abbreviated affair to a month long, elaborated one, or somewhere in-between.

In my sister's case, it was decided that the final ceremony would be of a 3-day duration. Once again, Lamas and their helpers were invited and provisions were made. While the family worked hard to accommodate the priestly party, the Lamas chanted passages from the voluminous religious books. Hundreds of oil lamps lighted the Buddha image and sweet fragrance from the burning incense wafted throughout the house. The periodic bell ringing and the rhythmic drum beating coalesced with the low-pitched sound of the tuba-like horn instruments to create an eerie ambiance, at least in the mind of an 8-year old.

The Lamas were chanting instructions to my sister's soul, providing it the proper road map for the eternal journey. The Buddhists believe such instructions are essential for the soul to make a successful journey to its final resting place. Sans such help, the soul will get caught in a limbo, which is a bad omen for the family.

According to Buddhist tradition, the last day of the ceremony is the day when the soul, until now still living in the house, departs on its journey to eternity with the guidance of the Lama priests. Because of its symbolic meaning, this day culminates in the saddest of the mourning days. All members of the family are required to attend this last ceremony.

My sister's final funeral day began with a light task for the Lamas. For the past few days they've been reading the scriptures from early morning to late dawn, but this morning they'd pray in silence and prepare a small paper flag with my sister's name written on it, and at mid-day they'd perform the final rites.

The final ceremony began as the priests placed the paper flag in the center of the 108 unlit oil lamps. Then they began to chant the last scriptural readings for a few hours. At the end of the reading all the family members were invited to light the oil lamps that surrounded the paper flag. Then the head Lama lifted the paper flag. As the ringing bells and beating drums reached a crescendo, he lighted the flag with the flame of the largest of the oil lamps. Family members wept and sobbed. The flag burned into ashes. This was the final goodbye. The soul has departed from this world.

The funeral ceremony, the Buddhists believe, guarantees eternal peace to the departed soul, while the final flag-burning as part of the ceremony, guarantees purification of the house by formally letting go of the spirit both emotionally and spiritually.

The Hindus, on the other hand, wait for a full year to complete their funeral rites. At the one-year anniversary, they offer foods and prayers to the dead through Brahmin priests and arrange for the disposal of the ashes. A single day is all that it takes for the priests to complete the prayer and offering, but the question of what to do with the ashes requires a balance between family wish and financial affordability. Ideally, ashes should be scattered in or around holy rivers and places. The Hindus consider the Himalayas as the holiest of all the places on earth, for it has been the source of the holy Ganges and many other lesser known but no less holy rivers, as well as the abode of many gods and goddesses. The former Indian premier Indira Gandhi's ashes were scattered over the Himalayas. The majority, however, can't afford the expense of such a luxurious sendoff.

Those who can afford, travel to Baneras, or any other holy places in India, and scatter the ashes in the holy rivers. Those who can't afford, dispose of the ashes in a nearby local river.

About the Author

Mr. Lama was born in the faraway land of Kathmandu, Nepal, a small kingdom nestled between India and China and the home of Mt. Everest. This tiny country is the home of many Hindu and Buddhist temples. The name Lama means "buddhist priest."

Mr. Lama immigrated to the United States in 1968, after working several years for the American Embassy in Kathmandu. He has three Nepali children, Padma, Pramod, and Prabhat, all of whom now reside in the United States. He is married to Doris Lama, a native Washingtonian.

Mr. Lama has a passion for words and their definitions, world religion and history. He has varied interests which include jogging, cooking, taking historical tours, traveling, writing, reading, storytelling and studying.

A graduate of clown school, Mr. Lama took the name of "Teaser" which reveals his playful side. He's written a small travel book on China and articles for various Nepali newspapers and organizations, and currently works as a Computer systems analyst.

Vedic rituals after death
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The rituals that may be followed in Vedic religions after the death of a human being, for his or her peace and ascent to heaven are:

Niravapanjali is a sacred ritual in Hinduism where after the cremation rites, the ashes are ceremonially immersed in holy water by the closest relatives, so that the soul may rise to heaven. In Hindu mythology, king Bhagiratha performed a tapasya to bring down the river Ganga upon earth, so that he could immerse the ashes of sixty thousand of his slain ancestors in her sacred waters.
Tarpana is a sacred ritual whereupon the closest relatives make a sacred offering to the Gods so that the departed soul may enter Swarga. In Hindu mythology, the Great Parasurama offered a tarpana for his father Jamadagni with the blood of his father's killer.
The ceremonial offerings varies across the spectrum of Hindu society. These ceremonies are also practiced in Sikhism.

[edit] In Ayyavazhi
In Ayyavazhi the body of the dead is buried, unlike in Hinduism.

The body is buried in a position that faces to the geographic north in a Padmasana position. No boxes such as coffins are used. The body is just placed inside and covered by sand or Namam (sacred soil which is used as Thirunamam in Ayyavazhi). This practice is done in belief that the deceased is performing austerity for the unfolding of Dharma Yukam. There was also a belief that the body of a person who was free from birth will not decay, and will be preserved as it is. Then as the Dharma Yukam unfolds, Vaikundar will blow a Conch shell and these people will rise from the grave. This scenario resembles the Last Judgment in the Abrahamic religions.

Hindu Rituals after Death

Amongst Hindus, there are a myriad rituals to follow after the death, all depending on which sect, cast and cultural background you have. There are some common themes, and they are explored in this article.

After the soul leaves the body, it "stays around" for a while. Years of association with the body, relatives, house, material possessions etc, means it feels a twang of remorse for leaving it all behind. The rituals we carry out, help the soul break those bonds and make a fresh start in the next world.

One of the reasons why we burn our dead, and not bury them, is so that the soul does not feel the pull of the physical association and does not remain bound to its previous life. Usually, the personal items of the deceased are also passed on and given away as charity - as a way of breaking that bond. By doing all this, the relatives of the dead are saying to the soul, "Look, all that you held dear in this world. It has now passed on to others. You too should now move on."

After due time, there is usually a feast in honour of the dead person and all the friends and family are invited. This is to say to the departed soul, "Though we miss you, all of us will remember your excellent qualities, the fun times we had together, and we are celebrating your "life". We are getting on with the life we have here. Please, you too should move on to your new life."

Prayers, bhajans, various religious rituals are carried out to bring peace to the soul and calm it down. The sudden departure from the physical world can be a shock to the soul and all these sacred activities are designed to bring peace to the soul. They are also there to guide the soul and remind the soul that the physical world is transient, the spiritual world is eternal and that is the true home of the soul.

The rituals help confirm the closure of the life for the soul. They also help guide the soul on its onward journey. Depending on how much attachment the soul has for the physical world, "it" will seek a new body sooner or later. Guided by the karmic bonds, the soul seeks a new life form to fulfil its desires. Karma and kama propel the soul towards its new destination. The rituals we perform, help it to severe the bonds with its old life.

These rituals help the soul to transition from the physical world to the spiritual world. They also help the loved ones, still in the physical world to transition from having their loved one, to not having them. For a number of days, friends and family are duty bound by custom, rituals, and deep felt emotions to come and offer their support to the family of the dead.

To be surrounded by so many loving people, reminds the family that it is not alone in feeling this loss. They are also offered a shoulder to cry on, should they need it, and a good ear to listen to all that they may wish to share. This offers the sort of support therapists can't. Being surrounded by familiar faces in familiar surroundings, helps deal with the loss far better than being alone, brooding over the recent loss. It is important to find the proper closure to the suddenness of death. Being with our loved ones, carrying out rituals offering peace to the departed soul, helps us find that closure.

To satisfy ourselves that we have done all we can for the departed soul, there are rituals that we complete on the 13th day, end of the month, and at the end of the year. We also perform "tarpan" when we visit sacred places during a pilgrimage. These are the way we ritually invite the soul to take part in the pilgrimage with us and share the bliss thereof. We offer food and water to the soul in a ritual to demonstrate our continued love and affection for them.

On an annual basis, we remember the souls of all our departed ancestors and friends during the Shradha Paksha. During this fortnight, in the memory of our loved ones, we eat their favourite foods and remember the good times we had with them. This is our way of saying, "We love you and still have fond memories of you. Be at peace, where ever you are !"

It is important to remember these rituals are designed to provide peace and assurance to the living that their dearly departed are well, where ever they are.

Rituals Related to Death in Hindu Family

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Hindus believe that humans are born again and again according to their karma, until they finally gain respite - moksha. By living a life of value without sin, it is possible to come closer to moksha, and perhaps be reborn in a higher form in the next life. To drink or bathe in water from the holy river Ganges contributes to rinsing oneself from sin.

When death approaches, the sick person will be lifted out of their bed and laid on the floor with their head towards the north. Relatives gather around the dying person, dip a leaf of sweet basil in water from the Ganges or milk, an place this on the lips of the dying person while they sing holy songs and read holy texts. To enter death with all of ones senses alive is considered ideal, and many Hindus will refrain from taking medication when they feel that their time is up.If available, a special funeral priest is called. In a shelter built by the family, a fire ritual (homa) is performed to bless nine brass kumbhas (water pots) and one clay pot. Lacking the shelter, an appropriate fire is made in the home. The "chief mourner" leads the rites. He is the eldest son in the case of the father's death and the youngest son in the case of the mother's. In some traditions, the eldest son serves for both, or the wife, son-in-law or nearest male relative.

After death,The chief mourner now performs arati, passing an oil lamp over the remains, then offering flowers. The male (or female, depending on the gender of the deceased) relatives carry the body to the back porch, remove the clothes and drape it with a white cloth. (If there is no porch, the body can be sponge bathed and prepared where it is.) Each applies sesame oil to the head, and the body is bathed with water from the nine kumbhas, dressed, placed in a coffin (or on a palanquin) and carried to the homa shelter.The dead person is washed at home, anointed with salve of sandalwood, kum kum powder and vibuthi, and clothed in white. The young children, holding small lighted sticks, encircle the body, singing hymns. The women then walk around the body and offer puffed rice into the mouth to nourish the deceased for the journey ahead. A widow will place her Mangalsutra (wedding pendant) around her husband's neck, signifying her enduring tie to him. The coffin is then closed. If unable to bring the body home, the family arranges to clean and dress it at the mortuary rather than leave these duties to strangers. The ritual homa fire can be made at home or kindled at the crematorium.

The body is laid in a coffin and covered with flowers before it is driven to the crematorium. In north Indian tradition, three bowls of barley flour are now prepared. The first bowl is placed on the head of the deceased before being carried into the crematorium. The second is placed on the chest during the procession from the hearse. The third is placed on the stomach after arriving in the crematorium. In the crematorium, a small candle or oil lamp (diwali lamp) is lit, which the main mourner holds in his hand while carrying a container of water on his shoulder. He circles the dead person three times, and a hole is made in the container each time he goes around.The coffin is then moved to the cremation room (Shamshan ghat). Only men go to the cremation site, led by the chief mourner. Two pots are carried: the clay kumbha and another containing burning embers from the homa. The body is carried three times counterclockwise around the pyre, then placed upon it. All circumambulating, and some arati, in the rites is counterclockwise. If a coffin is used, the cover is now removed. The men offer puffed rice as the women did earlier, cover the body with wood and offer incense and ghee. With the clay pot on his left shoulder, the chief mourner circles the pyre while holding a fire brand behind his back. At each turn around the pyre, a relative knocks a hole in the pot with a knife, letting water out, signifying life's leaving its vessel. At the end of three turns, the chief mourner drops the pot. Then, without turning to face the body, he lights the pyre and leaves the cremation grounds. The others follow. At a gas-fueled crematorium, sacred wood and ghee are placed inside the coffin with the body. Where permitted, the body is carried around the chamber, and a small fire is lit in the coffin before it is consigned to the flames. The cremation switch then is engaged by the chief mourner.

Returning home, all bathe and share in cleaning the house. A lamp and water pot are set where the body lay in state. The water is changed daily, and pictures remain turned to the wall. The shrine room is closed, with white cloth draping all icons. During these days of ritual impurity, family and close relatives do not visit others homes, though neighbors and relatives bring daily meals to relieve the burdens during mourning. Neither do they attend festivals and temples, visit swamis, nor take part in marriage arrangements. Some observe this period up to one year.

About 12 hours after cremation, family men return to collect the remains. Water is sprinkled on the ash; the remains are collected on a large tray. At crematoriums the family can arrange to personally gather the remains: ashes and small pieces of white bone called "flowers." In crematoriums these are ground to dust, and arrangements must be made to preserve them. Ashes are carried or sent to India for deposition in the Ganges or placed them in an auspicious river or the ocean, along with garlands and flowers.

The death ritual lasts 12 days. During this period, the mourners are ritually unclean. They do not go to the temple, and must cover all religious pictures and figures that they have in the house. Family members sleep on the floor, and eat only vegetarian food. Every morning for 11 days, the eldest son - as main mourner - receives tutelage in the ritual from the priest. Sometimes all the male members may shave their heads as a mark of respect.On the twelfth day, possessions of the eldest son are given to charity.

Each month during the first year after the death, a pinda rice-ball and bowl of water are offered in memory of the dead person. A widow will erase her marriage mark (sindoor) and wear white clothes for the first year after her husband's death. Sons will hold a memorial service each year on the day of their father's death as long as they are alive.

At the yearly anniversary of the death (according to the moon calendar), a priest conducts the shraddha rites in the home, offering pinda to the ancestors. This ceremony is done yearly as long as the sons of the deceased are alive (or for a specified period). It is now common in India to observe shraddha for ancestors just prior to the yearly Navaratri festival. This time is also appropriate for cases where the day of death is unknown.

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For other uses, see Salvation (disambiguation).
Part of a series on
Salvation (cat.)

General concepts
Conditional salvation
Universal reconciliation
Special salvation
Divine judgment
Particular judgment
Last Judgment (eschatology)
Transcendence (religion)

Particular concepts
One true faith
Christian conditionalism

Soul death

Note Judaism is absent from this article due to the absence of the concept in Judaism.
Needs Islamic concepts, along with others.
Needs to give consideration to 1Thessalonians 4:17 (some may not die before going to heaven).

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Value of a Soul


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In religion, salvation is the concept that God or other Higher Power, as part of Divine Providence, "saves" humanity from spiritual death or eternal damnation by providing for them an eternal life (cf. afterlife). Salvation has been termed the major theme of the Christian Bible.[1]

Some world religions have the notion that humanity needs salvation from its present condition since humanity does not manifest its purpose of existence and therefore in some sense is "lost." Christianity regards salvation as liberation from the bondage of sin and re-establishing a personal communion with God.[2] In Christianity Jesus is the source of salvation and faith in his saving power is stressed.

Eastern religions tend to stress self-help through individual discipline and practice, sometimes over the course of many lifetimes, though in Mahayana Buddhism bodhisattva and certain buddhas may act as intervening divine agents.[3] Mainstream sects of Buddhism believe that an individual is born into a state of samsara which is analogous to original sin in the sense that the soul is "lost" at the moment of birth.[citation needed]

Author Ernest Valea suggests three aspects as important to analyze in assessing the meaning of salvation to a particular religion:

The resources needed for attaining salvation
The actual way of getting saved and
The meaning of being saved.[2]
The theological study of salvation is called soteriology. It covers the means by which salvation is effected or achieved, and its results.[4] Salvation may also be called "deliverance" or "redemption" from sin and its effects. By its nature salvation must answer to the plight of humanity as it actually is, offering individuals redemption from slavery to sin, forgiveness from guilt, reconciliation for alienation and "renewal for a marred image of God."[5]:80

In Buddhism, the problem is suffering and the solution is the Noble Eightfold Path. In some forms of Hinduism, the problem is the cycle of reincarnation and the solution is Self-realization.[6] Some religions claim that salvation can be attained by using only inner human resources such as meditation, accumulation of wisdom, asceticism, rituals, or good deeds. Other religions teach that humans can be saved only through the grace granted by an external personal agent (God, a bodhisattva, an avatar, etc.) One's duty is to recognize the impossibility of being saved by one's own efforts, and therefore accept grace unconditionally.[2]

1 Etymology
2 Christianity
2.1 Some salvation-related passages in the Christian Scriptures
2.2 Roman Catholicism
2.3 Eastern Christianity
2.4 Protestants
2.4.1 Anselm
2.4.2 Calvinism
2.4.3 Arminianism
2.4.4 Universalism
2.4.5 Churches of Christ
2.5 Emerging Church, Liberal Theology, and Liberation Theology
3 Non-Trinitarian
3.1 The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
4 Islam
5 Eastern Religions
5.1 Hinduism
5.2 Buddhism
5.3 Jainism
5.4 Sikhism
6 Redemption
7 See also
8 References
9 External links

[edit] Etymology
The word "salvation" in the Christian sense originates from O.Fr. salvaciun, from L.L. salvationem (nom. salvatio, a Church L. translation of Gk. soteria), noun of action from salvare "to save". In the general, non-religious sense, from c.1374.[7]

[edit] Christianity
Main articles: Christian soteriology and Religious exclusivism
At the heart of Christian faith is the reality and hope of salvation in Jesus Christ. Christian faith is faith in the God of salvation revealed in Jesus of Nazareth. The Christian tradition has always equated this salvation with the transcendent, eschatological fulfillment of human existence in a life freed from sin, finitude, and mortality and united with the triune God. This is perhaps the non-negotiable item of Christian faith. What has been a matter of debate is the relation between salvation and our activities in the world.

– Anselm Kyongsuk Min[8]:79

Sons of Core
According to Christian theologian Frank Stagg, salvation is rooted in the grace of God. "For bankrupt sinners with no ground of their own upon which to stand, with nothing of their own upon which to stand, with nothing of their own to hold up to God for [one's] reward, it is their only hope, but it is their sufficient hope."[5]:80

The Bible presents salvation in the form of a story that describes the outworking of God's eternal plan to deal with the problem of human sin. The story is set against the background of the history of God's people and reaches its climax in the person and work of Christ. The Old Testament part of the story shows that people are sinners by nature, and describes a series of covenants by which God sets people free and makes promises to them. His plan includes the promise of blessing for all nations through Abraham and the redemption of Israel from every form of bondage. God showed his saving power throughout Israel's history, but he also spoke about a Messianic figure who would save all people from the power, guilt, and penalty of sin. This role was fulfilled by Jesus, who will ultimately destroy all the devil's work, including suffering, pain, and death (1 John 3:8).[1]
According to the New Testament, this salvation is a gift from God that anyone may receive by exercising faith in Christ and repenting for their sin (Acts 20:21).

Some of the benefits of this salvation are that people become "new creations in Christ" (2 Corinthians 5:17), their sins are forgiven, they receive eternal life and become children of God. They also receive the Holy Spirit, who enables them to live a new life based on God's requirements and to spread the gospel to others (Acts 1:8 and Acts 2:38).

In Christianity, the human problem is sin that causes suffering in this life but may lead to eternal suffering in the next life. According to Christian teachings, God is good, perfect, and just, and so sin by its nature prevents a right relationship with God. Therefore, sinners cannot enjoy the full benefits of knowing God in this life, such as peace, comfort and help in times of trouble. They also cannot spend eternity in God's presence, meaning that their soul will either be annihilated at death or will suffer eternally in the state or place known as Hell.[6] But Christianity claims to offer "good news," and this good news is that it is possible to be saved (attain salvation) from sin and its terrible consequences. The solution, then, is salvation from sin, temporal suffering, and eternal suffering. According to Christian belief, salvation is made possible by the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, which in the context of salvation is referred to as the "atonement."[6] Jesus died to take away the sin of the world (John 1:29). resurrection vindicates his death and his victory is confirmed by his exaltation to God's throne. For this reason, the New Testament portrays Jesus as the only Saviour of human beings (Acts 4:12), and the early church regarded his salvation as a message for everyone, Gentiles as well as Jews (Acts 13:47).[1]

Salvation is a process that begins when a person first becomes a Christian, continues through that person's life, and is completed when one stands before Christ in judgment. Therefore, according to this author, the faithful Christian can say in faith and hope, "I have been saved; I am being saved; and I will be saved."[9]

Past. Protestant Evangelicals tend to conceive of Salvation as a past event—something that has happened to the believer at the very beginning of one's life as a Christian. Hence, "Have you been saved?" sounds very natural to Protestant ears.
Future. Catholics and Orthodox tend to focus on salvation as a future event, something that has yet to happen. To them, "Have you been saved?" can sound presumptuous.
Present. There is an ongoing present aspect to salvation as well. "As the outcome of your faith, you obtain [present participle] the salvation of your souls" (1 Peter 1:8-9).
Christian salvation concepts are varied and complicated by certain theological concepts, traditional beliefs, and dogmas. Scripture is subject to individual and ecclesiastical interpretations. Therefore, Christian soteriology ranges from exclusive salvation[10]:p.123 to universal reconciliation[11] concepts. While some of the differences are as widespread as Christianity itself, the overwhelming majority agrees that salvation is made possible by the work of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, dying on the cross.

The purpose of salvation is debated (compare purpose of life), but in general most theologians agree that God devised and implemented His plan of salvation because He loves them regards human beings as His children. Since human existence on Earth is said to be "[given] to sin" (John 8:34), salvation also has connotations that deal with the liberation[12] of human beings from sin, and therefore also the inevitable suffering associated with the punishment of sin—i.e., "the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23).

[edit] Some salvation-related passages in the Christian Scriptures
The New International Version of the New Testament contains 138 verses that with the words "salvation" (45), "save" (41) or "saved" (52). The following are some of the New Testament passages most cited in this regard:

Belief in Jesus: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name given under heaven by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).
God's love: "God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). "But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved" (Ephesians 2:4-5). "When the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior…" (Titus 3:4-6).
Sin separates humanity from God. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—" (Romans 5:12).
God gives eternal life because Jesus Christ atoned for our sin: "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:23).
Saved (from sin) by asking Him for forgiveness just as we forgive others: "if you forgive others when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins (Matthew 6:14-15).
Confession and believing: "If you declare with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved" (Romans 10:9-10). "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Romans 10:13).
Baptism: "Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned" (Mark 16:16). "…all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death. We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life" (Romans 6:3-5).
Must be born again: "Jesus replied, 'Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born again…Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit'" (John 3:3-5).
What must we do to be saved?: "Peter replied, 'Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit'" (Acts 2:38).
Saved by God's grace, not by works: "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9). "He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life (Titus 3:5-7).
Salvation and works: "You see that people are justified by what they do and not by faith alone" (James 2:24). This verse and the surrounding passage is disputed, centering primarily on the meaning of the word justified.[13]
Judged by works: "And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and everyone was judged according to what they had done." (Revelation 20:12-13). All Protestants do not agree with this type of interpretation of this verse. Some believe there will be the judgment all unsaved people go through called the "white throne judgment" (Revelation 20:10-15), but for all those who are saved they will appear before the "judgment seat of Christ" (2 Cor. 5:9-10). In that judgment, believers will get rewards based on what they have done, whether they are good or bad. If they are not saved, Christ will proclaim, "Depart from me, I never knew ye," and they will be thrown into hell. They do not believe eternal life is a reward that is going to be given out in consequence of works done (1 Cor. 3:11-14). Others understand it in the same way as the "Saved by Works" verses, in the sense that those who will not have done good proved they were not saved, because their works did not correspond to their 'saved' status. See also Romans 2:6.
Salvation as already achieved: "When the kindness of God our Saviour, and his love towards man, appeared, not by works done in righteousness, which we did ourselves, but according to his mercy he saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, which he poured out upon us richly, through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that, being justified by his grace, we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life" (Titus 3:4-7).
Salvation as an on-going process: "To us who are being saved, (the word of the cross) is the power of God" (1 Cor. 1:18). The original text of this passage in Greek has present-tense s???µ????? (being saved), not perfect-tense ses?sµ????? (having been saved) or past-tense (aorist-tense) s??e?s?? (saved); ambiguous translations such as "us which are saved" (KJV) obscure this.
Salvation as yet to be obtained: "Since, therefore, we are now justified by (Christ's) blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God" (Romans 5:9).
Salvation as...a narrower path than we may think: There are many interpretations of what is acceptable and what is not. "Wide is the gate, and broad the way, that leads to destruction, and many go in there: because strait is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to life, and few there be that find it...(Matthew 7:13,14).
[edit] Roman Catholicism
Instead of salvation being conditional upon sin, Roman Catholicism had long attached the belief in Jesus the Christ to the concept of salvation itself, and for non-Christians has asserted various "dispensations" ranging from "eternal hell" to 'salvation conditional upon conversion.' Catholic controversies regarding universalists, such as Origen, are notable events in Church history, and have typically resulted in the proclamation of Catholicism being the "one true faith," along with dispensationalist concepts.

Catholics profess belief that Jesus the Christ brought about redemption from sin and assert that salvation is possible only in the Roman Catholic Church. [14][15][16] This doctrine remains, but is not always articulated in such clear language. Modern teaching usually uses language similar to the following: Jesus was a divine sacrifice who brought about "redemption for all mankind" (cf. Redemptoris Missio).

Roman Catholics believe[17] "Man stands in need of salvation from God,"[18] and "Divine help comes to him in Christ through the law that guides him and the grace that sustains him."[18] It was for our salvation that "God loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins; the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world, and he was revealed to take away sins."[19] "By his death (Jesus, the Son of God) has conquered death, and so opened the possibility of salvation to all men."[20]

Roman Catholicism teaching on justification is the principal cause of division from Protestantism, and holds a soul is justified "by reason of a perfect act of charity elicited by a well disposed sinner or by virtue of the Sacrament either of Baptism or of Penance."[21] This condition can be appropriated by proxy, in recognition of the faith of a qualified sponsor, and is held to be effected by an actual change in the recipient's heart, that of the infused love of God, so that the justified are not only reputed to be righteous, "but we are truly called and are just, receiving justice within us".[22]

A further teaching is that this justification can be increased by doing works enabled by the grace of God dispensed through Roman Catholic sacraments, and which grace includes that of the merits of saints.[23] Such works of faith are also held to help merit eternal life. Regarding those who cooperated with such grace, Trent concludes that,"nothing further is wanting to the justified, to prevent their being accounted to have, by those very works which have been done in God, fully satisfied the divine law according to the state of this life, and to have truly merited eternal life."[24] Canon 32 similarly states, "If anyone says that the good works of the one justified are in such manner the gifts of God that they are not also the good merits of him justified; or that the one justified by the good works that he performs by the grace of God and the merit of Jesus Christ, whose living member he is, does not truly merit an increase of grace, eternal life, and in case he dies in grace, the attainment of eternal life itself and also an increase of glory, let him be anathema."[25]

Jesus has provided the Church with "the fullness of the means of salvation which [the Father] has willed: correct and complete confession of faith, full sacramental life, and ordained ministry in apostolic succession".[26] Baptism is necessary for salvation,[27] and is sufficient for those who die as children and those permanently deprived of their use of reason.[28] The sacrament of Penance is necessary for salvation for those who have fallen after Baptism, just as Baptism is necessary for salvation for those who have not yet been reborn."[29] But these are not the only sacraments of importance for salvation: "The Church affirms that for believers the sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation."[30] This holds especially for the Eucharist. "Every time this mystery is celebrated, the work of our redemption is carried on and we break the one bread that provides the medicine of immortality, the antidote for death, and the food that makes us live for ever in Jesus Christ."[31]

At the same time, however, the Roman Catholic Church teaches that through the graces Jesus won for humanity by sacrificing himself on the cross, salvation is possible even for those outside the visible boundaries of the Church. Christians and even non-Christians, if in life they respond positively to the grace and truth that God reveals to them through the mercy of Christ may be saved. This may include awareness of an obligation to become part of the Catholic Church. In such cases, "they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it, or to remain in it."[32] Catholics believe that people, even those who are not explicitly Christian, have the moral law written in their hearts, according to Jeremiah 31:33 (prophecy of new covenant): "I will write my law on their hearts." St. Justin wrote that those who have not accepted Christ but follow the moral law of their hearts (logos) follow God, because it is God who has written the moral law in each person's heart. Though he may not explicitly recognize it, he has the spirit of Christ. St. Thomas Aquinas, the premier theologian in the Catholic Church, explains this paradox as follows. If a person lives according to the natural law written on his heart, God will send him a means of knowing the truth by either natural or supernatural means; that is, he will send a missionary to teach him the faith or even an angel, if necessary.[33]

The Church expressly teaches that "it is necessary to hold for certain that they who labor in ignorance of the true religion, if this ignorance is invincible, will not be held guilty of this in the eyes of God" (Singulari Quadam), that "outside of the Church, nobody can hope for life or salvation unless he is excused through ignorance beyond his control" (Singulari Quidem), that "they who labor in invincible ignorance of our most holy religion and who, zealously keeping the natural law and its precepts engraved in the hearts of all by God, and being ready to obey God, live an honest and upright life, can, by the operating power of divine light and grace, attain eternal life" (Quanto Conficiamur Moerore).

[edit] Eastern Christianity
Eastern Christianity was much less influenced by Augustine, and even less so by either Calvin or Arminius. Consequently, it doesn't just have different answers, but asks different questions; it generally views salvation in less legalistic terms (grace, punishment, and so on) and in more medical terms (sickness, healing etc.), and with less exacting precision. Instead, it views salvation more along the lines of theosis, a seeking to become holy or draw closer to God, a concept that has been developed over the centuries by many different Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Eastern Catholic Christians. It also stresses Jesus' teaching about forgiveness in Matthew 6:14-15: "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." See also Sermon on the Mount.

The Longer Catechism of the Orthodox, Catholic, Eastern Church, known also as The Catechism of St. Philaret [34] includes the questions and answers: "155. To save men from what did (the Son of God) come upon earth? From sin, the curse, and death." "208. How does the death of Jesus Christ upon the cross deliver us from sin, the curse, and death? That we may the more readily believe this mystery, the Word of God teaches us of it, so much as we may be able to receive, by the comparison of Jesus Christ with Adam. Adam is by nature the head of all humanity, which is one with him by natural descent from him. Jesus Christ, in whom the Godhead is united with manhood, graciously made himself the new almighty Head of men, whom he unites to himself through faith. Therefore as in Adam we had fallen under sin, the curse, and death, so we are delivered from sin, the curse, and death in Jesus Christ. His voluntary suffering and death on the cross for us, being of infinite value and merit, as the death of one sinless, God and man in one person, is both a perfect satisfaction to the justice of God, which had condemned us for sin to death, and a fund of infinite merit, which has obtained him the right, without prejudice to justice, to give us sinners pardon of our sins, and grace to have victory over sin and death.

Orthodox theology teaches prevenient grace, meaning that God makes the first movement toward man, and that salvation is impossible from our own will alone. However, man is endowed with free will, and an individual can either accept or reject the grace of God. Thus an individual must cooperate with God's grace to be saved, though he can claim no credit of his own, as any progress he makes is possible only by the grace of God.

[edit] Protestants
Broadly speaking, Protestants hold to the five solas of the Reformation which declare salvation to be by faith alone through grace alone in Christ alone.

Some Protestants understand this to mean that God saves solely by grace and that works follow as a necessary consequence of saving grace (see Lordship salvation).
Others rigidly believe that salvation is accomplished by faith alone without any reference to works whatsoever (see Free Grace theology).
Still others believe that salvation is by faith alone but that salvation can be forfeited if it is not accompanied by continued faith and the works that naturally follow from it.
Karl Barth notes a range of alternative themes: forensic (we are guilty of a crime, and Christ takes the punishment), financial (we are indebted to God, and Christ pays our debt) and cultic (Christ makes a sacrifice on our behalf). For various cultural reasons, the oldest themes (honor and sacrifice) prove to have more depth than the more modern ones (payment of a debt, punishment for a crime). But in all these alternatives, the understanding of atonement has the same structure. Human beings owe something to God that we cannot pay. Christ pays it on our behalf. Thus God remains both perfectly just (insisting on a penalty) and perfectly loving (paying the penalty himself). A great many Christians would define such a substitutionary view of the atonement as simply part of what orthodox Christians believe.[35]
Debates about how Christ saves us have tended to divide Protestants into conservatives who defended some form of substitutionary atonement theory and liberals who were more apt to accept a kind of moral influence theory. Both those approaches were about 900 years old. Recently, new accounts of Christ's salvific work have been introduced or reintroduced, and the debates have generally grown angrier, at least from the liberal side. Those who defended substitutionary atonement were always ready to dismiss their opponents as heretics; now some of their opponents complain that a focus on substitutionary atonement leads to violence against women and to child abuse.

– William C. Placher[35]

[edit] Anselm
Shortly after 1100, Anselm, appointed as archbishop of Canterbury, wrote a classic treatise about substitutionary atonement. In it he puts forward the "satisfaction theory" of the Atonement. Man's offense of rebellion against God is one that demands a payment or satisfaction. Fallen man is incapable of making adequate satisfaction. Nevertheless, such is God's love that God will not simply abandon us (at least not all of us) to the consequences of our sins. Anselm wrote, "This debt was so great that, while none but man must solve the debt, none but God was able to do it; so that he who does it must be both God and man." The suffering of Christ, the God-man who is God's only son, pays off what human beings owe to God's honor, and we are thereby reconciled to God.

So God took human nature upon Himself so that a perfect man might make perfect satisfaction and so restore the human race. The success of his work may be gauged by the fact that many Christians today not only accept his way of explaining the Atonement, but are simply unaware that there is any other way.[35]

[edit] Calvinism
Calvinists, who adhere to Lordship salvation, further understand the doctrines of salvation to include (but not limited to) the five points of Calvinism, all of which contrast sharply with Arminianism. In the Calvinist system, all people are born sinful (see original sin) and thus are in need of God to save them. God's plan of salvation included the appointing of the elect before the foundation of the world, according to His sovereign good pleasure. The entire process of being born again (or regeneration) is performed solely by the Holy Spirit prior to the person exercising faith, and, indeed, the doctrine of total inability says that faith is impossible apart from such divine intervention. All the elect necessarily persevere in faith because God keeps them from falling away. Thus, the Calvinist system is called monergism because God alone acts to bring about salvation.[citation needed]

Calvinists recognize three tenses of salvation as they are used in the Bible: a Christian has been saved (past), is being saved (present), and will be saved (future). These three steps have also been distinctly referred to as: regeneration, sanctification, and glorification. All three tenses are needed to be saved, all three are freely given of God through Jesus Christ, and all three together constitute the full biblical meaning of salvation. Calvinists confirm, according to Romans 8:30 and Philippians 1:6, that the presence of the first (i.e., if you have been saved) means that the other two will surely follow.[citation needed]

[edit] Arminianism
Like Calvinists, Arminians agree that all people are born sinful and are in need of salvation. However, they argue that each person can successfully resist God's offer of salvation and that a person can lose his or her salvation if one does not maintain it by continued faith in Jesus. Arminians distinguish between loss of faith and sin and believe that sin alone cannot result in the loss of salvation. However, John Wesley taught that continued backsliding could inevitably lead to loss of faith, and consequently salvation, if left uncorrected.

The Arminian emphasis on free will, or more properly, free choice is important in salvation. If one has free choice, each individual can choose to accept or reject the gift of salvation. The fact that an individual is baptized or associates with other Christians does not mean that he or she has accepted salvation.

[edit] Universalism
Universalists agree with both Calvinists and Arminians that everyone is born in sin and in need of salvation. They also believe that one is saved by Jesus Christ. However, they emphasize that judgment in hell upon sinners is of limited duration, and that God uses judgment to bring sinners to repentance.[36]

[edit] Churches of Christ
See also: Churches of Christ

Churches of Christ are strongly anti-Calvinist in their understanding of salvation, and generally present conversion as "obedience to the proclaimed facts of the gospel rather than as the result of an emotional, Spirit-initiated conversion."[37]:215

Churches of Christ hold the view that humans of accountable age are lost because of their sins.[38]:124 These lost souls can be redeemed because Jesus Christ, the Son of God, offered Himself as the atoning sacrifice.[38]:124 Children too young to understand right from wrong, and make a conscious choice between the two, are believed to be innocent of sin.[38]:124[39]:107 The age when this occurs is generally believed to be around 13.[39]:107

Churches of Christ generally teach that the process of salvation involves the following steps:[40]

1. One must be properly taught, and hear (Rm 10:17, Matt. 7:24),
2. One must believe or have faith (Heb 11:6, Mk 16:15-16),
3. One must repent, which means turning from one's former lifestyle and choosing God's ways (Acts 2:38, 17:30, Luke 13:3),
4. One must confess belief that Jesus is the son of God (Matthew 10:32-33; Acts 8:36-37),
5. One must be baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38; I Pet 3:20-21; Romans 6:3-5; Mark 16:16; Acts 22:16),
6. One must remain faithful unto death (Rev. 2:10).
Beginning in the 1960s, many preachers began placing more emphasis on the role of grace in salvation, instead of focusing exclusively implementing all of the New Testament commands and examples.[41]:152,153 This was not an entirely new approach, as others had actively "affirmed a theology of free and unmerited grace," but it did represent a change of emphasis with grace becoming "a theme that would increasingly define this tradition."[41]:153

Because of the belief that baptism is a necessary part of salvation, some Baptists hold that the Churches of Christ endorse the doctrine of baptismal regeneration.[42] However, members of the Churches of Christ reject this, arguing that since faith and repentance are necessary, and that the cleansing of sins is by the blood of Christ through the grace of God, baptism is not an inherently redeeming ritual.[42][43]:133[44]:630,631 One author describes the relationship between faith and baptism this way, "Faith is the reason why a person is a child of God; baptism is the time at which one is incorporated into Christ and so becomes a child of God" (italics are in the source).[45]:170 Baptism is understood as a confessional expression of faith and repentance,[45]:179-182 rather than a "work" that earns salvation.[45]:170

[edit] Emerging Church, Liberal Theology, and Liberation Theology
Within the emerging church and various branches of liberal or progressive Christianity, there are a number of different views on the meaning of salvation. This is largely related to post-modern views on Christianity as a dialogue rather than a set of doctrines. Salvation can mean a salvific personal and/or social deliverance from the effects of structural (social) or personal sins. In this context, salvation could mean anything from participation in a glorious afterlife—which is generally a less-commonly held belief in these circles—to a kind of liberation similar to that in Hinduism or Buddhism, to the repair of interpersonal relationships, to societal deliverance into a future perfect world (i.e., the New Jerusalem or the Reign of God), and even to such concepts as gay liberation, women's liberation, the raising up of the oppressed and marginalized, or the equal distribution of goods. Any or all of these views are likely to be held and debated within the emerging church.

[edit] Non-Trinitarian
[edit] The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
See also: Perfection (Latter Day Saints) and Plan of salvation
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints defines the term salvation in two distinct ways, based on the teachings of their modern-day prophet Joseph Smith, as recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants. The general Christian belief that salvation means returning to the presence of God and Jesus Christ is similar to the way the word is used in the Book of Mormon, wherein the prophet Amulek teaches that through the "great and last sacrifice" of the Son of God, "he shall bring salvation to all those who shall believe on his name; ... to bring about the bowels of mercy, which overpowereth justice, and bringeth about means unto men that they may have faith unto repentance. And thus mercy can satisfy the demands of justice, and encircles them in the arms of safety, while he that exercises no faith unto repentance is exposed to the whole law of the demands of justice;" (Alma 34:14-16)

[edit] Islam
See also: Jannah
In Islam one must believe in the one God ('Allah' in Arabic). This belief is not enough to avoid hell fire, but is enough to ensure that one eventually ends up in heaven. Therefore, the topic of salvation within the Islamic context is a bit more complicated; there is never a guarantee for anyone to avoid hellfire. Islam does not claim any creation taking the responsibility of man's sin; instead every person, including man, woman and prophet, is responsible for his/her own sins; a person must both believe in one God and do well to get "salvation". In the Quran, whenever entrance to heaven is promised, it is only promised to those who believe and also do good deeds. Those with belief will eventually enter heaven, but only after they are punished for their sins. In one hadith narrated by Anas, the Prophet Mohammed said,

"Whoever said "None has the right to be worshipped but Allah" and has in his heart good (faith) equal to the weight of a barley grain will be taken out of Hell. And whoever said, "None has the right to be worshipped but Allah" and has in his heart good (faith) equal to the weight of a wheat grain will be taken out of Hell. And whoever said, "None has the right to be worshipped but Allah and has in his heart good (faith) equal to the weight of an atom will be taken out of Hell." [46]

Belief is not enough; a Muslim must also think of his sin, seek God's forgiveness and repent. God forgives sins but it is not a guarantee. Therefore a Muslim must keep a balance between fear of God, and hope in his mercy. One who does not have this balance is in danger of losing his belief; one who has absolute hope in God's mercy and no fear of his wrath will end up sinning, believing God will forgive him anyway, and one who has absolute fear of God's wrath and no hope in his mercy will also end up sinning, as he sees himself entering hellfire regardless.

A Muslim must also think of heaven. The matter is not as simple as entering hellfire or entering heaven. Both hellfire and heaven have levels. A Muslim seeks to enter heaven and aims for the highest level. He does this by increasing his good deeds. However, a Muslim does not believe that his good deeds merit him heaven, instead it is God's mercy on the people that lets them into heaven. The levels in heaven (and hell) are only a direct result of God's justice: those who do better, deserve better.

[edit] Eastern Religions
Main article: Moksha
Adherents of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism do not believe in salvation in the sense understood by most Westerners. They do not focus on Hell or Heaven as the end of a soteriological choice, but on knowledge. They believe in reincarnation (Buddhism rebirth) after death. According to this belief, one's actions or karma allow one to be reborn as a higher or lower being. If one is evil and has a multitude of bad actions, one is likely to be reborn as a lower being. If one has a multitude of good actions or karma, one is likely to be reborn as a higher being, perhaps a human with higher status or in a higher caste.

Eventually, however, one is able to escape from sa?sara, the cycle of death and rebirth, through the attainment of the highest spiritual state. This state is called moksha (or mukti) in Hinduism, Sac Khand in Sikhism, moksa or nirvana in Jainism and often called nirva?a in Buddhism. This state is not one of individual happiness but often a merging of oneself with collective existence. Sometimes, as with nirva?a, it is a liberation from conditioned existence.

[edit] Hinduism
In Hinduism, salvation is the Atman's liberation from Sa?sara, the cycle of death and rebirth and attainment of the highest spiritual state. It is the ultimate goal of Hinduism, where even hell and heaven are temporary. This is called moksha (Sanskrit: ?????, "liberation") or mukti (Sanskrit: ??????, "release"). Moksha is a final release from one's worldly conception of self, the loosening of the shackles of experiential duality and a re-establishment in one's own fundamental nature, though the nature is seen as ineffable and beyond sensation. The actual state is seen differently depending on school of thought.

Brahman is the universal substrate and divine ground of all being. Thus monism is the basis of practically all philosophies in Hinduism, including major sects of Vaishnavism, Shaivism, and Shaktism. Even the Dvaita school of Vaishnavism, is wrongly assumed as 'dualist' but it is actually a form of dualist monism. In contrast to the Smartha sect based on Advaita philosophy which regards identification of Atman with Brahman as the means to achieve liberation, practically all forms of Vaishnavism, Shaivism, and Shaktism view union via close association with God through loving devotion.

Moksha is achieved when the individual Atman unites with the ground of all being - the source of all phenomenal existence — Brahman through practice of Yoga. Hinduism recognizes several paths to achieve this goal, none of which is exclusive. The paths are the way of selfless work (Karma Yoga), of self-dissolving love (Bhakti Yoga), of absolute discernment & knowledge (Jnana Yoga) or of 'royal' meditative immersion (Raja Yoga).

[edit] Buddhism
Liberation, called nirva?a in Buddhism, is seen as an end to suffering, rebirth, and ignorance. (It should be noted that Buddhism doesn't have a concept[citation needed] of original sin, or innate personal corruption, as is found in Christianity.) The Four Noble Truths outline some of Buddhist soteriology: they describe suffering (dukkha) and its causes, the possibility of its cessation, and the way to its cessation, that is, the Noble Eightfold Path, which includes wisdom (pañña), morality (sila), and concentration (samadhi). The means of achieving liberation are further developed in other Buddhist teachings. They are expressed in different terms by Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana Buddhists.

[edit] Jainism
Main articles: Moksa (Jainism) and Nirvana (Jainism)
Mok?a in Jainism means liberation, salvation or emancipation of soul. It is a blissful state of existence of a soul, completely free from the karmic bondage, free from sa?sara, the cycle of birth and death. A liberated soul is said to have attained its true and pristine nature of infinite bliss, infinite knowledge and infinite perception. Such a soul is called siddha or paramatman and considered as supreme soul or God. In Jainism, it is the highest and the noblest objective that a soul should strive to achieve. It fact, it is the only objective that a person should have; other objectives are contrary to the true nature of soul. With right faith, knowledge and efforts all souls can attain this state. Sama? Sutta? [47] compiled by Jinendra Varni contains the following description of Nirva?a or mok?a -

Where there is neither pain nor pleasure, neither suffering nor obstacle, neither birth nor death, there emancipation.(617)
Where there are neither sense organs, nor surprise, nor sleep, nor thirst, nor hunger, there is emancipation.(618)
Where there is neither Karma, nor quasi-Karma nor the worry, nor any type of thinking which is technically called Artta, Raudra, Dharma and Sukla, there is Nirva?a. (619)
According to Jainism, moksa or liberation can be attained only in the human birth. Even the demi-gods and heavenly beings have to re-incarnate as humans and practice right faith, knowledge and conduct to achieve liberation. According to Jainism, human birth is quite rare and invaluable and hence a man should make his choices wisely.

[edit] Sikhism
Salvation in Sikhism means ending the cycle of death and rebirth and thus merging oneself with the Infinite Formless God.According to Guru Nanak,the founder of Sikhism,the goal of the human is to have union with God and for this the Sikhs are to conquer their ego and thus realizing their true nature which is the same as God.There are five spiritual stages through which the Sikhs go through reaching the final stage of having union with God.

1. Dharam Khand: The realm of Righteous action.
2. Gian Khand: The realm of Knowledge.
3. Saram Khand: The realm of Spiritual endeavor.
4. Karam Khand: The realm of Grace.
5. Sach Khand: The realm of Truth.
According to Sikhism, moksa or liberation can be attained only in the human birth. Even the demi-gods and heavenly beings have to re-incarnate as humans and practice right faith, knowledge and conduct to achieve liberation. According to Sikhism, human birth is quite rare and invaluable and hence a man should make his choices wisely.

[edit] Redemption
For other uses of the word, see Redemption
Redemption is a religious concept referring to forgiveness or absolution for past sins and protection from eternal damnation, generally through sacrifice. Redemption is common in many world religions and all Abrahamic Religions, especially in Christianity and Islam(???????).

In Christianity, redemption is synonymous with salvation. The Christian religion, though not the exclusive possessor of the idea of redemption, has given to it a special definiteness and a dominant position. Taken in its widest sense, as deliverance from dangers and ills in general, most religions teach some form of it. It assumes an important position, however, only when the ills in question form part of a great system against which human power is helpless.[48]

[edit] See also
Born again Christianity
Divine filiation
Legalism (theology)
New Birth
Plan of salvation as used by Mormons (LDS)
Prevenient grace
Total depravity
[edit] References
^ a b c "Salvation." Macmillan Dictionary of the Bible. London: Collins, 2002. Credo Reference. 19 July 2009. ISBN 0333648056
^ a b c Valea, Ernest. "Salvation and eternal life in world religions." Comparative Religion. 13 June 2009.
^ "salvation." Britannica Concise Encyclopedia.
^ a b Stagg, Frank. New Testament Theology. Broadman Press, 1962. ISBN 0805416137
^ a b c "Christian Doctrines of Salvation." Religion facts. June 20, 2009.
^ Min, Anselm Kyongsuk. Dialectic of Salvation: Issues in Theology of Liberation. Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press, 1989. ISBN 9780887069086
^ Akin, James. "The Salvation Controversy." Catholic Answers, October 2001
^ Newman, Jay. Foundations of religious tolerance. University of Toronto Press, 1982. ISBN 0802055915
^ Parry, Robin A. Universal salvation? The Current Debate. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2004. ISBN 0802827640
^ Salvation, Catholic Encyclopedia
^ Most Protestants argue the word rendered justified is not used as "to make righteous" but to be "shown already righteous" (as the word is used in Matthew 11:19), meaning that a person's good behaviour proves they have been saved, as God is sanctifying them, making them a better person, after having saved them. Thus most Protestants distinguish sharply between (and some separate entirely) sanctification and justification. Catholics and Eastern Orthodox see justification and sanctification as being integrated together. The Council of Trent, while anathematizing any who would say that a person can, before God, be justified by works done in human strength alone, without the divine grace merited by Jesus Christ (canon 1 of its Decree on justification), declared that the justice granted to Christians is preserved and increased by good works, and accordingly these are more than just the fruit and sign of justification obtained (canon 24).
^ Vatican website on Total Salvation
^ Vatican website: All Salvation Comes through Christ
^ "The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church." Pope Eugene IV, Papal Bull Cantate Domino; cf. Session 11 of the Council of Florence
^ In his Apostolic Letter Fidei Depositum of 11 October 1992, Pope John Paul II declared: "The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which I approved June 25th last and the publication of which I today order by virtue of my Apostolic Authority, is a statement of the Church's faith and of catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition, and the Church's Magisterium. I declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith."Fidei Depositum, 3
^ a b CCC 1949
^ CCC 456-457
^ CCC 1019
^ Trent; Sessions VI, v-vi
^ Council of Trent Session VI; Chapter VII In what the justification of the sinner consists, and what are its causes
^ Indulgetiarum Doctrina 4
^ Trent, The Sixth Session; Decree on justification, chapter XVI.
^ Trent, Canons Concerning Justification, Canon 32.
^ CCC 830
^ CCC 1256-1257, 1277
^ "Salvation". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.
^ CCC 980
^ CCC 1129
^ CCC 1405
^ Lumen gentium, 14
^ Questions and Answers on Salvation, Question 41d, Fr. Michael Müller, C.Ss.R.
^ "The Longer Catechism of the Orthodox, Catholic, Eastern Church". Retrieved 14 FEB 2009.
^ a b c Placher, William C. "How does Jesus save? Christian Century, 00095281, 6/2/2009, Vol. 126, Issue 11
^ "Merciful Truth". Retrieved 14 FEB 2009.
^ Douglas Allen Foster and Anthony L. Dunnavant, The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement: Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Christian Churches/Churches of Christ, Churches of Christ, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2004, ISBN 0802838987, 9780802838988, 854 pages, entry on Churches of Christ
^ a b c Ron Rhodes, The Complete Guide to Christian Denominations, Harvest House Publishers, 2005, ISBN 0-7369-1289-4
^ a b Stuart M. Matlins, Arthur J. Magida, J. Magida, How to Be a Perfect Stranger: A Guide to Etiquette in Other People's Religious Ceremonies, Wood Lake Publishing Inc., 1999, ISBN 1896836283, 9781896836287, 426 pages, Chapter 6 - Churches of Christ
^ Batsell Barrett Baxter, Who are the churches of Christ and what do they believe in? Available on-line in an Archive copy at the Internet Archive, and here, here and here
^ a b Richard Thomas Hughes and R. L. Roberts, The Churches of Christ, 2nd Edition, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2001, ISBN 0313233128, 9780313233128, 345 pages
^ a b Douglas A. Foster, "Churches of Christ and Baptism: An Historical and Theological Overview," Restoration Quarterly, Volume 43/Number 2 (2001)
^ Tom J. Nettles, Richard L. Pratt, Jr., John H. Armstrong, Robert Kolb, Understanding Four Views on Baptism, Zondervan, 2007, ISBN 0310262674, 9780310262671, 222 pages
^ Douglas Allen Foster and Anthony L. Dunnavant, The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement: Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Christian Churches/Churches of Christ, Churches of Christ, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2004, ISBN 0802838987, 9780802838988, 854 pages, entry on Regeneration
^ a b c Everett Ferguson, The Church of Christ: A Biblical Ecclesiology for Today, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1996, ISBN 0802841899, 9780802841896, 443 pages
^ Sahih Bukhari Book of Iman
^ Varni, Jinendra; Ed. Prof. Sagarmal Jain, Translated Justice T.K. Tukol and Dr. K.K. Dixit (1993). Sama? Sutta?. New Delhi: Bhagwan Mahavir memorial Samiti.
^ "Redemption." Christian Classics Ethereal Library at Calvin College. July 2, 2009.
[edit] External links
"The Scripture Way to Salvation", a sermon by John Wesley (Protestant Christian - Methodist/Wesleyan perspective)
"God's Plan of Salvation" (conservative Evangelical perspective)
Salvation in Islam
Immortality Or Resurrection? Chapter VI Hell: Eternal Torment or Annihilation? by Samuele Bacchiocchi, Ph. D., Andrews University
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Page 1 of 1 Importance of the substances used in Shraddha

The importance of substances like darbha, black sesame, akshat, maka, tulsi, etc. in the Shraddha Ritual are mentioned in this article.

Shraddha ritual and chanting of the name of Lord Dattatreya

The importance of performing the shraddha ritual, the options for this ritual if one cannot perform the ritual, and the significance of chanting the name of Lord Dattatreya.

Prayers and types of the Shraddha Ritual

The various prayers offered while the Shraddha ritual, the effects of this ritual and the types of Shraddha performed in the Pitrupaksha.

Brahman Bhojan, Agnoukaran & Pindapujan Ritual

The details of preparation and serving of the meal, the Agnoukaran ritual and the Pindapujan ritual are given in details in this article.

Preparation and the method of Mahalay Shraddha

The Mahalay Shraddha is performed on the tithi of the death of the father of the person doing Shraddha during the Pitrupaksha. The details of the preparation required for the ritual and the method of the ritual are mentioned in this article.

How does an embodied soul get entangled in its desires after death?

After death a Jiva, that is, the subtle body constantly makes efforts for fulfilling its desires. Sometimes it enters another body forcibly. Due to desires a Jiva goes to various subtle regions (lokas) as per his actions.

When should the Shraddha be performed?

Normally, no moon night, 12 sankrants in a year, solar-lunar eclipses, Yugadhi and Manvadi dates, Ardhodayadi parva, date of death, arrival of Shrotriya priests (Brahmins) etc dates are considered appropriate for performing shraddha.

When can females perform Shraddha?

'Ideally, the host should perform the ritual of Shraddha by himself. However, since we do not know how to perform it, we get it done through the priest (Brahmin).

What is the method of performing Tarpan and Pitru tarpan?

On the day of Shraddha, sesame seeds should be sprinkled all over the house, sesame seeds mixed in water should be given to the invited priests (Brahmins) and sesame seeds should be donated.

What are the presiding deities and results of Shraddha?

Matsya Puran mentions '?????? ?????????? ?????? ??????? ??????? ??????? ?', meaning, primarily there are three types of Shraddha - one performed daily, periodically and with purpose (Kamya).

Why should every son perform ritual of Shraddha?

Ancestors' soul becomes satisfied only after receiving pinda and water from their son. In relation to this, following is a verse in the holy text Mahabharat that describes 'who qualifies to be called as son'. What are three historically established phases of Shraddha?

During the era of Rugveda, deceased ancestors were worshipped by offering Samidha (a kind of wooden stick) and Pinda (a rice bowl) to the sacrificial fire.

What is the importance of the ritual of Shraddha?

The ritual of Shraddha not only repays debts towards deceased ancestors, but also makes it easy to repay debts towards God and Sages.

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