Why do Hindus believe in life after death?

Ancient Hindu scriptures refer to the atman (soul) being reborn many times. The Bhagavad Gita states the following:

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As a person casts off worn-out clothes and puts on new ones, so does the atman cast off worn out bodies and enter new ones.Bhagavad Gita 2:22 (Smriti text)

The Bhagavad Gita also explains that death is something that we can neither stop nor grieve about:

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For certain is the death of all that comes to birth, certain is the birth of all that dies. So in a matter that no one can prevent do not grieve.Bhagavad Gita 2:27

Most Hindus believe that good merit is achieved by following your dharma. The Bhagavad Gita details four different ways that moksha can be achieved:

  • karma yoga - a type of Hindu religious practice that involves selfless service to others
  • bhakti yoga - the path of loving devotion, aimed at developing pure love of god
  • jnana yoga - a type of Hindu meditation, the path of knowledge that aims at liberation
  • meditation - thinking quietly as a spiritual or religious exercise
Hindus believe that meditation can help to achieve moksha

What happens after moksha?

There are two main beliefs about what happens after moksha.

Some Hindus believe that the atman is absorbed into Brahman. This is because the atman and Brahman are the same.

Other Hindus believe that the atman and Brahman are different and that after moksha they remain separate. They believe that the atman will be in the presence of Brahman, as a personal god, but will remain unique and individual.