Q:

What do Buddhists believe happens after death?

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Quick Answer

Buddhists believe that after death each person is reincarnated as another being. The new life is dependent on past actions and deeds. Karma plays a large role in determining what happens to people after they die.

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Full Answer

Buddhists believe that everything in this life is impermanent, including the human soul. The spirit lives on in some form or another based on the choices made during life on earth. There is no final resting place in Buddhism because the religion believes that everyone is on a journey that will never end unless nirvana is reached. Also known as enlightenment, nirvana is the ultimate goal to reach because it is a place of perfect tranquility.

Nirvana is thought of as impossible to reach, so for most people the best they can hope for is to continue the cycle of life and improve their standing in the world each time they are born. Apart from returning either as a human or animal, hell and many stages of heaven can also be reached depending on the karma received during a lifetime. Buddhists are taught to not be afraid of death because it is a natural experience that everyone must go through to pass from this life to the next.

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