What Happens After Death In Buddhism: The Six Realms

Buddhism has a unique view of what happens after we die. It’s a cycle of life, death, and then being reborn, something Buddhists call ‘samsara’. There are six different realms or states that a person can be reborn into, each with its own experiences.

A recent video discussing these fascinating concepts caught the attention of nearly half a million viewers.

The Afterlife in Buddhism The Six Realms of Reincarnation
Image Credit: TikTok @crystalrapoza.

The Six Realms of Reincarnation

“In Buddhism, when an individual loses their life, they shall be sent to one of the six realms of reincarnation.”

In Buddhism, the journey after death unfolds within the framework of reincarnation.

The content creator explains that upon losing their earthly life, individuals find themselves destined for one of the six realms of reincarnation. Such realms include the realm of gods, humans, demigods, animals, hungry ghosts, and hell.

Surprisingly, Naruto fans may identify some parallels between these realms and characters from their beloved series.

Temporal Existence and Karma

“Your time in these realms is always temporary, and it is dependent on the karma you accumulated in your past lives.”

An aspect of this belief system lies in the impermanence of one’s stay in these realms.

Karma, the sum of one’s intentional actions, is believed to shape future rebirths and experiences.

Therefore, one’s conduct and intentions in previous lives significantly impact their current and subsequent existence.

The Cycle of Suffering

“This endless cycle of reincarnation is seen as nothing more than suffering in Buddhism.”

Buddhism perceives the perpetual cycle of reincarnation as a form of suffering. Despite its differences, each realm is ultimately bound by the suffering inherent in conditioned existence.

The teachings of Buddha emphasize the desire to liberate oneself from this cycle and achieve enlightenment, which represents the ultimate goal for practitioners.

Seeking Enlightenment

“… The ultimate goal [of Buddhism] is to break this suffering and reach enlightenment.”

Breaking free from the cycle of reincarnation and reaching enlightenment is the ultimate aspiration in Buddhism.

The enlightened state is believed to transcend suffering and offer true liberation. Attaining enlightenment requires individuals to cultivate wisdom, compassion, and selflessness to eliminate desires and attachments perpetuating the rebirth cycle.

Opinions and Reactions

While Buddhism provides a comprehensive framework for understanding the afterlife, opinions and interpretations may vary among individuals.

A comment stated, “I find the concept of the six realms intriguing.”

Another user commented, “It highlights the transient nature of life and encourages us to reflect on our actions.”

How Can Buddhism Guide You to a Fulfilling Life?

In life, change is an undeniable certainty, as expressed by the common saying, “This too shall pass.”

Recognizing that all situations are prone to change, both for the better and worse, assists us in coping with life’s fluctuations. Buddhists acknowledge the constant nature of change as a fundamental aspect of human existence, referred to as “impermanence” in Buddhism’s Pali terminology.[1]

The teachings focus on showing kindness, compassion, and humor towards others, with the primary principle being to help people without any hidden agenda.

This belief promotes equality among all individuals, fostering a sense of interconnectedness without diminishing one’s identity or creating a sense of superiority or inferiority compared to others.[2]

@aslanpahari What happens after death in different relgions? #religion ♬ Pain theme – ASLAN PAHARI

Martha A. Lavallie
Martha A. Lavallie
Author & Editor | + posts

Martha is a journalist with close to a decade of experience in uncovering and reporting on the most compelling stories of our time. Passionate about staying ahead of the curve, she specializes in shedding light on trending topics and captivating global narratives. Her insightful articles have garnered acclaim, making her a trusted voice in today's dynamic media landscape.