I have come across many accounts of near death experiences (NDEs), Past life regression therapists, Mediums, and Channelers in the West who say that what happens after death is a standard process.

According to this theory, after death, you cross to the other side and meet the 'light', after which you have a life review. In the review, you re-experience your life events from the point of view of the other person and then judge yourself according to your deeds, choosing to go to the different 'lokas' according to your Karma.

Many new-age spiritual gurus in India have also promoted this theory to the question of 'what happens after death?'

If this is what happens, why is there no mention of the 'life review process' in any scriptures of Hinduism?

PS: I was born and raised as a Hindu.

  • 1
    I am not aware of any religion, Western or Eastern, that asserts this. This is a 'new age' assertion only...question is off topic of this forum. Jan 9, 2020 at 5:50
  • Try quoting those points with names of gurus.
    – user6981
    Jan 17, 2020 at 8:34
  • @swami-vishwananda are you aware of an appropriate community on stack exchange where you can direct me? Thanks
    – Maximilian
    Feb 26, 2020 at 14:58
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    there are plenty of references of the journey to yamalok, the judging by chitragupta, subsequent sentencing by yama, the rewards enjoyed in svarg, the punishments suffered in narak etc.
    – ram
    Aug 17, 2022 at 12:13
  • Re-visiting this question after almost 3 years - oh boy!! I cannot even begin to imagine how deluded I was, just 3 years back. I have since become a rational-skeptic-atheist-agnostic-"mysterian" after scouring through a lot of works in science, philosophy, psychology; by rationalists, atheists, scientists, skeptics and public intellectuals. Religious / superstitious / magical / supernatural thinking is a relic of our ignorant past as a species. It has roots in evolutionary biology. Each one of us should strive to promulgate critical, analytical, rational, and evidence based thinking.
    – Maximilian
    Sep 12, 2022 at 17:24

1 Answer 1


There is a review done but the review is done by Yama's assistant Citragupta. One doesn't judge oneself. There is no mention of meeting any light.

Man’s fate after death

The human soul (jivatma) after having left the sensual body in which it has been incarcerated, again takes its birth in the material womb, the choice or selection of its next bodily parents being determined by his deeds in his previous existences. O you twice-born one, the Ativahika body, (which is peculiar to man alone) is the body which the soul assumes after physical death and is taken away by the orderlies of Yama (the king of death), after the dissolution of his gross earthly body. O you, the best of the twice-born ones, the same body is taken away by the servants of Yama, along the path over which he wields the uncontrolled sway. This is the specific lot of humanity, as contra-distinguished from his fellow animals. Then he is made to whirl round in the womb of the hell of Sadyati which resembles a Ghata Yantra in structure.

O Brahmana, this world is a world of deeds, whereas the next world is a world where the souls are dealt with according to their deserts. The god of, Death determines the hell to which a soul is to be committed to undergo punishment or to the womb in which he is to be born in his next existence, according to his deeds in the previous life. The god of death witnesses the human souls being poured into the wombs of their mothers in the form of essential air. The warders of Death lead the souls of men to their appointed places in the kingdom of their master. The virtuous they adore, while the souls of the wicked they oppress and the god Citragupta draws up an inventory of the good or evil deeds done by them in life.

The departed soul staying in the Ativahika body, receives the funeral oblations offered to him by his relations in this world and then ascends to the region of the Pretas and assumes an astral shape. Thirst and hunger oppress them at this point of transition in their progress upward and they delightfully partake of the oblations and libations of water offered to them by their friends on this side of life. Without such oblations and offerings, a soul cannot pass from his Ativahika body to the astral plain. Then after a lapse of a full year from the date of his death and after having witnessed the Sapindakarana ceremony done for his welfare, the soul of a man, renounces his Preta body and assumes one (Bhoga-Deha) that makes him capable of enjoying the fruits of his work, which might be either good or bad. Then, having enjoyed the fruits of his deeds done in his previous life, a soul is again cast down by the Law of Karma and the body assumed by him in the time of such enjoyment, is eaten up by the spirits of the night. The soul of a man, who was not wholly free from sin in his mundane existence, first reaps the fruits of the good deeds in paradise and is then committed in the pangs of hell in a body which the souls of the wicked assume. The soul that suffers hell at the outset and is thus purified, rises up to heaven to enjoy the fruits at his preponderant good in life and takes its re-birth, after the appointed time, in a pure and prosperous family. The soul of an otherwise virtuous man, but tinged with the shadow of an accidental sin, suffers penances in order to purge off that much evil and assumes a beautiful shape after the necessary purification. A soul is liberated from hell even when a small residue of the previous karma still exists and takes birth in the wombs of animals.

Agni Purana 369.3-18


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