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The Fate of Man after Death


The Manichaeans believed that after death man’s soul is presented before the just Lord and depending upon his deeds, that will be evaluated on the scale that determines good and bad deeds, it would be put on to either of the following paths: 1) The path of “Life” of the New Paradise; 2) The path of marriage and assimilation (returning to the world); and 3) The path of “Death” (going to hell).

Moreover, when a believer of the topmost class who has managed to separate his soul of light from the darkness of his body dies, the First Man sends unto him, a guardian angel along with three other angels who carry a pot of water, a set of clothing, and a crown of light and flowers to welcome him. The angels dress him in the clothes and the crown, hand over the pot of water to him, wrap him in a column of light called the “Sotun-e Niyāyesh” (lit.: the column of prayers), and take him to the Moon to the First Man. He is then transferred to the New Paradise. On the other hand, when a Naghushāgi dies, his soul is sentenced to return to life again for the simple reason that he has failed to attain complete purification. The painful cycle of reincarnation was referred to as “Samsārā” by the Manichaeans. As per their belief, the cycle of reincarnation will continue until the soul gets purified and becomes worthy of joining the realm of light. Needless to say, as per the Manichaean faith the unbelievers and the sinners will be sent to the path of death and hell.

 

* source: Bagheri , Mehdi " Iran Entry " The Great Islamic Encyclopedia . Ed. Kazem Musavi Bojnourdi.Tehran: The Center of Great Islamic Encyclopaedia , 1989-, V.10 , pp.587- 588

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