Over the weekend, I somehow wound up called upon to explain how Indo-European eschatology and metempsychosis works … to an associate’s 11 year old niece. Who wanted a reasonably comprehensive explication. I still massively simplified things, of course, because there was also an implicit time-limit … but as it may be of more general usage/interest here it is in slightly edited format for you.
“I have been that-a-way; there is a Judgement, sure , I have … encountered the Judges ,as i am sure i have told you
Now, the Vedic metempsychosis etc. – it basically has at least two paths:
One of which does the reincarnatory thing people know about ; The other winds up heading to the Realm of the Forefathers
But yes, dying gloriously in battle is also in there – in the Hindusphere I mean. In fact, it’s something not often known about -but it’s definitely in the legal texts.
And oddly enough – the actual religion in India and Nepal … ordinary people have a belief in the Heaven , afterlife etc. It’s the Brahminical side of things and the rather arcane and abstract reasoning where reincarnation is more exclusively focused upon.
[At this point I got asked for a shorter version, so as to be more easily relayed]
So, the Indo-European position is thus:
The Sky Father has Kids
Some of these kids are twins.
One is Manu (Romulus) , the other is Yama (Remus / Iemus)
Manu (Mannus in Germanic) is the FIrst Man – hence why we are Mankind, the Kindred of Mannus
Sons of Mannus
Sons of the Sun, indeed
Now, Manu is to reign , and his descendants likewise, in this world
But Yama … Yama realizes that as humans are mortal, this is going to cause a bit of a problem when the humans die
So Yama kills himself – sacrifices himself
And heads off beyond the Veil of Death [‘Kaal’ – from PIE ‘Kel’ ; also c.f Hades [‘The Unseen’] in Greek]
In order to find / found the City/Realm of the Dead
[this is where Lemuria / Remuria comes from, as it happens .. City of Remus – like Rome is of Romulus]
[and hence Lemures as Shades of the Dead – like our Pitrs come back during Pitru Paksha]
Yama travels out along that previously untrodden path , in order to give us this security that when we die , if we are worthy , we won’t have to go wandering dispossessed as ghosts
But rather, have a place in the cosmos
And this also sets up the reciprocal contract – whereby we try and look after our ancestors, by making offerings , libations , and keeping Their memories alive – so that there are things to eat up there for them : and when they come and visit us during the Fortnight of the Forefathers [Pitru Paksha]
Now, not everybody goes that way. Some people choose to come back reincarnated ;
other people aren’t quite good enough to get ‘retired’ from the cycle and earn the high heaven – so they get sent back down, too
The idea is that you reincarnate until you are good enough to not do so
The Greeks have this concept, oddly enough – around basically, if you make it to the ‘good’ afterlife three times in a row, you get promoted.
Alongside this, of course, there are the more ‘focused’ afterlives for devotees with purpose – so, for instance, Valhalla & Folkvangr …
and of course, we have places, spaces, understandings similar to this in Hinduisms
the Court of the Deity , becoming part of His Household
and becoming part of the Retinue of Rudra – the Ganas, for instance
Of course, some people … well, the reincarnatory cycle doesn’t quite happen right away
There’s stuff that they’ve done wrong, that hasa become wrong with them – that must be .. ironed out : or beaten out , if you prefer
[and there is in fact a Sanskrit way to say ‘Contrapasso” .. like i knew there had to be one, and i found one quite by chance awhile back – exactly the same understanding ! Exactly where i said it should be !]
So there are Hells, too
And this is partially why Lord Yama is DharmaRaja – because looks after the Righteousness angle of things – and that means straightening out the wrongdoers likewise as well as rewarding the just
anything else ?
[At this point, quoth my associate: “She asks about the ‘three g[o]od lives’ thing. What do you get promoted to? (I’m live reading this to her) [in fact] I’ll pass her my phone, cos I have to get [ready]”]
“lol, all-g ; I’ll try and keep it reasonably PG whilst also being theologically authentic.
[Associate: “She says she wants the complex version.”]
Well I did link you the Yama hymnal [note: RV X 14]
But yeah uh, in the Greek version , the three times means you get admittance to the Isles of the Blessed
[Associate/Associate’s Niece: “Also what happens when you go to hell”]
Well, as I had mentioned above – it is a case of ‘contrapasso’ .. counter-pressing – “let the punishment fit the crime”
So whatever it is that you’re there for, you get subjected to stuff designed to … rehabilitate you , we might say – and rehabilitation here may be quite painful.
So say you do not carry out your responsibilities of the sacred hospitality – being a good host , and making sure your guests , including the Gods [as guests] are fed and such …
And this isn’t an accidental thing, this is because you are miserly and mean-spirited
Well, a certain period of suffering in the Hells, wherein you are subjected to being forced to just stand there with food and water in sight but just out of reach … it encourages the empathy , it shows why these things are to be done … because now you get some visceral personal experience hat is now etched into your soul of why what you did (or didn’t do) was wrong”
Now obviously, I’ve massively oversimplified … quite a few things – particularly pertaining to the Hindu understanding of things, and the geography (indeed, the cosmology) of the After-Worlds.
But sometimes, it is useful to just have the basics. And these can be expanded upon later.
For more information about … just about all of these things, please consult my previous works. Including the actual Indo-European Guide Book of the Dead series that I keep meaning to get back to ; as well as various cosmological works, the SONS OF THE SUN series, and scattered references to the Solar Afterlife, the Veil of Death, the Lord of the Glorious/Ancestral Dead, and the Wealth of this most august figure.