Egyptian Afterlife Essay, Research Paper
The afterlife was very important to the Egyptians. There was a specific way to get to the afterlife. The way the Egyptians got to the afterlife was by their ba following the sun to the west were it set. They believed the sun would travel east to west and would set in the underworld.
Egyptians would be prepared for the afterlife by removal of the internal organs. They would throw away the brain because they believed it had no purpose, However, they would leave the heart intact.
There were also gods of the afterlife. Osiris was the ruler of the underworld and would command people to do things. Toth also played a very important role in the afterlife, he would judge people and say if they were to stay or be banished.
The spirits of the underworld were important too. The two spirits were the ba and the ka. The ba was represented as a bird with a human head. The ka would stay in the pyramid and receive offerings of the priests such as foods and entertainment. The ba, commonly translated as soul, would leave the tomb and return to earth. The pyramids were related to the ba and the ka. The reason they were pointed up was so the ba could fly out the top and follow the sun to the underworld.
The ba then had to pass the trials of the Twelve Gates which were guarded by the serpents and also had to cross the Lake of Fire. When these were passed, 42 Assessors read a list of the person’s sins. The person then made a declaration of purity and sinless ness.
In Ancient Egypt people believed in the weighing of the heart after death. The gods Anubis and Thoth weighed the heart of a person against the feather of truth. Anubis watched the scales. Thoth recorded the results.
Anubis was the god of embalming. He was born in a field. He had the head of a jackal because he grew up with the instinct of a dog. It was believed that he always had the head of a jackal. Some people thought he was the son of Osiris, god of the underworld.
Thoth played an important role in the judgment of the dead. Thoth was the god of writing and recorded the results of a persons heart. Thoth was said to be mighty in knowledge and divine in speech. Thoth was also said to have invented written and spoken language. Thoth was said to be the one that counted the stars.
The heart was weighed against the feather of truth. The feather came from Maat the goddess of truth. If the hearts weight is equal to the feather the person may pass to the afterlife. If the heart weighs more than the feather the person may not pass to the afterlife. Every persons heart was weighed to the feather after death.
The pharaoh was the main protector of Maat. Even gods had to obey Maat. Maat was to be understood as a material element. Maat had cults in Egypt as early as the fifth dynasty.
The weighing of the heart was only one of the things that took place prior to the afterlife. Egyptians believed that the afterlife was better than the first life.