Death, is the ultimate truth. Though in many cultures like Hindus, body and soul are two different entities. The soul is eternal and the body is perishable. The soul lives in a body and when the body becomes weak and cannot sustain its functions, it dies and soul leaves heaven wards. There it is interviewed by Yamaraj about the good and bad deeds it has done while residing in that body. If good deeds outweigh the bad deeds, the soul is sent to a body which is higher in the evolutionary ladder and if it otherwise, the soul is sent to enter a body lower in a revolutionary rung than the previous one.
In western culture, the death is also called “Grim Reaper” and “Danse Macabre” and is represented as a skeletal figure carrying a large scythe and clothed in a black cloak with a hood.
In some cases, the Grim Reaper is able to actually cause the victim’s death, leading to tales that he can be bribed, tricked, or outwitted in order to retain one’s life. Other beliefs hold that the Spectre of Death is only a psychopomp, serving only to sever the last tie from the soul to the body and guide the deceased to the next world and having no control over the fact of their death.
In different mythologies and cultures, death is represented by different name and persons.
- Aztec Mythology:Miclantecuhtli
- Babylonian mythology: Ereshkigal
- Brazil Afro-Brazilian religions such as Umbanda and Candomble worship Babalu Aye, god of disease and illness, who carries away the souls of the deceased.
- Cannaite : Mot
- Celtic : Morrigan
- Chinese: Yanluo (transliteration of Yama)
- Ancient Egypt: Anubis & Osiris.
- Finnish: Tuoni, his wife and childre.
- Greek : Thanatos and Hades.
- Haitian Vodou: Ghede
- Hindu : Yama
- Igbo : Ogbunabali
- Islam: Azrael
- Japan: Enma (Yama)
- Maori: Hine-nui-te-po
- Maya: Ah Puch
- Mexico: Santa Muerte
- Norse: Odin, Hel and Freyja
- Roman: Mors, Pluto, Orcus and DisPater
- Slavic: Morana