A Tale of the Afterlife

The tribe of Yohans took great pride in their traditions as most indigenous communities do. They lived in an interior segment of North East India and preferred seclusion from the other hill tribes in the region. One of the reasons for this has been their strong focus on the afterlife, which many times preceded even the calling of their present life.

Their village bordered the marshy inlet of the Great Lake that has since as long as the inhabitants remember, witnessed a unique phenomenon. On certain days of the year, balls of light have shot up from the lake and disappeared into the night. The Yohans have always believed that the Great Lake has been home to their ancestors and a sacred water body. They cremated the dead, but made a small idol of the deceased and immersed it with the ashes in the lake. Along with it they also immersed miniature replicas of clay utensils, bed, everything one needed at home. According to them, their ancestors carried out their everyday activities at the bottom of the lake. And when these lights appeared, the souls finally got freedom from their watery world and merged with the infinite.


The village potter, Sham, who created these little idols, was devastated when his little son died due to a mysterious illness. He crafted with loving care the tiny idol of the boy and all the things the child liked. After completing the last rites and submerging the idol, he started spending hours at the lake every night worried about his son at the bottom of the lake. He kept praying for the boy’s soul to merge with God at the earliest.

Sham was sure that whenever the lights appeared, he would know which was his son. More than seven months passed, then one night he saw a small ball of light emerge from the lake along with a few larger ones. His heart skipped a beat as it hovered over the water, and as Sham went near the water’s edge, it seemed to flicker in front of him, before disappearing. It was only then that the grieving father’s heart found a closure, sure that his son was being taken care of by the supreme God.

While science would explain the lights on the lake as phosphine gas bubbles, for the Yohans it is a matter of faith. Which is the greater truth? That which the heart seeks to believe, of course.

16 Comments on “A Tale of the Afterlife

  1. I guess it’s all about faith and a little faith doesn’t hurt anyone.
    But yes to a certain extent only.
    Also, not everything can be explained by science.

  2. This is such an interesting story. I do hope there is an afterlife, but I guess no one really knows.

  3. I love the way you write. When we have faith, everything is possible. We just need to trust and believe in Him. Great post!

  4. Maybe we need to think outside the box and keeps our eyes and mind open to everything in order to learn and understand this universe 🙂 Interesting Post

  5. Such a precious story! I believe some things can only be explained by faith. This is a sweet example!

  6. Science is often misinterpreted for fiction. But that seemed to relieve him of his sorrow.

  7. I’m glad Sham found closure in his son’s death. This is such a sweet story. I love learning about the beliefs of different cultures.

  8. What a fantastic insight on the afterlife. I definitely believe there’s this amazing journey awaits us when its our time.

  9. Wow I’ve often thought about afterlife, but not with seriousness. Such a vivid insight you provide into your thoughts about afterlife!

  10. I always struggle with what to believe when it comes to afterlife. I’m not sure what to think.

  11. There is a truth in the fact that which is more powerful is belief. It’s better when it’s backed up by science but belief is definitely so much more powerful in general.

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