The Egyptian Book of the Dead: A guidebook for the underworld – Tejal Gala


Ani stands before a large golden scale where the jackal-headed god
Anubis is weighing his heart against a pure ostrich feather. Ani was a real person, a scribe from the Egyptian city
of Thebes who lived in the 13th century BCE. And depicted here is a scene
from his Book of the Dead, a 78-foot papyrus scroll
designed to help him attain immortality. Such funerary texts were originally
written only for Pharaohs, but with time, the Egyptians came
to believe regular people could also reach
the afterlife if they succeeded in the passage. Ani’s epic journey begins with his death. His body is mummified by a team of priests who remove every organ except the heart, the seat of emotion, memory,
and intelligence. It’s then stuffed with a salt
called natron and wrapped in resin-soaked linen. In addition, the wrappings are woven
with charms for protection and topped with a heart scarab amulet
that will prove important later on. The goal of the two-month process
is to preserve Ani’s body as an ideal form with which his spirit
can eventually reunite. But first, that spirit must pass
through the duat, or underworld. This is a realm of vast caverns, lakes of fire, and magical gates, all guarded by fearsome beasts – snakes, crocodiles,
and half-human monstrosities with names like “he who dances in blood.” To make things worse, Apep, the serpent
god of destruction, lurks in the shadows waiting to swallow
Ani’s soul. Fortunately, Ani is prepared with the magic contained
within his book of the dead. Like other Egyptians who could afford it, Ani customized his scroll to include
the particular spells, prayers, and codes he thought his spirit might need. Equipped with this arsenal, our hero traverses the obstacles, repels the monsters’ acts, and stealthily avoids Apep to reach the Hall of Ma’at,
goddess of truth and justice. Here, Ani faces his final challenge. He is judged by 42 assessor gods who must be convinced
that he has lived a righteous life. Ani approaches each one, addressing them by name, and declaring a sin he has not committed. Among these negative confessions,
or declarations of innocence, he proclaims that he has not made
anyone cry, is not an eavesdropper, and has not polluted the water. But did Ani really live
such a perfect life? Not quite, but that’s where
the heart scarab amulet comes in. It’s inscribed with the words,
“Do not stand as a witness against me,” precisely so Ani’s heart
doesn’t betray him by recalling the time he listened
to his neighbors fight or washed his feet in the Nile. Now, it’s Ani’s moment of truth,
the weighing of the heart. If his heart is heavier than the feather,
weighed down by Ani’s wrongdoings, it’ll be devoured
by the monstrous Ammit, part crocodile, part leopard,
part hippopotamus, and Ani will cease to exist forever. But Ani is in luck. His heart is judged pure. Ra, the sun god, takes him to Osiris,
god of the underworld, who gives him final approval to enter
the afterlife. In the endless and lush field of reeds, Ani meets his deceased parents. Here, there is no sadness, pain, or anger,
but there is work to be done. Like everyone else, Ani must cultivate
a plot of land, which he does with the help of a Shabti
doll that had been placed in his tomb. Today, the Papyrus of Ani resides
in the British Museum, where it has been since 1888. Only Ani, if anyone, knows what really
happened after his death. But thanks to his Book of the Dead, we can imagine him happily tending
his crops for all eternity.




Comments
  1. Thanks so much for this, I’m in social studies class and learning about Ancient Egypt. The teacher should’ve put this video on 😡

  2. But what if his heart is exactly the same weight as the feather? Obviously whoever thought about this story didn't think this plot point through…lol

  3. Everything ends up the same in all religions. You die and if you don't follow rules in life you end up being tortured, eaten, lost in some sort of limbo and if nice work in any form ,or eternal dreaming. No after life were we end up in another dimension. Reincarnated as an alien after dying would be cool. Or just restart life in another dimension with the same family in my case would be heaven. Regardless of our bs in life. Its always the same tho..beg forgiveness or go through a lot of bs after death.

  4. Imprisoned by the spaniards aka the brits in a museum. Put it back on their land dude so they can pass on.

    God kill the Queen.

  5. Welp we’ve learned a lesson, when you do, you need to go through the underworld, once you do that you go to heaven and do your crops endlessly

  6. Still like in Bosnia and natives and other countries situation s, y'all always have to acknowledge the native races of those countries.
    Picture of me and a gr 6 African Egyptian student, that's how dark native Egyptians were, those were their features and skin color.

  7. Even if ani here was brown, whatever, even before ani, native African blacks were still powerful kings and queens

  8. Im in the house of God, Palestine, 2012,crossroads, I was suppose to run the world, those were my words. Im suppose to deny this race also, at a sacred time because some catholic and ol wise man wanted me to fly into some titanic world, uhmm it was God's will, then wtf em I doing here? …also Tupac unsolved mysteries?

  9. Uhm noo racism hasn't been an issue for last 500 years and, some races missing from the bible and other books not a problem, this never affected anyone in the past?

  10. Or maybe this ani times religion,well thers so many religions and their all precious to God, maybe even this religion apply to me, even the heart thing lol, the extinction of his soul or spirit by demoms and ghosts?

  11. Hmm, all leads back to jesus.
    Remember jesus said, I assure you I was even before abraham.
    Everything was praising God and jesus even before jesus ever came to earth.

  12. Everything Las min, listen to music, all eyes on you, tube, deni, making y'all billions of more dollars,promoting y'all, while I getting my odsp 1000,$
    Typing my bio, other information, trying to remember everything, as much as I can, n case if I die.
    Maybe we could jus blame deni for everything, somehow, even her name up in the sky.
    I not the only one this happening to.
    Is it my fault y'all messed up system since how long go, uhmm last min changes,kinda like I have to do everything last min?

  13. Whatever game yall were playing even with the bonnie clyde videos, y'all still making money, y'all still could have supported me.

    But we were all your friends even the cool police in on it!
    De niro the humanitarian couldn't even send me a jar of nutella?

  14. Yes even the cool police uhmm getting paid, along the way, the boonies and clyde's clothing videos, but y'all couldn't afford to help me out with my own money.

  15. It's umm scorese another one of my richie friends he gon get all my enemies while he pissin and shittin gourmet food and uhmm taking pictures and uhm traveling to italies here there.

  16. Well just keep you poor because uhmm well you don't want to uhmm we didn't get from you what we expected soo uhmm

  17. Even if I maybe had the potential to run the world or get education and things kept getting in the way, well her vocabs are pooor too, type excuses not making sence,everything I explained

  18. Why are denis eyes glued to the titanic then, what happened with Tupac, i know you and you know me, ok I don't know you and you me still not going to erase nor solve all the issues and unsolved mysteries

  19. Also even thu our yigoslav ppl trained to walk around when bombs and gun shots flying this doesn't mean it's enjoyably while you getting a 1000 cheque

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