Reincarnation is the belief that the soul does not end with death. After death, the soul is reborn in a new body. This belief is a part of many Indian religions. However, the belief in a cycle of life and rebirth is not limited to India. It is taken root among people in countries all over the world.
Image: Reincarnation is associated with Hinduism (photo: Baban Shyam).
What Happens When One is Reincarnated?
There are several different views about the nature of reincarnation. Beliefs associated with Hinduism are probably the most common view of reincarnation.
Hinduism: In the Hindu religion, the soul goes through a cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. That cycle is repeated many times until the soul reaches a state of enlightenment. Rebirth may be in human, animal or godly form. Rebirth is tied to the notion of karma. Until one’s karmic debt is cleansed, the cycle of reincarnation is repeated.
Buddhism: In traditional Buddhist thinking, the cycle of rebirth is viewed slightly differently. The soul is not fixed in Buddhism. The soul is continuously evolving. From this point of view birth, death and rebirth represents a continual changing and growth of the spirit. Like Hinduism, rebirth ends when enlightenment is reached.
Other Religions: Slightly different versions of Hindu or Buddhist reincarnation exist in other religions. Belief in reincarnation has taken root in part of other religions such as Judaism, Islam and Christianity.
Improving Your Reading and Thinking Skills
Think for a few moments. Try to recall the major ideas in this article. When you are done, click the box below for a list of main ideas.
How did you do? With practice, you should be able to identify many of the major ideas. You may even discover some important ideas that aren’t listed.
On Reincarnation, Buddhanet.