The concept of reincarnation is related to karma, karma deals with a system of rewards and punishment based on the actions of the individual (Oxtopy & Segal 266). Due to bad karma by the individual, it takes many lifetimes for the karma to be worked out; reincarnation also known as samsara in Hinduism is an ongoing cycle of death and rebirth. To be released from the cycle of samsara, to achieve moksha one must reach enlightenment (Oxtopy & Segal 266-267). In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna, an incarnation of the ultimate deity as a personal god in the Hindu religion, explains three ways to moksha: the way of action, the way of knowledge, and the way of devotion. The Gita also made it clear that one should strive for moksha in everyday of our life as long as we act without attachment (Oxtopy & Segal 274). Reincarnation a concept widely receive by Hindu’s around the world, there are evidence to support the truth of this concept.
J. W. Dunlap, an educational specialist and a medium, in her article “REINCARNATION AND SURVIVAL OF LIFE AFTER DEATH,” defines reincarnation as life being eternal and with a purpose that each individual will experience and continue to experience after death. The belief in reincarnation is universal in certain aspect of the world; based on the lives of Africans and Native Americans there is a strong belief in the concept of reincarnation from past human history (Dunlap 157-170). Looking at some Africans, they have a strong belief in ancestral rebirth; they do not believe that once an ancestor died they will never see them again; they believe that it is just a separation and only temporary (Dunlap). Some Native Americans have a different view; they have a spiritual, philosophical view with regards to reincarnation. They believe in samsara; however, they believe that the form of the individual will change. The individual can come back in human or animal form once reborn. They view death as nothing more than a chance to get further spiritual enlightenment (Dunlap).
Many philosophers, such as Plato, etc., took on the concept of reincarnation and included it in part of their philosophical theories. Plato explains that he believed souls can be reincarnated, but it was based on their karma, while some souls would be condemned (Dunlap). In relation to Hinduism, Plato’s definition is right in that souls can be reincarnated. When he stated that some souls can be condemned based on their karma, he meant that bad karma leads to certain sins which they need to overcome in their rebirth (Dunlap).
Atman is the primary difference between Buddha’s teaching and traditional Hindu teaching of reincarnation (Dunlap). Hindus believe the soul and karma is a careful unit embodied over and over. Buddha teaches that the soul is nothing but an illusion; the individual needs to recognize this illusion in order for the cycle of birth and death to end (Dunlap).
There are biblical scriptures in the New and Old Testaments that suggest the...