Hinduism: Samsara

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Samsara is a Sanskrit word meaning the endless cycle of birth, life, death, and rebirth that is considered to be experienced by all humans in the Upanishads and in Buddhism. It is the repeated passingof souls through different worlds. Thus, Samsara is commonly known as “the wheel of life” in Hinduism. Also, Samsara refers to the general, day-to-day struggles and obstacles man experiences throughout life. Samsara exists in many religions like Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, Vaishnavism, and other related religions. According to these religions, one has a karmic “account balance” when he or she reaches death that will determine one’s destiny when a person is reborn.

In Hinduism, ego-consciousness of the body and the phenomenal world comes from ignorance of one’s true self. This means that through egoism and personal desire, people are creating the basis for their next life or “future becoming”. The path of Samsara can only be overcome by attaining a sense of selflessness and having one’s soul (atman) follow its own version of Samsara…repeatedly reincarnating.

Samsara is a very interesting concept to me and I am fascinated by the stories I’ve heard from Buddhist friends of mine. I’ve enjoyed the company of my Buddhist friend,Betty, because I’ve learned so much from her as we both have shared our religions with each other… me being muslim and her being Buddhist. Our religions are completely different from one another so I was very curious to know what she believes and how reincarnation and Samsara play a role in her life.

I’ve known Betty for over five years and I never thought of her to be a very religious person because she did not throw her religion at people or talk about it all the time. I ended up finding out that she prayed on a daily basis and she was very strong in her religion as a Buddhist. She was always very relaxed and positive, but the best thing about her is how she naturally helped others with no expectation of anything in return. She...
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