Reincarnation in Hinduism
Before discussing the Hindu theory of reincarnation, let us clarify the meanings of Hinduism and reincarnation. Hinduism is the predominant religion in the Indian region. It is the third greatest religion by number of followers after Christianity and Islam and is considered as the oldest one. Moreover, it can be described a patchwork of moral and philosophical teachings rather than a religion with fixed morals and dogmas; for instance, Hindus can be polytheists and monotheists. Hinduism does neither have a historical founder nor a central authority (for defining rules). Nevertheless, its central principles can be summarized according to:” (i) faith in the infallible authority of the Vedas (most important sacred scriptures of Hinduism), (ii) faith in the continuous creation, conservation and dissolution of the universe in a cyclic form, (iii) faith in the transmigration of the souls according to the law of eternal retribution (karma-samsara), (iv)faith in the final liberation of the soul from the chains of transmigration (multi, moksha), and (v) the observance of the law of the caste and of the stages of life (varnasrama~harma) ” (THURUTHIYIL, 2009) The word reincarnation means to be born again into flesh after death. This concept is widespread not only among the Dharmic Faiths, but also among other families of religions such as the Abrahamic Faiths, yet it takes different significations and approaches. Even among ancient Greeks, one can find numerous explanations of reincarnation such as Socrates and Plato who wrote widely about it. The Zohar an important book in the Kabbalistic theory also deals with reincarnation; the two following quotes from the mystic book illustrate that:” As long as a person is unsuccessful in his purpose in this world, the Holy One, blessed be He, uproots him and replants him over and over again. (Zohar I 186b) All souls are subject to reincarnation; and people do not know the ways of the...
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