The Belief of Reincarnation

Reincarnation, also known as rebirth or transmigration, is the philosophical or religious concept that the non-physical essence of a living being begins a new life in a different physical form or body after biological death.


In many local religions, belief in multiple souls is common. 


Although the majority of denominations within Christianity and Islam do not believe that individuals reincarnate, particular groups within these religions do refer to reincarnation.

Reincarnation is taught in many pagan religions with origins in India, particularly Hinduism and Buddhism.

The major religions that hold a belief in reincarnation, however, are Asian religions, especially Hinduism, Janaism, Buddhism, and Sikhism


Christianity and reincarnation are not compatible. While many who believe in reincarnation claim that the Bible teaches it.

Reincarnation is contrary to several fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith, Many people who attend church regularly believe in reincarnation, even though orthodox Christian beliefs deny the teaching.

The Bible says humans have one life to receive salvation, while reincarnation affords limitless opportunities to get rid of sin and imperfection.


Quran rejects the concept of reincarnation, though it preaches the existence of the soul.

Islam does not teach of reincarnation but it teaches of the hereafter.

In the holy book(Quran)

It says “Everyone shall taste death. Then unto Us you shall be returned” [ al-ankaboot  ]

The Quran also says Verily, He knows each one of them, and has counted them a full counting.

And every one of them will come to Him alone on the Day of Resurrection (without any helper, or protector or defender)” [ Maryam 19:94-95]


Allah says refuting those who claim to believe in reincarnation.

Do they not see how many of the generations We have destroyed before them Verily, they will not return to them [ Ya-sin 36:31]

Which means “do you not learn a lesson from those nations whom Allah destroyed before you of those who disbelieved in the Messengers. They came to this world only once, and will not return to it.”


Today, reincarnation is an esoteric belief within many streams of modern Judaism, but is not an essential tenet of traditional Judaism. It is not mentioned in traditional classical sources such as the Hebrew Bible.


Reincarnation has long been associated with the religious traditions of the East. Transmigration (the journey of an individual soul through many incarnations) is something that religious seekers in the West often think of as samsara, the cycle of death and rebirth which is a core aspect of the great Dharmic religions: Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, and Jainism.


Also in the Jewish mystical tradition is the belief that one’s actions in this life can affect one’s subsequent reincarnations, for good or ill.


Consequently, many Jews are surprised to learn, or may even wish to deny, that reincarnation – the “revolving” of souls through a succession of lives, or “gilgulim” – is an integral part of Jewish belief. But this teaching has always been around. And it is firmly rooted in source-verses.


Examples abound. Ramban, one of the greatest commentators on the Torah (and on the Talmud), and a seminal figure in Jewish history hints several times that reincarnation is the key to penetrating the deep mysteries involved in the mitzvah of yibum (the obligation of the brother of a childless, deceased man to marry the widow). In his explanation of Gen38-8-8, he insists that Yehudah and his sons were aware of the secret of reincarnation and that this was a major factor in their respective attitudes towards Tamar.


The Jewish understanding of reincarnation is different from Buddhist doctrines.


Reincarnation is a key belief within Hinduism. In Hinduism, all life goes through birth, life, death, and rebirth and this is known as the cycle of samsara.


Reincarnation in Hinduism is not limited to being born as a human. You may have had prior lives as animals, plants, or as divine beings who rule part of nature. If it has life, then it is part of the cycle.


The old saying ‘you can’t take it with you’ applies pretty well to samsara, or the cycle of reincarnation. When you die, if you achieved riches, lands, or other physical things, you cannot bring them with you into the next life. And, what you end up as in the next life depends very much on your karma.


Buddhists believe that human beings are born and reborn an infinite number of times until they achieve Nirvana (Nirvana is a transcendent state in which there is neither suffering, desire, nor sense of self)


Reincarnation” normally is understood to be the transmigration of a soul to another body after death. There is no such teaching in Buddhism–a fact that surprises many people, even some Buddhists One of the most fundamental doctrines of Buddhism is anatta (no soul or no self).

The Buddha

The Buddha taught that what we think of as our “self”–our ego, self-consciousness, and personality — is a creation of the skandhas.(skandhas in Buddhism means the five elements that sum up the whole of an individual’s mental and physical existence)

Very simply, our bodies, physical and emotional sensations, conceptualizations, ideas and beliefs, and consciousness work together to create the illusion of a permanent, distinctive “me.”


The Buddha said, “Oh, Bhikshu, every moment you are born, decay, and die.” He meant that in every moment, the illusion of “me” renews itself. Not only is nothing carried over from one life to the next; nothing is carried over from one moment to the next.


Janaism reflecting a belief in an eternal and transmigrating life-principle (jiva) that is akin to an individual soul—holds that karma is a fine particulate substance that settles upon the jiva according to the deeds that a person does.


Sikhs believe that life is a cycle of birth, death and rebirth. This is known as the cycle of samsara. Part of this belief is the idea of reincarnation, which is the belief that when humans die, they are reborn into a new body.

Sikhism teaches that all beings, including animals and humans, have a soul, known as the Atma and are part of the cycle of reincarnation.

Sikhs believe that:

The Atma is given to a being by Waheguru. It is also recognized as the divine spark, which is a part of Waheguru within them, at death, the Atmas of both humans and animals are reborn into a new body as part of the cycle of rebirth. The body that the Atma is born into is determined by the karma gained in its previous life, the highest possible being on Earth is a human, the cycle of samsara repeats itself until the Atma has been liberated from the pattern and is reunited with Waheguru in Mukti.

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