Devin has taught psychology and has a master's degree in clinical forensic psychology. He is working on his PhD.
Hinduism is the belief in a supreme being that watches over an endless cycle of creation, preservation, and dissolution. Reincarnation, a major tenet of Hinduism, is when the soul, which is seen as eternal and part of a spiritual realm, returns to the physical realm in a new body. A soul will complete this cycle many times, learning new things each time and working through its karma. This cycle of reincarnation is called samsara.
Reincarnation in Hinduism is not limited to being born as 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. Remember that, the next time you step on and crush a bug; according to the idea of reincarnation, it could be your great uncle or future grandchild.
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.
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Karma is the accumulated energy of deeds, both good and bad. It is not regulated by any deity, but as a spiritual law, always works itself out. This is not something seen in a current life, such as doing a good deed, and then finding $20. Karma is an accumulation of every good deed or bad deed, thought, word, and everything else you have ever done in this life and in all of your other lives.
The universe diverts a person with particularly bad karma into some form of nonhuman entity, to work that karma out. Maybe your uncle was a jerk and ended up as a mosquito, or he needs time to consider his past actions and is now incarnated as a tree. Eventually the bad karma is worked out, and a person reincarnates again into a human being.
The soul is eventually freed from the cycle of reincarnation when it reaches a state of enlightenment and when all bad and good karma have been accounted for. This state is called mukti, which translates to liberation. It is considered the ultimate and final state of a being. You are no longer involved in the drudgery or pain that is present in the physical realm. You become a being of pure spirit and move onto new planes of existence.
Hinduism is the belief in a supreme being that watches over an endless cycle of creation, preservation, and dissolution. Reincarnation, a major tenet of Hinduism, is when the soul, which is seen as eternal and part of a spiritual realm, returns to the physical realm in a new body. The continuous cycle of reincarnation is called samsara. What you end up as in your next life depends on your karma, which is the accumulation of every good or bad deed, thought, and word, in this life and in all previous lives. Once a soul is finally free from the cycle of reincarnation, it achieves mukti, or liberation, and moves on to new planes of existence.
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What Is Reincarnation in Hinduism? - Definition & Cycle
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