What Is Reincarnation in Hinduism? - Definition & Cycle

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Devin Kowalczyk

Devin has taught psychology and has a master's degree in clinical forensic psychology. He is working on his PhD.

Reincarnation in Hinduism is when the soul returns to the physical realm in a new body. Explore the definition and cycle of reincarnation, and learn about karma and Mukti. Updated: 09/15/2021

Reincarnation Defined

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.

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Golden Age of India: History

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:01 Reincarnation Defined
  • 1:10 Karma
  • 1:59 Mukti
  • 2:27 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed Speed

Karma

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.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it now
Create an account to start this course today
Used by over 30 million students worldwide
Create an account