REINCARNATION - REINCARNATION Its meaning and consequences...

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REINCARNATION Its meaning and consequences by Ernest Valea The concept of reincarnation seems to offer one of the most attractive explanations of humanity’s origin and destiny. It is accepted not only by adherents of Eastern religions or New Age spirituality, but also by many who don’t share such esoteric interests and convictions. To know that you lived many lives before this one and that there are many more to come is a very attractive perspective from which to judge the meaning of life. On the one hand, reincarnation is a source of great comfort, especially for those who seek liberation on the exclusive basis of their inner resources. It gives assurance for continuing one’s existence in further lives and thus having a renewed chance to attain liberation. On the other hand, reincarnation is a way of rejecting the monotheistic teaching of the final judgment by a holy God, with the possible result of being eternally condemned to suffer in hell. Another major reason for accepting reincarnation by so many people today is that it seems to explain the differences that exist among people. Some are healthy, others are tormented their whole life by physical handicaps. Some are rich, others at the brink of starvation. Some have success without being religious; others are constant losers, despite their religious dedication. Eastern religions explain these differences as a result of previous lives, good or bad, which bear their fruits in the present one through the action of karma. Therefore reincarnation seems to be a perfect way of punishing or rewarding one’s deeds, without the need of accepting a personal God as Ultimate Reality. Given the huge interest in this topic today, let us examine it under the following headings: A) Reincarnation in world religions ; B) Past-life recall as proof for reincarnation ; C) Reincarnation and cosmic justice ; D) Reincarnation and Christianity . Part A: Reincarnation in world religions Reincarnation in Hinduism Immortality in the Vedic hymns and the Brahmanas Reincarnation in the Upanishads Reincarnation in the Epics and Puranas Who or what reincarnates in Hinduism? Reincarnation in Buddhism Reincarnation in Taoism Reincarnation in modern thinking
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The reincarnation of an entity which is the core of human existence (atman or purusha) in a long cycle that implies many lives and bodies, is not so old a concept as it is claimed today. Neither is it a common element for most of the oldest known religions, nor does its origin belong to an immemorial past. The classic form of the reincarnation doctrine was formulated in India, but certainly not earlier than the 9th century BC, when the Brahmana writings were composed. After the Upanishads clearly defined the concept between the 7th and the 5th century BC, it was adopted by the other important Eastern religions which originated in India, Buddhism and Jainism. Due to the spread of Buddhism in Asia, reincarnation was later adopted by Chinese Taoism, but not earlier than the 3rd
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REINCARNATION - REINCARNATION Its meaning and consequences...

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