Religious beliefs and Reincarnation
Religious believes on the concept of Reincarnation
Reincarnation is the religious or philosophical believe that the human soul can begin a new life in a new body after a biological death. This doctrine is highly propagated in the Hindu religion and they believe that the theory of reincarnation offers the highest degree of explanation to human existence and origin of life. However, this concept has been strongly refuted by the Christian and Islamic religion and teaching, because reincarnation dismisses the Christian and Islamic believe that after death comes judgment. Moreover, this judgment is to be handled by God who will reward good people with heaven and punish the bad people in eternal damnation (hell).
Notwithstanding all the opposition to the teaching of reincarnation, it seems that this concept wax stronger by day. You may get to wonder why reincarnation is still upheld as a concept of man’s existence. The reason can be fetched from the number of world religious and non-religious organizations that preach this concept. However, their teachings about reincarnation may be unique, but it points to the same fact. Some of these religious groups and their teachings include:
- Buddhist concept of reincarnation: Buddhism concept of reincarnation differs slightly from other teachings in that it does not believe in the reincarnation of the soul: it only accepts the stream of consciousness that links a previous life to the current life. It teaches that the process of changing from one life to the other is called punarbhava, which means becoming again.
- Hindus concept of reincarnation: Hinduism obviously believes in the passing of soul and spirit from one existence to the next. It refers to the soul as atman, which passes from childhood to youthful age, to adulthood to death and then to new life.
- Jainism concept of Reincarnation: Jain philosophy believes in transmigration and rebirth of souls, which it believes to be eternal and not created. It teaches that the movement from death to life depends on the virtues and vices accumulated. One becomes a supreme soul when he or she is truthful and non-violent.
- Taoism concept of reincarnation: The Taoism concept of reincarnation follows the propaganda that “Birth is not a beginning; death is not an end. There is existence without limitation; there is continuity without a starting-point. Existence without limitation is Space. Continuity without a starting point is Time. There is birth, there is death, there is issuing forth, there is entering in.”
- African Vodun concept of reincarnation: The Ifa worshipping tribes of Yoruba ethnic group in the Western states of Nigeria believes in lineal or familial rebirth. This can be seen in Yoruba names like Sotunde (the wise man returns), Babatunji (Father wakes once again), Yetunde (mother returns), and Babatunde (father returns). All these names points to the fact that these people believe in reincarnation.
- Eckankar concept of reincarnation: Eckists believe in soul travel, dreams, awareness of past live and rebirth. They believe that the human soul travels (shift in consciousness) for the sole aim of being aware of their past lives. In addition, through their spiritual exercise (contemplation) they can connect to the light and sound of God and become aware of their past existence.
The actual truth behind reincarnation is not certain, like I have said, it is a concept shared by many religious and philosophical group. This concept revolves around karma and purification of souls from their past life. This write-up is to share believes of religious and philosophical groups on reincarnation, and not to influence you to change your views.