samsara
(Sanskrit = wandering)

The eternal cycle of death and rebirth. Its termination is called moksha.

Notes
1. The concept of samsara was first worked out in the Upanishads. In India the belief became widespread amongst general population. Though the idea existed contemporaneously in Greece — e.g. the concept of reincarnation is discussed in Plato's Phaedo — this concept was only prevalent among philosophers, not among general population.

2. The entire edifice of Buddhist thought hinges on the belief in rebirth. Because if there is no rebirth, there is no need to follow any of the Buddhist teachings whose goal us to help you escape samsara.

3. If you deny death by believing in reincarnation, it must necessarty change how you will act in this life. You're life becomes only one of many lives, perhaps it has less significance then.

But if you believe that this life is your only life, it becomes fully significant, and this must affect how you will live this one life.

4. "To my mind reincarnation is simply part of the world view that the Buddha lived in." — Stephen Batchelor, Confessions of a Buddhist Atheist
Categories: hinduism ontology



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