Karma and Reincarnation


The doctrine of karma and reincarnation

  • Most religious feature
  • Links abstract idea of Atman and Brahman
  • Idea of Atman and Brahman is with the notion that actions are important in whether you achieve Moksha
  • Karma determines next incarnation
  • Karma determines caste and level of difficulty to achieve Moksha
  • Hindu idea - achieve karma-less existence
  • Reincarnation is a curse
  • We are part of a cycle of rebirth - Cycle of Samsara
  • Through dharma and yoga = reincarnated into higher caste and achieve Moksha
  • Karma from previous lives carries on to the next
  • Nothing is an accident - everything that happens is caused by a misdeed in a previous life
  • Atman exists in all species of life and is the source of consciousness - eternal and unchanging
  • Destiny is determined at birth
  • Destiny and free will co exist
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  • Karma less existence
  • Release from the cycle of rebirth
  • A Hindu's ultimate goal
  • When a soul attains Moksha it beomes a part of Brahman
  • Hindus know if they will achieve Moksha before they die
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  • Meaning 'action'
  • Hindu's believe that this life may not have been our first
  • Karma from previous lives leaves an impression on the next
  • The idea of this could provide a strong incentive to lead a good, moral life

"What a man becomes in his next life depends upon his karma.  By good deeds he attains merit, by bad actions he becomes evil"

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  • Meaning 'wandering' - like that Atman wandering from body to body
  • Samsara refers to cycle of rebirth
  • a 'recycling' process
  • Samsara = curse
  • Purpose of each life time is to perfect ones wisdom and purity of mind and heart so that the Atman is freed and can attain Moksha
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Diversity of beliefs

  • Monotheism - Belief in ONE god
  • Polytheism - Belief in MANY gods
  • Monism - Belief that everything is made up of one essence
  • Henotheism - Worship of ONE god whilst accepting the existence of others
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