The concept of reincarnation as depicted in Indian tradition and culture
Thu Ha Do – Narasingha Charan Pand
Reincarnation is the philosophical or religious concept that the non-physical essence of a living being starts a new life in a different physical form or body after biological death. It is also called rebirth or transmigration, and it can be said that all the religions and cultures in the world have got a central tenet surrounding this concept. India is a country of different traditional spiritual beliefs and religious faiths. People of India generally bind with the spiritual beliefs and sacred thoughts, since time immemorial. Hence, in India, generally, we have the concept of various avatars (incarnations) of Lord Vishnu or Shiva. The traditional scholars of India believe that the avataras are more in number, and they are duly worshipped by the devotees of Lord Vishnu or Shiva in different ages of the Indian tradition and culture. This is really very interesting to know all about the sacred as well as mysterious incarnations of Lord Vishnu as rightly described in the Vedic texts and other spiritual texts, like epics and Puranas. And not only the ancient times but also recent decades have there been many both theologians and scholars worldwide who have developed an interest in reincarnation and many contemporary works mention it on different religions, especially in Buddhism and Jainism. The paper divides into three parts: 1. The real source of different incarnations (Avartara) in Indian sacred texts; 2. The incarnation of Lord Vishnu in sacred Sanskrit texts and 3. Reincarnation according to Buddhism.
Key words: Reincarnation, Hinduism, Buddhism, Indian culture and tradition
Pages: 279 - 289