Difference between Rebirth and Reincarnation

Key Difference: Rebirth and reincarnation, both refer to the process of being born again after death. Rebirth is associated with doctrine of Buddhism where it denies the notion of any soul. Rebirth is referred to as the repeated occurrence of the process of existence. On the other hand, reincarnation is associated with doctrine of Hinduism, where it is defined by the nature of soul, which is permanent and is supposed to reborn by just taking a new body.

Generally, rebirth and reincarnation tends to be the similar processes i.e., processes of being born again. This Life after death topic has been an interesting topic for many to understand. However, people have different opinions on life after death and most of them are driven by the religious traditions. Rebirth and reincarnation terms are connected to these two types of different beliefs.

Reincarnation is a belief that the soul of a person survives even after the death. Thus, soul takes a new body in next birth. It is just the migration of soul from one body to another. The concept has been defined in detail in Hinduism, where a person is considered to be composed of two principles – one is the atma or soul which is eternal, and second is body, which is materialistic and of temporal nature. After death, body perishes but soul exists and just gets transferred to another body.

On the other hand, rebirth is mostly connected with the principles of Buddhism based on the doctrine of redirection. Buddhism opposes the notion of existence of eternal soul. According to Buddhism, a person is made of mind (nama) and matter (rupa). Rupa or matter is the manifestation of four forces namely – earth, water, fire and air.

It considers mind to be the most important ingredient of a being. When a person dies and reborn again, then it is neither absolutely the same nor entirely another. It is defined as a continuity of a particle life flux only. It reflects just a causal connection between the previous life and next life.

Therefore, both these words provide totally different outlook towards life after death.

Comparison between Rebirth and Reincarnation:

 

Rebirth

Reincarnation

Definition

Rebirth is associated with doctrine of Buddhism where it denies the notion of any soul. Rebirth is referred to as the repeated occurrence of the process of existence.

Reincarnation is associated with doctrine of Hinduism, where it is defined by the nature of soul, which is permanent and is supposed to reborn by just taking a new body.

Key terms

Redirection or re-existence

Transmigration

Final Release

Nirvana

Moksa

Change

It follows the law of causality, or dependent origination, where this arises because of circumstances which happened before.

Transfer of an essence, or a soul.

Karma

Present actions influence the present and future

Past actions influence the present and present actions or deeds influence the future

Image Courtesy: dhammapadabook.com, iskcondesiretree.net

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