Reincarnation simply puts, the act of turning flesh, the doctrine assumes that living being dies incompletely to leave the core part that is capable of rebirth in a different form. The subject of reincarnation provides very interesting belief about the origin of humanity and its eventual end. The belief is adopted in many religions such as the Eastern, and many other modern aged religions. It points out some seemingly strange explanation on how we exist before the present life and how we shall continue to rebirth after the present death. For those who desire liberation, it offers a companionship by revealing the hope of resources for the continuity of existence. Another important issue in the doctrine of reincarnation is the denier of monotheistic approach to final judgment by one God. It absolutely rejects the eternal perdition in hell for certain set of people. Some people who are followers of religion that belief in the doctrine of reincarnation, hold it fast that it is a belief that satisfactorily gives explanation to the existing differences notable among human beings today. While the belief shares that some are living without disease and sound emotionally and psychologically, other beings are frustrated or languish throughout their whole existence on health with disabilities.
To another category of people, while a caucus enjoys riches and abundance, another group is at the mercy of starvation. There is also an aspect that views life in a fate where some people are bound to achieve success without necessarily being blessed in a religion setting; others are bound to lose despite the depth of their dedication to certain religion. A religion based on reincarnation sheds light on the existing differences among people as an outcome of good, or bad historical seed sowed which repercussion is then made to pass by karma. As such, the Eastern religion asserts that reincarnation provides no escaping route, and ensures the actualization of any deserving reward in accordance to past deeds. This punishment is independence of one’s acceptance of the supreme God (Ernest, n.d.).
Reincarnation in the context of practiced religions
The practice of reincarnation in religions is dated back to the early 9th century. The concept written firstly in Hindus scripture (Upanishad) was approved by other Eastern nations, the India, the Jainism and Buddhism. The spreading got to Chinese religion whose philosophy advocates existence in simple living and noninterference in the course of nature (this called Taoism). A Greek Platonism modified the ancient belief on reincarnation and got it introduced into the Mediterranean continent. He asserted that “the pre-existence of the soul in a celestial world and its fall into a human body due to sin”.
The Neo-Platonism religion’s acceptance of belief on reincarnation was through the eastern power. The old Egyptian shared the belief with a view that the dead soul proceed to another world with no slight inference to return to the earth. For this reason, the old Egyptian practice of preserving the dead in order not to impair the movement of the soul to the next world. Other subsequent believers teach the doctrine of life existence before the widely noted birth and its later life after death (Ernest n.d).
Reincarnation in Hinduism
Hinduism is an ancient religion that uses “classic writings”. Its contribution in the proclamation of reincarnation is in the belief of existence of endless recycling of birth, life, death, and rebirth of humanity. This concept s referred to as “samsara” in Hinduism. This concept of immortality is pronounced in Hindu’s message to their worshipers by the “Vedic hymns and the Brahmanas”. In demonstration of reincarnation, several practices were done to assist the reincarnating dead in its later life. First was the practice of Aryans in the ancient religions. Here, the spouse of a deceased is incinerated together with the dead in order to continue the existing relationship and marriage afterlife. In addition to this is the accompanying of the dead with foods and clothing materials necessary to cater for the later life of the dead. This ritual was done in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia and parts of India before colonization by the British Empire. Secondly is the ancient Chinese Hindu practice of reincarnation where members of a departed dead is assumed to engage in holy hierarchy in the spiritual realm.
The deceased is offered as a mortuary offering in shraddha ceremony. They perform this in order to nullify the believed influence the dead could have on the living. Many more practices were done in the ancient times that point to established belief of reincarnation among their worshipers. In this religion, they share the belief that the reincarnated individual is the unspecific self called atman. The morphological and mental reconstruction of the reincarnated new birth is done according to complexes of atman with karma. Following the rebirth, the reincarnated individual is divinely programmed to experience actions according to the deeds of his previous life. Effort at stopping any experienced vicious cycle when there exist bad past is left for the individual to decide. Attached “Vendata” to the reincarnated individual is said to be responsible for the bondage of programmed life. With attached “Vendata”, there is the recording of present life action that is only useful after reincarnation following death. It thus holds strongly that it is impossible to transmit present or conscious mental capacity to another individual; it is unique and aids existence of reincarnated death in life after (Ernest, n.d).
Reincarnation in Buddhism Religion
This religion denies the existence of reincarnation from one life to another. It rather suggests that self existence is an unreal entity that is configured from five collections of skandha; the body, emotion, cognitive skills, consciousness and mental make-up. According to a Buddhist, he explained differences in people starting with the fact that real self does not exist and that only the karma (destiny or fate) is moving from one life to another. The analogy used is that of candle light transmitting its luminance to another without. The later candle does not have lighting source of its own but is rather destined to be lighted by nature. Explaining issues on the believed reincarnation as an undying void of spirit and soul, pursue after death by deeds (Ernest).
Reincarnation in Taoism Religion
Much emphasis is not laid on reincarnation in this doctrine but the seemingly contribution in their readings does affirm the existence of reincarnation in the ancient age when this doctrine commenced. They believe birth is not the beginning of life and likewise death is not a definite end of life. Taoism professes that there is continuous existence in the universe, which can only be explained by the Portals of Creator (Chuang Tzu 23).
Reincarnation the Modern World and Christianity Religion
The Eastern shared believes on reincarnation is based on so many abstract that appears as nothing but fictions to the modern world following evolutionary advancements and modernization. The modern understanding of reincarnation is the transmission of an undying soul towards a higher spiritual realm. Soul is regarded as an identity that preserves soul till eternity ends. It is a wholly composition of human spirit (Archiati, 1980).
Christianity finds it corruptible to admit in the existence of a flesh after death for lacking in spiritual facts. It disregards the doctrine of reincarnation for compromise with the tenets of biblical and spiritual teachings. Reincarnation is found in Christendom as a portrait of a goddess called karma sharing the supremacy of the Almighty God of creation. Arguing that God has the supreme power to punish defaulters order than a believed vicious cycle of bad deeds occurring to reincarnated life (Matt. 25: 31-47, Rev. 20:10-20). Secondly, sharing a belief in reincarnation will lead to compromise of the comprehension of God’s call for holiness and moral living. More so, Christian’s belief that doctrine of reincarnation is a devilish agenda to erase human awareness of the need for soul’s redemption by baptism. Christians will persistently condemn any attempt to introduce the doctrine of reincarnation by any quotation in the scripture for lacking in spiritual understanding of the dealings of God.
Ernest Valea, (nd). Reincarnation: Its Meaning and Consequences. Site Available at: http://www.comparativereligion.com/reincarnation.html#religions. Retrieved on April 22, 2009.
Archiati T. (1980). Reincarnation in Modern Life: Toward a new Christian Awareness.