Hinduism and Reincarnation

Reincarnation is what many of the eastern religions conceptualize as a way of dealing with the karmic consequences of life after death. Hindus see life in a cyclical view of birth, death, and rebirths known as Samsara which is a direct result from the previous right and wrong actions that were administered by the individual in their former life(s) with a goal to reach the desired state of Moksha or Mukti, which is a form of salvation from the Samsara. So the ultimate fulfillment of the Hindu is to be released from this wheel of existence of “what goes around comes around” in order to achieve some form of purified state.
Some of the methods to accomplish this final state of existence or salvation comes as a   person undergoes the rigors of performing yogas based upon the elements of knowledge, devotion, and works in order to finally liberate one’s soul or atman from the materialistic realm.

However, this system of belief is not provable though it is accepted and embraced by the practitioners of the faith as a cultural expression of their religious beliefs. I recently posted a blog on life after death based on the interviews of individuals and doctors who have encompassed the globe in a search for some form of empirical data concerning this phenomena of life after death and based on their research people were experiencing either a hellish or heavenly realm as described by the biblical accounts of the after life rather than these temporal purgatorial types of judgments by means of recurrent lives.


To begin with I do believe Hinduism does recognize the problem of evil and the consequences of this reality yet their views on how this is regulated varies from the data of these near death experiences that I have previously mentioned and the biblical record.

In Romans1 and 2 it states how that God has given mankind a moral compass which is hardwired in the mainframe of our being as a spiritual barometer of right and wrong to indicate to us the base nature of sin and the concept of justice or judgment. This knowledge is common and it is what makes us human yet it is the outworking of this moral dilemma that creates a divergence in Christian belief versus Hindu thought in appropriating the consequential ideas of this innate intelligence.

The bible supports a man is to die once and then face the judgment while the Hindu believes in the transmigration of the soul which leads into a renewal of ones existence resulting from a cause and effect type of relationship which will hopefully culminate sooner or later into a desired state of being.

Some of the problems that I have observed in regards to a Hinduistic worldview, which I believe are in conflict or contradictory to the sanctity of human life, is seen through treating certain animals and trees with more decency and respect than a human being. What I am referring to are the people who have been labeled and classified as the Dalits or the “untouchables” which make up almost a fifth of India’s population.

This form of racism which is much like slavery in some instances has been formally outlawed by the government but it is informally upheld by the majority of the Hindu people within Indian society.

In reality this religious oppression helps to control the political and social structures of society by depending upon these types of individuals to perform their menial tasks as servants in supporting the success of their culture and therefore this degrading and debilitating behavior towards these lower caste members are tolerated by the government as a necessary evil.

These people are said to have been born to a lower position in life due to the consequences of bad karma therefore resulting in this fatalistic habitation of oppression. Yet I wonder how the Hindu philosophy of Ahimsa can avoid its no harm policy towards these individuals who are the dregs of society.

Christian missionaries have shared the love of Christ to the Dalit’s in displaying to them the high view that God has given all mankind and the radical Hindus have revolted against this effort in forsaking Ahisma by attacking and harming both Christian Dalits and missionaries.

Yet what they are protesting is their loss of control over the maintenance of their system and they have resorted to violence and fear tactics which are contradictory to there religious views which would portray them as pacifists.

For some Hindus, Ahimsa means abstaining from meat and sacrifices yet is it acceptable to sacrifice this so called lower caste people in order to satisfy the gods of Hinduism?

Also another point of contention is the wrong assumption in Hindu thought that there is an infinite regress to human life and yet on the other hand Hindu belief supports a finite earth. Science has also asserted the position to a finite universe through their telescopes by the observation of an ongoing universal expansion that has resulted from a beginning phase termed “The big bang.”

To conjecture that the human soul is infinitely present in the finite realm of existence is just nonsensical.

Therefore if life is integral to finitude than how did the first humans appear and how did they come to participate in the cosmic realm of karma if they didn’t preexist. In other words what necessitates the first birth considering there were no previous actions committed by a non existent entity? Somehow did god undergo a big bang and now we have to piece him back together through the efforts of Moksha?

So if the evidence points towards a starting point of time how did life as we know it originate and what prompted the first birth since birthing is a result of this karmic cycle.

Also another matter as related to karma is how can you be responsible for actions that you are unaware of in the former life or how will you know whether or not you have done enough in this life to appease for former responses? Who knows where one is and where one is going and ultimately where one will end up? This only leads a person into a form of nihilism or hopelessness. In the end a person is left without a determinative plan that would secure them in obtaining the critical element of Moksha.

Also how about the hopelessness of those who would be reincarnated as lower life forms such as bugs and animals who instinctively don’t have the capacity to perform the duties of yoga or what hope is there for an individual who is contemplating their future life as a maggot?

If Indian culture is the Zenith and the spiritual center of the world which has access to the expertise of the gurus then why, based upon the logic of an enlightened society, are there so many more karmic sinners in India. After all 2/3 of all leprosy cases and over half of the blind people in the world dwell within the epicenter of this faith.

Lastly is seems to me that this broken wheel of belief  can not support or carry the load of the worshippers who have harnessed the sacred cow of Hinduism which is being guided by the reigns of the gurus in the hopes of it leading them to its ultimate or final destination.

Then again this whole system may just be an illusory mirage or maya that is sent to deceive a person into believing a philosophy that has no ultimate reality anyway.

Finally I know I have said some hard things and I do not desire to be disrespectful to my Hindu friends but I would challenge them to think beyond the cultural boundaries of their faith that has kept them from contemplating their religious system of belief. Again I am sorry if I offended anyone through this post yet it is never easy to challenge without appearing to be offensive and all I hope is that you take a moment in your spiritual journey to reflect on the validity of the truth claims concerning your beliefs.

In conclusion I believe there is hope for all people of which Jesus offers but not through the religious efforts of do’s and don’ts but rather through the simplicity of trusting in His person and work which will liberate you from the emptiness of your soul and the guilt of a condemned conscious by leading you out of the idea of rebirth towards a new birth.

Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

How to know God
Hindu Resources
English Articles on Hinduism




Copyright permission by Bridge-Logos “The School of Biblical Evangelism”

Copyright permission by Random House Inc./Multnomah on New Birth or Rebirth by Ravi Zacharias

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