In the East, the idea of reincarnation was preached by the Brahmins of ancient India.
The fate of the previous life determines the state (status, etc.) of the present life. This was also used to defend the caste system.
Buddhism inherited the Brahmanic idea of reincarnation, but offered a slightly different perspective.
The Buddha’s thought is that one is not determined by birth, but by thoughts and deeds that make one a Brahmin.
In this article, I would like to write from the perspective of why we are in the process of eternal reincarnation, and whether reincarnation can be a theory of happiness.
What is the purpose of reincarnation?
What, then, is the purpose for which humans (and all life) are reincarnated? Let us explore that purpose.
As I often mention on this site, human beings have eternal life as souls.
*Some people claim that “Buddhism denies reincarnation,” etc., but this is a great misconception.
In fact, the soul’s home is in the other world (the real world), and the time spent living in this world (the phenomenal world) is by far the shortest.
Each human soul emits certain vibrations according to the nature of the soul.
In the real world, the truth is that those whose vibrations are in tune with each other are attracted to each other, creating their own world.
Rather than judges in the afterlife scoring people’s lives and assigning them “you are heaven, you are hell,” they are creating their own worlds according to the vibration of their souls.
It is assumed that there is a judge in the afterlife to serve as a guide, but only in a dialectic way.
*Reference article : Meaning and mission of life – What is the most winning theory of success?
However, although it is pleasant to live among similar people in the real world, it can gradually become boring.
These things are true in this world (the phenomenal world) as well, aren’t they?
If you stay with the same friends all the time, no matter how well you get along, you will want some new stimulation.
Yes, it is for that “new stimulus” that we are born into the earthly world in physical form.
Because when you have a physical body, you can meet and work with people of different vibrations.
You can meet people in this world who are too great to meet in the real world, or conversely, people who you feel are at a lower soul level.
This is the vertical axis of up and down.
Furthermore, in this world, you can meet people who have different interests and tastes than you.
This is the horizontal axis, so to speak.
Thus, the meaning and purpose of samsara (reincarnation) is as follows.
- By being born on earth, people can expand their encounters from both vertical and horizontal perspectives and gain new stimulation, knowledge, and experiences.
- By gaining new knowledge and experiences, one is able to aim for a higher world in the real world than the one in which he/she originally lived.
What are the benefits of believing in reincarnation (samsara)?
Now, despite the above explanation, some may say, “Well, it depends on whether you believe in reincarnation or not, and what good does it do if you believe in it in the first place?”
It is the effect or benefit of believing in reincarnation, so to speak.
In fact, believing in reincarnation has the following three benefits
- Free from jealousy
- More opportunities to take on challenges
- Clues to the resolution of numerous conflicts
Let’s take a closer look at each of these.
1. Free from jealousy
If we recognize that we are born into the phenomenal world (this world) by chance, we will feel various inequalities, such as the following.
- Why is that girl born with more musical talent than me?
- “I can’t accept that there is a difference in appearance.
- I tried my best, but I didn’t get rewarded. The law of cause and effect is a lie!
These are just a few examples. We have all had the experience of suffering from various inequities, don’t we?
Some people may come to the philosophy of resignation, saying, “No, people are not equal to begin with, and we have to accept unfairness as inevitable.
However, what if we accept reincarnation (samsara)?
Each of us has repeatedly reincarnated and worked hard in some area of our lives in the past.
Some have been born as musicians over and over again in past lives and have continued to hone their skills. Some have continued to hone their business skills as a tradesman. Some have continued to hone their skills as engineers.
The difference in these “assets” acquired in past lives, so to speak, will also appear in this life.
So, even though we started in the same first grade, it happens that “he can solve math problems with ease, but I have no clue…”.
If we look at this life alone, we would think it is unfair and how unequal we are.
But what if you think that there was a difference in training from past lives?
He has probably studied mathematics repeatedly in past lives. This “asset” is now showing up in this life as well.
In this light, it makes sense that this is just the unfolding of a world commensurate with the efforts made from past lives to the present life.
Hence, only in reincarnation can equality of opportunity and fairness be ensured. The law of cause and effect ( causality) is definitely complete.
Reference article:. Law of Dependent Origination(Pratītyasamutpāda) – Thinking in “Being and Time”
In that sense, even if you say, “I worked hard in this life, but my achievements did not come out as expected or were not appreciated at all,” you can be sure that your skills will live on as an asset in the next life. In the next life and the life to come, those skills will surely live on as assets.
And someday, you will receive a just evaluation.
Again, in reincarnation (samsara), the law of cause and effect is definitely complete.
If we think of it that way, we will be free from unnecessary jealousy and frustration.
2. More opportunities to take on challenges
I think this is another great gospel.
It would be too much if life was a one-time thing and the judgment against you could never be reversed again.
It would be gratifying to know that even if you fail, you can be reborn and try again and again to meet your challenges.
The past, present, and future time frames are infinitely expanded, so you will be able to address the issue of what kind of soul you want to become from a very long-term perspective.
Even failures in one life can be used as fodder for future success by using them as a source of introspection.
This would mean that there are unlimited opportunities in reincarnation, which means that there can be no failure in the essential sense.
3. Clues to the resolution of numerous conflicts
Reincarnation means that you are born in a different country at different times.
In this way, there is no reason for extreme nationalism to arise if we consider the possibility that we may have been born in a past life in a country that is now an enemy of ours.
This time, we just happen to choose to be born in the country we now live in.
So, although Neo Buddhism sometimes criticizes certain countries for their politics and diplomacy, this is never said with hatred based on right-wing nationalism.
It is only a criticism from a total perspective, from the viewpoint of what is wrong and what should be done in order for the world to move in the right direction in the future.
Above is a list of some of the purposes of reincarnation and some of the benefits of believing in it. I hope it will be of some help to you.