by Sebastian KIZHAKKETTAM
The never ending cycle of reincarnation in Hinduism
We have heard that as Hinduism, Buddhism too presupposes reincarnation. The Karma effect makes it possible, according to the Sacred Tradition of Hinduism. But as Buddhism- at least in the original form- believes in the non-permanence of reality, what we see is an eternal flux. There can be nothing permanent, immutable substance like God, soul etc. If so, how is reincarnation possible?
Please kindly lead me from my spiritual ignorance.
Awaiting your reply,
Sebastian KIZHAKKETTAM (INDIA)
Hello Sebastian and thank you for your good question.
The answer to your question is in the meaning of the word impermanence.
Impermanence does not mean something that ends, that doesn’t last forever.
It means something that is always changing.
Take the example of a river. As long as the source exists, the river exists. The water in it is always changing and sometimes, the banks will move but the river itself still is.
Our life is like a pebble thrown in that river, we make some ripples (karma) and we are carried away by the current or sink. The river will keep flowing its course. Sometime, the river might carry away the pebble and leave it on a bank, until someone throws it back into the river.
So, simply put, reincarnation is not incompatible with impermanence as even death is impermanent, it will change into a rebirth.