Rebirth (Buddhism)

Rebirth in Buddhism refers to its teaching that the actions of a person lead to a new existence after death, in endless cycles called saṃsāra.[1][2] This cycle is considered to be dukkha, unsatisfactory and painful. The cycle stops only if liberation is achieved by insight and the extinguishing of desire.[3][4] Rebirth is one of the foundational doctrines of Buddhism, along with Karma, nirvana and moksha.[1][3][5]

The rebirth doctrine in Buddhism, sometimes referred to as reincarnation or metempsychosis, asserts that rebirth does not necessarily take place as another human being, but as an existence in one of the six Gati (realms) called Bhavachakra.[4] The six realms of rebirth include Deva (heavenly), Asura (demigod), Manusya (human), Tiryak (animals), Preta (ghosts), and Naraka (resident of hell).[4][6][note 1] Rebirth, as stated by various Buddhist traditions, is determined by karma, with good realms favored by Kushala (good karma), while a rebirth in evil realms is a consequence of Akushala (bad karma).[4] While Nirvana is the ultimate goal of Buddhist teaching, much of traditional Buddhist practice has been centered on gaining merit and merit transfer, whereby one gains rebirth in the good realms and avoids rebirth in the evil realms.[4][8][9][note 2]

The rebirth doctrine has been a subject of scholarly studies within Buddhism since ancient times, particularly in reconciling the rebirth doctrine with its Anatman (no self, no soul) doctrine.[4][3][10] The Buddhist traditions have disagreed on what it is in a person that is reborn, as well as how quickly the rebirth occurs after each death.[4][9] Some Buddhist traditions assert that "no self" doctrine means that there is no perduring self, but there is avacya (inexpressible) self which migrates from one life to another.[4] The majority of Buddhist traditions, in contrast, assert that Vijnana (a person's consciousness) though evolving, exists as a continuum and is the mechanistic basis of what undergoes rebirth, rebecoming and redeath.[4][11][12] Some traditions assert that the rebirth occurs immediately, while others such as the Tibetan Buddhism posits an interim state wherein as many of 49 days pass between death and rebirth and this belief drives the local funerary rituals.[4][13]

Buddhist terminology and doctrine

There is no word corresponding exactly to the English terms "rebirth", "metempsychosis", "transmigration" or "reincarnation" in the traditional Buddhist languages of Pāli and Sanskrit. Rebirth is referred to by various terms, representing an essential step in the endless cycle of samsara, terms such as "re-becoming" or "becoming again"(Sanskrit: punarbhava, Pali: punabbhava), re-born (punarjanman), re-death (punarmrityu), or sometimes just "becoming" (Pali/Sanskrit: bhava), while the state one is born into, the individual process of being born or coming into the world in any way, is referred to simply as "birth" (Pali/Sanskrit: jāti).[4][14] The entire universal process of beings being reborn again and again is called "wandering about" (Pali/Sanskrit: saṃsāra).

Some English-speaking Buddhists prefer the term "rebirth" or "re-becoming" (Sanskrit: punarbhava; Pali: punabbhava) to "reincarnation" as they take the latter to imply an entity (soul) that is reborn.[3] Buddhism denies there is any such soul or self in a living being, but does assert that there is a cycle of transmigration consisting of rebirth and redeath as the fundamental nature of existence.[3][4][15]

Historical context

Before the time of the Buddha, many ideas on the nature of existence, birth and death were in vogue. The ancient Indian Vedic and Sramana schools affirmed the idea of soul, karma and cycle of rebirth. The competing Indian materialist schools denied the idea of soul, karma and rebirth, asserting instead that there is just one life, there is no rebirth, and death marks complete annihilation.[16] From these diverse views, Buddha accepted the premises and concepts related to rebirth,[17] but introduced innovations.[1] According to various Buddhist scriptures, Buddha believed in other worlds,

Since there actually is another world (any world other than the present human one, i.e. different rebirth realms), one who holds the view 'there is no other world' has wrong view...

— Buddha, Majjhima Nikaya i.402, Apannaka Sutta, translated by Peter Harvey[1]

Buddha also asserted that there is karma, which influences the future suffering through the cycle of rebirth, but added that there is a way to end the cycle of karmic rebirths through nirvana.[1][9] The Buddha introduced the concept that there is no soul (self) tying the cycle of rebirths, in contrast to themes asserted by various Hindu and Jaina traditions, and this central concept in Buddhism is called anattā; Buddha also affirmed the idea that all compounded things are subject to dissolution at death or anicca.[18] The Buddha's detailed conception of the connections between action (karma), rebirth and causality is set out in the twelve links of dependent origination.[10]

Ideas of rebirth

There are many references to rebirth in the early Buddhist scriptures. These are some of the more important; Mahakammavibhanga Sutta (Majjhima Nikaya 136); Upali Sutta (Majjhima Nikaya 56); Kukkuravatika Sutta (Majjhima Nikaya 57); Moliyasivaka Sutta (Samyutta Nikaya 36.21); Sankha Sutta (Samyutta Nikaya 42.8).

Rebirth is discussed in Buddhist scriptures with various terms, such as Āgati-gati, Punarbhava and others. The term Āgati literally means 'coming back, return', while Gati means 'going away' and Punarbhava means 're-becoming'.[23][24] Āgati-gati in the sense of rebirth and re-death appears in many places in early Buddhist texts, such as in Samyutta Nikaya III.53, Jataka II.172, Digha Nikaya I. 162, Anguttara III.54-74 and Petavatthu II.9.[23] Punarbhava in the sense of rebirth, similarly appears in many places, such as in Digha II.15, Samyutta I.133 and 4.201, Itivuttaka 62, Sutta-nipata 162, 273, 502, 514 and 733.[23] Numerous other terms for rebirths are found in the Buddhist scriptures, such as Punagamana, Punavasa, Punanivattati, Abhinibbatti, and words with roots of *jati and *rupa.[23]


While all Buddhist traditions except Navayana accept some notion of rebirth, they differ in their theories about rebirth mechanism and precisely how events unfold after the moment of death. The early Buddhist texts suggest that Buddha faced a difficulty in explaining what is reborn and how rebirth occurs, after he innovated the concept that there is "no self" (Anatta).[25] The texts also suggest that the Anicca theory led to difficulties in explaining that there is a permanent consciousness that moves from life to life.[25] Later Buddhist scholars such as Buddhaghosa suggested that the lack of a self or soul does not mean lack of continuity; and the rebirth across different realms of birth – such as heavenly, human, animal, hellish and others – occurs in the same way that a flame is transferred from one candle to another.[26][27]

The Sautrantika sub-school of the Saravastivada Buddhist tradition, that emerged in 2nd century BCE, and influenced the 4th-century CE Yogacara school of Buddhism, introduced the idea of "transmigrating substratum of consciousness".[28] It stated that each personal act "perfumes" the individual and leads to the planting of a "seed" that would later germinate as a good or bad karmic result.

The Pudgalavada school of early Buddhism accepted the core premise of Buddhism that there is no attā (ātman, soul, self), but asserted that there is a "personal entity" (pudgala, puggala) that retains a karma balance sheet and is mechanistically involved in rebirth; this personal entity, stated Pudgalavada Buddhists, is neither different nor identical to the five aggregates (skandhas).[29] This concept of personal entity to explain rebirth by Pudgalavada Buddhists was polemically attacked by Theravada Buddhists in early 1st millennium CE.[29] The personal entity concept was rejected by the mid-1st millennium CE Pali scholar Buddhaghosa, who attempted to explain rebirth mechanism with "rebirth-linking consciousness" (patisandhi).[30][29]

The Four planes of liberation
(according to the Sutta Piaka[31])



until suffering's end


1. identity view (Anatman)
2. doubt in Buddha
3. ascetic or ritual rules


up to seven rebirths in
human or heavenly realms


once more as
a human


4. sensual desire
5. ill will

once more in
a heavenly realm
(Pure Abodes)


6. material-rebirth desire
7. immaterial-rebirth desire
8. conceit
9. restlessness
10. ignorance


no rebirth

Source: Ñāṇamoli & Bodhi (2001), Middle-Length Discourses, pp. 41-43.

Some schools conclude that karma continued to exist and adhere to the person until it had worked out its consequences. Theravada Buddhists assert that rebirth is immediate while the Tibetan schools hold to the notion of a bardo (intermediate state) that can last up to forty-nine days.[34][35][36]

The bardo rebirth concept of Tibetan Buddhism, along with Yidam, developed independently in Tibet, and involves forty two peaceful deities, and fifty eight wrathful deities.[37] These ideas led to mechanistic maps on karma and what form of rebirth one takes after death, discussed in texts such as The Tibetan Book of the Dead.[38][39]

Another mechanistic rebirth theory that emerged in Buddhism posits that a being is reborn through "evolving consciousness" (Pali: samvattanika viññana, M.1.256)[40][41] or "stream of consciousness" (Pali: viññana sotam, D.3.105) that reincarnates.[42] Death dissolves all prior aggregates (Pali: khandhas, Sanskrit: skandhas), and this consciousness stream combined with karma of a being contributes to a new aggregation, which is rebirth. Nirvana is the state that marks the end of this consciousness continuum and the associated karmic cycle of suffering through rebirths and redeaths.[43]

Rebirth realms

In traditional Buddhist cosmology the rebirth, also called reincarnation or metempsychosis, can be in any of six realms. These are called the Gati in cycles of re-becoming, Bhavachakra.[4] The six realms of rebirth include three good realms – Deva (heavenly, god), Asura (demigod), Manusya (human); and three evil realms – Tiryak (animals), Preta (ghosts), and Naraka (hellish).[4] The realm of rebirth is conditioned by the karma (deeds, intent) of current and previous lives;[44] good karmas will yield a happier rebirth into good realm, bad karmas is believed to produce rebirth which is more unhappy and evil .[4]

The release from this endless cycle of rebirths, rebecoming and redeaths is called nirvana (nibbana) in Buddhism, and achievement of nirvana is the ultimate goal of Buddhist teaching.[note 4][note 5] However, much of traditional Buddhist practice has been centered on gaining merit and merit transfer, whereby an individual gains rebirth for oneself or one's family members in the good realms, and avoids rebirth in the evil realms.[4][8][9]

Buddhist arguments for rebirth

Parapsychological evidence

Ancient Buddhists as well as some moderns cite the reports of the Buddha and his disciples of having gained direct knowledge into their own past lives as well as those of other beings through a kind of parapsychological ability or extrasensory perception (termed abhiñña).[56][57] Likewise, Buddhist philosophers have defended the concept of special yogic perception (yogipratyakṣa) which is able to empirically verify the truth of rebirth.[58]

Modern Buddhists have also pointed to parapsychological phenomena as possible empirical evidence for rebirth, mainly near-death experiences, past life regression, reincarnation research and xenoglossy.[59][60]

Philosophical arguments

Besides defending the status of the Buddha as an epistemically authoritative or reliable person (pramāṇa puruṣa), Indian Buddhist philosophers like Dignaga (c. 480–540 CE) and Dharmakirti (fl. c. 6th or 7th century), as well as later commentators on their works, also put forth philosophical arguments in favor of rebirth and especially directed against the reductionist materialist philosophy of the Carvaka school.[61] To defend rebirth, Dharmakirti initially focuses on refuting the materialist doctrine of the Carvaka school, which held that the support (asraya) for cognition is the body and that when the body is destroyed, cognition is destroyed.[62]

According to Richard P. Hayes, Dharmakirti denied that mental events were a mere byproduct of the body, instead holding that "both mental events and physical events can be seen as effects of the same set of causal conditions."[61] For Dharmakirti, all events are dependent on multiple causes, and they must be preceded by an "antecendent causal condition" of the same class. This means that all mental events must have a previous mental event as part of its causal nexus (presumably stretching back before one's birth). According to Hayes, Dharmakirti holds therefore that "both physical factors and nonphysical factors play a role in the formation of mental events", if not there would be no difference between sentient beings and inanimate matter.[61] Eli Franco mentions that for Dharmakirti, the position that cognition "can arise from the body alone, independent of their similar causes" at the moment of birth is irrational. That is, if the mind is not being conditioned by a previous cognitive event, then it cannot arise from inert matter.[63] Dharmakirti also argues that mental events can causally condition physical events, and thus there is no reason to privilege matter as being primary.[61] According to Martin Willson, this kind of argument is the most commonly used in the Tibetan philosophical tradition to establish the truth of rebirth and in its most simple form can be put as follows:[64]

With respect to the knowing (consciousness or mind) of an ordinary being just born:

it is preceded by earlier knowing; because it is knowing.

Willson notes that this relies on two further assumptions, the first is that any mental continuum must have previous causes, the second is that materialism is false and that mind cannot emerge solely from matter (emergentism).[65] Because of this, Indian Buddhist philosophers who argued in this way attempted to disprove the theories of materialists (Carvaka).

Theravada Abhidhamma makes a similar argument. According to the Abhidhamma teacher Nina van Gorkom, physical and mental events (dhammas) both depend on each other and on previous events of the same category (i.e. mental events must also be conditioned by previous mental events, and so on). In Abhidhamma, the mental event (citta) which arises at the first moment of life is called the rebirth consciousness or patisandhi-citta. According to van Gorkom, "there isn’t any citta which arises without conditions, the patisandhi-citta must also have conditions. The patisandhi-citta is the first citta of a new life and thus its cause can only be in the past."[66]

Pragmatic arguments and wager theories

Various Buddhists and interpreters of the Buddhist texts such as David Kalupahana and Etienne Lamotte, have argued that the Buddha is a kind of pragmatist regarding truth, and that he saw truths as important only when they were soteriologically useful.[67][68][69] Thus, the Buddhist position on rebirth could be defended on pragmatic grounds instead of empirical or logical grounds. Some modern Buddhists have taken this position.

The American monk Thanissaro Bhikkhu has argued for the acceptance of the Buddhist idea of rebirth as a type of pragmatic wager argument (Pali: apaṇṇaka, "safe bet" or "guarantee"). Thanissaro argues that "the Buddha stated that it's a safe wager to assume that actions bear results that can affect not only this lifetime for also lifetimes after this than it is to assume the opposite."[70] Thanissaro cites Majjhima Nikaya 60 (Apaṇṇaka sutta) where the Buddha says that if there is an afterlife, those who perform bad actions have "made a bad throw twice" (because they are harmed in this world and in the next) while those who perform good actions will not, and thus he calls his teaching a "safe-bet teaching".[70] According to Thanissaro:

The Buddha's main pragmatic argument is that if one accepted his teachings, one would be likely to pay careful attention to one's actions, so as to do no harm. This in and of itself is a worthy activity regardless of whether the rest of the path was true. When applying this argument to the issue of rebirth and karmic results, the Buddha sometimes coupled it with a second pragmatic argument that resembles Pascal's wager: If one practices the Dhamma, one leads a blameless life in the here-and-now. Even if the afterlife and karmic results do not exist, one has not lost the wager, for the blamelessness of one's life is a reward in and of itself. If there is an afterlife with karmic results, then one has won a double reward: the blamelessness of one's life here and now, and the good rewards of one's actions in the afterlife. These two pragmatic arguments form the central message of this sutta.[71]

Sri Lankan Buddhist philosopher K.N. Jayatilleke writes that the Buddha's "wager argument" in MN 60 is that a rational person (viññu puriso) would reason as follows:[72]

If p is true If p is not true
We wager p [atthikavada, rebirth based on moral actions is true] We are happy in the next life We are praised by the wise in this life
We wager not-p [natthikavada, it is false] We are unhappy in the next life We are condemned by the wise in this life

The Kalama Sutta also contains a similar wager argument towards rebirth, called the "four assurances" or "four consolations".[73]

Modern naturalistic interpretations

In the 1940s, J.G. Jennings interpreted the teaching of rebirth in a less than literal sense. Believing that the doctrine of anatta (not-self) is incompatible with the view that the actions of one individual can have repercussions for the same individual in a future life, Jennings argued that the doctrine of actual transmigration was an "Indian dogma" that was not part of the original teachings of the Buddha. However, rebirth could instead be understood as the recurrence of our selfish desires which could repeat themselves “in endless succeeding generations”. In this interpretation, our actions do have consequences beyond our present lives, but these are “collective not individual.”[74]

The British Buddhist thinker Stephen Batchelor has recently posited a similar view on the topic:

Regardless of what we believe, our actions will reverberate beyond our deaths. Irrespective of our personal survival, the legacy of our thoughts, words, and deeds will continue through the impressions we leave behind in the lives of those we have influenced or touched in any way.[74]

The Thai modernist Buddhist monk Buddhadāsa (1906–1993) also had an rationalistic or psychological interpretation of rebirth.[75] He argued that since there is no substantial entity or soul (atman),  “there is no one born, there is no one who dies and is reborn. Therefore, the whole question of rebirth is quite foolish and has nothing to do with Buddhism…in the sphere of the Buddhist teachings there is no question of rebirth or reincarnation.”[76] However, Buddhadāsa did not completely reject the rebirth doctrine, he only saw the idea that there is something that gets reborn into a future womb as “trivial”. Instead of this 'literal' view, he interpreted the true meaning of rebirth as the re-arising of the sense of self or "I" or "me", a kind of “self-centredness” which is "a mental event arising out of ignorance, craving, and clinging." According to Buddhadāsa, this is what "rebirth" truly means on the ultimate level (paramattha) of discourse.[74]

Comparison with rebirth doctrines in Hinduism and Jainism

The rebirth theories in different traditions within Hinduism rely on their foundational assumption that soul exists (Atman, attā), in contrast to Buddhist assumption that there is no soul.[77][15][78] Hindu traditions consider soul to be the unchanging eternal essence of a living being, and in many of its theistic and non-theistic traditions the soul asserted to be identical with Brahman, the ultimate reality.[79][80][81] Thus while both Buddhism and Hinduism accept the karma and rebirth doctrine, and both focus on ethics in this life as well as liberation from rebirth and suffering as the ultimate spiritual pursuit, they have a very different view on whether a self or soul exists, which impacts the details of their respective rebirth theories.[82][83][84]

Rebirth and karma doctrine in Jainism differ from those in Buddhism, even though both are non-theistic Sramana traditions.[85][86] Jainism, in contrast to Buddhism, accepts the foundational assumption that soul exists (Jiva) and is involved in the rebirth mechanism.[87] Further, Jainism considers that the rebirth has a start, that rebirth and redeath cycle is a part of a progression of a soul, karmic dust particles emanate from ethical or unethical intent and actions, these karmic particles stick to the soul which determines the next birth. Jainism, further asserts that some souls can never achieve liberation, that ethical living such as Ahimsa (non-violence) and asceticism are means to liberation for those who can attain liberation, and that liberated souls reach the eternal siddha (enlightened state) that ends their rebirth cycles.[85][88][89] Jainism, like Buddhism, also believes in realms of birth[note 6] and is symbolized by its emblematic Swastika sign,[91] with ethical and moral theories of its lay practices focussing on obtaining good rebirth.[92]

See also


  1. ^ This is discussed in many Suttas of different Nikayas. See, for example, Devaduta Sutta in Majjhima Nikaya (iii.178).[7]
  2. ^ This merit gaining may be on the behalf of one's family members.[4][8][9]
  3. ^ It is unclear when Majjhima Nikaya was written down. For the historicity of rebirth, samsara in early texts, see Carol Anderson;[20]
    Ronald Davidson: "While most scholars agree that there was a rough body of sacred literature (disputed)(sic) that a relatively early community (disputed)(sic) maintained and transmitted, we have little confidence that much, if any, of surviving Buddhist scripture is actually the word of the historic Buddha."[21]
    Richard Gombrich: "I have the greatest difficulty in accepting that the main edifice is not the work of a single genius. By "the main edifice" I mean the collections of the main body of sermons, the four Nikāyas, and of the main body of monastic rules."[22]
  4. ^ On samsara, rebirth and redeath:
    * Paul Williams: "All rebirth is due to karma and is impermanent. Short of attaining enlightenment, in each rebirth one is born and dies, to be reborn elsewhere in accordance with the completely impersonal causal nature of one's own karma. The endless cycle of birth, rebirth, and redeath, is samsara."[11]
    * Buswell and Lopez on "rebirth": "An English term that does not have an exact correlate in Buddhist languages, rendered instead by a range of technical terms, such as the Sanskrit PUNARJANMAN (lit. "birth again") and PUNABHAVAN (lit. "re-becoming"), and, less commonly, the related PUNARMRTYU (lit. "redeath")."[17]
    See also Perry Schmidt-Leukel (2006) pages 32-34,[45] John J. Makransky (1997) p.27.[46]
  5. ^ Graham Harvey: "Siddhartha Gautama found an end to rebirth in this world of suffering. His teachings, known as the dharma in Buddhism, can be summarized in the Four Noble truths."[47] Geoffrey Samuel (2008): "The Four Noble Truths [...] describe the knowledge needed to set out on the path to liberation from rebirth."[48] See also [49][50][11][51][47][52][web 1][web 2]

    The Theravada tradition holds that insight into these four truths is liberating in itself.[53] This is reflected in the Pali canon.[54] According to Donald Lopez, "The Buddha stated in his first sermon that when he gained absolute and intuitive knowledge of the four truths, he achieved complete enlightenment and freedom from future rebirth."[web 1]

    The Maha-parinibbana Sutta also refers to this liberation.[web 3] Carol Anderson: "The second passage where the four truths appear in the Vinaya-pitaka is also found in the Mahaparinibbana-sutta (D II 90-91). Here, the Buddha explains that it is by not understanding the four truths that rebirth continues."[55]

    On the meaning of moksha as liberation from rebirth, see Patrick Olivelle in the Encyclopædia Britannica.[web 4]
  6. ^ Jainism posits that there are four realms, in contrast to six of Buddhism; the Jaina realms are heavenly deities, human, non-human living beings (animal, plants), and hellish beings. Within the human realms, Jainism asserts that rebirth lineage and gender depends on karma in the past lives.[90][91]


  1. ^ a b c d e Peter Harvey (2012). An Introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, History and Practices. Cambridge University Press. pp. 32–33, 38–39, 46–49. ISBN 978-0-521-85942-4.
  2. ^ Trainor 2004, p. 58, Quote: "Buddhism shares with Hinduism the doctrine of Samsara, whereby all beings pass through an unceasing cycle of birth, death and rebirth until they find a means of liberation from the cycle. However, Buddhism differs from Hinduism in rejecting the assertion that every human being possesses a changeless soul which constitutes his or her ultimate identity, and which transmigrates from one incarnation to the next..
  3. ^ a b c d e Norman C. McClelland (2010). Encyclopedia of Reincarnation and Karma. McFarland. pp. 226–228. ISBN 978-0-7864-5675-8.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Robert E. Buswell Jr.; Donald S. Lopez Jr. (2013). The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism. Princeton University Press. pp. 708–709. ISBN 978-1-4008-4805-8.
  5. ^ Edward Craig (1998). Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Routledge. p. 402. ISBN 978-0-415-18715-2.
  6. ^ Obeyesekere, Gananath (2005). Karma and Rebirth: A Cross Cultural Study. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 127. ISBN 978-8120826090.
  7. ^ Nanamoli Bhikkhu; Bhikkhu Bodhi (2005). The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Majjhima Nikaya. Simon Schuster. pp. 1029–1038. ISBN 978-0-86171-982-2.
  8. ^ a b c William H. Swatos; Peter Kivisto (1998). Encyclopedia of Religion and Society. Rowman Altamira. p. 66. ISBN 978-0-7619-8956-1.
  9. ^ a b c d e Ronald Wesley Neufeldt (1986). Karma and Rebirth: Post Classical Developments. State University of New York Press. pp. 123–131. ISBN 978-0-87395-990-2.
  10. ^ a b Wendy Doniger (1999). Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of World Religions. Merriam-Webster. p. 148. ISBN 978-0-87779-044-0.
  11. ^ a b c Williams 2002, pp. 74-75.
  12. ^ "Post-Classical Developments in the Concepts of Karma and Rebirth in Theravada Buddhism." by Bruce Matthews. in Karma and Rebirth: Post-Classical Developments State Univ of New York Press: 1986 ISBN 0-87395-990-6 pg 125;
    Collins, Steven. Selfless persons: imagery and thought in Theravāda Buddhism Cambridge University Press, 1990. ISBN 0-521-39726-X pg 215[1]
  13. ^ Buswell & Lopez 2003, pp. 49-50.
  14. ^ Harvey 2013, pp. 71-73.
  15. ^ a b [a] Anatta, Encyclopædia Britannica (2013), Quote: "Anatta in Buddhism, the doctrine that there is in humans no permanent, underlying soul. The concept of anatta, or anatman, is a departure from the Hindu belief in atman (“the self”).";
    [b] Steven Collins (1994), Religion and Practical Reason (Editors: Frank Reynolds, David Tracy), State Univ of New York Press, ISBN 978-0791422175, page 64; "Central to Buddhist soteriology is the doctrine of not-self (Pali: anattā, Sanskrit: anātman, the opposed doctrine of ātman is central to Brahmanical thought). Put very briefly, this is the [Buddhist] doctrine that human beings have no soul, no self, no unchanging essence.";
    [c] Edward Roer (Translator), Shankara's Introduction, p. 2, at Google Books to Brihad Aranyaka Upanishad, pages 2-4;
    [d] Katie Javanaud (2013), Is The Buddhist ‘No-Self’ Doctrine Compatible With Pursuing Nirvana?, Philosophy Now;
    [e] David Loy (1982), Enlightenment in Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta: Are Nirvana and Moksha the Same?, International Philosophical Quarterly, Volume 23, Issue 1, pages 65-74;
    [f] KN Jayatilleke (2010), Early Buddhist Theory of Knowledge, ISBN 978-8120806191, pages 246-249, from note 385 onwards;
  16. ^ Kalupahana 1992, pp. 38-43, 138-140.
  17. ^ a b Buswell & Lopez 2003, p. 708.
  18. ^ Arvind Sharma's review of Hajime Nakamura's A History of Early Vedanta Philosophy, Philosophy East and West, Vol. 37, No. 3 (Jul., 1987), page 330.
  19. ^ Keown 2000, p. 32.
  20. ^ Anderson 1999, pp. 1-48.
  21. ^ Davidson 2003, p. 147.
  22. ^ Gombrich 1997.
  23. ^ a b c d Thomas William Rhys Davids; William Stede (1921). Pali-English Dictionary. Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 94–95, 281–282, 294–295, 467, 499. ISBN 978-81-208-1144-7.
  24. ^ Peter Harvey (2013). The Selfless Mind: Personality, Consciousness and Nirvana in Early Buddhism. Routledge. pp. 95–97. ISBN 978-1-136-78329-6.
  25. ^ a b David J. Kalupahana (1975). Causality: The Central Philosophy of Buddhism. University Press of Hawaii. pp. 115–119. ISBN 978-0-8248-0298-1.
  26. ^ David J. Kalupahana (1975). Causality: The Central Philosophy of Buddhism. University Press of Hawaii. p. 83. ISBN 978-0-8248-0298-1.
  27. ^ William H. Swatos; Peter Kivisto (1998). Encyclopedia of Religion and Society. Rowman Altamira. p. 66. ISBN 978-0-7619-8956-1.
  28. ^ Sautrāntika, Encyclopædia Britannica
  29. ^ a b c James McDermott (1980). Wendy Doniger (ed.). Karma and Rebirth in Classical Indian Traditions. University of California Press. pp. 168–170. ISBN 978-0-520-03923-0.
  30. ^ Bruce Mathews (1986). Ronald Wesley Neufeldt (ed.). Karma and Rebirth: Post Classical Developments. State University of New York Press. pp. 123–126. ISBN 978-0-87395-990-2.
  31. ^ See, for instance, the "Snake-Simile Discourse" (MN 22), where the Buddha states:

    "Monks, this Teaching so well proclaimed by me, is plain, open, explicit, free of patchwork. In this Teaching that is so well proclaimed by me and is plain, open, explicit and free of patchwork; for those who are arahants, free of taints, who have accomplished and completed their task, have laid down the burden, achieved their aim, severed the fetters binding to existence, who are liberated by full knowledge, there is no (future) round of existence that can be ascribed to them. – Majjhima Nikaya i.130 ¶ 42, Translated by Nyanaponika Thera (Nyanaponika, 2006)

  32. ^ The "fruit" (Pali: phala) is the culmination of the "path" (magga). Thus, for example, the "stream-enterer" is the fruit for one on the "stream-entry" path; more specifically, the stream-enterer has abandoned the first three fetters, while one on the path of stream-entry strives to abandon these fetters.
  33. ^ Both the stream-enterer and the once-returner abandon the first three fetters. What distinguishes these stages is that the once-returner additionally attenuates lust, hate and delusion, and will necessarily be reborn only once more.
  34. ^ Buswell & Lopez 2003, pp. 49-50, 708-709.
  35. ^ Macmillan Encyclopedia of Buddhism. Vol. 1, p. 377
  36. ^ The Connected Discourses of the Buddha. A Translation of the Samyutta Nikaya, Bhikkhu Bodhi, translator. Wisdom Publications. Sutta 44.9
  37. ^ Karma-gliṅ-pa; Chogyam Trungpa; Francesca Fremantle (2000). The Tibetan Book of the Dead: The Great Liberation Through Hearing in the Bardo. Shambhala Publications. pp. xi, xvii–xxiii. ISBN 978-1-57062-747-7.
  38. ^ Karma-gliṅ-pa; Chogyam Trungpa; Francesca Fremantle (2000). The Tibetan Book of the Dead: The Great Liberation Through Hearing in the Bardo. Shambhala Publications. pp. 4–23. ISBN 978-1-57062-747-7.
  39. ^ Kevin Trainor (2004). Buddhism: The Illustrated Guide. Oxford University Press. pp. 210–211. ISBN 978-0-19-517398-7.
  40. ^ "Post-Classical Developments in the Concepts of Karma and Rebirth in Theravada Buddhism." by Bruce Matthews. in Karma and Rebirth: Post-Classical Developments State Univ of New York Press: 1986 ISBN 0-87395-990-6 pg 125 [2]
  41. ^ Collins, Steven. Selfless persons: imagery and thought in Theravāda Buddhism Cambridge University Press, 1990. ISBN 0-521-39726-X pg 215[3]
  42. ^ "Post-Classical Developments in the Concepts of Karma and Rebirth in Theravada Buddhism. by Bruce Matthews. in Karma and Rebirth: Post-Classical Developments State Univ of New York Press: 1986 ISBN 0-87395-990-6 pg 125 [4]
  43. ^ Peter Harvey (2012). An Introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, History and Practices. Cambridge University Press. pp. 71–75. ISBN 978-0-521-85942-4.
  44. ^ Obeyesekere, Gananath (2005). Karma and Rebirth: A Cross Cultural Study. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 127. ISBN 978-8120826090.
  45. ^ Schmidt-Leukel 2006, p. 32-34.
  46. ^ Makransky 1997, p. 27.
  47. ^ a b Harvey 2016.
  48. ^ Samuel 2008, p. 136.
  49. ^ Spiro 1982, p. 42.
  50. ^ Makransky 1997, p. 27-28.
  51. ^ Lopez 2009, p. 147.
  52. ^ Kingsland 2016, p. 286.
  53. ^ Carter 1987, p. 3179.
  54. ^ Anderson 2013.
  55. ^ Anderson 2013, p. 162 with note 38, for context see pages 1-3.
  56. ^ Bhikkhu Analayo, Rebirth in Early Buddhism and Current Research, Foreword by Bhante Gunaratna.
  57. ^ Narada Thera, Buddhism in a nutshell, p. 17.
  58. ^ Tom Tillemans (2011), Dharmakirti, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  59. ^ Bhikkhu Analayo, Rebirth in Early Buddhism and Current Research, section III
  60. ^ Willson, Martin, Rebirth and the Western Buddhist, Wisdom Publications London, 1987, p. 28.
  61. ^ a b c d Hayes, Richard P. Dharmakirti on punarbhava,1993.
  62. ^ Franco, Eli, Dharmakīrti on compassion and rebirth, Arbeitskreis für Tibetische und Buddhistische Studien, Universität Wien, 1997, p. 95.
  63. ^ Franco, Eli, Dharmakīrti on compassion and rebirth, Arbeitskreis für Tibetische und Buddhistische Studien, Universität Wien, 1997, p. 105.
  64. ^ Willson, Martin, Rebirth and the Western Buddhist, Wisdom Publications London, 1987, p. 42.
  65. ^ Willson, Martin, Rebirth and the Western Buddhist, Wisdom Publications London, 1987, p. 42.
  66. ^ van Gorkom, Nina, Abhidhamma in Daily Life, 2009 p. 97.
  67. ^ Jayatilleke, K. N.; Early Buddhist Theory of Knowledge, p. 356.
  68. ^ Poussin; Bouddhisme, Third Edition, Paris, 1925, p. 129
  69. ^ Kalupahana, David J. Ethics in Early Buddhism, 1995, p. 35
  70. ^ a b Thanissaro Bhikkhu, The Truth of Rebirth and Why it Matters for Buddhist Practice © 2012
  71. ^ "Thanissaro Bhikkhu, Apannaka Sutta: A Safe Bet, 2008". Retrieved 2018-10-19.
  72. ^ Jayatilleke, K. N.; Early Buddhist Theory of Knowledge, p. 375, 406-407.
  73. ^ "Kalama Sutta". Retrieved 2018-10-19.
  74. ^ a b c Burley, Mikel, Karma and Rebirth in the Stream of Thought and Life, Philosophy East and West, Volume 64, Number 4, October 2014, pp. 965-982.
  75. ^ Bucknell, Roderick S., and Martin Stuart-Fox. 1983. “The ‘Three Knowledges’ of Buddhism: Implications of Buddhadasa’s Interpretation of Rebirth.” Religion 13:99– 112.
  76. ^ Steven M. Emmanuel, Buddhist Philosophy: A Comparative Approach, John Wiley & Sons, 2017, p. 225.
  77. ^ [a] Christmas Humphreys (2012). Exploring Buddhism. Routledge. pp. 42–43. ISBN 978-1-136-22877-3.
    [b] Brian Morris (2006). Religion and Anthropology: A Critical Introduction. Cambridge University Press. p. 51. ISBN 978-0-521-85241-8., Quote: "(...) anatta is the doctrine of non-self, and is an extreme empiricist doctrine that holds that the notion of an unchanging permanent self is a fiction and has no reality. According to Buddhist doctrine, the individual person consists of five skandhas or heaps - the body, feelings, perceptions, impulses and consciousness. The belief in a self or soul, over these five skandhas, is illusory and the cause of suffering."
    [c] Richard Gombrich (2006). Theravada Buddhism. Routledge. p. 47. ISBN 978-1-134-90352-8., Quote: "(...) Buddha's teaching that beings have no soul, no abiding essence. This 'no-soul doctrine' (anatta-vada) he expounded in his second sermon."
  78. ^ John C. Plott et al (2000), Global History of Philosophy: The Axial Age, Volume 1, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120801585, page 63, Quote: "The Buddhist schools reject any Ātman concept. As we have already observed, this is the basic and ineradicable distinction between Hinduism and Buddhism".
  79. ^ Bruce M. Sullivan (1997). Historical Dictionary of Hinduism. Scarecrow. pp. 235–236 (See: Upanishads). ISBN 978-0-8108-3327-2.
  80. ^ Klaus K. Klostermaier (2007). A Survey of Hinduism: Third Edition. State University of New York Press. pp. 119–122, 162–180, 194–195. ISBN 978-0-7914-7082-4.
  81. ^ Kalupahana 1992, pp. 38-39.
  82. ^ G Obeyesekere (1980). Wendy Doniger (ed.). Karma and Rebirth in Classical Indian Traditions. University of California Press. pp. 137–141. ISBN 978-0-520-03923-0.
  83. ^ Libby Ahluwalia (2008). Understanding Philosophy of Religion. Folens. pp. 243–249. ISBN 978-1-85008-274-3.
  84. ^ Harold Coward; Julius Lipner; Katherine K. Young (1989). Hindu Ethics. State University of New York Press. pp. 85–94. ISBN 978-0-88706-764-8.
  85. ^ a b Naomi Appleton (2014). Narrating Karma and Rebirth: Buddhist and Jain Multi-Life Stories. Cambridge University Press. pp. 76–89. ISBN 978-1-139-91640-0.
  86. ^ Kristi L. Wiley (2004). Historical Dictionary of Jainism. Scarecrow. p. 91. ISBN 978-0-8108-5051-4.
  87. ^ Kristi L. Wiley (2004). Historical Dictionary of Jainism. Scarecrow. pp. 10–12, 111–112, 119. ISBN 978-0-8108-5051-4.
  88. ^ Gananath Obeyesekere (2006). Karma and Rebirth: A Cross Cultural Study. Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 107–108. ISBN 978-81-208-2609-0.
  89. ^ Kristi L. Wiley (2004). Historical Dictionary of Jainism. Scarecrow. pp. 118–119. ISBN 978-0-8108-5051-4.
  90. ^ Naomi Appleton (2014). Narrating Karma and Rebirth: Buddhist and Jain Multi-Life Stories. Cambridge University Press. pp. 20–59. ISBN 978-1-107-03393-1.
  91. ^ a b John E. Cort (2001). Jains in the World: Religious Values and Ideology in India. Oxford University Press. pp. 16–21. ISBN 978-0-19-803037-9.
  92. ^ Kristi L. Wiley (2004). Historical Dictionary of Jainism. Scarecrow. pp. 10–12, 21, 23–24, 74, 208. ISBN 978-0-8108-5051-4.


  • Anderson, Carol (1999). Pain and Its Ending: The Four Noble Truths in the Theravada Buddhist Canon. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-136-81332-0.
  • Ñāamoli, Bhikkhu (trans.) and Bodhi, Bhikkhu (ed.) (2001). The Middle-Length Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Majjhima Nikāya. Boston: Wisdom Publications. ISBN 0-86171-072-X.
  • Anderson, Carol (2013), Pain and Its Ending: The Four Noble Truths in the Theravada Buddhist Canon, Routledge
  • Buswell, Robert E. Jr.; Lopez, Donald Jr. (2003), The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism, Princeton University Press
  • Carter, John Ross (1987), "Four Noble Truths", in Jones, Lindsay (ed.), MacMillan Encyclopedia of Religions, MacMillan
  • Davidson, Ronald M. (2003), Indian Esoteric Buddhism, Columbia University Press, ISBN 0-231-12618-2
  • Gombrich, Richard F (1997). How Buddhism Began: The Conditioned Genesis of the Early Teachings. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-134-19639-5.
  • Harvey, Graham (2016), Religions in Focus: New Approaches to Tradition and Contemporary Practices, Routledge
  • Harvey, Peter (2013), An Introduction to Buddhism, 2nd Edition, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0521676748
  • Kalupahana, David J. (1992), A history of Buddhist philosophy, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited
  • Keown, Damien (2000), Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction (Kindle ed.), Oxford University Press
  • Kingsland, James (2016), Siddhartha's Brain: Unlocking the Ancient Science of Enlightenment, HarperCollins
  • Lopez, Donald, jr. (2009), Buddhism and Science: A Guide for the Perplexed, University of Chicago Press
  • Makransky, John J. (1997), Buddhahood Embodied: Sources of Controversy in India and Tibet, SUNY
  • Samuel, Geoffrey (2008), The Origins of Yoga and Tantra: Indic Religions to the Thirteenth Century, Cambridge University Press
  • Schmidt-Leukel, Perry (2006), Understanding Buddhism, Dunedin Academic Press, ISBN 978-1-903765-18-0
  • Snelling, John (1987), The Buddhist handbook. A Complete Guide to Buddhist Teaching and Practice, London: Century Paperbacks
  • Spiro, Melford E. (1982), Buddhism and Society: A Great Tradition and Its Burmese Vicissitudes, University of California Press
  • Trainor, Kevin (2004), Buddhism: The Illustrated Guide, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-517398-7
  • Williams, Paul (2002), Buddhist Thought (Kindle ed.), Taylor & Francis

Web bibliography

  1. ^ a b Donald Lopez, Four Noble Truths, Encyclopædia Britannica.
  2. ^ Thanissaro Bhikkhu, The Truth of Rebirth And Why it Matters for Buddhist Practice
  3. ^ Maha-parinibbana Sutta: Last Days of the Buddha, translated by Sister Vajira & Francis Story
  4. ^ Patrick Olivelle (2012), Encyclopædia Britannica, Moksha (Indian religions)


  • Bhikkhu Analayo, Rebirth in Early Buddhism and Current Research, Wisdom, 2018. ISBN 1-614-29446-1
  • Steven Collins, Selfless Persons: Imagery and Thought in Theravada Buddhism, Cambridge, 1982. ISBN 0-521-39726-X
  • Peter Harvey, The Selfless Mind: Personality, Consciousness and Nirvana in Early Buddhism, Curzon, 1995. ISBN 0-7007-0338-1
  • Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Living Meaningfully, Dying Joyfully: The Profound Practice of Transference of Consciousness, Tharpa, 1999. ISBN 81-7822-058-X
  • Glenn H. Mullin, Death and Dying: The Tibetan Tradition, Arkana, 1986. ISBN 0-14-019013-9.
  • Mullin, Glenn, H. (1998). Living in the Face of Death: The Tibetan Tradition. 2008 reprint: Snow Lion Publications, Ithica, New York. ISBN 978-1-55939-310-2.
  • Vicki MacKenzie, Reborn in the West, HarperCollins, 1997. ISBN 0-7225-3443-4
  • Tom Shroder, Old Souls: Scientific Search for Proof of Past Lives, Simon and Schuster, 2001. ISBN 0-684-85193-8
  • Francis Story, Rebirth as Doctrine and Experience: Essays and Case Studies, Buddhist Publication Society, 1975. ISBN 955-24-0176-3
  • Robert A.F. Thurman (trans.), The Tibetan Book of the Dead: Liberation Through Understanding in the Between, HarperCollins, 1998. ISBN 1-85538-412-4
  • Martin Willson, Rebirth and the Western Buddhist, Wisdom Publications, 1987. ISBN 0-86171-215-3
  • Nagapriya, Exploring Karma and Rebirth, Windhorse Publications, Birmingham 2004. ISBN 1-899579-61-3

External links


Anussati (Pāli; Sanskrit: Anusmriti) means "recollection," "contemplation," "remembrance," "meditation" and "mindfulness." It refers to specific meditative or devotional practices, such as recollecting the sublime qualities of the Buddha, which lead to mental tranquillity and abiding joy. In various contexts, the Pali literature and Sanskrit Mahayana sutras emphasize and identify different enumerations of recollections.

Anussati may also refer to meditative attainment, such as the ability to recollect past lives, also called causal memory.


The Sanskrit word bhava (भव) means being, worldly existence, becoming, birth, be, production, origin, but also habitual or emotional tendencies.In Buddhism, bhava is the tenth of the twelve links of Pratītyasamutpāda. It is the link between the defilements, and repeated birth, that is, reincarnation. In Thai Buddhism, bhava is also interpreted as habitual or emotional tendencies which leads to the arising of the sense of self, as a mental phenomenon.


Buddhism (, US also ) is the world's fourth-largest religion with over 520 million followers, or over 7% of the global population, known as Buddhists.

Buddhism encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs and spiritual practices largely based on original teachings attributed to the Buddha and resulting interpreted philosophies. Buddhism originated in ancient India as a Sramana tradition sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE, spreading through much of Asia. Two major extant branches of Buddhism are generally recognized by scholars: Theravada (Pali: "The School of the Elders") and Mahayana (Sanskrit: "The Great Vehicle").

Most Buddhist traditions share the goal of overcoming suffering and the cycle of death and rebirth, either by the attainment of Nirvana or through the path of Buddhahood. Buddhist schools vary in their interpretation of the path to liberation, the relative importance and canonicity assigned to the various Buddhist texts, and their specific teachings and practices. Widely observed practices include taking refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha, observance of moral precepts, monasticism, meditation, and the cultivation of the Paramitas (virtues).

Theravada Buddhism has a widespread following in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia such as Myanmar and Thailand. Mahayana, which includes the traditions of Pure Land, Zen, Nichiren Buddhism, Shingon and Tiantai (Tendai), is found throughout East Asia.

Vajrayana, a body of teachings attributed to Indian adepts, may be viewed as a separate branch or as an aspect of Mahayana Buddhism. Tibetan Buddhism, which preserves the Vajrayana teachings of eighth-century India, is practiced in the countries of the Himalayan region, Mongolia, and Kalmykia.

Dighajanu Sutta

The Dighajanu Sutta (Pali Dīghajāṇu sutta), also known as the Byagghapajja Sutta or Vyagghapajja Sutta, is part of the Anguttara Nikaya (AN 8.54). For Theravadin scholars, this discourse of the Pāli Canon is one of several considered key to understanding Buddhist lay ethics. In this discourse, the Buddha instructs a householder named Dīghajāṇu Vyagghapajja, a Koliyan householder, on eight personality traits or conditions that lead to happiness and well-being in this and future lives.

Index of Eastern philosophy articles

This is a list of articles in Eastern philosophy.

Index of philosophy of religion articles

This is a list of articles in philosophy of religion.

A Grief Observed

A History of God

A Letter Concerning Toleration

A New Model of the Universe

A Secular Humanist Declaration

A. H. Almaas

Abandonment (existentialism)

Abd al-Karīm ibn Hawāzin al-Qushayri


Abraham Joshua Heschel

Absolute (philosophy)

Absolute atheism

Absolute Infinite


Abu'l Hasan Muhammad Ibn Yusuf al-'Amiri

Abu Sulayman al-Sijistani



Actus purus


Adi Shankara

Adriaan Koerbagh

Afshin Ellian


Age of Enlightenment

Agnostic atheism

Agnostic theism



Ahmad Sirhindi







Albrecht Ritschl

Alice von Hildebrand

All Truth Is God's Truth

Aloysius Martinich

Alvin Plantinga

Alvin Plantinga's free-will defense

American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly

Amsterdam Declaration

An Intelligent Person's Guide to Atheism



Analytical Thomism

Ananda Coomaraswamy


Anarchism and Islam



Anders Nygren


Animals in Buddhism

Anselm of Canterbury

Answer to Job

Anthony Kenny

Anthony Thiselton








Anton Kržan

Anton LaVey




Argument from a proper basis

Argument from beauty

Argument from consciousness

Argument from degree

Argument from desire

Argument from free will

Argument from inconsistent revelations

Argument from love

Argument from miracles

Argument from morality

Argument from nonbelief

Argument from poor design

Argument from religious experience


Aristotelian view of a god




Atheist's Wager

Atheist existentialism

Ātman (Buddhism)

Augustine of Hippo

Avadhuta Gita


Avidyā (Buddhism)

Avraham son of Rambam


Ayyavazhi phenomenology

Baptists in the history of separation of church and state


Basic Points Unifying the Theravāda and the Mahāyāna

Beatific vision

Best of all possible worlds

Beyond Belief: Science, Religion, Reason and Survival

Bhagavad Gita


Bhumi (Buddhism)

Biblical literalism





Bodhisattva Precepts




Brian Davies (philosopher)

Brights movement

British Humanist Association

Bruno Bauer


Buddhism and evolution

Buddhist philosophy

C. S. Lewis

C. S. Lewis bibliography

C. Stephen Evans

Cappadocian Fathers

Catholic guilt


Charles Blount (deist)


Chovot ha-Levavot

Christian de Quincey

Christian existentialism

Christian humanism

Christian materialism

Christian philosophy

Christian Realism

Christianity and environmentalism

Christological argument

City of God (book)

Classical theism

Clemens Timpler

Clement of Alexandria

Clerical philosophers


Committee for the Scientific Examination of Religion



Contemporary Islamic philosophy

Continuum of Humanist Education

Contra Celsum

Cosmological argument

Cosmology (metaphysics)



Credo ut intelligam

Criticism of Christianity

Criticism of Hinduism

Criticism of Islam

Criticism of Jesus

Criticism of Judaism

Criticism of monotheism

Criticism of religion

Criticism of the Bible

Criticism of the Catholic Church

Criticism of the Latter Day Saint movement

Criticism of the Qur'an

Cultural materialism (anthropology)

Cultural materialism (cultural studies)

Curt John Ducasse

Daniel Rynhold

Dariush Shayegan


David ben Merwan al-Mukkamas

David Braine (philosopher)

David Ray Griffin

David Strauss

De Coelesti Hierarchia

De divisione naturae

De Mysteriis Aegyptiorum

Dean Zimmerman


Decline of Greco-Roman polytheism



Derech Hashem

Desire realm




Dharma transmission


Dharmarāja Adhvarin

Diamond Realm

Dietrich von Hildebrand

Dimitrije Mitrinović

Dipolar theism

Direct revelation


Divine apathy

Divine command theory

Divine simplicity




Doomsday argument

Doomsday cult

Doomsday event



Dwight H. Terry Lectureship


E. David Cook

Early Islamic philosophy

Eliminative materialism

Elizabeth Burns

Emergent materialism

Epistemic theory of miracles

Epistle to Yemen


Ernesto Buonaiuti

Ernst Ehrlich

Ernst Troeltsch


Essentially contested concept

Eternal Buddha

Eternal return

Eternal return (Eliade)

Ethica thomistica

Ethical will

Ethics in religion

Étienne Tempier

Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy

Euthyphro dilemma

Evolutionary argument against naturalism

Evolutionary Humanism


Existence of God

Extrinsic finality


Faith and rationality

Faith, Science and Understanding

Faraday Institute for Science and Religion

Fate of the unlearned


Fazlur Rahman Malik

Ferdinand Ebner

Fetter (Buddhism)

Fi Zilal al-Qur'an



Five hindrances

Four stages of enlightenment

Fourteen unanswerable questions

Francis Schaeffer

Franciszek Krupiński

Françoise Meltzer

Franz Rosenzweig

Frederick Ferré


French law on secularity and conspicuous religious symbols in schools

Friedrich Nietzsche and free will

Friedrich von Hügel

Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling

Fujiwara Seika


Gary Habermas


George H. Smith

Gifford Lectures

Giles Fraser



God in Buddhism

God Is Not Great

God of the gaps

God, A Guide for the Perplexed

Gödel's ontological proof

Good and necessary consequence

Graham Oppy

Great chain of being

Greek hero cult

Gregory of Nyssa

Guru Nanak Dev

Gustav Glogau

Hajime Tanabe

Han Yong-un

Hans Rookmaaker


Hasidic philosophy

Hayashi Razan

Hayom Yom


Henry Corbin

Herbert McCabe





Hirata Atsutane


Historical materialism

Holy History of Mankind




Hossein Nasr

Hossein Ziai

Huayan school


Human beings in Buddhism

Human extinction


Humanism and Its Aspirations

Humanism in France

Humanism in Germany

Humanist Manifesto

Humanist Manifesto I

Humanist Manifesto II

Humanist Movement

Humanist Society Scotland

Humanistic naturalism

Huston Smith

Ian Ramsey

Ibn al-Nafis

Ibn Arabi



Illtyd Trethowan


Illuminationist philosophy




Incarnational humanism

Incompatible-properties argument

Indefinite monism



Infinite qualitative distinction


Institute for the Secularisation of Islamic Society

Integral humanism (India)


International League of Humanists

Intrinsic finality

Intuition (knowledge)

Invincible error

Invincible ignorance fallacy


Invisible Pink Unicorn


Irenaean theodicy


Is God Dead?

Islam and democracy

Islamic fundamentalism in Iran

Islamic philosophy

Ivan Aguéli

Ivan Vyshenskyi

J. J. C. Smart

J. P. Moreland


Jakob Guttmann (rabbi)

Jakub of Gostynin

James Gustafson

Jay Newman

Jayarāśi Bhaṭṭa


Jean Meslier

Jewish ethics


Jiva Goswami


Johann Friedrich Flatt

Johann Joachim Lange

Johann Nepomuk Oischinger

Johannes Scotus Eriugena

John Calvin

John E. Hare

John Hick

John of Głogów

Joseph de Torre

Joseph Priestley and Dissent

Joseph Runzo

Kalam cosmological argument

Kalpa (aeon)


Kancha Ilaiah

Kang Youwei

Karl Heinrich Heydenreich

Karl Jaspers


Karma in Buddhism


Keith Ward


Kersey Graves

Kitaro Nishida

Klaus Klostermaier

Knight of faith

Kol HaTor


Kumārila Bhaṭṭa

Kurt Almqvist


Lazarus Geiger

Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion

Letter to a Christian Nation

Letters to a Philosophical Unbeliever

Lewis's trilemma

Life of Jesus (Hegel)

Likkutei Sichos

Lineage (Buddhism)

Linji school

List of female mystics

List of new religious movements

Logic in Islamic philosophy

Lutheran scholasticism

Macrocosm and microcosm

Madhusūdana Sarasvatī









Martin Luther


Maximus the Confessor

Maya (illusion)

Meera Nanda

Meister Eckhart

Melville Y. Stewart

Merit (Buddhism)

Mesillat Yesharim

Metaphysical naturalism


Methodios Anthrakites

Michael Gottlieb Birckner

Michael Martin (philosopher)

Michael Oakeshott

Michael Ruse

Middle way

Mind's eye


Miracle of the roses

Mircea Eliade

Mircea Eliade bibliography


Monad (Greek philosophy)


Monistic idealism

Morality without religion

Muhammad Husayn Tabatabaei

Muhammad ibn Muhammad Tabrizi

Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi

Muhammad Iqbal

Mulla Sadra

Mumbo Jumbo (phrase)

Mystical philosophy of antiquity

Mystical realism

Mystical theology


Myth of Er



National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies

National Secular Society

Natural theology

Naturalism (philosophy)

Naturalistic pantheism




Neoplatonism and Christianity

Neutral monism

New Age

New religious movement

New Thought


Nicholas of Kues

Nick Trakakis

Nikolai Lossky



Noble Eightfold Path



Nontheist Friend

Norman Geisler

Numenius of Apamea



Occasion of sin


Odium theologicum

Of Miracles

Olavo de Carvalho

Omega Point



Omnipotence paradox



Omphalos hypothesis

Ontological argument


Opium of the people

Or Adonai

Orchot Tzaddikim

Orlando J. Smith

Osvaldo Lira

Outline of humanism

Outline of theology




Pantheism controversy

Parallelism (philosophy)



Pascal's Wager


Paul Draper (philosopher)

Paul Häberlin

Paul J. Griffiths

Perennial philosophy


Peter Abelard

Peter Geach

Peter Kreeft

Peter Millican

Peter van Inwagen

Phenomenological definition of God

Phenomenology of religion

Phillip H. Wiebe

Philo's view of God


Philosophical Foundations of Marxist-Leninist Atheism

Philosophical theism

Philosophical theology

Philosophy of religion

Philotheus Boehner

Pierre Cally

Political theology

Politics Drawn from the Very Words of Holy Scripture

Postmodern Christianity






Preformation theory


Primum movens

Prince Shōtoku

Problem of evil

Problem of evil in Hinduism

Problem of Hell

Problem of why there is anything at all

Process theology

Proof of the Truthful


Protestant work ethic

Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite


Pseudo atheism


Psychoanalysis and Religion

Quantum mysticism

Quietism (Christian philosophy)

Quinque viae

R. De Staningtona

Rabia al-Adawiyya

Rabindranath Tagore

Ralph Tyler Flewelling


Rational fideism

Rational mysticism

Rational Response Squad

Real atheism

Reality in Buddhism

Rebirth (Buddhism)

Reformational philosophy

Relationship between religion and science


Religion & Ethics Newsweekly

Religion and abortion

Religion and happiness

Religious communism

Religious democracy

Religious humanism

Religious intellectualism in Iran

Religious interpretation

Religious interpretations of the Big Bang theory

Religious law

Religious naturalism

Religious philosophy

Religious skepticism

Religious views on business ethics

Religious views on suicide

Rémi Brague

Renaissance humanism

René Guénon


Richard Carrier

Richard Dawkins

Richard Swinburne


Robert Cummings Neville

Robert Merrihew Adams

Rudolf Otto

Rudolf Seydel

Rule of Three (Wiccan)


Sam Harris (author)



Saṃsāra (Buddhism)

Samuel Maximilian Rieser


Sarah Coakley

Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

Sathya Sai Baba

Sayyid al-Qimni

Sayyid Qutb

Scandal (theology)

School of Saint Victor

Science and Christian Belief


Secular ethics

Secular humanism

Secular saint

Secular theology


Secularism in the Middle East


Sefer ha-Ikkarim

Sefer ha-Qabbalah

Seiichi Hatano

Self-Indication Assumption Doomsday argument rebuttal

Self-referencing doomsday argument rebuttal



Seth Material

Seven Factors of Enlightenment

Shahab al-Din Suhrawardi


Shem Mishmuel





Societas Perfecta

Søren Kierkegaard



Soul dualism


Spiritual materialism

Spiritual philosophy

Sri Aurobindo

Stephen Mulhall

Stephen R. L. Clark

Strong agnosticism

Submission (2004 film)

Sufi metaphysics

Sufi philosophy


Summa contra Gentiles

Summa Theologica


Supreme Being


Suzuki Shōsan

Syed Ali Abbas Jallapuri


Tage Lindbom

Taha Abdurrahman





Tathagatagarbha doctrine



Teleological argument


Ten Commandments

Ten spiritual realms

Tetrad (Greek philosophy)


The Age of Reason

The Case for God

The End of Faith

The Essence of Christianity

The Freethinker (journal)

The God Delusion

The God Makers

The God Makers II

The Guide for the Perplexed

The Incoherence of the Philosophers

The Necessity of Atheism

The Only Possible Argument in Support of a Demonstration of the Existence of God

The Primordial Tradition

The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam

The Teachings of the Mystics

The True Word


Theistic realism


Theodore Drange

Theognostus of Alexandria

Theological aesthetics

Theological determinism

Theological noncognitivism

Theological veto

Theological virtues

Theologico-Political Treatise


Theories of religion

Theosophy (history of philosophy)


Thirtha prabandha

Thomas Aquinas

Thomas Aquinas and the Sacraments

Thomas Jefferson


Thought of Thomas Aquinas


Three marks of existence

Threefold Training

Time and Eternity (philosophy book)

Tomer Devorah

Trademark argument

Traditionalist School


Transcendence (religion)

Transcendental argument for the existence of God


Triad (Greek philosophy)


True-believer syndrome

Turtles all the way down

Twelve Nidānas

Two truths doctrine

Types of Buddha

Ultimate Boeing 747 gambit

Ultimate fate of the universe

Universality (philosophy)

Unmoved mover




Vācaspati Miśra

Varadaraja V. Raman


Victoria Institute


Vincent Miceli



Vipassana movement

Voluntarism (theology)


Walter of St Victor

Wang Chong

War of Anti-Christ with the Church and Christian Civilization

Watchmaker analogy

Weak agnosticism

What I Believe

Why I Am Not a Christian

Willem B. Drees

William Alston

William F. Vallicella

William James

William L. Rowe

William Lane Craig

Witness argument

Wolfgang Smith

Womb Realm


Works by Thomas Aquinas

Works of Madhvacharya

Yamazaki Ansai

Yi Hwang

Yunmen Wenyan


Zhu Xi

Zofia Zdybicka


Jarāmaraṇa is Sanskrit and Pāli for "old age" (jarā) and "death" (maraṇa). In Buddhism, jaramarana is associated with the inevitable decay and death-related suffering of all beings prior to their rebirth within saṃsāra (cyclic existence).

Jarā and maraṇa are identified as the twelfth link within the Twelve Links of Dependent Origination.

Naive dialecticism

Naïve dialecticism is a collection of East Asian public beliefs characterized by the acceptance of contradiction and the expectation of change in everyday life. Within cultural psychology, naïve dialecticism explains some of the cultural differences observed between those who hold dialectical beliefs and those who hold more Westernized beliefs. Individuals who hold dialectical beliefs are primarily members of Confucian influenced cultures, such as in Japan, China, and Korea. Certain researchers have shown that specific aspects of naïve dialecticism have broad implications on cognition, emotion, and behavior. As well, it is sometimes regarded as being more contextual, flexible, holistic, and dialectical as compared with Western thinking and reasoning. Dialecticism is a perceptual framework that applies to all situations and guides all actions, which is called a domain-general thinking style. Naïve dialecticism is an expansion on this research; it is a whole collection of domain-specific beliefs, meaning that there is a tendency to understand a situation in terms of these beliefs but there is variation depending on the context and individual differences Naïve dialecticism contains certain concepts that distinguish it from Western thinking and beliefs, specifically they have different beliefs about change and contradiction. Dialectic thinking involves treating the world as consisting of co-existing extremes or opposites (e.g. hot/cold or light/dark). As a result, they are more likely to expect change from the status quo. Dialectic thinkers also believe that the truth is always somewhere in the middle (doctrine of the mean), which differs from Western beliefs that contradictions must be reconciled because only a single truth is thought to exist Naive dialecticism provides a framework for analysis that is halfway between a macro-level and a micro-level approach. On a macro-level, individualism and collectivism define the social differences between cultures, which influences the specific common beliefs about how the world operates. Naïve dialecticism shares this macro-level framework while also looking at individual and situation-specific differences between people (micro-approach).

Reincarnation (disambiguation)

Reincarnation is the concept that the soul, after biological death, begins a new life in a new body.

Reincarnation and variants may also refer to:

Rebirth (Buddhism)

Tulku, in Tibetan Buddhism


Saṃsāra () is a Sanskrit word that means "wandering" or "world", with the connotation of cyclic, circuitous change. It also refers to the concept of rebirth and "cyclicality of all life, matter, existence", a fundamental assumption of most Indian religions. In short, it is the cycle of death and rebirth. Saṃsāra is sometimes referred to with terms or phrases such as transmigration, karmic cycle, reincarnation, and "cycle of aimless drifting, wandering or mundane existence".The concept of Saṃsāra has roots in the post-Vedic literature; the theory is not discussed in the Vedas themselves. It appears in developed form, but without mechanistic details, in the early Upanishads. The full exposition of the Saṃsāra doctrine is found in Sramanic religions such as Buddhism and Jainism, as well as various schools of Hindu philosophy after about the mid-1st millennium BCE. The Saṃsāra doctrine is tied to the Karma theory of Indian religions, and the liberation from Saṃsāra has been at the core of the spiritual quest of Indian traditions, as well as their internal disagreements. The liberation from Saṃsāra is called Moksha, Nirvana, Mukti or Kaivalya.

Saṃsāra (Buddhism)

Saṃsāra (Sanskrit, Pali; also samsara) in Buddhism is the beginningless cycle of repeated birth, mundane existence and dying again. Samsara is considered to be dukkha, unsatisfactory and painful, perpetuated by desire and avidya (ignorance), and the resulting karma.Rebirths occur in six realms of existence, namely three good realms (heavenly, demi-god, human) and three evil realms (animal, ghosts, hellish). Samsara ends if a person attains nirvana, the "blowing out" of the desires and the gaining of true insight into impermanence and non-self reality.


Vijñāna (Sanskrit) or viññāṇa (Pāli) is translated as "consciousness," "life force," "mind," or "discernment."In the Pāli Canon's Sutta Pitaka's first four nikāyas, viññāṇa is one of three overlapping Pali terms used to refer to the mind, the others being manas and citta. Each is used in the generic and non-technical sense of "mind" in general, but the three are sometimes used in sequence to refer to one's mental processes as a whole. Their primary uses are, however, distinct.

Topics in Buddhism
The Buddha
Key concepts
Major figures


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