The concept of rebirth or reincarnation might be alien to westerners, but to most followers of Taoism and Buddhism in Asia, it is an accepted tenet.
Taoists and Buddhists do not regard rebirth or reincarnation as a mere theory but as a fact verifiable by evidence.
“As a man, casting off worn-out garments, take the new ones, so the dweller in the body, casting off worn-out bodies entered into others that are new.”
Associated with karma is rebirth. As long as karmic force exists there is rebirth, for beings are merely the visible manifestations of this invisible karmic force.
Life does not die at the body's death, nor do the consequence of a dead. Forms are created and destroyed; they come into being, secure their purpose and then die, but the life within knows no such limitations until it reaches its goal - Nirvana.
Death is the death of the body, and as the body comes into being it must one day die. Death is therefore a gateway to a different form of life; one which is strictly limited by the thoughts and acts of the individual.
Death is nothing but the temporary end of this temporary phenomenon. It is not the complete annihilation of this so-called being. The organic life has ceased, but the karmic force which hitherto actuated it has not been destroyed. As the karmic force remains entirely undisturbed by the disintegration of the fleeting body, the passing away of the present dying thought-moment only conditions a fresh consciousness in another birth.
It is karma, rooted in ignorance and craving that conditions rebirth. Past karma conditions the present birth; and present karma, in combination with past karma, conditions the future. The present is the off spring of the past and becomes in turn the parent of the future.
The cause of this karma is ignorance of the Four Noble Truths. Ignorance is therefore, the cause of birth and death; and its transmutation into knowingness is consequently their cessation.
The karmic law cannot be altered by the forgiveness of sins but must be overcome by doing more good and eradicating evil from the mind by your own efforts. Understanding of the law of karma leads to self-reliance.
- Author Unknown