Reincarnation in Buddhism

QUESTION: Reincarnation in Buddhism - Is it emphasized?

ANSWER:

Reincarnation in Buddhism is not emphasized. In fact the Buddha denied the existence of the soul. This denial, however, was only a part of his total philosophy that denied the existence of all substances because all things, to the Buddha, were impermanent. This impermanence of existence is the first of the three aspects of existence that he called the "the three marks of existence." For the Buddha, the ultimate state of existence was Nirvana wherein all the worldly and impermanent aspects of existence disappear in the realities of something far greater. It consists of a melding of one's being with something that has no boundaries and has been compared to a dewdrop melding with the sea or the dewdrop opening up to receive the sea.

It is a state of selflessness that can be achieved by following the Eightfold Path. This path does not lead to reincarnation in Buddhism, but rather to the state of Nirvana. The path is about living life correctly and has the following steps: Right Views, Right Intent, Right Speech, Right Conduct, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration. And depending upon whether one practices Mahayana Buddhism or Hinayana, also called Theravada Buddhism, one either attempts to follow the Eghtfold Path in daily life to achieve compassion, or one joins a monastery, leaving behind all worldly concerns in order to gain wisdom by following the same path. In both types of Buddhism there is no emphasis on reincarnation. Rather one attempts to achieve Nirvana through the acquisition of compassion or wisdom, both of which can be achieved by following the Eightfold Path.

Buddhism has often been compared to Christianity in that it emphasizes care for one's neighbor in its Eightfold Path. However, one big difference exists. Buddhism emphasizes the individual's ability to achieve salvation, or Nirvana, through personal achievements or works. In Christianity, salvation comes as a free gift from God because of one man's actions, Jesus Christ.

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WHAT DO YOU THINK? - We have all sinned and deserve God's judgment. God, the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him. Jesus, the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loves us so much that He died for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was buried, and rose from the dead according to the Bible. If you truly believe and trust this in your heart, receiving Jesus alone as your Savior, declaring, "Jesus is Lord," you will be saved from judgment and spend eternity with God in heaven.

What is your response?

Yes, today I am deciding to follow Jesus

Yes, I am already a follower of Jesus

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