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WHAT DOES KARMA AND DHARMA HAVE TO DO WITH REINCARNATION?

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How are they related to reincarnation?

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He who believes in Karma does not condemn even the most corrupt, for they, too, have their chance to reform themselves at any moment. Though bound to suffer in woeful states, they have hope of attaining eternal Peace. By their own doings they have created their own Hells, and by their own doings they can create their own Heavens, too.
To understand reincarnation, we need to understand the nature of our mind, and how our body and mind are separate entities.
If we understand the nature of the mind, we can understand the existence of past and future lives. Many people believe that when the body disintegrates at death, the continuum of the mind ceases and the mind becomes non-existent, like a candle flame going out when all the wax has burned. In the Buddhist scriptures, our body is compared to a guesthouse and our mind to a guest dwelling within it. When we die, our mind leaves our body and goes to the next life, just like a guest leaving a guesthouse and going somewhere else.
Understanding how our body and mind are separate entities, we can understand how even though the body disintegrates at death, the continuum of the mind remains unbroken. Instead of ceasing, the mind simply leaves the present body and goes to the next life. For ordinary beings, therefore, rather than releasing us from suffering, death only brings new sufferings. Not understanding this, many people destroy their precious human life by committing suicide.

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I don't know much about Dharma, but the more good karma you rake in during this life will determine the next life you have after reincarnation. The more good karma you have the better your next life will be. If you do evil then you would be reincarnated as a lower life form.

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Karma and Dharma are the causes and reincarnation is the effect .So the relationship between Karma , dharma and reincarnation is the same as between causes and effect.this is in a nutshell .for a detailed explanation , you will have to study patiently a lot of stories in the Hindu mythology.

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They are what the "body" is........

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Dharma is the word of the Buddha. Karma is the sum of your good works and your level of spiritual attainment. Most people who believe in reincarnation, Buddhists and Hindus alike, believe that the circumstances of one's next life are determined by the karma we carry with us from one life to the next. The Buddha taught that, through meditation and detachment from worldly desires (i.e., materialsim), we could become enlightened and break the chain of endless incarnations.

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Good evening, Lkjk.
The concept of "karma" ("kamma") is probably one of the most misunderstood yet readily recognized words in the Buddhist lexicon. Karma is not as some would believe a predestination to performing an act in our present life but a predisposition to an action. In fact, karma means simply "action". In Buddhism karma (an action) is seen as either virtuous (skillful) or non-virtuous (unskillful) since the term "karma" simply means "action". Karma as I understand results in causality for one's intentional actions and/or thoughts and is a key aspect in Buddhism.
Buddhists do not believe in "sin" but rather in skillful or unskillful actions. Skillful, or positive, acts are not performed in hopes of attaining a heavenly reward. They are performed in "metta" or out of loving-kindness. Likewise, unskillful or negative acts are avoided since they do not accomplish anything positive. There is also the aspect of "karma" or "action" with skillful actions accruing positive merit while unskillful actions accrue the opposite but this concept gets a little too involved for the general nature of your question.
But one shouldn't berate one's self in having performed unskillful actions. Yes, there should be regret over the act but don't make yourself a whipping post. As Sogyal Rinpoche said, "Whatever is happening to us now mirrors our past karma. If we know that, and know it truly, whenever suffering and difficulties befall us, we do not view them particularly as failures or catastrophes, or see suffering as a punishment in any way. Nor do we blame ourselves or indulge in self-hatred….In Tibet we say: 'Negative action has one good quality: it can be purified.' So there is always hope. Even murderers and the most hardened criminals can change and overcome the conditioning that led them to their crimes. Our present condition, if we use it skillfully and with wisdom, can be an inspiration to free ourselves from the bondage of suffering." (from "The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying")
We Buddhists believe that, since there is rebirth (not re-incarnation), all beings at one point or another have been our mothers. With this in mind we believe taking a life, any life, is unskillful except in the most extreme of situations and should be avoided since it would be essentially matricide.
Dharma (or dhamma) when capitalized (Dharma) refers to the actual teachings of the Buddha. But it can also be spelled with a lower case "d" as in "dharma". When spelled with a lower case, it generally refers to the way things are or the laws of nature (see http://www.buddhanet.net/4noble32.htm ).
Hope this is of some help.
May all be at peace.
John

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