If Buddhism derived from Christianity instead of Hinduism, would Reincarnation have been a Buddhist principle?

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Since Hinduism preached perpetual reincarnation in various life forms, isn’t it fair to say that if the Buddha hadn’t been born in a Hindu society, he wouldn’t have preached reincarnation to be true?

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Buddhism kind of came from a belief in reincarnation, as it aims to find a way to break the cycle of reincarnation and cease to be.

Angelically Sexy Sassy

Like most things, it’s possible.
But in my view, Buddhism really boils down to the Four Noble Truths which stand alone and are the experience of life itself. They are reality without the need for belief in rebirth or reincarnation.


well I think buddhism contains many aspects of the hinduism but with other views..

Gorgeoustxwoman Go Spurs Go!

Check out the Essene and Gnostic beliefs, because they both believe in reincarnation.
By the way, most Buddhists believe in reincarnation. It is behind the point of loving each other, because you never know if that other person was once your mother.


in the first 500 years of christianity, reincarnation was a firm belief. over time and with further manipulation of the teachings of the man jesus this was dropped for political/socio economic(whatever) reasons. ie it undermined the authority of the church. …this happened around the time of the inquistion.

Georgina Caulfield

It is my understanding that some forms of Buddhism don’t look at reincarnation as a literal process but, rather, as a metaphor for the idea that we are continuously being reborn every moment of our lives. We are not, really, the long, linear string of experiences and “identity” that we tend to see ourselves as.


The Buddha did not preach reincarnation to be true. When asked about reincarnation, the Buddha was silent. Some sects of Buddhism formally reject reincarnation, while others use it as a metaphor.
Your misconception may make your point though, that Buddhism is steeped in the language of Hinduism.


Buddhism is not derived from Hinduism. The Buddha teaches rebirth because knows and sees it happening, not because he was born in a Hindu society.


Buddhism came before Christianity so it would be a Bit difficult
Christ is the second Buddha since there are to be five Buddhas see if you can name the other three


The Buddha rejected reincarnation.Most buddhists will use the terms rebirth or re becoming.They are fundamentally different from the Hindi concept of reincarnation.

Been There

Yes, it would have still been a Buddhist principle. Because the Church (the Catholic Church, which was the ONLY Christian church until the early 1500’s) originally believed in reincarnation — it was a prominent and well-respected doctrine.
Between 300 and 500 A.D. the Church became increasingly divided on this doctrine. The primary argument seems to have been that this belief was undermining the “power” of the Church … people were not taking their religion seriously enough because they believed they always had future lives in which to be serious Christians. Other Church fathers wanted to stay true to Church beliefs, and not be altering them for expediency. But it was not until 553 and Fifth Ecumenical Council (the Second Council of Constantinople) that the opponent powers actually threw the doctrine of reincarnation out of the church.

Humble One

I don’t think that what religion which precedes buddhism will affect what the buddha’s teachings will be.
What all the buddhas taught in many aeons is Dhamma – ultimate truth/ ultimate reality. It’s not a speculative philosophy, but is the Universal Law found through enlightenment & is preached precisely. It’s not changing with the time & it’s not relative to time, can be tested by practice & therefore who follows it will see the result by himself through his own direct experience.
The world buddha means ‘the one who knows”. Know what ? insight into the nature of reality, complete & perfect sanity, or awareness of the true nature of the universe, knowing things as they are. The ultimate Truth can be realized only by developing the mind through meditation, & not by theorising/speculation. To the Buddha, religion wasn’t a contractual agreement between a divinity & man but a way to enlightenment, a way to liberate mankind by teaching them how to find complete freedom from physical & mental suffering. The Buddha Gautama didn’t create the Law, he re-discovered the Law & expounded it to mankind.
So, whether buddhism derived from Hinduism or Christianity, it only want to speaks the truths as they really are. Hinduism does teach a doctrine of kamma & reincarnation. However, their versions of both these teachings are very different from the buddhist versions. According to Hinduism, an eternal soul (atman) passes from one life to the next, while Buddhism denies that there is such a soul (anatman) saying rather that it’s a constantly changing stream of mental energy that is reborn. It can be said that the buddha later expounded more fuly & accurately what Hindu sages have known/got through insights they developed in meditation about kamma and rebirth (The Buddha’s detailed conception of the connections between action (karma), rebirth and causality is set out in the 12 links of dependent origination.) The Buddha lived at a time of great philosophical creativity in India when many conceptions of the nature of life & death were proposed: materialist -holding that there was no existence, the self is annihilated upon death, believed in a form of cyclic existence, where a being is born, lives, dies and then is re-born, but in the context of a type of determinism or fatalism in which karma played no role, “eternalists”, postulating an eternally existent self/soul comparable to that in Judaic monotheism: the ātman survives death & reincarnates as another living being, based on its karmic inheritance. The Buddha also condemned the caste system, which he considered unjust. According to the him it’s the good & bad actions of a person, not his birth that should determine his caste. He also disagree with the external rites of purification such as the animal sacrifice ritual and bathing in the river. The traditional view of women in Early Buddhism is that they are inferior, so that the ordination of nun’s sangha was a “radical experiment for its time”, but he said that a woman can also attain enlightenment.
Beside that, actually reincarnation is not an unfamiliar concept in Christianity, the early christianity for exactly. Dead Sea Scrolls that was found in Upper Egypt in December, 1945, which is an early Christian writings containing many secrets of the early Christian religion, affirmed the existence of the doctrine of reincarnation being taught among the early Jews & Christians. These Christian mystics, referred to as Christian Gnostics, were ultimately destroyed by the orthodox Church for being heretics. Their sacred writings were destroyed & hidden with the belief that they would be revealed at an appro-priate time in the future. Reincarnation is still known in some of group of many religions such as Judaism.
Read more to investigate this issue in : http://near-death.com/experiences/origen06.html
Actually, Indian and Greek discussion of reincarnation enters the historical record from about the 6th century BCE.
So, it’s does not matter whether Buddhism derived from Hinduism, Christianity or other religions, it’s about Universal Law: The Law of Cause & Effect, The Universal Law of Impermanence etc.


according to my analysis of several suttas, i do not think buddha preached reincarnation.in bahmajala sutta he discaded almost all thinkable views of past and future. he discarded nihilism because belief in it would lead to cravings and agitations. however buddha has speculated that if there is reincarnation reason for that is greed,hatred and delusion.as arhants are devoid of those they cannot be reborn.but later since buddhism is lacking this past and futue views they just theorized it.


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