What is the difference between Rebirth and Reincarnation?





So far I’ve gathered that ‘rebirth’ in Buddhism is the circle of samsara – where there is no ‘self’ and we reborn again and again, whereas ‘reincarnation’ is a Hindu belief where people, based on the karma of their current life, reincarnate into all sorts of other creatures and beings depending on whether the karma is good or bad.
I’m not sure if this analogy is correct; it’s just what I’ve deduced so far..


  1. I can say most of you are confused and many things that you guys mentioned have nothing to do with the terms of the question.
    Rebirth simply mean reborn again, it has nothing to do with self or not, just simply the process of born again into life. But in Buddhist concept you can reborn in any cycle or paths of existences.
    Reincarnation is series of rebirths, or more correctly speaking- a cycle of rebirths, which goes from one life to the next. We Buddhist called a never ending “Cycles of Samsara”, all sentient beings (living beings with emotions) are subject to continual rebirths- the Reincarnation or Cycles of Samsara- until one reach Enlightenment then the process will stop.
    What is no-self or Non-self?
    Self is the concept of Ego, we human think we are real, as most people think of me, mine and I, and therefore there must a “me” exist somewhere, else it would negate the purpose of human existence.
    All these concepts are done by a false assumption that there is an entity, or a soul or a “me” ever-existing somewhere in our body or somewhere else.
    When we Buddhist say there is no-self, because the Ego- we so treasured will cease to exist as we died, as with our five senses and our connector self (7th sense) and our ego/ mental self (6th sense), we will left with Tatagathagarbha (8th sense- a treasure records of all our knowledge, past lives and seeds for reborn to any paths of the Samsara.)
    We Buddhist talking about Non-self is the reality when one examine and then realize in the end the self as we so concern about will died as we are dead, all there is left is a primordial awareness and the stored treasures (the Tatagathagarbha).
    I will give you one example, and then you will understand a little better. When you dream dreams last night or whenever, while you were in the dream, all things seems so vivid and emotionally charged.
    You can feel all the anxieties, or love, or hate and or sensual desires, by the time you waken up, the last night dreams are just last night dreams, there is no longer a longing or caring of what happened in the dreams.
    As time goes on, your dreams begin to fade more to the background, and the dreams that got you all excited the night before, are no longer have any effects on you.
    The same things about your life now, which mean so much to you, as you died, this life will be meaningless to your own primordial awareness (no body- not a soul- just a sense of knowing), because events in your life matters little to your primordial awareness.
    You have the memories- because of Tatagathagarbha, but to your primordial consciousness, they are merely the broken records. Uninteresting.

  2. Rebirth is getting a new life after the end of old life.
    Reincarnation is also getting a new life but with the memories of old life attached.

  3. Reincarnation is the belief that a metaphysical entity (i.e. soul) survives death and returns in a new body. Rebirth is the idea that there is no self, or soul or anything like that, but conditions set up in this life can have a causal effect and create a new life (that’s a really shite explanation, but if thats confusing then email me and I can try and explain it in more detail).
    Edit: OK Jason explained it a lot better than me, but we are both saying the same thing.

  4. I’d be happy to help you with this. Reincarnation is the same “self” coming back life after life. So, I’m the same person or soul now that I was in my previous life as a WWII soldier, or a chimney sweep in England, and as a goat that got caught and eaten (for example!).
    Rebirth is the breakdown of the five aggregates of form, feeling, perception, consciousness, and mental formation, and their reaggregation elsewhere. There is no I, me, or mine. The Buddha had a different understanding of what birth and death are, and Ven. Sariputta addresses this in Sammaditthi Sutta (Majjhima Nikaya 9). Birth is the gathering together or those aggregates, and death is their dissipation.
    So one can make the case that we are reborn moment to moment, because our thoughts and feelings change moment to moment!
    The difference is subtle, but important. One is based on the concept of a permanent, unchanging self (reincarnation), whereas the other one postulates that self is an illusory construct of impersonal aggregates (rebirth).

  5. Being re born happens while the person is alive.
    Jesus was the first to use this term, and He used it to stress the necessity for lost mankind to see his need for a second birth (Jhn. 3:3). Our first birth was physical, but our spirit remained dead in God’s sight. When a person receives Christ as Savior, he is BORN AGAIN, for his dead spirit is made alive, or “quickened” (Eph. 2:1). The Holy Spirit takes up residence inside the new believer (Eph. 4:30) and gives him a new life in Christ (Gal. 2:20; II Cor. 5:17). Every real Christian has been born again, and no one has been born again who is not a Christian. Also see I Peter 1:23.
    I don’t believe there is such a thing as reincarnation as is taught today.

  6. I – as a Christian – can tell you that ‘rebirth’ is what is known as being ‘born again’ or believing in Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour…….. Reincarnation isn’t a ‘Christian’ belief………….
    God Bless……………..

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