What's the difference between rebirth and reincarnation in buddhism and hinduism?

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I’ve read the explanation on buddhanet but still don’t get it.

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Obamism -Become His Disciple

none really. The main difference is how the cycle of reincarnation ends. In buddhism its like a candle being snuffed out, in Hunduism its like a drop of water merging with the ocean.

Looking for the Truth

nothing really but hinduism has mokshe and buddhism has nirvina or something lol
mokshe is when ours souls emerge as part of the universe (Bhrama) like a drop of water in the ocean


Rebirth- the process of being reborn.
Reincarnation is a never ending cycle of rebirths without self-control.
As other answerers replied that the Hinduism’s final and ultimate goal, to be merge with Bhrama, a drop back into a ocean, and I guess when they achieve mokshe the Reincarnation cycle ends.
In Buddhism, your Reincarnation ends at when you achieve Enlightenment or realize your Buddha Nature, then you can either go into Nirvana; or continue to help all sentient beings by either stay in Spiritual realms or reborn in human worlds with self-control of your stays and other conditions.


I do not know what do you mean by the English syllables in your question!!!! Hindu religious literature is in Sanskrit. We have Avathaaram (God entering into a carnal body for a specific period to fulfill a given task) =incarnation?)–Punar Janmam is an individual’s Soul taking another birth to clear the balance of Dush Karma(detrimental actions) of the previous birth(s)=rebirth?
I do not know about Bhuddhists’ view.

My Religion Is Bigger than Yours

The biggest difference by far is that Hinduism believes in the immortal soul that transmigrates from one body to another after death, while Buddhists don’t really accept that there’s such a thing. To them, the rebirth really represent the cause and effect of life. One creature dies and its death becomes the seed for a new life. You can interpret this very literally, or allegorically. Tibetan Buddhists are the exception and they seem to believe that a personality (if not exactly a soul) survives the death, but that could be because they’re an offshoot of a very late HIndu Buddhist school.
Another difference, as far as I understand, is that Hindus believe that the soul transmigrates only between humans. You die a human and you are reborn a human. Buddhists, at least the ones from very traditional schools, believe that there are in fact 6 realms of sentient beings, and it’s possible to transmigrate between any of them, depending on your karma. So you could be reborn as a deva (angel), or an animal, or some kind of a ghost.
As far as the reason and purpose of reincarnation, both religions largely agree that it’s the desire that causes this pain of rebirth, and that through rejection of desire you can achieve a salvation and never be reborn again.

John P (I'm only a bug)

Buddhists generally do not believe in reincarnation since that presupposes the existence of a “soul” (atman) or some other form of an “eternal self.” Upon death the atman (soul) enters a new vessel (body) and the cycle continues.
The Buddha taught there is no “self” (anatman): that the concept of an eternal self is nonexistent since everything is impermanent. This is a fundamental difference between Hinduism and Buddhism. Buddhists may, however, believe in rebirth. The difference between the two may seem confusing since rebirth at first glance appears to imply the existence a soul. In rebirth consciousness enters into an new body upon conception but it, as is everything in Buddhism, is impermanent and the process will cease upon attaining enlightenment.
Buddhists use fire as an example to illustrate the concept of rebirth. If you transfer the flame from a lighted candle to an unlit candle, the new flame is contingent on the old flame for its existence but they are not the same flame. There is continuity between the two but they are distinct. Reincarnation would mean that the old flame is exactly the same as the new flame. Rebirth recognizes there is a contiguous relationship of one life to the other but each is otherwise distinct.
The question of rebirth was asked by the Indo-Greek King Milinda in approximately 100 BCE of the Buddhist sage Nagasena.
King Milinda once asked the Buddhist sage Nagasena: “He who is born, Nagasena, does he remain the same or become another?”
“Neither the same nor another.”
“Give me an illustration.”
“Suppose a man, O king, were to light a lamp, would it burn the night through?”
“Yes, it might do so.”
“Now, is it the same flame that burns in the first watch of the night, Sir, and in the second?”
“Or the same that burns in the second watch and in the third?”
“Then is there one lamp in the first watch, and another in the second, and another in the third?”
‘No. The light comes from the same lamp all the night through.’
“Just so, O king, is the continuity of a person or thing maintained. One comes into being, another passes away; and the rebirth is, as it were, simultaneous. Thus neither as the same nor as another does a man go on to the last phase of his self-consciousness.” ~from “The Questions of King Milinda” translated by T. W. Rhys Davids see http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/sbe35/sbe3505.htm
The Buddha Shakyamuni taught there is no self, no soul (anatman) in his teachings yet, in the Aggivaccagotta Sutta, it is one of the ten (some say fourteen) unanswered questions. The Buddha essentially states it is futile to be concerned with certain questions pondered by various sects that created heated debates at the time. In a meeting with the wandering ascetic Vaccha, the Buddha explained the futility in attempting to determine the existence of a soul (atman). The following is a portion of the discourse.
“…no…the position that ‘the soul and the body are the same’ is a thicket of views, a wilderness of views, a contortion of views, a writhing of views, a fetter of views. It is accompanied by suffering, distress, despair, and fever, and it does not lead to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation; to calm, direct knowledge, full Awakening, Unbinding…the position that ‘the soul is one thing and the body another’ is a thicket of views, a wilderness of views, a contortion of views, a writhing of views, a fetter of views. It is accompanied by suffering, distress, despair, and fever, and it does not lead to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation; to calm, direct knowledge, full Awakening, Unbinding.” (“Majjhima Nikaya” : Sutta 72, The Aggivaccagotta Sutta from http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.072.than.html )
As I understand the above, the Buddha is stating simply it is of no importance to debate whether or not the soul exists except to ensnare the individual in an unanswerable concept.
Hope this is of some help in answering a difficult question.
May all be at peace.


Buddhistic reincarnation is Anatmic – meaning that there is no soul which gets transferred from one life to another. As per hinduism, the soul takes a new body while being reborn.

Swaminathan V

If you asked this question to Buddha and Krishna, I am confident that they would both agree that there is no difference. Their respective followers, however, have learned to see differences 🙂


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