Eastern Spirituality

Glossary Contents: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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The cycle of birth and rebirth; the world as commonly experienced. Saṃsāra (Sanskrit, Pali; also samsara) is a Buddhist term that literally means "continuous movement" and is commonly translated as "cyclic existence", "cycle of existence", etc. Within Buddhism, samsara is defined as the continual repetitive cycle of birth and death that arises from ordinary beings' grasping and fixating on a self and experiences. Specifically, samsara refers to the process of cycling through one rebirth after another within the six realms of existence, where each realm can be understood as either a physical realm or a psychological state characterized by a particular type of suffering. Samsara arises out of avidya (ignorance) and is characterized by dukkha (suffering, anxiety, dissatisfaction). In the Buddhist view, liberation from samsara is possible by following the Buddhist path.

Saṃsāra (Wylie: khor ba, Standard Tibetan IPA: [kʰoːwɔ]), is the repeating cycle of birth, life and death (reincarnation) as well as one's actions and consequences in the past, present, and future in Hinduism, Buddhism, Bon, Jainism, Taoism, and Sikhism.

According to these religions, a person's current life is only one of many—stretching back before birth into past existences and reaching forward beyond death into future incarnations. During the course of each life the quality of the actions (karma) performed determine the future destiny of each person. The Buddha taught that there is no beginning to this cycle but that it can be ended through perceiving reality. The goal of these religions is to realize this truth, the achievement of which (like ripening of a fruit) is moksha or nirvana (liberation).

In popular use, samsara may refer to the world (in the sense of the various worldly activities which occupy ordinary, ignorant human beings), the various sufferings thereof; or (mistakenly) the unsettled and agitated mind through which reality is perceived.

Example via www.ramdass.org: Lama Norlha Rinpoche

Example via www.mindpodnetwork.com: Siddhartha: Everything is Necessary

Glossary Contents: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z