saMsAra = Reincarnation?

vidya at vidya at
Tue Feb 14 19:27:39 UTC 1995

I would agree that it is wrong to translate reincarnation/rebirth as saMsAra.
Etymologically, there is no doubt a connection, but in terms of usage, I very
much doubt the effectiveness of the translation. "punarjanma" is in fact used
quite often, but it carries with it an implied reference to "punarmaraNa" -
redeath, if you will. 

"saMsAra" as used in a Vedantic context is probably better understood as 
worldly life, not just the world. The material, external world is never 
called saMsAra, to the best of my knowledge. 

S. Vidyasankar


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