saMsAra = Reincarnation?

suresh at suresh at
Tue Feb 14 21:19:39 UTC 1995

> I notice that in most English language textbooks, the word "saMsAra" is 
> given as the Indic translation of "reincarnation."  However, I notice 
> that in my reading of VedAnta texts, "saMsAra" generally means something 
> more like "world."  
> So, my question is: What is the correct translation for the noun 
> "reincarnation" (or, I suppose, "transmigration") in Sanskrit, Hindi, 
> and other Indian languages?  
As a person who indulges talking about language without any formal training,
I use this samsaaram as an example of how the same sanskrit word gets different 
connotation in different vernaculars. In telugu it is primarily used to
mean family, in tamil it is used to refer to wife, in malayalam my friends
say it means "chat" (can somebody confirm?). In Hindi (and also in Sanskrit) 
I believe, it is used to mean world, worldily existence.  Any such examples?
                                Regards, Suresh.  þ suresh at þ

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