Gymnosophists etc.

mhcrxlc at mhcrxlc at
Mon May 13 18:34:29 UTC 1996

George Thompson writes:

>The later dating of the UpaniSads is irrelevant if it can be shown (1) that
>notions of reincarnation existed already in the RV [and I think it can be],
>*or* (2) if it can be shown that notions of reincarnation are documented in
>widely divergent IE traditions [and it has been shown].

Claim 1) is fairly unbelievable. I have doubts as to whether it is present
in the Braahma.nas and have not so far managed to tease out anyone willing
to defend the claim that it is. I suspect that in fact claim 1) is only
plausible in the light of claim 2).

My problem with claim 2) is that I don't think it can be shown. One reads
such claims but most seem to me to be dependent on late evidence from a
time when the notion is widespread anyway.

>In my view, reincarnation is one of those cases where borrowing or
>influence is unlikely, >in either direction.

Should you not give reasons for this claim ?

Lance Cousins

Email: mhcrxlc at

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