Why I believe Buddhism and Buddhist belief are false.

1. What is Buddhism.
2. Who is Buddha.
3. What is karma and reincarnation.
4. Theory explains phenomena.
5. Reincarnation is a theory
6. Reincarnation contradicts the phenomenon of mediums invoking the spirit of the dead.
7. Spirit possession theory explains all these phenomena.
. Demon  possession.
9. Deception.
10. Works  versus  grace.
11. Conclusion

What is Buddhism.
        Buddhism  is  a  widespread  Asian  religion  or  philosophy  founded  by  Siddartha  Gautama  (Buddha;c.563-c.460 BC)  in  north  east  India  in  the  5th  century  BC,  which  teaches  that  elimination  of  the  self  and  earthly  desires  is  the  route  to  enlightenment
There are two main schools of thought in Buddhism, the Theravada and the Mahanyana,
Theravada Buddhists believe they must personally eradicate their mental defilements and develop all the great virtues in order to gain their final salvation by following the method and example prescribed by the Buddha. They   respect Bodhisattvas but do not regard them as saviors. 
In the Mahayana school of thought, the Bodhisattvas play an important role by showing others the path to attain Nibbana. A Bodhisattva is a   person who is able to be released from Samsara and reaching Nibbana but delays doing so through compassion for suffering beings.  
       The practice of Buddhism has been modified by local customs, producing distinct varieties of worship.
They include the Indian, Tibetan, Ceylonese (Sri Lankan), Burmese, Thai, Cambodian, Chinese and  Japanese varieties. 
       It is claimed that   the Siddartha Gautama's way of life and doctrine were substantially different from the Hindu (Vedic and Brahmanic) believing people in India.  
        Yet he embraced the Hindu beliefs of Karma and rebirth explaining it as a natural law of cause and effect. Hence
Buddhism is often considered as an off-shoot of Hinduism because it shares with Hinduism its core beliefs of Karma and reincarnation. It also shares many common terms, some of which are:  Dharma, Samsara, Mantra, Samadhi and Aum. 
What distinguishes it from Hinduism is that it does not invoke the existence of gods. 
        Although claiming to be non theistic, yet the practice of Buddhism involves worship of the statue or image of Siddartha Gautama. Buddhists claim is that these images are not idols but are symbolic representations of his great qualities
One of his original concepts is that of dependent origination. It claims that that life or the world is built on a set of relations, in which the arising and cessation of factors depend on some other factors which condition them so that all phenomena in this universe are relative, conditioned states and do not arise independently of supportive conditions. Hence Buddhism does not support the concept of a creator or first cause. Since everything is conditioned, relative, and interdependent, there is nothing in this world which could be regarded as a permanent entity, variously regarded as an ego or an eternal soul.
        This provided the basis for another original concept
called the Anatta doctrine, interpreted as the absence of a distinct soul, self and ego for each person. 
        Yet he was of the opinion that the sum total of the Karma in the form of a consciousness for each person is distinct and continues after bodily death by reincarnating in another body.
He introduced the idea of the Four Noble Truths, Suffering, the Arising of Suffering, the ceasing of Suffering, and the approach to the ceasing of Suffering.
        Another original concept introduced  is The Eightfold path of a righteous life consisting of  Right Speech,
Sila Right Action Morality, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Samadhi Right Mindfulness Mental culture, Right Concentration, Right Understanding, Panna Right Thoughts Wisdom.
     The adherence to this path would bring a Buddhist devotee closer to the salvation called Nibbana.
        In Buddhism,  there is no such thing as sin as explained by other religions. Sin is merely unskillful or unwholesome action resulting in further suffering in the present life or future lives.
His rejection of the caste system appealed especially to the untouchables.

2. Who is Buddha.
        A Buddhist apologist, K.Sri Dhammananda describes Buddha as follows:
        Gautama Buddha, the founder of what came to be known as Buddhism, lived in Northern India in the 6th century B.C. His personal name was Siddhartha, and family name Gotama. The name 'Buddha' was given to Him after He attained Enlightenment and realized the Truth. It means the 'Awakened' or the 'Enlightened One'. He generally called Himself the Tathagata, while His followers called Him Bhagava, the Blessed One. Others spoke of Him as Gotama or Sakyamuni.
        He was born a prince who seemed to have everything. He had a luxurious upbringing and His family was of pure descent on both sides. He was the heir to the throne, extremely handsome, inspiring trust, stately and gifted with great beauty of complexion and fine presence. At sixteen He married His cousin named Yasodhara who bore Him a son whom they called Rahula. His wife was majestic, cheerful day and night, and full of dignity and grace.
        Despite all this, He felt trapped amidst the luxury like a bird in a golden cage. During a visit to the city one day, He saw what is known as the 'Four Sights', that is , an old man, a sick man, a dead man, and a holy recluse. When He saw the sights, one after another, the realization came to Him that, 'it is subject to age and death'. He asked, 'Where is the realm of life in which there is neither age nor death?' The sight of the recluse, who was calm for having given up the craving for material life, gave him the clue that the first step in His search for Truth was Renunciation.
        Determined to find the way out of these universal sufferings, He decided to leave home to find the cure not for Himself only, but for all mankind. One night in His twenty-ninth year, He bade His sleeping wife and son a silent farewell, saddled His great white horse, and rode off toward the forest.
        His renunciation is unprecedented in history. He left at the height of youth, from pleasures to difficulties, from certainty of material security to uncertainty, from a position of wealth and power to that of a wandering ascetic who took shelter in the cave and forest, with His ragged robe as the only protection against the blazing sun, rain and winter winds. He renounced His position, wealth, promise of prestige and power, and a life filled with love and hope in exchange for the search for Truth which no one had found.
        For six long years, He labored to find the Truth. He studied under the foremost masters of the day, and learned all these religious teachers could teach Him. When He could not find what He was looking for, He joined a band of ascetics and tortured His body so as to break its power and crush its interference, since it was believed that Truth could be found this way. A man of enormous energy and will power, He outdid other ascetics in every austerity they proposed. While fasting, He ate so little that when He took hold of the skin of His stomach, He actually touched His spine. He pushed Himself to the extent that no man had done and yet lived. He, too, would have certainly died had He not realized the futility of self-mortification, and decided to practise moderation instead.
        On the full moon night of the month of Vesakha, He sat under the Bodhi tree at Gaya, wrapped in deep meditation. It was then that His mind burst the bubble of the universe and realized the true nature of all life and all things. At the age of 35 years, He was transformed from an earnest truth seeker into the Buddha, the Enlightened One.
        For nearly half a century, the Buddha walked on the dusty paths of India Teaching the Dhamma so that those who heard and practised could be ennobled and free. He founded an order of monks and nuns, challenged the caste system, raised the status of women, taught religious freedom and free inquiry, opened the gates of deliverance to all, in every condition of life, high or low, saint or sinner, and ennobled the lives of criminals like Angulimala and courtesans like Ambapali.
        He was towering in wisdom and intellect. Every problem was analyzed in component parts and then reassembled in logical order with the meaning made clear. None could defeat Him in dialogue. An unequaled teacher, He still is the foremost analyst of the mind and phenomena even up to the present day. For the first time in history, He gave men the power to think for themselves, raised the worth of mankind, and showed that man can reach to the highest knowledge and supreme Enlightenment by his own efforts.
        Despite His peerless wisdom and royal lineage, He was never removed from the simple villager. Surface distinctions of class and caste meant little to Him. No one was too little or low for Him to help. Often when an outcast, or poor and dejected came to Him, his self-respect was restored and he turned from the ignoble life to that of a noble being.
        The Buddha was full of compassion(karuna)and wisdom(panna), knowing how and what to teach each individual for his own benefit according to his level and capabilities. He was known to have walked long distances to help one single person.
        He was affectionate and devoted to His disciples, always inquiring after their well-being and progress. When staying at the monastery, He paid daily visits to the sick wards. His compassion for the sick can be seen from His advice, 'He who attends the sick, attends on me.' The Buddha kept order and discipline on the basis of mutual respect. King Pasenadi could not understand how the Buddha maintained such order and discipline in the community of monks, when he as a king with the power to punish, could not maintain it as well in his court.
        The Buddha did not claim to have 'created' worldly conditions, universal phenomena, or the Universal Law which we call the 'Dhamma'. Although described as lokavidu or 'knower of the worlds', He was not regarded as the sole custodian of the Universal Laws. He freely acknowledge that the Dhamma, together with the working of the cosmos, is timeless, it has no creator and is independent in the absolute sense. Every conditioned thing that exists in the cosmos is subject to the operation of Dhamma. What the Buddha did (like all the other Buddhas before Him) was to rediscover this infallible Truth and make it known to mankind. In discovering the Truth, He also found the means whereby one could ultimately free oneself from being subjected to the endless cycle of conditioning, with its attendant evils of unsatisfactoriness.
        After forty-five years of ministry, the Buddha passed away at the age of eighty at kusinara, leaving behind thousands of followers, monks and nuns, and a vast treasure store of Dhamma Teaching. The impact of His great love and dedication is still felt today.

3. What is karma and reincarnation.
         Karma  is  the  sum  of  a  person’s  actions  in  this  and  previous  states  of  existence,  viewed  as  affecting  their  future  fates.  (ie   the effects of a person's actions that determine his destiny in his next incarnation)  
The  origin  of  this  word  is  from  the  Sanskrit  karman  which  means  ‘action _  effect _  fate’.  

        Reincarnation  is  the  rebirth  of  a  soul  in  a  new  body. 
Incarnation  is   a  spirit  embodied  in  a  living  human  from.  
To  incarnate  is  to  be  invested  in a  bodily  form.
The  origin of  this  word  is  from the  Latin  in-  carn-  which  means  ‘into’  ‘flesh’.

Reincarnation is a necessary adjunct to Karma. This is because incomplete punishment for a person’s evil deeds in this life will be completed in future lives.
        How else would punishment for the evil deeds of Pol Pot and Idi Amin be justly meted out as these two persons died peacefully in ripe old age.   
        It is believed that  reincarnation   takes  place  at  conception  or   when  the  baby  is  in  the  womb  or  at  birth.

4. Theory explains phenomena.
     A phenomenon is a fact that is observed to exist or happen.
A theory is a system of ideas intended to explain phenomena.    
        Consistency is a harmonious agreement amongst things or parts without contradictions.   
        If a phenomenon contradicts a theory, then the theory is inconsistent and is probably false.
        If this phenomenon is consistent with another theory, then the second theory should replace the first theory.   

5. Reincarnation is a theory to explain  the phenomena of persons being able to recall events experienced by individuals who have died.    
The  strongest  evidence  supporting  the  theory  of  reincarnation  is  from  the  work  of  Ian  Stevenson  who  documented  numerous  cases  of  children  ‘recalling’  historical   events  and  relatives  of  deceased  individuals.  Some  of  these  amazing  claims  have  been  corroborated.  
(Ref:  Old  Souls,  the  scientific  evidence  for  past  lives  by  Tom  Shroder, published  by  Simon &  Schuster,  Rockefeller  Center,  1230,  Ave of the Americas,  New  York,  NY  10020.  ISBN  0-684-85192-X 

6. Reincarnation contradicts the phenomenon of mediums invoking the spirit of the dead.
        Reincarnation cannot explain how temple mediums are able to invoke the spirits of the departed. 
        If the spirit of the departed has already reincarnated into another body, how can it also appear in the temple medium?

7. Spirit possession theory explains all these phenomena.
        To  possess  is  to  have  complete  power  over.  
The  origin  of  this  word  is  from  the  Latin  possidere   which  means   occupy,  hold’.
        Spirit  possession   is  the  state  of  being  under  complete  control  of  a  spirit.
        Spirit  possession  is  real  ( Mark 1:23-25,  5:1-20,  7:24-30,  9:17-27).
        Spirit  possession  can  explain 
explain how temple mediums are able to invoke the spirits of the departed. It can also explain how some persons are able to accurately recall events experienced by individuals who have long since died. 
        A  definite  case  of  spirit  possession  is  described  by  Roy  Stemman  about  a  Thai  Buddhist  monk  who  was  born  one  day  before  his  previous  body  died.  
This  case  cannot  be  explained  by  reincarnation  because  it  would  mean  that  the  baby  was  born  without  a  spirit  and  remained  without  a  spirit  for one  day.  
The  logical  explanation  is  that  the  baby  was  already  born  with  an  original  spiritOne day after birth,  his  body  became  inhabited or possessed  by  another  spirit. 
(Reincarnation,  Amazing  True  Cases  From  Around  The  World  by  Roy  Stemman (Editor  of  Reincarnation  International),  published  by  Judy  Piatkus  Ltd. Windmill  Street, London  W1P 1HF. ISBN 0-7499-1708-3 hbk,  ISBN 0-7499-1787-3 pbk  ©1997  (Ref: in  page  38))

        I  believe  the  spirit  that  possesses  the  body  of  a  person  suppresses  the  expression  of  the  original  spirit  of  that  person. I  believe  all  possessing  spirits  are  evil,  otherwise  they  would  not  possess.  
I  believe  the  Holy  Spirit  does  not  possess.  On  the  contrary,  the  Holy  Spirit  renders  a  person  free  to  choose.   

Demon  possession.
        A  demon  is  an  evil  spirit  or  devil.  A  person  is  demon  possessed  if  he  is  completely   controlled  by  an  evil  spirit.  
        I  believe  demons  are  fallen  angels,  Satan  being  chief  among  them.  
        A  medium  is  a  person  who  claims  to  be  able  to  communicate  between  the  dead  and  the  living.
Temple  mediums  appear  to  be  able  to  summon  the  spirit  of  the  departed.  They  go  into  a  trance,  as  if  possessed,  before  they  appear  to  talk  like  the  deceased  person.  I  believe  that  the  demonic  spirit  which  has  possessed  the  departed  individual  was  invited  by  the  medium  to  speak  through  the  medium. 
        I  believe  yoga  meditation,  which  involves  a  process  of  emptying  oneself  of  logic  and  reason,  is  a  ploy  by  Satan  to  deceive  the  devotee  into  preparing  himself  as  fertile  ground  for  demon  possession. 
        Demon  possession  is  evil  because  it  enslaves  and  suppresses  the  free  will  of  the  individual.
        When  the  Hindu  or  Buddhist  parents  bring  their  children  to  their  temples,  they  are  actually  offering  their  children  as  human  sacrifice  to  demons  for   possession.
        I  believe  when  an  unsaved  person’s   body  dies,  his  original  spirit  is  released  into  the  spirit  realm  to  dwell  there  until  the  final  judgment   because  it  is  unable  to  enter  the Kingdom  of  Heaven.
        Through  Hinduism  and  Buddhism,  Satan  and  his  fellow  demonic  spirits  have  deceived  many  generations  of  people  in  large  parts of  the  world  into  unwittingly  allowing   their  bodies  and  souls  to  be  possessed.   This  permits  the demonic  spirits  to  'reincarnate'  in  them  serially.
        I  believe  the  spirit  realm  is  the  ‘valley  of  the  shadow  of  death’ (Psalm 23:4).
        I  believe  the  original  spirit  of  an  individual  is  from  Adonai  and  is  eternal.  When  an  individual’s  body  dies,  his  original  spirit  leaves  the  body  and  enters  the  spirit  realm. 
        When  a  person  accepts  Jesus  as  Savior,  his  or her  spirit  becomes  a  sibling  of   Yeshua  who  is  the  first  born  of  Adonai (Abba).   As  this  spirit  is  a  relative  of  Abba,  it  is  permitted  to  enter  and  ‘dwell  in  the  house  of  the  Lord  forever’ (Psalm  23:6). 
        If  a  person,  during  his  lifetime,  has  not  accepted  Yeshua  as  his  Savior,  his  spirit  is  not  sanctified (separated as holy).  Even  if  he  has  performed  many  miracles  in  the  name  of  Adonai,  his  spirit  would  not  be  permitted  to  enter  the  kingdom  of  heaven (Matthew  7: 21-23).  
When  his  body  dies,  his  spirit  would  remain  in  the  spirit  realm  until  the  day  of  final  judgment, when  he  will  be  cast  into  the  lake  of  fire  to  be  tormented  forever  (Revelation 20:11-15).

9. Deception.
     Deception  means  to  deliberately   mislead  or  misrepresent  the  truth;  to  swindle,  hoax,  cheat,  dupe,  fool,  or  entrap.
        I  believe the theory of spirit possession is able to explain all the phenomena attributed to the theory of reincarnation as well as explain the phenomenon of invoking the spirits of the departed.   
        Because of this, I consider the theory of reincarnation as redundant, unnecessary and even false.
        As the theory of reincarnation is open to question, it then follows that the theory of karma is also open to question.   
        As the theories of reincarnation and karma form the foundations of  Hinduism, Buddhism and New Age, then these systems of belief are also open to question.
        Then what is the purpose of the theory of reincarnation?   
        I believe the purpose is deception  
        I  believe  this  concept  of  Nirvana  is  a  deception  hatched  by  Satan  and  his  fellow  demonic  spirits    
        I  believe  the  demonic  spirit  seeks  to  escape  from  the  valley  of  the  shadow  of  death  and  the  eventual  great  white  throne  judgment  and  inevitable  punishment  in  the  lake  of  fire.   
        I  believe  the  demonic  spirit  believes  that  by  doing  good  works  it  can  seek  favor  with  Adonai  in order to enter  the  kingdom  of  heaven.  
        I  believe  on  entry  into  the  kingdom  of  heaven,  these demons,  under  the  leadership  of  Satan,  will,  once  again,  attempt  to  overthrow  Adonai.   
        Since  the  demonic  spirit  is  unable  to  do  good  deeds  in  the  spirit  form,  it  needs  to  incarnate ( to  become  invested  in  a  bodily  form)  by  possessing  the  body  of  some  unsuspecting  person  in  order  to  do  good  deeds.   
        Hence  it  needs  to  ‘re-incarnate’.  
        ‘Reincarnation’  does  not  occur  with  the  original  spirit  of  an  individual.  ‘Reincarnation’  occurs  with  demonic  spirits.  They  hop  from  body  to  body,  possessing  and  suppressing  the  original  spirit  within  each  new  body.   
        Through  Hinduism  and  Buddhism,  and  their  core  belief  of  karma  and  reincarnation,  Satan  has  deceived  many  people  into  accepting  and  believing  that  by  doing  good  works,  a  person  would  qualify  to  have  his  spirit   elevated  from  one  lifetime  to  the  next  in  order  to  eventually  reach  a  state  of  spiritual  ‘enlightenment’.  
        I  believe  even  rational  and  logical  thinking  persons  can  choose  to  believe  in  ‘reincarnation’.  This  is  because they  have  been  deceived   by  demonic  spirits. They  are  rendered  blind  to  reason  and  logic  regarding  spiritual  matters.
Deception  is  the  signature  of  Satan.
        I  believe  Adonai  created  man  to  fellowship  with. Adonai  gave  man  dominion  over  the  earth.  
The  first  action  of  Satan  to  Adam  and Eve  was  deception.  Satan  possessed  the  serpent  and  duped  Eve  and  Adam  into  eating  the  fruit  of  the  tree of  knowledge  of  good  and  evil,  the  one  which  Adonai  specifically  forbade  them  to  eat.  (Genesis  3:1-7)
        By  this  hoax,  Satan  cheated   mankind   of  his  right  standing  with  Adonai  and  dominion  over  the  earth.  Instead,  mankind,  including  myself  came  under  dominion  of  Satan  and  was  headed  for  certain  death.  
In  the  ‘fallen’  state,  I  am  unable  to  fellowship  with Adonai.  However,  Adonai  still  wanted  to  fellowship  with  me. 
        The  triune  Godhead  sent  a  part  of  Himself,   Yeshua  to  earth  as  a  man  to  die  and  bear  the  total  punishment  for  the  disobedience (sin)  of  all  of  mankind  so  that  in  believing  in  this  sacrifice,  my   fallen  spiritual  self  will  die  and  become  reborn  as  a  sibling of  Christ  Yeshua
        As  a  new  creation (2Corinthians 5:17),  I  can  directly  fellowship  with  Adonai  by  casting  all  my  cares  to  Him,  secure  in  the  belief  that  I  have  absolute  right-standing  with  Him  ( Psalm 55:22,  1 Peter 5:7)  
When  I  believe  in  Yeshua  as  my  savior,  I  am  freed  from  bondage to  Satan.  Satan  is  powerless  to  prevent  me  from  believing  the  good  news  of  the  divine  exchange. 
        What  he  can  do  is  to attempt  to  deceive  me  with  alternative  routes  to  Adonai  like  Hinduism,  Buddhism,  New  Age  and  Islam.  
Satan  inspired  Hinduism  and  Buddhism  with  the  core  beliefs  of  Karma  and  reincarnation.  
The  concept  of   reincarnation    has  been  debunked  by  the  concept  of  demonic  spirit  possession  explaining  all  the  ‘evidence’  proffered  for  reincarnation. 
        Hence  reincarnation  is  a  lie  and  Hinduism,  Buddhism,  and  New  Age  beliefs  are  deceptions.  They  bear  the  signature  of  Satan.  
With  the  death  burial  and  resurrection  of  Yeshua,  Satan  has  had  been  stripped  of  his  power  over  me  and  over  anyone  else  who  believe  in  the  risen  Yeshua  Christ.  
        The  demonic  possessing  spirit  prevents  the  person  from  hearing  and  understanding  the  good  news  of  Grace.  
In  order  to  set  free  any  person  under  bondage  of  demonic  spirits,  one  can  drive  out  demons  by  calling  on  the  name  of  Yeshua  because  ‘at  the  name  of  Yeshua,  every  knee  will  bow’  (Philippians  2:10). 
        Once  liberated,  that  person, if chosen by Adonai,  would  be  able  to  see  and  believe  the  Gospel (good news)  which  is  Adonai  so  loved  the  world  that  he  gave  his  one  and  only  Son  so  that  whoever  believes  in  him  shall  not  perish  but  have  eternal  life (John 3:16).  

10. Works  versus  grace.
        Most  religions  include  in  their  system  of  beliefs  the  belief  that  doing  good  deeds  and  avoiding  bad  deeds  make  a  person  more  spiritually  ‘pure’  and  therefore  more  acceptable  by  the  creator.
         I  believe  one  of  the  main  deceptions  of  Satan  is  the  belief  that  ‘do  good  gets  good  and  do  bad  gets  bad  and   that  if  a  person’s  good  deeds  outnumber  the  bad,  he  gets  to  enter  heaven.  This  is  contrary  to  my  belief  that  a  person  can  never  by  his  good  deeds  qualify  for  entry  into  heaven.  It  is  only  by  the  grace  of  Abba  that  those  who  have  been  chosen  will  be  invited  into  heaven.
        Grace  Christianity  is  the  only  belief  system  which  holds  that  nothing   man  does   will  qualify  him  to  be  acceptable  by  Adonai,  and  that  it  is  only  by  the  grace  of  Adonai  is  man  accepted  by  Adonai.    The  grace  of  Adonai  is  His  son,  Yeshua.  Only  by   accepting  Yeshua  as  my  personal  savior  can  I  be  accepted  by  Adonai.  All  other  ways,  including  doing  good  deeds  count  for  nothing.  Yeshua's  voluntary  death  at  the  cross  permitted  an  exchange  to  take  place,  his  life  for  mankind’s  death,  his  perfection  for  man’s  imperfection,  his  goodness  for  man’s  evil  etc.   Also,  Yeshua  came  to  life  again  and  returned  to  his  father  the  creator.
        Because  I  choose  to  accept  Yeshua  as  my  personal  savior,  I  become  a  sibling  of  Yeshua.  At  the  moment  of  my  bodily  death,  as  a  relative  of  Adonai,  my spirit  can  then  enter and ‘dwell in  the   house  of  the  Lord  forever’ (Psalm 23:6).  Because  I  believe  in  Yeshua,  my  spirit  welcomes  the  Holy  Spirit.  With  the  Holy  Spirit  dwelling  within  me,  all  possessing  spirits  would  be  driven  out.  The  Holy  Spirit  will never  leave  me  nor  forsake  me  forever (Deuteronomy  31:8). 
        When  an  individual  does  not  have  the  Holy  Spirit  dwelling  within,  he  is  open  to  demonic  spirit  possession  and  is  especially  vulnerable  when  depressed  or  despondent.

11. Conclusion.
         I  believe  Grace  Christianity  is  the  only  way  of  reaching  my  creator,  Adonai.  All  other  ways,  though  appealing,  are  not  genuine  and  may  lead  to  possession  by  demons.  
Because  I  believe  in  free choice  after  making  my  choice,  I  choose  freedom  from  demon  possession  by   calling  upon  the  name  of  Yeshua. 


Back to Which religion should I choose to believe in


The following is a collection of relevant definitions and comments.
My own comments and beliefs are in the Times New Roman font.   
Quotations from other sources are in the Arial narrow font.  

        In  Hinduism,  atman is  the  spiritual  life  principle  of  the  universe,  especially  when  regarded  as  existing  within  the  real  self  of  the  individual. The  origin  of  this  word  is  from  the  Sanskrit  ătman  which  means  ‘essence’.  

        In  Hindu  belief,  an  avatar  is  a  manifestation  of  a  deity  or  released  soul  in  bodily  form  on  earth.  It  is  also defined  as  an  incarnation  of  god  on  earth. The plural  form  is  avatara.
        An  example  is  Krishna.  One  living  guru,  Sai  Baba  claims  to  be  an  avatar.  He  has  been  reputed  to  have  performed  many  miracles.

A person who is able to reach nirvana but delays doing so through compassion for suffering beings.

        Buddhism  is  a  widespread  Asian  religion  or  philosophy  founded  by  Siddartha  Gautama  (Buddha;c.563-c.460 BC)  in  north  east  India  in  the  5th  century  BC,  which  teaches  that  elimination  of  the  self  and  earthly  desires  is  the  route  to  enlightenment.

        God  or  goddess,  especially  in  polytheistic  religion.          

        The  eternal  law  of  the  cosmos,  inherent  in  the  very  nature  of  things.  Dharma is a Sanskrit term that denotes the underlying order of the cosmos and of life. It is symbolized by the wheel.  In the sphere of morality and ethics, it means ‘the right way of living’. Dharma is a concept originating from India. There are various versions of dharma, the Hindu version, the Buddhist version, the Jain version and the Sikh version. The proponents of each believe theirs to be the ‘right’ or in truest accord with the deepest realities of nature.

        Guru  is  a  Hindu  spiritual  teacher.  Origin  from  Hindi  and  Punjabi.  The  origin  of  this  word  is  from  the  Sanskrit  'guru'  which  means  ‘weighty,  grave’,  hence,  ‘elder,  teacher’.  

Hinduism  is  a  major  religious  and  cultural  tradition  of  the  Indian  subcontinent,  including  belief  in  reincarnation  and  the  worship  of  a  large  pantheon  of  deities.

        An  Indian  Yogi,  Sai  Baba,  explains  Hinduism  as  follows:
        Hinduism is the oldest religion in the world. The three cardinal principles of Hinduism are: 1) Belief in a series of births (reincarnation). 2) Belief in Avatars of the Lord for the reestablishment of Dharma and the transformation of those who have strayed from it. 3)Belief in Karma, the fact of every activity having its inevitable consequences and of human destiny being shaped by cumulative effect of all these consequences. Karma is the cause of births, the Jivi being compelled to undergo another ordeal for clearing its accounts and becoming free of both debit and credit.
        The life aim of Hindus is to reach fulfillment through constant spiritual discipline, the fulfillment that comes from the awareness of one's Divinity. Merging with the Divine is the attainment of fullness. The Vedas are the soul that sustains the spiritual life of Hindus. They are the breath that that keeps the people alive. The Vedas emanated from God Himself. The great sages received the Vedas as a series of sounds and spread it over the world by word of mouth from preceptor to the pupil. One can know from the Vedas the code of right activity and the body of right knowledge. The Vedas teach man his duties from birth to death. They describe his rights and duties, obligations and responsibilities in all stages of life. In order to explain the Vedas in simpler terms, the Puranas (scriptures) and epic texts appeared in course of time. Two such great epics are the Ramayana and Mahabharata. Another great spiritual text of Hinduism is the Bhagavat Geetha, which helps people to control the agitation of the mind, destroy the delusion, develop true knowledge and make one catch a glimpse of the glory of the Lord.
        The word Hindu means those who keep away from the path of violence, away from inflicting injury on others. The essence of all the scriptural texts of Hinduism can be described in one sentence as "Help Ever, Hurt Never".
        Aum, which is a primary symbol of Hinduism, is the symbol of unchanging eternal, universal supreme God. Aum, is the primordial word, which gives life to all the other words. Aum is the origin of creation. It contains the essence of all the Vedas and is the source of all the scriptures.” 

        Another Indian Yogi, Paramahansa Yogananda  explains Self Realization as the knowing that we are one with the omnipresence of God in body, mind and soul.


        Jainism is one of the oldest religions in the world originating in ancient India. The Jains follow the teachings of the 24 Jinas (conquerors) who are known as Tirthankars. The 24th is the 6th  century BC Mahavira.
        Jains believe that every human has an eternal soul and is responsible for his actions. The Jain religion places great emphasis on Karma. Essentially, it means that all people reap what they sow. A happy or miserable existence is influenced by the actions in previous lives.
     Jains believe all souls are equal because they all possess the potential of being liberated and attaining Moksha. Tirthankaras are role models because they have attained Moksha. 
        Jains believe that we should live, think and act respectfully and honor the spiritual nature of all life. Adherents to the faith are required to be vegetarians.
        God is viewed as the traits of the pure soul of each living being, chiefly described as infinite knowledge, perception, consciousness and happiness. They do not believe in an omnipotent, supreme, creator being. 
        Jains hold that this temporal world is full of misery and sorrow. In order to attain lasting bliss, they believe one must transcend the eternal cycle of soul transmigration. They believe the way to break out of this cycle is to practice detachment through rational perception, knowledge and conduct.
        Hence Jainism holds re-incarnation and karma as foundational in its religion. Because the theory of re-incarnation has been refuted, I believe Jainism and Jainist beliefs are false. 


        Hindus  and  Buddhists  believe  in  the  concept  of  karma. Karma  is  the  sum  of  a  person’s  actions  in  this  and  previous  states  of  existence,  viewed  as  affecting  their  future  fates.  The  origin  of  this  word  is  from  the  Sanskrit  karman  which  means  ‘action _  effect _  fate’.
        Hindus  and  Buddhists  believe  that  by  doing  good  deeds,  they  accumulate  positive  karma  credits.  This  would  enable  their  spirit  to  reincarnate  in  a  higher  spiritual  plane  in  the  next  lifetime.  
Over  many  lifetimes,  they  would  become  more   enlightened.  Some  eventually  become  enlightened  enough  to  be  like  Gautama  Siddhartha  Buddha  and  attain  the  level  of  nirvana.

        A  word  or  sound  repeated  to  aid  concentration  in  meditation.  A Vedic  hymn.  The  origin  of  this  word  is  from  the  Sanskrit  'man'  which  means  ‘thought’,  hence  mantra  is  ‘instrument  of  thought’.  

is the power by which the universe becomes manifest; the illusion of the phenomenal world. The origin of this word is from the Sanskrit 'măyă' , from mă  'create'.

        To  meditate  is  to  focus  one’s  mind  for  a  period  of  time  for  spiritual  purposes  or  as  a  method  of  relaxation.

     Moksha (Sanskrit: liberation) or Mukti (Sanskrit: release) refer in Indian religions to liberation from the cycle of death and rebirth (re-incarnation) and all the suffering and limitation of worldly existence. Liberation is experienced in this life as a dissolution of the sense of self as an egoistic personality, reaching a state of Nirvana.

New  Age.
        New  age’  is  a  broad  movement  characterized  by  alternative  approaches  to  traditional  Western  culture,  with  an  interest  in  spirituality,  mysticism,  holism,  and  environmentalism.  

        Hindus  and  Buddhists  believe  in  a  state  of  Nirvana  or  Nibbana.  
Nirvana  is  defined  as  a  transcendent  state  in  which  there  is  no  suffering  or  desire  and  no  sense  of  self.  The  origin  of  this  word  is  from  the  Sanskrit   nirvăna   where  nirvă   means  ‘be  extinguished’.    On  attaining  nirvana,  a  person  is  released  from  the  repeated  cycles  of   reincarnation  and  suffering.

A  belief  which  identifies  God  with  the  universe,  or  regards  the  universe  as  a  manifestation  of  God.
This concept holds that the creator and the creation are one and the same, and that the creator is not separate from the creation, and that the creator did not precede the creation.
        Hence the concept of pantheism is consistent with the core beliefs of Hinduism and most New Age practices.

  is  the  rebirth  of  a  soul  in  a  new  body. 
        Incarnation  is   a  spirit  embodied  in  a  living  human  from.  
To  incarnate  is  to  be  invested  in a  bodily  form.
        The  origin of  this  word  is  from the  Latin  in-  carn-  which  means  ‘into’  ‘flesh’.

        Samadhi   is  a  state  of  intense  concentration  achieved  through   meditation.  The  origin  of  this  word  is  from  Sanskrit  samădhi  which  means  ‘contemplation’.
        Samadhi  has  also  been  described  as  a  state  in  which  one’s  consciousness  becomes  in  unity  with  the  atman.  
        Yogis  describe  samadhi  as  a  state  of  supreme  happiness.  Hindus  believe  that  they  can  attain  samadhi  by  meditating  and  looking  within  themselves  in  order  to  ‘self-realize’.  The  devotee is  required  to  disciple  himself  to  a  guru  or  yogi  and  move  closer  to  Nibbana  after  many  years  of  meditation,  chanting  of  mantras  and  ascetic  living. 
        By  the  process  of  Yoga  meditation,  the  devotee  attempts  to  empty  himself  of   all  his  ego  driven  desires,  reason  and  logic.  The  devotee  believes  that  through  practice  and  obedient  following  of  a  Yogi,  he  can  achieve  self  realization.  
Self  realization  is  defined  as  the  fulfillment  of  one’s  own  potential.  
An  Indian  Yogi,  Paramahansa Yogananda  explains  Self Realization  as  the  knowing  that  we  are  one  with  the  omnipresence of  God  in  body,  mind  and  soul. Another  Indian  Yogi,  Sai  Baba,  states  that  the life aim of Hindus is to reach fulfillment through constant spiritual discipline, the fulfillment that comes from the awareness of one's Divinity. Merging with the Divine is the attainment of fullness. 

        Samsara  is  the  cycle  of  death  and  rebirth  in  which  life in  the  material  world  is  bound.  The  origin  of  this  word  is  from  the  Sanskrit  samsăra.  

Sikhism is a religious belief founded by Guru Nanak Dev 1469 to 1539 in Punjab, India. His writings are compiled in the Siri Guru Granth Sahib
        Central in his teaching is the belief that there is one creator God called Satnam Vahiguru or Truth as revealed by Guru Nanak.
He saw the universe as a creation of one supreme power, and since the creator was in the world he created, it could not be treated as unreal as proposed in Hinduism and Buddhism.
        His teachings did not include the policy of renunciation of the world or detachment from worldly responsibilities. He denounced the leading of one's life as an ascetic and put great emphasis on hard work and earning a livelihood. For him taking care of one's family and providing food and shelter for them was one of the prime duties of man before God. 
       However, similar to Hinduism and Buddhism, h
e believed in reincarnation and karma.  Because the theory of re-incarnation has been refuted, I believe Sikhism and Sikh beliefs are false. 

        Soul  is  the  spiritual  or  non-material  part  of  a  human  regarded  as  immortal.  The  origin  of  this  word  is  from  the  Old  English, Germanic   sāwol.

Spirit  is  the  non-physical  part  of  a  person  which  is  the  seat  of  emotions  and  character;   this  is  regarded  as  surviving  after  death  of  the  body,  often  manifested  as  a  ghost. The  origin  of  this  word  is  from  Latin  spiritos  which  means  ‘breath’

        Yoga  is  a  Hindu  spiritual  and  ascetic  discipline,  a  part  of  which,  including  breath  control,  simple  meditation,  and  the  adoption  of  specific  bodily  positions,  is  widely  practiced  for  health  and  relaxation. The  origin  of  this  word  is from  the  Sanskrit  yoga  which  means ‘union’.  

        A  yogi  is  a  person  proficient  in  yoga
        An  example  of  a  yogi  is  Paramahansa  Yogananda. 
        Born   Mukunda  Lal  Ghosh  on  Jan  5,  1893   in  the  northern  Indian  city  of  Gorakhpur.  Died  Mar  7,  1952  in  Los  Angeles,  USA.  From  the  age  of  seventeen,  he  was  trained  in  the  yoga  discipline   by  Swami  Sri  Yukteswar  for  ten  years. Paramahansa  considered  his  gurus  as  avatara.   He  was  conferred  with  the  Swami  order  in  1915,  after  graduating  from  the  University  of  Calcutta.  He  founded  a  ‘how  to  live’  school  for  boys  where  yoga  spiritual  training  was  combined  with  modern  educational  methods.  He  went  to  the  United  States,  founded  a  society  called  Self-Realization  Fellowship  in  1920  and  five  years  later  he  settled  in  Los  Angeles.   He  popularized  a  form  of  yoga  called  Kriya  Yoga. He  is  well  known  for  his  ‘Autobiography  of  a  Yogi’  and  an  English  translation  of  ‘The  Bhagavad  Gita’.  In  his  autobiography,  he  refers  to  the part  of  the  brain  above  and  between  the  eyes  as  the ‘Christ  consciousness  center’. His  disciples  have  deified  him  as  an  avatar.



Resource material:

Definitions in italics are based on The Concise Oxford Dictionary,  10th edition, revised.  2001.

Quotations from other sources are in the Arial narrow font.  

Old  Souls,  the  scientific  evidence  for  past  lives  by  Tom  Shroder, published  by  Simon &  Schuster,  Rockefeller  Center,  1230,  Ave of the Americas,  New  York,  NY  10020.  ISBN  0-684-85192-X). ©1999.

Reincarnation,  Amazing  True  Cases  From  Around  The  World  by  Roy  Stemman (Editor  of  Reincarnation  International),  published  by  Judy  Piatkus  Ltd. Windmill  Street, London  W1P 1HF.  ISBN 0-7499-1708-3 hbk,  ISBN 0-7499-1787-3 pbk  ©1997  (Ref: in  page  38) 

Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda published by Self-Realization Fellowship, 3880 San Raphael Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90065-3298 U.S.A.  ISBN 0-87612-082-6. 12th Ed. © 1981


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