This belief - the transmigration of the soul, after the death of the body, into other bodies, either of men, beasts or gods - is part of the animistic creed so widely found throughout the world that it was probably universal.
In later times, the strict adherence to caste duties would naturally receive considerable support from the belief in the transmigration of souls, already prevalent before Buddha's time, and from the very general acceptance of the doctrine of karma (" deed "), or retribution, according to which a man's present station and manner of life are the result of the sum-total of his actions and thoughts in his former existence; as his actions here will again, by the same automatic process of retribution, determine his status and condition in his next existence.
Once at a village where he rested the Blessed One (Buddha) addressed his brethren and said: "It is through not understanding and grasping four Noble Truths, 0 brethren, that we have had to run so long, to wander so long in this weary path of transmigration, both you and I."
In India, the (still unexplained) rise of the doctrine of transmigration hindered belief.
Curiously, Buddhism itself is ruled by the ghost or shadowy remainder of belief in transmigration - Karma.
The belief was taught in the homogeneity of all living things, in the doctrine of original sin, in the transmigration of souls, in the view that the soul is entombed in the body (v13µa ojia), and that it may gradually attain perfection during connexion with a series of bodies.
Clemens accuses Basilides of a deification of the Devil (Oast etv Ten) 8c&f30Xov), and regards as his two dogmas that of the Devil and that of the transmigration of souls (Strom.
Sikhism mainly differs from Christianity in that it inculcates the transmigration of the soul, and adopts a belief in predestination, which is universal in the East.
It is erroneous, however, to ascribe, as has been done, a doctrine of transmigration to the Manichaeans.
Nothing could be more like Plato's Phaedo, or more unlike Aristotle's later work on the Soul, which entirely rejects transmigration and allows the next life to sink into the background.
Personal identity may be absorbed, as in the transmigration of souls, or it may even be denied, while the good or bad result of one life is held to determine the weal or woe of another.
(5) A characteristic feature of Indian thought is the transmigration of the soul from one mode of life to another, the physical condition of each being determined by the moral and religious character of the preceding.
That the transmigration theory, which makes the spirit of the departed hover about for a time in quest of a new corporeal abode, would naturally lend itself to superstitious notions of this kind can scarcely be doubted.
It is not easy to harmonize these quasi-scientific theories with the theory of transmigration of souls which Empedocles seems to expound.
Josephus uses the term of the national restoration of the Jews, Plutarch of the transmigration of souls, and Cicero of his own return from exile.
Views that he taught the transmigration of souls (Origen in Ep. ad Rom.
Pythagoras, in support of his doctrine of the transmigration of souls, declared that he had once been this Euphorbus, whose shield, hung up in the temple of Argos by Menelaus, he claimed as his own (Horace, Odes, i.
In Tibet a lama (priest) is called in to cut off some hairs from the head of a dying person, in order that his soul may escape through the top of his head, which is deemed an essential condition of a good transmigration (Horace de la Penna, in Bogle and Manning's Travels in Tibet, ed.
The drberi szabalyzat (feudal prescription) of 1767 restored to the peasants the right of transmigration and, in some respects, protected them against the exactions of their landlords.
A convenient belief in the doctrine of the transmigration of souls satisfied the unfortunate that their woes were the natural result of their own deeds in a former birth, and, though unavoidable now, might be escaped in a future state of existence by present good conduct.