History And Aspects Of Reincarnation

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Throughout the history of mankind, people have always been interested in questions of life and death. What happens to a person after death? How do the soul and the body? In different eras, people gave different answers to these questions. The main thing was and remains the question of whether the soul will continue its path and whether it will be revived again in the guise of a person. One of the answers is given by the idea of reincarnation, transmigration of the soul. Many people are convinced that human life is not limited to earthly existence and continues after the death of the body. The soul incarnates again and again among the people. Some hold the opinion that the soul can move not only to a person, but also to an animal. The idea of reincarnation is also an attempt to find an explanation of why a person cannot live as well as he would like. In each new life, he raises his spiritual level, accumulates experience and can achieve more in his future life. The word “reincarnation” came to us from the Latin language. There was a similar concept among the ancient Greeks, only it was called metempsychosis – “transmigration of souls”. The essence of this phenomenon is that after physical death, the soul continues its path in a new incarnation, while retaining some of the memory of what happened to the creature in the past life. Not in all beliefs it is considered that “the soul remembers everything” – some of them claim that the road to the previously accumulated knowledge is open only to the elect.

Now it is difficult to say who and when he first began to use ideas about this phenomenon in his beliefs. Most often, the term “reincarnation” is associated with Hinduism and Buddhism. But according to some sources, the “path of incarnations” appeared even earlier in African tribes, among North American Indians and among the Eskimos. The highest manifestation of reincarnation in totemism was the event when, after the physical death of a shaman or a great warrior (or hunter), an animal appeared next to the settlement, which was the totem of the tribe. This indicated that the soul of the deceased had found its true, divine incarnation, and the animal itself had come to protect the settlement and its inhabitants from all evils.

Depending on the basic dogmas of a particular belief, it is believed that only the soul of a person, or a part of the essence of people and animals, or everything in general, including insects and plants, can reincarnate.

With the key postulates of various teachings and religions, the very path of incarnations is connected. So, for example, in Hinduism and Buddhism there is the concept of “samsara” – the cycle of birth and death, during which the human soul can infuse both into the body of a newborn baby and the bodies of animals and insects, and in higher manifestation into gods.

Thoughts of reincarnation suggest reflections on colors. After all, they, like all living things, have their own cycles. Their lives are fleeting, but filled with bright colors and fragrances, but in the end, death always comes. The flower loses its former beauty, becomes nondescript, does not please the eye with its aroma and beauty. But does this mean the end of his existence? Far from it. Flower wilting is just a sign of the beginning of a new life. Time will pass and the hour of flowering will come. And so in a circle. Flowers have always had sacred significance for people. First of all, the flowers saw a symbol of the awakening of nature, a symbol of life, prosperity, spiritual and physical health. Therefore, flowers have always been actively depicted in art. Countless images of lotus on the walls of Egyptian temples and pyramids can be considered as one of the most ancient examples of the images of flowers in a painting. The lotus was considered a sacred flower: the Egyptians believed that the lotus contained divine power, and it was enough for man to inhale the scent of this flower, as this divine energy filled him. Ancient Egyptian images often have scents of inhalation of the scent of lotus; this action, apparently, the Egyptians gave the character of religious ritual. In medieval paintings, there was an ambiguous attitude towards flowers. On the one hand, the words of the prophet Isaiah, the texts of the psalms and the New Testament compared a man and everything perishable on earth to grass and flowers, whose life is transient. Often, but not always, the flowers in these paintings were depicted as fading. A skull could be crowned with a floral wreath – a central element of such a still life.

On the other hand, the words of the same Isaiah mention the ‘tree of Jesse’, a sprout from it and a flower that grows on this sprout. Theologians interpreted this as a prophecy about Christ. From here, flowers and nature were justified, and their images accepted positive symbolism. The beauty of flowers testified that the world was created by God. symbol of youth and love.

In the heritage from medieval culture, the still-life of the 17th century was inherited by the tradition of depicting not just a thing, but a thing-symbol. Referring to the still life ‘Mémento mori’ Dutch artist Jan de Hem. At the first glance at this picture, attention to itself immediately attracts a beautiful bouquet of garden flowers. He occupies almost the entire space of the picture and is its main “actor”. But looking closer, we notice some oddities in the selection and image of objects located near the bouquet: it is very unusual that the artist placed a skull, a shell, crumpled and torn paper with a clear inscription ‘Memento mori’ (‘Remember about death’) next to it. In addition to this direct call, the skull also reminds of death, since it is a symbol of the fragility and frailty of our life. About the death, about its inevitability, speak all the numerous details of this picture. Note that Jan de Hem depicted a fading bouquet: the petals of tulips faded and faded, the poppy completely wilted, touched by wilting and other flowers. Withering bouquet in itself means the fragility of our lives. In addition, the artist carefully wrote a lot of worms and insects that eat the petals, stems and leaves. And worms are symbols of decay and destruction; flies symbolize spoilage; butterflies – transience, the brevity of our stay on earth. Almost all the considered elements of the composition of this still life indicate that the believing artist insistently inspires to us the idea that a person with all his earthly aspirations and concerns, which are symbolically marked with a set of different colors, is only a temporary guest on earth. But the shell, a symbol of pilgrimage, an attribute of St. Roch and James the Elder, directs the viewer’s thought to the high, imperishable and eternal. But forever only the spiritual, our soul is immortal. Now it becomes clear the ideological content of the picture: do not forget, man, that you are mortal, and save your soul in life in order to avoid the torments of hell in the next world.

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Painting by John Everett Millet ‘Ophelia’ is known for its detailed image of river vegetation and river banks. When the artist painted the doomed Shakespeare Ophelia, he painted all the flowers in a magnificent death scene in accordance with the original text and botanical precision. A certain meaning is coded in each plant: buttercups mean ingratitude, weeping willow bending over a girl is a sign of rejected love, nettle means pain, flowers of daisies around the right hand symbolize innocence. Roses traditionally speak of love and beauty, moreover, one of the heroes of the tragedy calls Ophelia the “rose of May”; a necklace of violets marks modesty and loyalty, as well as forget-me-noses growing on the shore; the scarlet and poppy-like adonis floating near the right hand symbolizes grief.

From this, it follows that the theme of life and death has always been on the canvases of artists. The question arises how the idea of reincarnation was expressed in art.

In this case, it is worth mentioning Bhavacakra. It is a picture in the form of a circle, divided into several rings, and those, in turn, are divided into sections and depict certain scenes. It shows the wheel of samsara as the cycle of constant rebirths in different worlds, inevitably associated with suffering. In other words, this is an image of Buddhist ideas about the world, a doctrine of cause-and-effect relationships that Shakyamuni grasped while meditating under a bodhi tree.

Painting by Paul Gauguin “Where are we from? Who are we? Where are we going? ”Reflects the deep philosophical reflections and experiences of the artist regarding the meaning of human existence, the purpose of man, the cyclical nature of life and the frequency of death and birth. At the direction of Gauguin himself, the picture should be read from right to left – the three main groups of figures illustrate the questions posed in the title. On the surface of the canvas, the artist unfolded the history of human life from birth to death, placing it around an idol, whose raised hands reach for ripe fruit. On the right, three women with a child represent the beginning of life; the middle group symbolizes the daily existence of maturity; in the final group, according to the artist, ‘an old woman approaching death seems reconciled and indulged in her thoughts’.

Not only on the canvases you can come across images of life and death, reincarnation and the boomerang of life. The sculpture ‘Karma’ is a pyramid of bodies sitting on each other’s neck. According to the author, this explains that our fate depends not only on our decisions in the current life, but also on the actions done in all past reincarnations.

Talking about art it is worth noting the world of literature, which was full of poets and writers enthusiastic about the idea of the rebirth of the soul. An example would be Leo Tolstoy – the great Russian writer. Almost everyone knows about his life and his works. However, few people know that Tolstoy was engaged in the study of Vedic philosophy. Bhagavad Gita (a classic of Vedic literature) was his reference book. Those who carefully read Leo Tolstoy’s novel War and Peace may notice the tendencies of Vedic philosophy in it. In this novel, the author addresses such issues related to Vedic knowledge, such as the illusory nature of happiness in the material world, reincarnation, signs of civilized society, reducing the significance of religion. They also address the issues of the difference between the soul and body; what is the meaning of life; what is love and the Absolute Truth and more.

The words of his heroes prove that Leo Tolstoy believed in the existence of reincarnation: ‘… Our souls were animals and again go to animals …’, ‘After all, the soul is immortal … so if I live forever, so I and before she lived, she lived for ages …’ and others.

One of the modern theories about human consciousness is that there are three worlds defined by the speed of movement of their constituent elements. thus, the concepts of past, present, and future mix and disappear, all events occur simultaneously in the Field of Events. With death, our ‘superluminal’ consciousness reaches another level of more developed energy: time-space of tachyons. Perhaps we live at the same time thousands of lives in thousands of different eras of the past and the future. What we take to be regressions is actually just an awareness of these parallel lives. The biggest fear in a person’s life is the fear of death. For those who believe in reincarnation, death is only a transition to the next life. Reincarnation suggests that after death the human soul receives a new body and returns to live another life. Human life is like a flower life. Today is the day of flowering, and tomorrow may come the day of withering, but this does not mean that it is worth to be afraid of that day.

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History And Aspects Of Reincarnation. (2022, February 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved August 7, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/history-and-aspects-of-reincarnation/
“History And Aspects Of Reincarnation.” Edubirdie, 21 Feb. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/history-and-aspects-of-reincarnation/
History And Aspects Of Reincarnation. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/history-and-aspects-of-reincarnation/> [Accessed 7 Aug. 2022].
History And Aspects Of Reincarnation [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 21 [cited 2022 Aug 7]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/history-and-aspects-of-reincarnation/
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