SAMSARA – A concept

Samsara has the essential meaning of the cycle of rebirths or simply rebirth. Samsara is one of the key concepts in understanding the reason Hindu mythol­ogy can be so complex—figures changing genders from one lifetime to the next, rebirths in lifetimes with different names but carrying from a previous lifetime the results of actions not then completed, and teams of characters being reborn in new relationships or even in reversals of roles from previous lifetimes.
Rebirth was not a notion found in the early Vedic myths. There was a Vedic idea of redeath (punar mrityu). Eventually redeath became rebirth (punai avritti): the idea became prevalent that something would return to another life. But what returned and with how much memory of previous existences was the very essence of later mythology.

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