Do you believe in Rebirth? An average of 33% of U.S. Adults and 38% of Indian adults believe in reincarnation. Karma and rebirth are taught in Sutra, but do all Buddhist’s accept the concept?
In modern times, what are we to make of rebirth, past lives and reincarnation? While it seems less “fanciful” than other concepts of the afterlife (such as various heavens and hells), it can be a difficult concept for newer Buddhists.
People born and raised in a Buddhist environment usually accept the notion without question, but secular Buddhists and modern practitioners tend to avoid or even deny the possibility of rebirth. Adding to the complexity, reincarnation and rebirths are similar, but not the same. And, it’s also worth remembering, that this is a worldwide, transcending spiritual path.
Facts: Reincarnation statistics, PEW research
- 76% of Indian adults believe in karma and 38% believe in reincarnation 
- 33% of all U.S. Adults believe in reincarnation (similar to India) and 72% of U.S. adults believe in near-death experiences and spirit. NOTE: This 33% are not all Buddhists, but a wide cross section of Americans.
Video from @TrueRebirth:
- At Buddha Weekly, we’ve covered this topic extensively>>
- Please subscribe to our sister Youtube channel True Rebirth: https://youtube.com/@truerebirth
True Rebirth — fresh perspectives on the cycle of reincarnation
Step in True Rebirth, our new “sister” Youtube Channel. Rebirth and reincarnation and past lives tend to be difficult subjects. Rather than avoid the topic, True Rebirth faces it head-on — but with a dash of humor (so we hope, anyway!)
Since, past lives is a broad-based belief in many traditions — with many Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, esoteric Christians, and modern-day eclectic spiritual paths holding a belief in the cycle of rebirth. Pew Research’s data shows a sizable proportion of Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, Jainists, new-agers and even atheists or agnostics tend to have a belief in some form of reincarnation. Some of True Rebirth’s early topics are fascinating, and fun:
- Was your son your grandpa? and other true stories
- Tibetan Book of the Dead, Rebirth in Buddhism and other Buddhist topics
- Famous People who believed in reincarnation: Benjamin Franklin, General Patton, George Harrison, and many others
- What do dreams of past lives mean? What about Deja Vu?
- The science of reincarnation — what evidence is there?
- Karma — and why do bad things happen to good people?
Here are some of our sister Youtube Channel’s videos — currently several, and growing with daily shorts planned
It’s easy for modern-day people to shrug it off, even if they are devoted to Buddhism, as “metaphorical” or “unimportant.” Since it is wrapped up in the important concept of karma, which is fundamental to Buddhist methods to overcome the cycle of suffering, it’s really not a discussion we should “shelve.” So — we moved it to its own channel, for wider discussion among all audiences. Many Christians, agnostics and even athiests do believe some form of rebirth is possible.
At True Rebirth, our sister Youtube Channel, we’ll explore the evidence, the discussions, the case studies, the science, the traditional beliefs — and we’ll have a little fun at the same time. Come along for the ride! Please check out our first few videos (below and on our channel) and please consider subscribing as we have a long list of fascinating topics to cover!
- True Rebirth Youtube (new!): https://youtube.com/@truerebirth Please help our new channel by subscribing if you enjoy the content!
- We also occassionally cover this topic on Buddha Weekly Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/@BuddhaWeekly
 Belief in Karma and Reincarnation in India>> https://www.pewresearch.org/religion/2021/06/29/religious-beliefs-2/
 Belief in Reincarnation among U.S. adults: https://www.pewresearch.org/religion/2021/11/23/views-on-the-afterlife/
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Author | Buddha Weekly
Lee Kane is the editor of Buddha Weekly, since 2007. His main focuses as a writer are mindfulness techniques, meditation, Dharma and Sutra commentaries, Buddhist practices, international perspectives and traditions, Vajrayana, Mahayana, Zen. He also covers various events.
Lee also contributes as a writer to various other online magazines and blogs.