By Swami Harshananda
Punarjanma literally means ‘rebirth’.
The theory of karma and punarjanma or rebirth, is a basic tenet of the religion. The principle behind it is, ‘As you sow, so you reap’. Punarjanma is regulated by prārabdhakarma. The religion accepts the regression of a soul into animal bodies, but only to exhaust the bad karmas, before being born again in a human body.
Phrases for rebirth in English are ‘reincarnation’, ‘transmigration’, and ‘metempsychosis’.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore